BlackBerry Passport: Can it resurrect BlackBerry (Part 1)
BlackBerry, the Canada-based manufacturer of smartphones, just came out with a rather odd-looking phablet, the BlackBerry Passport. The phone’s odd looks stem from the fact that it possess a square screen. Yes, not just a squarish-screen, but an exact 4.7-inch square display. The BlackBerry Passport, like most of the company’s devices, is targeted at professionals and business executives. It provides users access to not only BlackBerry’s set of native software and apps via its own store, but also Amazon’s Android Application Store.
Design, Display, and Form Factor
The BlackBerry Passport gets its name from its passport-like dimensions of 128X 90.3 X9.3 mm. The form factor, while makes the phone unique and even appealing to many, doesn’t even come close to ongoing flagships, in terms of space optimization. To start with, the Passport only comes with a 4.5-inch display, against the market standard of 5.5-5.7-inch for equally priced & sized phablets, and then ther’re the big bezels and the low resolution. Despite the small screen, the Passport is wider, and hence more uncomfortable to hold, than not just the Galaxy Note 3, but even the Galaxy Mega 6.3.
The phone, as mentioned above, sports a 4.7-inch square IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1440X1440 pixels, calculating to a pixel density of 453PPI.
Unlike Android phablets, the phone has a large bezel on the top, and even more contrary to popular trend these days is the presence of a 3-row QWERTY keyboard, yes the one with the physical buttons et al, reminiscent of the good ol’ BlackBerry PDAs.
Hardware and Battery
The Blackberry Passport manages to (almost) justify its $599 price tag when it comes to hardware. The latest BlackBerry flagship features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC that comes packed with a 2.2GHz Quad-core Krait 400 CPU and an Adreno 330 GPU. Accompanying this is 3GB of RAM, being complemented with 32GB of internal storage, expandable by another 128GB via a microSDXC card. The specs, though decent, are a level below ongoing flagships in the same price band such as the HTC One M8, the Galaxy S5, and so on. Providing juice to all this hardware is the industry-topping 3450 mAH non-remoable battery. This battery is rated to last a whole of 30 hours of mixed usage, something that completely shatters the likes of the iPhone.
In the next part, we talk about the BlackBerry Passport’s Keyboard, Camera, Software and other miscellaneous tidbits, before ofcourse delivering out our verdict.