Here it is, the BlackBerry Passport.
This Android fanboy wasn’t invited to yesterday’s press event (for obvious reasons), nor could he watch the Microsoft Silverlight-powered livestream on his Linux computer (for obvious reasons). But he (I) did spend the early morning reading device reviews from various sources.
I’ll be quoting some notable ones below.
BlackBerry Passport Review (CrackBerry)
I had my doubts about the Passport initially, wondering if BlackBerry’s design team had lost their minds. But after a while I warmed up to the look of it and began to wonder if BlackBerry was really onto something here with the odd shape, the missing row of keys, and unique trackpad built into the keyboard.
Geez, bias much?
As an outsider, I don’t know how reputable CrackBerry.com is these days but honestly, reading through this review made me feel alienated more than anything else. Even so, I can’t deny that the trackpad-in-the-keyboard-thing is pretty cool.
The Passport is a shrine to everything BlackBerry has done over the last 15 years, but none of that is very relevant in today’s world. It’s apparently the best that BlackBerry can do, but that’s not enough.
This, then, would be the review for outsiders. But hey, it’s iVerge, so there’s some serious bias here as well.
The video that accompanies the review goes into a bit more detail about Amazon Appstore support. Apparently any Android app that uses Google Play services won’t work properly. Can someone confirm this?
BlackBerry Passport: review (Toronto Star)
What it really comes down to is whether enterprise users will embrace the new device, and it really comes down to its design. In some ways, this is their moon shot. There is enough here that the die-hards should take a look at, and while the OS is on par with their competitors, the thick rectangular design is what sets it apart and will be the most polarizing thing about it.
You’d expect the homegrown press to shamelessly fawn over anything BlackBerry, in a blatant attempt to lift the company’s stock price if nothing else. But I found The Star to be surprisingly neutral in their assessment of the device, and bang-on with the importance of the enterprise market.
BlackBerry Passport Review: Back to Square One (Wall Street Journal)
I just don’t need such a thing as a long-lasting, email-centric “work” phone anymore. Modern-day smartphones allow us to not only be power professionals but also power parents, spouses, fitness nuts and more. They enable us to communicate far beyond the inbox, while also letting us stop and smell the roses—or at least take a picture of them to post on Instagram.
It wasn’t so long ago that you’d see a BlackBerry in the hands of every power broker on American TV shows like The Good Wife or House of Cards. This review would have the reader believing that the sizeable and lucrative US smartphone market has moved beyond BlackBerry entirely—and if those same TV shows are any indication, there might be some truth to that.
Passport does have one thing going for it that almost none of the Android crowd has: A loyal group of keyboard and platform fans who cry out to be catered to. This device combines many of the useful features of a smartphone and a tablet, in a way no one in the industry has done before.
I saved the best for last. 🙂
Hometown crowd again, sure, but these words mirror what I’ve seen here on the forums. After all these years BlackBerry still has a very loyal (and very vocal) fan base. In this era of nearly-identical touch-screen slabs, giving these users what they want—along with a dash of something new—can only be a good thing.