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BlackBerry Passport now available unlocked for $599, new features announced

Posted: , by Luis D.

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BlackBerry Passport, the star of today's BlackBerry show, is already up for sale - unlocked for $599, just as promised. The Passport comes with a 4.5-inch square touch display with a 1440 x 1440 resolution and 453PPI pixel density. Thanks to the integration of a touch-sensitive panel inside the hardware QWERTY keyboard below the display, your fingers almost never get in the way of reading or otherwise interacting with on-screen content. 

The Passport's hardware brawn is supplied by a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor and a spacey 3GB of RAM along with 32GB of expandable internal storage. Running BB OS 10.3, the productive smartphone is powered by a huge 3540mAh battery, which BlackBerry said lasts 30 hours. 

Although the device ships with a 13MP camera with optical image stabilization, and a powerful processor, 4K video recording isn't being advertised anywhere, but it is said that the feature will come in an update.

The BlackBerry Passport (unlocked) is available through ShopBlackBerry.com for customers in Canada, France, Germany, the UK and the U.S. immediately following the launch, at "special introductory prices":

  • Canada – $699
  • France – €649
  • Germany – €649
  • UK – £529
  • USA – $599
The BlackBerry Passport (unlocked) will be available through Amazon.com as well. The retailer will be announcing its pricing soon. In addition, carriers and distributors will offer the Passport with a contract for around US$249, though the exact price will vary. TELUS in Canada is first to promote the smartphone, taking $50 off the contract price from September 24th until Oct 1st. On Oct 1st, TELUS will resume the regular price of $250.

Before the end of the year, the BlackBerry Passport will be available in more than 30 countries, including the U.S., UK, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the other parts of the Middle East, France India, Singapore, Austria, Germany, Nigeria, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, Vietnam, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico, Venezuela, Philippines, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Romania and Colombia.

The QWERTY Touch-Enabled Keyboard


In addition to being a full-sized hardware QWERY keyboard, the one in the Passport features controls such as On-Key Scrolling, Flick to Type, Swipe to Delete, and Fine Cursor Control. The first lets you scroll through on-screen content by brushing your fingers on the keyboard like it was a laptop track-pad. This way, you never obstruct the screen while scrolling. Flick to Type and Swipe to Delete are familiar AutoCorrect experiences in which you flick upwards on the keyboard to use next-word suggestions, or flick left to erase the last word entered. Finally, Fine Cursor Control is a full-blown "cursor simulator", in which you control a cursor on-screen using keyboard swipes. This lets you zone in on specific content with great precision.


Android apps!


The BlackBerry Passport comes with both the BlackBerry World and Amazon Appstore preloaded. The BlackBerry OS 10.3 update will give BB 10 devices (Z10, Z30, Q5, Q10) the same privilege. While the BB World will give BlackBerry users apps made with their typical interests in mind (think Bloomberg, Box, Evernote, WebEx, and LinkedIn - not Snapchat), the Amazon store will put the retailer's huge selection of Android apps at your fingertips - no side-loading and hacking necessary! Games like Minecraft, Candy Crush Saga, Pinterest, Temple Run 2, and Cut the Rope 2 are yours to play. There's no word about Kindle-related functionality yet. 

Embracing Android apps is a winning move for BlackBerry, as it instantly solves any ecosystem-related problem potential buyers from the Android camp might be thinking of.
BlackBerry Passport now available unlocked for $599, new features announced

BlackBerry Assistant - "Built for work"


After being spotted in leaked BB OS 10.3 builds, the BlackBerry Assistant got formally introduced as a feature of the Passport. It understands user commands nomatter whether they are spoken or typed. Being smart about the context, the assistant replies verbally if you talk to it, or you're using it in the car, and answers on-screen if you're typing silently. Otherwise, this is a fairly typical assistant. You can use it to manage work and personal email, contacts and calendars. Unlike non-BB software and devices, the Assistant is able to access work data stored in secure BlackBerry memory, as it's the way in an enterprise setting. Thus, enterprise users will be able to utilize the assistant's fullest potential on the Passport, instead of being locked out of this data if they're using a different device. BlackBerry hasn't said whether other BB 10 devices will get the assistant in an update, but it seems illogical not to.

BlackBerry Passport now available unlocked for $599, new features announced

BlackBerry Hub with Instant Actions


A visual facelift aside, the BlackBerry Hub found in BB 10.3 gets the new Instant Action feature. This lets users delete, file, and manage the entire inbox by simply tapping on specific icons. As always, users can accept or decline meeting invitations, or reply to text and chat messages from social networks and apps without leaving the BlackBerry Hub. The Instant Actions feature is found in the left corner of the Hub.

BlackBerry Passport now available unlocked for $599, new features announced

65 Comments
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posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:08 9

1. KingDingaLing (Posts: 324; Member since: 11 Oct 2013)


Maybe I need to add another line to try this thing out. Looks cool.

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 11:43 3

39. Wiencon (Posts: 1975; Member since: 06 Aug 2014)


I think it really has potential to win phone of the year title, but we all know PA will give it to Apple or Samsung. Shame, bcoz Passport really is great smartphone alternative and just great comeback for this company. It also shows how well old features can be implemented today with great design.
If I'd need a business phone - this would be must have.

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 12:08 4

43. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1488; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


The reviews I've read so far seem to be about average. The biggest problem people are having with it is that they say it's "too unwieldy" and "you can't type on it using one hand". It sounds very familiar to when the Galaxy Note first came out. It was thought to be a niche device but is now selling almost as well as their main flagship product, the Galaxy S series. Also, who types using just one hand? I find myself getting frustrated with how slow I type using one hand that I force myself to use two to get texts and emails out.

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 12:40

49. ianbbaa (Posts: 332; Member since: 20 Mar 2013)


I like this device very well, but as you mentioned - might be too wide to handle with one hand. Sometimes people just need to write a simple "yes" reply to viber even when - driving or something. Also keyboard apps word prediction evolved so much that writing on touchscreen only, is not a problem anymore and user can even make a keyboard smaller bigger or handle in "one handed mode" which makes those quick replies even quicker, safer etc... For proper texting you have to hold the device in 2 hands anyway.
Great device, great comeback - but there might be too late to present this form factor these days. Running Android apps make it even better for whole ecosystem of apps.
But for myself - it lacks S-pen which i use daily.

posted on 25 Sep 2014, 09:40

65. henrickrw (Posts: 408; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


Totally agreed Phil... People is just talking for the matter of talk. they haven't even touch the device yet.

I did pr ordered mine via Amazon for 599. I'm an Android user but also I'm an enterprise businessman & don't want to compromise security.

Love it..

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:09 1

2. Pheewix (Posts: 6; Member since: 23 Sep 2014)


MicroSD expansion?

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:13 3

7. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Yes, it has MicroSD expansion according to BlackBerry.

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:14 1

9. KingDingaLing (Posts: 324; Member since: 11 Oct 2013)


http://www.phonearena.com/news/New-set-of-BlackBerry-Passport-photos-will-give-you-goosebumps_id59787
Pic #3

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:26

17. Pheewix (Posts: 6; Member since: 23 Sep 2014)


Sweet! Thanks.

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 10:01 2

22. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 2285; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)


Yup,, up to 128GB . (crackberry)

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:09 5

3. HASHTAG (unregistered)


Hmm. I'm think Blackberry has actually made a first.

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:11

4. Zeeya (Posts: 325; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)


is not true... sadly^^

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:12

5. VLaRueC (Posts: 181; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)


They have many "firsts." Did you just wake up?

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 10:49

29. HASHTAG (unregistered)


No, but it looks like Blackberry has.

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:12

6. Zeeya (Posts: 325; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)


but it comes with snapdragon 801

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:16 1

10. FoneAddict (Posts: 259; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)


I read it was Snapdragon 800? Is it 801? That would be great if true, it's slighty more power efficient.

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:22

16. Zeeya (Posts: 325; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)


yes 801

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 10:43 1

26. nnjerzy (Posts: 123; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)


I really like this phone,, great job BB

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 12:37

48. Zeeya (Posts: 325; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)


It's 800.... BlackBerry source

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:13 4

8. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


Crackberry has done a review already?
http://m.crackberry.com/blackberry-passport-review

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 10:46

28. Sharky (Posts: 243; Member since: 24 Jun 2008)


Yeah, they've had their's for a while now.

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:17 2

11. mistercarter (Posts: 360; Member since: 01 Sep 2011)


it has 3gb of RAM... get your facts right PA

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:22

15. mrblah (Posts: 577; Member since: 22 Jan 2013)


clickbait

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:18 4

12. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


This is a gorgeous phone, but I'm not sure how it can handle 'entertainment' because this phone has 'business' and 'enterprise' everywhere. Plus, it has a QWERTY keyboard which most people won't get used to so quickly. Anyways, great phone, BlackBerry! But I think this isn't the phone for me.

Btw PA, this phone has 3GB RAM not 4GB. How can you make such over-exaggerating mistake?

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:20

13. MichiGo (Posts: 173; Member since: 09 Sep 2014)


LOL 3 GB RAM not 4.. What happen here?

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:21

14. MichiGo (Posts: 173; Member since: 09 Sep 2014)


That was a quick edit tho....

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:31 3

19. luis.d (Posts: 349; Member since: 04 Dec 2013)


I'm 100% sure I heard "4GB of RAM" while listening to the presentation, but all spec sheets list 3GB, so we're going with that. In my defense, I cleaned my ears really good this morning.

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:48 1

20. Zeeya (Posts: 325; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)


you are right... mistakes can happen .. he was just very excited... dont know why he wasnt correctting himself.. what so ever...
at least its not coming with SD 800.. its a 801 *cheer*

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 09:57

21. Zeeya (Posts: 325; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)


btw... its coming with OS 10.3... 10.3.1 will probably come with the launch of the Classic

posted on 24 Sep 2014, 10:44

27. MichiGo (Posts: 173; Member since: 09 Sep 2014)


Aight to be fair we are only human and its no reason to jump on you. Mah bad.

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