BlackBerry Passport Designed With Busy Business Users in Mind

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2014-09-24 Print this article Print
BlackBerry Passport 924

If you're a veteran BlackBerry user, especially with an earlier BBOS 10 device, the Passport will be familiar. The device comes with a newer version of the OS than what's available on the earlier products and it includes a few new features, such as an improved BlackBerry Hub unified communications app and support for a new feature called BlackBerry Blend.

Blend allows you to synchronize items on the device with your laptop, desktop or tablet computers and manage things like email and even BlackBerry Messenger, which is BlackBerry's secure, encrypted text messaging service.

The large square screen displays 453 pixels per inch, which means that everything is quite clear. This is important when displaying spreadsheet columns across the screen. The extra width does make viewing easier in other areas as well, including when looking at documents in PDF format for example.

On the other hand, I found the large size to be uncomfortable when I used the device to make phone calls. While it's not as bad as the Galaxy Note, it still felt awkward to me. It's also worth noting that BlackBerry still puts the camera icon in the far lower right corner of the screen where it's easy to touch by mistake. I found I had taken several photos of the inside of my pocket as a result.

In general, though, the device is still a BlackBerry, and that includes the company's legendary security. The device will work with BlackBerry Balance, which allows users to keep work and personal data in separate domains on the smartphone.

It also works with BlackBerry Enterprise Services and applications available in the BlackBerry World app store will work with it. In addition, the Passport ships with ready access to Amazon's Android App Store, which allows some compatible Android apps to run on the device.

Battery life, always a BlackBerry strong point, is even better with the Passport. I found that even with its large screen the device would last well over two days in normal use. An iPhone 6 operating under identical conditions barely lasted for one day. The 3450 mAh battery that comes with the Passport is clearly effective.

The BlackBerry Passport seems to be a credible and successful effort to design a mobile device for someone who needs to see a lot on the screen. While you can get a similar view by holding a traditional smartphone sideways, you also give up top to bottom space.

As a communications device, the Passport works well. The only real issue besides your company's support for BlackBerry is whether you can deal with the square screen and wide form factor. But your CEO might love it.


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