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


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 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 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.


Related phones

Passport
  • Display 4.5" 1440 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3450 mAh(23h 3G talk time)

FEATURED VIDEO

65 Comments

1. KingDingaLing

Posts: 324; Member since: Oct 11, 2013

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

39. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 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.

43. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2359; Member since: Feb 14, 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.

49. ianbbaa

Posts: 332; Member since: Mar 20, 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.

65. henrickrw

Posts: 408; Member since: Sep 16, 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..

2. Pheewix

Posts: 13; Member since: Sep 23, 2014

MicroSD expansion?

7. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Yes, it has MicroSD expansion according to BlackBerry.

9. KingDingaLing

Posts: 324; Member since: Oct 11, 2013

17. Pheewix

Posts: 13; Member since: Sep 23, 2014

Sweet! Thanks.

22. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2350; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Yup,, up to 128GB . (crackberry)

3. HASHTAG unregistered

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

4. Zeeya

Posts: 331; Member since: Mar 17, 2013

is not true... sadly^^

5. VLaRueC

Posts: 189; Member since: Dec 18, 2012

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

29. HASHTAG unregistered

No, but it looks like Blackberry has.

6. Zeeya

Posts: 331; Member since: Mar 17, 2013

but it comes with snapdragon 801

10. FoneAddict

Posts: 263; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

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

16. Zeeya

Posts: 331; Member since: Mar 17, 2013

yes 801

26. nnjerzy

Posts: 126; Member since: Jun 19, 2013

I really like this phone,, great job BB

48. Zeeya

Posts: 331; Member since: Mar 17, 2013

It's 800.... BlackBerry source

8. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

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

28. Sharky

Posts: 259; Member since: Jun 24, 2008

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

11. mistercarter

Posts: 360; Member since: Sep 01, 2011

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

15. mrblah

Posts: 577; Member since: Jan 22, 2013

clickbait

12. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 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?

13. MichiGo

Posts: 173; Member since: Sep 09, 2014

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

14. MichiGo

Posts: 173; Member since: Sep 09, 2014

That was a quick edit tho....

19. luis.d

Posts: 354; Member since: Dec 04, 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.

20. Zeeya

Posts: 331; Member since: Mar 17, 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*

21. Zeeya

Posts: 331; Member since: Mar 17, 2013

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

27. MichiGo

Posts: 173; Member since: Sep 09, 2014

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

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