BlackBerry Passport: Can it resurrect BlackBerry (Part 2)
In Part 1, we talked about the Design, Form Factor, Display, Hardware, and battery of the just-launched Blackberry flagship, the Passport. In this one, we take a look at its unique Keyboard, Camera, Software and the miscellaneous tidbits. After we’re done talking about the Passport and its features, we’d be reviewing as to whether it can lead to BlackBerry’s much delayed resurrection or not.
With its 3-row physical QWERTY keyboard, the BlackBerry Passport becomes a Touch-and-Type phablet. Business users would not only appreciate this physical keyboard but, also the fact that the whole typing mechanism is quite dynamic; depending on the page being viewed, additional lines of the keyboard show up on the screen. The keyboard is set to reduce typos by upto 74%. The physical keyboard is touch-sensitive allowing to function as a touchpad as well, thereby allowing for certain gestures such as text-selection, scrolling, and other gestures that allow autocomplete, word deletion, etc. However, no matter how good they make the keyboard, the irregular arrangement of the QWERTY remains a pinching factor.
Camera & Miscellaneous
The Blackberry Passport sports a 13MP shooter at the back, complete with 1080p video recording, autofocus, and Optical Image Stabilisation. At the front, the Passport comes featuring a 2MP camera, capable of 720p Video Recording.
Along with the front and back cameras, the BlackBerry Passport comes with a host of sensors, including an Accelerometer, a Gyroscope, a Magnetometer, and a Proximity sensor. Presence of sensors in such abundance sure opens for a plethora of otherwise useless apps.
The BlackBerry Passport comes running the BlackBerry 10.3 OS. Access to the Amazon Store allows users to have access to over 240,000 apps on the Android market. However, due to the square-aspect-ratio of the screen, many apps on the Android market, especially games don’t function so well on the device. Next in software, we have the newly launched Mobile Device Management System, from the formerly known house of Research in Motion, the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 (BES12). The BES 12 would come in handy for users to manage and secure their Passport and other BlackBerry devices, in addition to managing other Windows-based devices, and administer Android and iOS devices. The BES12, thus, makes the Passport a much more viable prospect, for the top-brass of corporates, government, and profession, among others, over rivals like the iPhone 6 Plus and the Galaxy Note 4.
If you can overcome the odd looks and somehow manage to find peace with a square screen, this is one nifty device. Being a BlackBerry, you can expect the top-notch in quality and refinement; and with this top-notch hardware, the BlackBerry Passport is all set to be a market leading device in its own little niche. Proving that is the fact that the device has already sold well more than 200,000 units, since it’s launch 6 days ago on the 24th of September. In fact, according to BlackBerry CEO, John Chen, all Passport devices available on its own website as well as those on Amazon, were sold out within 10 hours of release.
Can it resurrect BlackBerry?
Well, we think, it just might. While your average geek, especially Android folks like Vedi, may not comprehend the BlackBerry Passport to be a device of any mettle for its price, the Veblen image of the BlackBerry brand and the likewise pricing of the Passport takes out any point of a ‘Value For Money’ factor.
The BES12, the cutting-edge hardware, the humungous battery, the physical keyboard and the intuitive typing mechanism are just some of the things that tilt the game in BlackBerry’s favor. While the odd shape of the screen and the device may not be up everybody’s ally, for many, now that it’s here, it just might be the only thing that works. And this is precisely why we think that the Passport may be a successful device after all; carving a small but significant space in its own little niche, especially one of the current and former BlackBerry loyalists out there.
According to trade analysts, all BlackBerry needs for a resurrection of its drowning balance sheets is a single successful device. The top-brass promises profitability till 2016, and we know that flagship devices our unsurprisingly the ones with the highest margins, so it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise to us if the Passport ends up becoming the ‘Rabbit in the Hat’ for BlackBerry and its resurrection.
Hope you liked this feature. We’d love to hear your feedback on the same, and your views and opinions on the BlackBerry Passport and it’s rather odd form factor. Would you buy it over the other Android flagships? Do you think the device alone is enough to fix BlackBerry’s bleeding balance sheets? Let us know all this and more, in the Comments’ section below.