Introduction


It’s amazing how things can quickly go to hell for some companies in the mobile space, where one day they’re a top-tiered contender, to being overlooked as an antiquated player who can’t seem to innovate. One company in this particular predicament is BlackBerry, who is still to this time trying to stay afloat amidst the stiff competition that’s around.

Interestingly, it’s been nearly 2 years already since BlackBerry launched the Z10 – an all-touch smartphone running the company’s contemporary BlackBerry 10 OS, which aimed to bring the company back into good light. Sadly, though, that wasn’t the outcome, as the company continues to struggle to be a relevant player.

From the looks of it, they’re going back what they’re most noteworthy for bringing to the smartphone world. Touch is all nice, but the BlackBerry Passport sports a familiar form factor that builds upon the reputation of the company. Paired with a physical keyboard, a standout and iconic feature of past BlackBerries, the Passport is the modern BlackBerry reincarnated. Will paying homage get consumers excited for it?

The package contains:

  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Stereo headphones
  • Start guide
  • Product safety and warranty information user manual

Design

Reinventing the look of a BlackBerry, the Passport is beautifully crafted and designed to exude a modern finish that looks good.

This is a beautifully designed, solidly constructed phone that’s very different from the usual slates we’re accustomed to seeing nowadays. At the same time, it bears a faint familiarity to past BlackBerry smartphones, but its edgier look gives it an elevated, contemporary design that’s unique in the space at the moment.

Small design choices, like its stainless steel frame, tells us that the company invested a lot of time and care to designing the Passport. If there’s one qualm we have about the device, it’s that it’s pretty wide – to the point that it’s almost unwieldy to hold for those with smaller hands. Heck, it’s wider than the iPhone 6 Plus! Call it ironic, but the Passport nearly matches the dimensions of an actual passport.

All of the handset’s ports and buttons are placed along the stainless steel frame. They include the power button, 3.5mm headset jack, microUSB 2.0 port, left & right speakers, microphone, volume control, and a quick key button placed in between the volume control that acts as a pause/play function, as well launching BlackBerry Assistant with a long press. Part of the rear cover can be removed to access its nanoSIM and microSD card slots, but the battery is not accessible.


BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry Passport

Dimensions

5.04 x 3.56 x 0.37 inches

128 x 90.3 x 9.3 mm

Weight

6.91 oz (196 g)

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Dimensions

6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches

158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm

Weight

6.07 oz (172 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Dimensions

6.04 x 3.09 x 0.33 inches

153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm

Weight

6.21 oz (176 g)

LG G3

LG G3

Dimensions

5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches

146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm

Weight

5.26 oz (149 g)

BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry Passport

Dimensions

5.04 x 3.56 x 0.37 inches

128 x 90.3 x 9.3 mm

Weight

6.91 oz (196 g)

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Dimensions

6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches

158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm

Weight

6.07 oz (172 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Dimensions

6.04 x 3.09 x 0.33 inches

153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm

Weight

6.21 oz (176 g)

LG G3

LG G3

Dimensions

5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches

146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm

Weight

5.26 oz (149 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Keyboard

Disorganized, cramped, and some other weird quirks make the keyboard almost impossible to use effectively.

One of the standout features of the Passport is the unique 3-row keyboard below its display, which some hardcore BlackBerry fans will appreciate, since you know, it’s the foundation that BlackBerry began with. Sadly, though, we’re not fans of this specific keyboard – partly because of its cramped layout, the lack of a dedicated numeric row, the space bar being plopped right in the middle of the last row of keys, and that there is no physical shift key. Worst yet, long pressing on the backspace button makes it act as a deleting function – so if you’re not careful, it can unintentionally delete things.

Well, there are new innovations that we applaud – like how it’s touch sensitive. In fact, it’s useful in the way that we can swipe our finger over the keyboard to place the cursor in a specific spot, which is a lot more intuitive than other touchscreen-only implementations. In addition, its enhanced predictive text feature allows us to swipe up from the left, center, or right areas of the keyboard to select a specific predictive word.

Despite those new features, the keyboard as a whole is still not as intuitive or hassle-free than a standard all-touch. Indeed, some people will prefer the physical response of its keyboard, but it’s a shame that it doesn’t act in the same useful manner as previous BlackBerry keyboards.

Display

The wider look of the display is unconventional, but it proves to be ideal for productivity centric tasks.

An unconventional shape, the Passport features a squarish 4.5-inch 1440 x 1440 IPS LCD display, which is the sharpest (453 ppi) and highest resolution screen to grace a BlackBerry smartphone. Details are undoubtedly crisp, but the true benefit here is that we can see more of a web page or document because it’s 30% wider than the average 5-inch display.

What’s especially nice, too, is that the screen exhibits some high quality elements. Impressively, it produces a blinding maximum brightness output of 894 nits, which makes it extremely visible outdoors with the sun present. Just for a comparison, the iPhone 6 manages to deliver 606 nits of brightness with its display. Meanwhile, its color temperature of ~7000 K (reference value of 6500 K) means the white point is pretty accurate, only slightly blueish. And finally, it’s pretty accurate with its color reproduction – where it hits very closely to the various reference points in our display benchmarking test.



FEATURED VIDEO

138 Comments

1. likemorethan1

Posts: 48; Member since: Aug 22, 2013

Just 7.5?

2. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

So its a crapberry?

8. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

WTF ◔ ⌣ ◔ No it's not

22. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

It's very polarizing and unusual device, so reviews are highly subjective.

23. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

'Subjective' Yes. 'Crapberry' No.

24. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

True that.

52. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Strong in denial this one is.

54. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

Can we have more nesting-levels in comments? So confusing who's responding to what.

68. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2124; Member since: May 29, 2014

Strongest in trolling this one is.

76. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Unoriginal your comment was.

83. meanestgenius

Posts: 21769; Member since: May 28, 2014

But true, nonetheless.

84. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2124; Member since: May 29, 2014

But true, it still is. Biggest troll on PA you are. Life very lonely for you it is to troll so much.

61. AnTuTu

Posts: 1601; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

John VVVVVVVVVVV proves again why he is the worst and biased reviewer on the Internet. You guys are loosing your ground and becoming paid reviewers instead of tech.

73. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

The review just proves that they review devices from a consumer standpoint only. The Passport is a solid device, but as far as consumer devices go, you could definitely do better within that price range. Seems to be a beast of a phone for Enterprise and business minded customers since it has what they need and some pretty good media and camera features, but if that kind of stuff is a primary need for them, they will want a different phone, probably android.

92. thesims2customs

Posts: 61; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

If I were him, I would've give this phone 8.5. Not 9 because the camera, but yes, it is a good phone, something who can keep Blackberry alives

127. TonyStark

Posts: 9; Member since: Oct 10, 2012

No bitten apple on the back. That's why. If it had one, it'd have 9 or higher.

139. Bouquet

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 04, 2016

I just got rid of mine: far too complex. A total miss from RIM who dose not understand really it's customer base: active people who don't want to "get into the new word of computer" but leave a real business life. The Passport totally miss that. Over complex, not compatible Excell really... A failure and RIM management deserves not to be congratulated on this strange useless device for computer adicts who have time to waste in trying to understand these bad machines.

3. mawhob2222

Posts: 219; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

7.5????????!!! Why iphonearena?

25. Busyboy unregistered

Because it's different from the rest. That's why. Damn Phonearena with all your bias reviews it's disgusting

51. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

What, different in that it has an inferior keyboard to Blackberries from over a decade ago?

28. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Because they have to praise the iPhone and feature it on the review almost more than the BlackBerry itself. BTW am i the only one that thinks the case the reviewer is using on the iPhone looks like a sanitary towel?

35. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Didn't the Galaxy Note 4 just get a better review than the iPhone 6? So many people here are blinkered fanboys... Or just very stupid, angry people.

93. thesims2customs

Posts: 61; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

Maybe Note 4 is an exception :/

4. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

PA doesn't support innovation. Look at Jolla and this review.

15. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

36. alumoyo

Posts: 391; Member since: Aug 26, 2013

They are stuck in the Apple/Android blueprint of what a smartphone should be. TUNNEL VISION!

74. Venkatramanan

Posts: 327; Member since: Aug 15, 2014

Apple & Samsung. Not Whole Android. But for some times they were biased towards Sony too. (T2 Ultra was overrated) . But they never gave a genuine review for any HTC/ Nokia/ BB.

5. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

I think this review should have been done by a blackberry fan which is the same treat as some other phones in this website.

26. Awalker

Posts: 1973; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

You should probably go to a blackberry site. When I'm looking for a review of an Android phone I go an Android site.

29. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Believe it or not this isn't an android site so no

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

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)

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