BlackBerry Passport Silver Handset Aims to Lure Back Enterprise Buyers

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-08-05
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    BlackBerry Passport Silver Handset Aims to Lure Back Enterprise Buyers
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    BlackBerry Passport Silver Handset Aims to Lure Back Enterprise Buyers

    With its physical keys, square screen and security suite, can the Passport Silver Edition smartphone draw enterprise users back to BlackBerry?
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    The Stainless Steel Finish Isn't Just for Looks
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    The Stainless Steel Finish Isn't Just for Looks

    The BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition's stainless steel frame won't just make the unit look slick and shiny. It also reinforces the device in the event of a fall. According to BlackBerry, the stainless steel will make the Silver Edition more durable and add strength not found in the company's other devices.
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    BlackBerry Makes the Keyboard Easier to Use
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    BlackBerry Makes the Keyboard Easier to Use

    BlackBerry has used what it's learned from previous versions of the Passport and added a keyboard that has a little more room than the previous version. According to BlackBerry, the Silver Edition allows for easier typing than its predecessor—a critical feature in a world filled with finicky touch screens.
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    A Different Back Plate Makes Passport Easier to Hold
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    A Different Back Plate Makes Passport Easier to Hold

    The Silver Edition's back plate has a textured finish that will help users get a firmer grip on the handset to perhaps prevent some damaging drops.
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    There's the Same Familiar BlackBerry 10 Experience
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    There's the Same Familiar BlackBerry 10 Experience

    The Passport Silver Edition may be different from a hardware perspective, but when it comes to software, you get the same BlackBerry 10 experience. Those who like BlackBerry 10 and want to continue using it will like what they find in the Passport Silver Edition, which optimizes the operating system's performance on the device.
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    Yes, That's a Square Touch Display
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    Yes, That's a Square Touch Display

    The first thing one might notice about the Passport is that it comes with a square display, rather than the rectangular screen typical of other devices. If nothing else, the feature gives the handset a unique look and may make it a bit easier to view the screen. In total, the device's screen measures 4.5 inches.
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    BlackBerry Delivers Long Battery Life, a Key Enterprise Feature
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    BlackBerry Delivers Long Battery Life, a Key Enterprise Feature

    BlackBerry is all about touting the battery life built into the Passport Silver Edition. According to the company, the device can last for 30 hours on a single charge, giving users ample time to do what they need to do on a business trip without worrying about finding an outlet. Don't discount the importance of battery life to the enterprise.
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    It's All About BlackBerry Software
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    It's All About BlackBerry Software

    Like other BlackBerry devices, the Passport Silver Edition comes with all of BlackBerry's applications, including Hub, its social and messaging app, as well as access to the company's app marketplace, Appworld. Interestingly, the device also comes with third-party apps built-in, including Amazon's Appstore, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
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    There's Always a Siri Alternative
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    There's Always a Siri Alternative

    It seems every major smartphone vendor has a virtual personal assistant, and BlackBerry is no different. The company's option, called BlackBerry Assistant, works with both voice and text commands, and can do everything from search the Web to create a meeting request. BlackBerry Assistant is essentially BlackBerry's version of Siri and Cortana.
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    Think Seriously About the Security Factor
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    Think Seriously About the Security Factor

    One of the top features built into the BlackBerry is its security suite. From built-in encryption to the ability to set application permissions across the operating system, BlackBerry 10 is arguably one of the most secure operating systems on the market. For IT, having that kind of control in the Passport Silver Edition is extremely appealing.
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    Pricing and Carrier Availability May Be a Concern
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    Pricing and Carrier Availability May Be a Concern

    BlackBerry devices have never been cheap, and the Silver Edition is no different. The device can be ordered directly from BlackBerry for $549 unlocked. While the handset supports FD-LTE and HSPA+, BlackBerry is quick to note that for now it's not compatible with the Verizon, Sprint or US Cellular networks. So, if you or your company uses AT&T or T-Mobile, you can get a Silver Edition.
 

BlackBerry unveiled the Passport Silver Edition smartphone on Aug. 4, and it is similar in many ways to previous Passport models. But it's the device's enhanced design, improved keyboard and, perhaps most importantly, its focus on the enterprise that make it stand out. To sweeten the pot, BlackBerry said that it's offering a $130 credit for accessories to any customer who buys the Silver Edition—a perk that could see folks pick up a case or stand, among other products. The Silver Edition is essentially BlackBerry's latest attempt to appeal to enterprise customers who have in many cases left BlackBerry mobile products behind. But for those who have yet to abandon BlackBerry or might consider coming back into the fold, the Passport Silver Edition may just be the device that lures them in. The handset is everything an iPhone isn't, with its physical keys and square screen, making it everything that some enterprise buyers are looking for. Check out this slide show to learn more about the Passport Silver Edition.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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