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!



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53 Comments

1. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 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

44. cdgoin

Posts: 614; Member since: Jul 28, 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.

46. meanestgenius

Posts: 22035; Member since: May 28, 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".

48. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 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.

49. meanestgenius

Posts: 22035; Member since: May 28, 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?

2. meanestgenius

Posts: 22035; Member since: May 28, 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.

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.

7. meanestgenius

Posts: 22035; Member since: May 28, 2014

Still, it is no longer the companies OFFICIAL name.

13. berry889

Posts: 23; Member since: Apr 01, 2013

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

36. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 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)

38. meanestgenius

Posts: 22035; Member since: May 28, 2014

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

3. Busyboy unregistered

I hope this brings Blackberry out of the grave its in. Beautiful phone with a lot of potential!

33. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 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.

4. meanestgenius

Posts: 22035; Member since: May 28, 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!

6. joe1blue

Posts: 169; Member since: Jul 25, 2013

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

8. lolatfailphones

Posts: 224; Member since: Apr 08, 2013

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

10. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

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

16. alrightihatepickingusernames

Posts: 474; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

That was my first impression as well. Very unprofessional.

19. meanestgenius

Posts: 22035; Member since: May 28, 2014

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

9. ushoda

Posts: 78; Member since: Aug 17, 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

45. cdgoin

Posts: 614; Member since: Jul 28, 2010

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

47. meanestgenius

Posts: 22035; Member since: May 28, 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.

12. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

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

14. apiskula

Posts: 578; Member since: Jan 25, 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

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 22035; Member since: May 28, 2014

Nobody asked. Nobody cares. Please troll elsewhere.

17. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 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?

18. meanestgenius

Posts: 22035; Member since: May 28, 2014

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

20. swiekekodok

Posts: 58; Member since: Jul 19, 2014

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

21. jellmoo

Posts: 2585; Member since: Oct 31, 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...

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

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

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