x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

BlackBerry Passport first look

Posted: , by John V.

Tags :

BlackBerry Passport first look

If you haven’t heard it already, RIM managed to make the news today, as the company officially announced that it’s in the process of acquiring German security firm Secusmart, during its BlackBerry Security Summit conference held in New York City today. While in attendance, we managed to get our first look at the upcoming BlackBerry Passport, which is hopefully going to be one of the many next-generation BlackBerry devices we’ll be seeing soon in the future. In fact, there were plenty of executives at the conference sporting the handset in plain sight.

As much as we’re excited to see the smartphone in person, the BlackBerry executives did not allow anyone to handle the phone for a comprehensive hands-on look. Instead, we were merely given a first look at the upcoming smartphone. In person, we got to say that the phone looks just as beautiful as the rendered shots of the handset – almost to the teeth to tell you honestly. Aesthetically, there’s no denying that it follows the BlackBerry design heritage, where it’s a portrait QWERTY phone, but it’s sporting a more aggressive design.

Rather than going with the rounded looks of previous efforts seen with recent BlackBerry smartphones such as the Q10, Q5, and Q20, the Passport flaunts a hard lined design that’s more right angled along the corners. From what we can gather, too, it looks incredibly thin! There’s no denying that the industrial design is more profound with this model, but we’re curious to know exactly how it feels in the hand – more so when it’s rumored to offer a porcelain-like coating with the rear casing.

Typical of a BlackBerry, the Passport employs a portrait style QWERTY keyboard. However, this time around, they’ve minimized the layout by shrinking the row of buttons to a mere 3 – as opposed to the 4 we’re normally accustomed to seeing. Additionally, numbers and punctuations aren’t available through the keyboard, but they’ve been turned into virtual keys that sit above the top row for quick access. And during our demo, we got the chance to see the keyboard be used to scroll through web pages by lightly brushing your finger over the QWERTY.

The executives couldn’t comment about actual specs of the phone, aside from the 4.5-inch 1440 x 1440 display, which looks pretty sharp from our point of view. Needless to say, the hardware is one portion to the overall picture, but it’s surely a good indicator of how it might stack up against the current crop of competition. No word on when the handset will be officially unveiled, but there’s arguing that BlackBerry is hoping that this next-gen device will be a hit to consumers. Don’t forget to check out our first look video below!

  • Options

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 21:37 16

1. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)

I really like the design of the phone

Sharp and boxy

Great for viewing and browsing

This reminds me of Nexus4, which has a slightly wider screen than every other devices

I would love this specs on the Z3 BB

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 21:46

44. cdgoin (Posts: 532; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)

nice looking.. but they failed by not having a row of numbers at the top.. or punctuation marks. That will prove to be a fail.

posted on 02 Aug 2014, 01:27 2

46. meanestgenius (Posts: 11505; Member since: 28 May 2014)

The row of numbers and punctuation appear on screen just above the keyboard when you're using it, depending on what you're typing. I don't see how that is a "fail".

posted on 03 Aug 2014, 14:52

48. cncrim (Posts: 823; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)

Oh boy, maybe just you are as Blackberry fan but when I first look at it , and as average consumer I don't it as sexy. It is remind me of LG Vu. Anyway, I willing to bet a lot of money on this phone wont help Blackberry at all.

posted on 03 Aug 2014, 16:48 1

49. meanestgenius (Posts: 11505; Member since: 28 May 2014)

Oh boy, maybe you are just someone who doesn't like BlackBerry in general. You are entitled to your opinion. If you don't like the way it looks, that's fine. I happen to think it's a beautiful phone. I'm also willing to bet a lot of money that this will help BlackBerry, especially in regulated industries. So, how much are you willing to wager?

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 21:44 4

2. meanestgenius (Posts: 11505; Member since: 28 May 2014)

Great looking device! BlackBerry is definitely going to have a winner with this one, especially in enterprise and regulated industries.

By the way John V:

Nice article, but the company's name is BLACKBERRY now. RIM is no longer the name in use. You should change that.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 21:53 2

5. Busyboy (unregistered)

True, however if you read the sticker at the back of the phone it does say "Research in Motion Limited" so technically there is validity to either argument.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 21:57 1

7. meanestgenius (Posts: 11505; Member since: 28 May 2014)

Still, it is no longer the companies OFFICIAL name.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:26

13. berry889 (Posts: 23; Member since: 01 Apr 2013)

maybe they just want to finish up the stockpile of RIM sticker... why bother to produce new one....

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 04:07

36. WahyuWisnu (Posts: 1001; Member since: 29 May 2014)

The sticker just show us that this device exist before JC took leadership. Maybe this phone is on stuck on the 'junk design not to be released' for some reason or another. (read: price too high, can't sell well, just like the Z10/Q10)

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 12:16 1

38. meanestgenius (Posts: 11505; Member since: 28 May 2014)

You are incorrect, as usual. This phone was just RECENTLY designed. Troll elsewhere, Wahy.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 21:49 6

3. Busyboy (unregistered)

I hope this brings Blackberry out of the grave its in.

Beautiful phone with a lot of potential!

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 02:27

33. Penny (Posts: 1648; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)

Yeah, I'm a fan of BB10. I just couldn't bring myself to purchase the Z10 when I was last due for an upgrade because of its almost instantly obsolete hardware and the uncertainty surrounding Blackberry's future. The latter is still an issue to contend with if I ever want to get one in the future.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 21:50

4. meanestgenius (Posts: 11505; Member since: 28 May 2014)

The Passport was VERY snappy! Especially moving in and out of "Active Frames" (NOT tiles. That's a WP thing. ABSOLUTELY NO offense meant to WP fans). Web browsing looked great! I cannot wait to get my hands on that keyboard!

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 21:56 4

6. joe1blue (Posts: 169; Member since: 25 Jul 2013)

The look of the phone says Business period. I like how BlackBerry creates it's own design and style.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 21:59 1

8. lolatfailphones (Posts: 203; Member since: 08 Apr 2013)

That idiot doesn't even know how to explain anything about the phone

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:13 1

10. MC1123 (Posts: 1255; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)

Yeah! Seriously! He doesn't know his product!

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:38

16. alrightihatepickingusernames (Posts: 474; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)

That was my first impression as well. Very unprofessional.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:44 1

19. meanestgenius (Posts: 11505; Member since: 28 May 2014)

I bet he got a pink slip once that video was done.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:02 1

9. ushoda (Posts: 41; Member since: 17 Aug 2011)

great design!!! but i kinda think that this keyboard it's a bit hard to use, too narrow and compressed at the bottom seems to be not such a good combination

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 21:50

45. cdgoin (Posts: 532; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)

The missing of numbers and punctuation was a major fail. I WANT a great QWERTY phone and would switch OS' except for that.

posted on 02 Aug 2014, 01:30 1

47. meanestgenius (Posts: 11505; Member since: 28 May 2014)

The numbers and punctuation are not "missing". They appear when you want/need them as you use the keyboard. No "major fail" here. USE the device first upon its release before claiming its a fail. That's the only way you can truly judge it.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:25 2

12. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)

That looks even better in someone's hands.
I'm impressed, BB has a neat little package here.

Kudos BB.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:34 4

14. apiskula (banned) (Posts: 578; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)

That is one ugly phone. Oh well its foes not matter it will not sell anyway. No like people are going to line up for this phone when it goes on sale. I am going to get a real phone like the note 4, not this garbage

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:37 5

15. meanestgenius (Posts: 11505; Member since: 28 May 2014)

Nobody asked. Nobody cares. Please troll elsewhere.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:38 3

17. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)

The more I look at it, the more I think the consumer class will become jealous of BB possibly once again.
Am I losing it?

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:43 2

18. meanestgenius (Posts: 11505; Member since: 28 May 2014)

Nah, you're not losing it. You're seeing the phone for the beauty that it is.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:54 1

20. swiekekodok (Posts: 58; Member since: 19 Jul 2014)

Square phone,...like it a lot....just remember my old Nokia E61 (got wrecked)... :(

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 23:00

21. jellmoo (Posts: 1585; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

If I could wait until this phone was released I probably would just to give it a look at.

Alas, I need to use my upgrade now. G3, S5 or Z2... What to pick... What to pick...

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 23:08

23. Busyboy (unregistered)

For accessories, water resistance and gimmicks go to S5 (gimmicks aren't bad but aren't necessary either)
For build quality, looks, sound, waterproof, display & camera (arguably) go for the Z2
For software and high res display go to G3

Btw I own the Z2 and love it

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 23:34

25. jellmoo (Posts: 1585; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

I'm actually leaning towards the G3, largely because of the camera. What I'd like out of the camera is the ability to focus and snap a shot quickly, and not have to spend too much effort getting a good shot.

The other big plus for me is the 32GB built in storage. Even with SD cards, I like having that nice amount of baked in storage.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 23:55

27. iushnt (Posts: 1679; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)

The camera and screen of s5 is great as well. ISOCELL won't disspoint you..

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 23:00

22. a_tumiwa (Posts: 373; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)

the keyboard is too short, but no problem, maybe they would release another version

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 23:08 2

24. quakan (Posts: 1373; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)

Not liking the design. Too boxy for my liking.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 23:53

26. tigermcm (Posts: 855; Member since: 02 Sep 2009)

i had to mute the video after the 40 second mark. its different, I like that they decided to offer something different from the candybar form factor

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 00:09 1

28. BigBoss10 (Posts: 273; Member since: 31 Aug 2012)

definitely it looks much better than the upcoming iPhone 6... iPhone is a piece of garbage

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 00:38 1

29. trouty27 (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Jul 2014)

At first I thought this was absolutely the worst review of a phone I've ever seen. Then I read the caption, and it DOES say: First Look. So, I'm going to cut him some slack and assume that he was actually getting his "first look" just moments before recording this. Either way, this video only goes to show that Blackberry is dead. They're just not getting the attention. I mean look at Samsung, they've got LeBron James. For the life of me, I do not understand why they don't take advantage of the fact that Barack Obama (and probably the rest of our government) use Blackberry. I know the president can't do commercials or anything like that, but they could put together a nice marketing campaign showing images of public figures using their devices. I loved my Blackberry. I hope this device is great, but they have to do some marketing.

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 02:26 1

32. meanestgenius (Posts: 11505; Member since: 28 May 2014)

They do need better marketing, but you cannot expect BlackBerry to put up the same money for marketing as Samsung. Samsung spends more on marketing than ANYONE in the industry, including Apple. I read an article yesterday about BlackBerry putting up better marketing soon, most likely with the release of the Passport and Classic. True, the idiot in this video just did not do this phone any justice, but BlackBerry is FAR from dead.

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 00:43

30. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3806; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)

It's great to see a company going back to engineering and function being more important than "thin". Hopefully the market will respond to this innovative and bold phone design.

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 00:56 3

31. xBURK (Posts: 11; Member since: 20 Jul 2013)

This phone looks better and better every time I see it. BlackBerry may act as if this only for Enterprise, but I have no doubt it will sell well on the consumer end of things as well. Rogers Canada is testing it as we speak. Great job BlackBerry. You definitely deserve success and respect.

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 03:37 1

34. jibraihimi (Posts: 760; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)

I am surprised to not see any trolling comment of wahyu wishu or whatever he is called, maybe he is stunned at the beauty of this model to even comment any thing..... BTW, this phone looks really nice in these pictures, maybe blackberry will be able to regain some lost ground, with the launch of this phone, but hope they price it right......

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 03:47 1

35. dorian827 (Posts: 155; Member since: 28 Jul 2012)


Did an excellent job on the design and form of the phone I love it. The form factor is sleek, sharp, innovative and intuitive. But as he said "Uhhhh what else is there"? BlackBerry doesn't provide much today in the smartphone market. They had their prime wayback ago in early 2000s.

Id highly prefer Windows Phone over BlackBerry anyday, coming from BlackBerry to Android and now Windows Phone 8.1. (My opinion)

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 04:12 4

37. WahyuWisnu (Posts: 1001; Member since: 29 May 2014)

If we observe the BB background, BB is NOT really good in OS. They just good in 2 things. BBM & Push email, and do it in VPN transport. BB OS before 10 is a mess with lots of hang & battery pull out, not to mention the user will pull his/her hair too because of the stress.

This is the reason that BB were buying QNX, because BB were not good at OS, and this is the reason that QNX playing catch-up with android and iOS. Because BB/QNX is not good in making OS. They just app maker, the apps called push e-mail & BBM.

I think BB need to realize this, and doing what their best... which is become one of the android handset maker focused in security. Otherwise, they will be lost, and hurt even more.

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 12:24 2

39. meanestgenius (Posts: 11505; Member since: 28 May 2014)

More misinformation being spread around by you. BB10 is a GREAT OS. It has more features and functionality than every OS out now, with the possible exception of Android. There is NO HANGING or BATTERY PULLS with BB10. You are CLEARLY referring to Android with that statement.

You just can't STAND the fact that BlackBerry is succeeding with what they have now proposed to do. They are getting better in every way and a little TROLL like is probably beating yourself up because of it. BlackBerry isn't just an "app maker". That's nonsense and rubbish and you know it. BlackBerry definitely DOES NOT need to go Android. They need to continue to push and develop their own SUPERIOR OS.

Now be a good little TROLL and get back under your bridge. Or rock. Or wherever you slither from.

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 14:38 2

40. meanestgenius (Posts: 11505; Member since: 28 May 2014)


The fact that this idiot in the video didn't know what he was talking about in no way, shape, or form means BlackBerry doesn't provide much in today's smartphone market. BB10 is a breath of fresh air. It is the most feature packed and functional OS on the market today. BB10 brings absolute productivity to the smartphone market. BB10 brings THE BEST communications device to the smartphone market. There is NO DEVICE out today that can match BlackBerry communications wise.

One could say that Windows had their prime way back in the early 2000's as well, back when the more functional Windows Mobile was available, as opposed to the Windows Phone OS that's available now. I personally much rather prefer BlackBerry 10 to ANY OS out today, including Windows Phone. This is coming from someone who has used many Android devices, including the Galaxy S4, all iPhones up to the iPhone 4s, both iPad minis, the first two iPads, and a plethora of Windows devices ranging from Windows Mobile (I loved my Motorola Q) to Windows Phone( I've had the HTC Titan, Lumias 710, 810, 900, 521 and 925, the last of which I still own). I find BB10 superior to them all.

This is, of course, all my opinion.

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 21:33

41. Mrmark (Posts: 276; Member since: 26 Jan 2013)

The device is nice ... It just needs better google integration ... Or Apple or Microsoft ... But definitely for my taste Google integration and its definitely a go for me . Blackberry should whatever it takes to make the phone fully Android compatible!

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 22:43 2

42. meanestgenius (Posts: 11505; Member since: 28 May 2014)

I respectfully disagree. I do not think that BlackBerry needs Google integration, or services from Google, Apple or Microsoft. I think that as long as a BlackBerry can provide email integration from Google and MS, that it's good enough. Apple doesn't integrate its services with anything not Apple built and owned, so that's off the table(not that I mind that one bit.). As long as BlackBerry devices can run Android apps effectively, I think that should be the limit. BlackBerry needs to keep their own identity and push their own software and services as much as possible. BB10 is amazing. Getting in too deep with Google will just make them another Android OEM, and that's not a good thing, IMO. Where would the choice be after that? BB10 would just become another "Android skin". BB10 is more than fine the way it is.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 00:38 2

43. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3806; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)

Agreed. Google integration is a minus for a huge number of people.

posted on 22 Sep 2014, 09:48

53. boosook (Posts: 1436; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


posted on 18 Aug 2014, 08:50 2

50. WALLYANDCO (Posts: 3; Member since: 18 Aug 2014)

, "What a fantastic physical keyboard !"
Passport keyboard is working just like the Incredible Z30's touchscreen keyboard.
Have you ever use the Z30 ?
It's the best touchscreen keyboard on the market.
Incredible, the Passport whole keyboard works like a huge trackpad.
Better, it's just like playing with a "Flipper"
You shoot the word up on the line.
Flick the words showing off at the bottom of the screen.
It's fun & easy with this "Ready-to-Type" Smartphone.
You can enjoy your screen display, fully & permanently, all the time,
You don't have to play hide & seek with a touchscreen keyboard.
It's a "Ready-to-Watch" Smartphone...

Even with the world best keyboard on board,
you can speak instead of writing.
BB 10.3 come a new Voice Command.
Passport is a "Ready-to-Talk" Smartphone.

You can make Full HD Video Conference Call, in Stereo, with 4 microphones...

posted on 24 Aug 2014, 02:34

51. Chris94 (Posts: 1; Member since: 24 Aug 2014)

I feel the virtual punctuation part of the thing is going to annoy the hell outta me. Probably enough to not even buy the device. It'll make the whole typing experience drastically slower.

posted on 22 Sep 2014, 09:47

52. boosook (Posts: 1436; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

Doesn't look bad at all!!!!
Sadly, we have to say the thing that most people say when they see a Nokia phone: "OMG, that's great! If only it had Android..."
Yes, I could possibly buy it as I love the physical keyboard... if only it had Android!

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories