Hello BlackBerry Passport! Yes.. I’ve got one and I’m using it!

 

BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry Passport- its just arrived!

 
Thanks to the team at BlackBerry, I have taken delivery of a brand spanking new BlackBerry Passport.

You know the one. The super-wide one, with the keyboard. The one you’ve been wondering about. The one you’ve been quietly evaluating for just a few minutes, every now and again, before going back to your old iPhone, Android or Windows Phone, right?

Well I have.

This is exactly what I’ve been doing ever since I had a play with the Passport properly at Mobile World Congress earlier this year.

I finally dropped a note to BlackBerry and said I’d like to come home.

I was a huge, huge BlackBerry user.

I was a massive BlackBerry fan. Just search the annals here at MIR to read the tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands?) of words I’ve written about them. Oh, and I’ve filmed dozens of interviews with executives at all sorts of BlackBerry Worlds from places diverse as Rome, Berlin, Orlando and San Francisco.

I didn’t desert BlackBerry, rather than there was, if memory serves, a changing of the guard at BlackBerry PR. One moment I knew everyone and was in constant touch and the next moment, I didn’t. And then I got tremendously busy with consulting work.

And I didn’t upgrade my old Bold. Instead I diversified. I’ve always carried a ton of different phones and I ended up using a variety of Windows Phones, Androids (hello to Honor and Sony!) and of course, iPhones.

Another complicating factor: I stopped using a BlackBerry for work purposes. That was keeping me connected to the gorgeous messaging experience.

Speaking of that, I’ve long held that there is nothing better for messaging than a BlackBerry. If you’ve ever been a serious user, I think you recognise that too.

There was a hayday for BlackBerry. I was talking about this with fellow 361 Podcast member, Ben Smith just the other week. It was when the old Gmail app still worked on the old BlackBerry operating systems. Do you remember it?

Geez it was magnificent. Absolutely flipping brilliant. I got through so many emails on that with my ‘e’ (“archive”) key on overdrive. A tiny messaging fairy died on the day Google announced they were discontinuing support for the client.

You see I loved BlackBerry’s native email. I still used that. I had all my gmail arrive in there. That’s where I read and replied to stuff. But I used the Gmail client to quickly clean up my mailbox in flipping record time.

(Probably the biggest problem I’ve always had with BlackBerry is the lack of ‘archive’ key as I’m such a big Gmail user.)

However. I digress.

I’ve taken delivery of the Passport and set it up. I have to admit I was a bit rusty with the UI. Although after seeing IBM’s tip top super-genius social media expert Andrew Grill (“Global Managing Partner, Social Consulting, IBM… what a job title!) rocketing through his messages with his prized Passport, I had a quick refresher.

This evening I stuck on Gmail and Facebook. Woosh. It was all coming back to me.

I have three takeaways for you right now:

1. The screen size is glorious. Web pages, documents and emails look brilliant. The web browser in particular was like using a tablet or desktop. I was astonished when I clicked on to a Telegraph.co.uk article and found the embedded video playing there in the window. It really is ideal for viewing.

2. That keyboard. It is lovely actually typing again. Although I am still getting used to:

a) Holding the device properly. You need to hold the Passport much lower than you would an iPhone. It’s been coming back to me.

b) Remembering all the intuitive BlackBerry things. Long press for capital letters, that sort of thing. And the fact the keyboard is actually touch sensitive!

3. The battery: I haven’t had the opportunity to give it a decent workout yet but the battery is clearly sizeable and I think the ‘all day working’ point is likely to be valid.

Very interesting indeed.

I’m going to give it a proper work-out over the next few days. In the meantime I’d welcome your recent views and experiences of BlackBerry (not just the Passport).

   
 

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15 Responses to Hello BlackBerry Passport! Yes.. I’ve got one and I’m using it!

  1. xBURK June 10, 2015 at 4:22 am #

    Ah, I remember my first day with the Passport well. As soon as that screen engulfed my eyes, there was no turning back. The touch sensitive flick to type keyboard; the intelligent all in one messaging / app notification hub; How Blackberry Blend saves hours at work and home while on a PC/Mac or Tablet; the smooth intuitive cascade based operating system; the intense multitasking capabilities etc….etc… People are going to wake up to BB10 as more experience it. I have no doubt that with honest word of mouth, BlackBerry will prevail. In doing so, BlackBerry will surprise many throughout the world.

  2. Ricardo Gonzalez June 10, 2015 at 4:54 am #

    Great article..Great device. This is productivity having a phone that actually makes your day to day that much easier.

  3. Ricardo Gonzalez June 10, 2015 at 4:55 am #

    Ps…let us know how it goes with a future update!

  4. Andrew Grill June 10, 2015 at 8:21 am #

    Ewan, glad I convinced you to make the switch! At times I am ridiculed by my fellow IBMers for not having an iPhone as I am the “social guy”. When I point to the keyboard, large screen, battery life and excellent socoal integration of twitter, facebook, linkedin,whatsapp,foursquare into the HUB in essentially one app rather than several, they see my point. Oh, and it has a keyboard!

  5. Tootall June 10, 2015 at 11:19 am #

    It will take more then a few days to get used too. You will find it is one of the only devices that grows with you and what you do. BlackBerry Blend just makes the whole experience worth it. I don’t even pull my passport out of my pocket in the office. It connects and i can share files without even using any cloud based systems. And it’s suppose to get better!

  6. dr.evil June 10, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    Great article, more effort needs to be made to get the word out on BB 10, Blend, Hub and many of the strong points with the Passport/BB phones. The screen size is so nice, I don’t have to wear glasses to read it and that saves me tons of time looking for those occasional wears. I had to plan my day with iPhone, the battery was terrible, not with the Passport, I often only charge it twice a week now. There are so many strong points with BB 10, BlackBerry needs to get the message out there. As for apps, I have over 150 on this phone, not missing anything.

  7. K Chung June 10, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    Hub and Blend on BlackBerry. Brilliant

  8. Thin Blue DBA June 10, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

    Turn off swipe to wake to save even more battery life. Turning off that feature just means you have to press the unlock button and then swipe, but I find that prevents accidental unlocks in the phone as well! Also, make sure to read up on how to get Snap so you have access to the entire Google Play Store.

    Take the time to truly customize the hub and all the settings to your needs. BlackBerry has provided an overwhelming amount of customization, so take the time and make it yours.

  9. DJA June 10, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

    Very good article, i look forward to follow up

    I really want to get this device but when i recently went into the AT&T store and looked at one, i put in the web address for the US Chamber of Commerce but it would not load, i got a red flag warning/denial, no-one in the store cold help. This put me right off, was there an easy fix to this as this is a proper web site (and organization)? – any comments/help

  10. Weird Hong Kong June 20, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    ANY UPDATES AFTER WEEKS OF USAGE EWAN?

  11. Ewan June 23, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

    Standby!

  12. calden74 August 2, 2015 at 8:16 am #

    Wow, the first thread about the Passport that doesn’t have any nasty remarks from people who have never actually used one before. I really like the Passport, I would even dare say it’s the best phone I have ever owned. I’ve always enjoyed using phones with keyboards but after Nokia stopped making phones like the Communicator, N810, N900 and my absolute favorite from them the very rare but excellent N950 I felt lost in what I can only call the mobile wasteland. I switched over to Android for a few years with the Motorolla Droid 3, 4 and Note 2, 3. I than decided to try an iPhone 6 as everyone around me had one and couldn’t stop talking about how great they were.

    I was frustrated with the iPhone 6 after the very first 5 minutes of use when I had to login to each of Apple’s included services individually. FaceTime, Messenger, iTunes, etc. I’ve never seen that before, I have been so used to only having to login once with Android that I thought it was the norm. I started to install some app like, Microsoft fantastic new Office for mobile however when I got to Outlook I tried to make it my default email client, it wasn’t possible. I looked everywhere in the system settings but without luck and than went to the Internet for help. What I found next actually shocked me, iOS doesn’t allow it’s users to set their own default apps, I was flabbergasted.

    I moved on, after I found all of the apps I wanted I decided to test the multitasking aspect of the OS. As I use a terminal app to stay connected to my works production and development servers during working ours it’s important that i’m able to run not only multiple connections at once but also be able to put the terminal app in the background as who once to stare at a terminal the entire day, plus I need my phone to do other things. After I logged in, started up all of my processes for monitoring I though to my self, wow this is really nice, I can use this without issue, I than minimized the terminal and went on with my day. However when I came back to it 15 minutes later to check a log file, the connections to the servers were lost. Okay, I must have done something wrong, so I did it again, nope, the connections to the servers kept getting terminated everytime I minimized the app. Again I went to the Internet for answers, ugh, outside of a few audio apps like iTunes and GPS apps like Apple Maps, iOS doesn’t allow it’s users to run apps in the background. What year is this, my Nokia Communicator 9500 from 2005 was able to run multiple apps in the background without issue and all I needed was just one to run this way. This thing was really starting to piss me off.

    It was just one thing after another with this phone. Inner app communication was a joke, meaning, some apps listed more items to share to and others were completely missing any of the apps that I needed to share to, especially OneDrive and Outlook. Yes I know you have to add apps to the app sharing program when you don’t see it listed but even when I did I still didn’t see half the apps that I needed. Than their was the lack of a file system or file manager, iOS saves it’s files under the apps that create them, on what planet is this useful. Finding files, sending files, zipping files, everything dealing with files just absolutely sucked.

    Needless to say the iPhone was the first phone I have ever returned, I’m sure it makes a great phone for those looking for a multimedia/gaming toy but as a serious work phone, it was an absolute nightmare.

    Que the BlackBerry Passport, I was reluctant at first because of the bad taste the iPhone had left in my mouth. The last thing I wanted was another crippled OS but after reading about it I made the plunge. Boy am I happy I did, the phone is absolutely brilliant in almost every way. I have full multitasking as in I can run my terminal app in the background as long as I want without it disconnecting. I use a fantastic app called IT Manager that I found in Blackberry World. BlackBerry Hub is great, I mean it’s so great that I’m now completely spoiled, I honestly don’t think I can use another phone because of it. Sharing between apps is an absolute pleasure, instead of creating a standalone and very hacky, API bridging app that requires app developers to make profiles for it just so other apps can see each other, BlackBerry OS’s Share to lists are dynamically created each time an app is started by grabbing every installed and compatible app. I have every app that I need thanks to Snap, Instagram, Flipboard, Feedly, Pinterest, VLC, Pocket Casts, Scanbot, etc.

    I’ll end it here as this post is becoming just way to long, the BlackBerry Passport is a fantastic phone, I cannot recommend it enough.

  13. calden74 August 27, 2015 at 8:29 am #

    Just tried it on mine, worked without issue. This most likely had to do with the proxy server AT&T uses in their stores, it prevents certain types of sites to load. Government, porn, violence, etc., the last thing they want is someone using their shop as the origin for a hack against the government. This actually should have been obvious to you as a lot of shops that provide Internet to demo their products do this, especially ones with ties to the government.

  14. DJA August 27, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

    You are not correct on the above, the US Chamber of Commerce is NOT part of US government it is a .com and totally private association. I tried the same website on my HTC M8 (T mobile) in the store to pull up the same website on WiFi and Cell and it had no problems, so the problem was the BB PP – so your comment “should have been obvious” is OBVIOUSLY not OBVIOUS

  15. Robin August 31, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

    Got one a few days ago. Never had a blackberry os 7 or anything earlier. Moved from android. Had no trouble switching. Love it. It seems really strange using one of those tall thin phones now. It amazes me how quickly society has become brain washed to only accept tall thin phones.

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