Blackberry Passport

Blackberry Limited has always been on the cutting edge of the smartphone industry, since their inception as Research in Motion (RIM) Limited where they broke new ground with their Blackberry Pager 900. It introduced some of the early versions of the modern current smartphone interface.

Early Blackberries would pave the way for future advanced, multi-purpose phones. One of the latest offerings from Blackberry is the Passport, a phone that touts many of the higher-end functions consumers expect from a smartphone while retaining some of the unique features long-time Blackberry are accustomed to.

All in all, the Passport is a durable, sophisticated product with many strong points. It has an interactive touchscreen interface where users can easily download and utilize all the latest phone applications and Internet features. The touchscreen interface is one of the stronger points for this phone. It is a highly responsive phone and has a fairly quick processor.

That being said, the Blackerry's flaws arise from its essentially stubborn design. The Passport continues to hold onto dated features that have long been simplified or enhanced across the board by other phone makers. The latest crop of smartphones typically rely on touchscreen navigation and voice commands for nearly all processes.

The blackberry stagnates in its past with its slide-out, one-handed keyboard. This has been a staple of Blackberry phones since their first segue from basic mobile phone to smartphone. In its day, the mini-keyboard was revolutionary. Newer Android, Apple and Windows phones have basically phased the physical keyboard out entirely. The new virtual keyboards are extremely responsive, have features like "swipe" that enhance user-friendly typing and continue to evolve.

Th physical keyboard sometimes appears on new smartphones, but its always accompanied by touch-screen keyboards where users type with comfort, speed and precision. The Passport lacks the ease and simplicity of these new advanced key entry systems. It seems like Blackberry Limited is trying to stand out as a unique product that goes against the grain, but this rebellious attitude seems pointless from a user standpoint. The Passport and similar Blackberry phones ignore many of the universal functions employed by the latest gen of smartphones. The results are sometimes archaic.

The keys are not only awkward to use because they are raised and require force compared to the soft ease of touch-screens but they are awkwardly small for most finger sizes and hard to type fluently on. This is made even more complicated by the body design of the Passport. The user has to face the difficult task of chicken-pecking at small, raised buttons while squeezing the phone in place with both thumbs. The aesthetics are more than just a bit awkward, they are downright uncomfortable.

Enough bad-mouthing the Passport. In reality, this phone offers the best specs and advanced features of any of its predecessors. It has an amazingly long battery life. The phone's housing is strong and resilient, withstanding drops and other trauma. The synthesis of cutting-edge hardware and software make this phone relevant.

All the popular social media apps, browsers, music apps and games are available on the Passport, which helps it keep the pace with competitors. The Passport colors outside the lines a bit though by expanding its original features such as Blackberry Blend, Blackberry Hub, the Action Bar and the Bend dashboard.

Basically, the features which resemble and draw upon the staple smartphone features have one foot in the past. The blackberry Passport seems to strattle the divide between the clunky smartphones of old and the sleek new designs on the market. For those familiar and comfortable with the Blackberry setup this phone is clearly the most advanced offering from the company yet. While some users may find the old school style frustrating, long time Blackberry users may feel right at home.


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