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  • BlackBerry are a household name when it comes to smartphones, but a name that many have

  • fallen out of love with over the last few years.

  • A few questionable commercial decisions let the competition convert users.

  • However, the Canadian firm are at the start of a new and more focused era and they return

  • with the BlackBerry Passport and aim to win back the hearts of many.

  • The Passport is an out and out powerhouse and is designed to impress.

  • There has always been a lot of talk about BlackBerry and how they compare to the Apple

  • and Samsung devices but the Passport is proof that they are not as behind as some may think.

  • The Passport stands out. Not just because of its name but the design.

  • The relevance to the Passport name is that the device is the width and height of a paper

  • passport.

  • Now I have quite small hands and two handed use is a must but those with bigger hands

  • may find it usable in one, but for comfort and practicality you will need to use two

  • hands to, it just feels too precarious in one.

  • Big and beautiful I believe is an appropriate phrase here.

  • Like a paper passport, the device fits in most pockets, the problem is it is ever so

  • noticeable.

  • Of course it is virtually square too which is odd but weirdly appealing.

  • Lay it on a desktop and the Passport looks a classy slam of technical engineering. The

  • deep blacks with the silver accents scream use me.

  • Face on of course you have the 4.5” display, under which is a 3 row backlit QWERTY keyboard.

  • Extra characters and numbers are accessed via the touchscreen.

  • Just to the left of the front facing camera is an LED notification light.

  • On the bottom of the device is a microUSB 3.0 port. This port also offers video out

  • using a SlimPort adapter. A nano SIM card and mircoSD card slot are

  • hidden behind a removable section of the rear cover.

  • There is no denying the Passport feels solid in hand but perhaps a little top heavy and

  • this is not all that surprising when this weighs in at 194g, a good 30g heavier than

  • most phones.

  • The keyboard that made BlackBerry’s so popular, has been reinstated in an odd fashion on the

  • Passport. 3 rows, stretched across the device for bigger keys, this great for an easier

  • and more tactile typing experience, only if it gave you such. The size hampers the experience.

  • Numerics and popular characters amongst others are accessed via the touchscreen.

  • There is plenty of real estate on screen, but I cannot help but think some should have

  • been added to the keyboard. Either add in an extra line of keys (the Passport is big

  • enough already) or add a function key to give each button 2 uses.

  • The integrated touch element of the keyboard is really clever and has a purpose and works

  • quite well. You just need to teach yourself to use it.

  • The big screen has been engineered to make the things you need to do on screen ever more

  • possible.

  • It has a 1:1 ratio as opposed to the 16:9 ratio found on most other smartphones. This

  • is why the 4.5” display is wide and makes the whole phone a little cumbersome in hand.

  • Load up a word document and you get around 60 characters per line as opposed to the 40

  • or so on many other phones.

  • This wider vision works well with spreadsheets and web pages too. It means less scrolling,

  • pinching and zooming giving you more information and detail at first glance.

  • When you are working with longer and larger documents there are some rather impressive

  • software and hardware features that make the Passport stand out.

  • These are all well and good, but play a video or want to play a game and things get a bit

  • complicated. The size makes it very difficult to handle and the screen ratio means black

  • bars around video content, which kind of defeats the object of the increased size.

  • With a resolution of 1440 x 1440 and 453 pixels per inch the screen is bright and rich in

  • colour and depth. It has what it takes to compete with the best.

  • It boasts good viewing angles and does well in direct sunlight too in my mind.

  • The Passport does to have Corning Gorilla Glass to make it resistant to scratching.

  • The Passport runs BlackBerry 10.3 OS which has received many improvements.

  • There are many strengths to the OS and this is one of the compelling reasons businesses

  • and large corporates like it. The way it handles email, the way it can be managed and the enterprise

  • security it offers is superb.

  • The OS is functional, it can do all you want and need of it, just lots of it is not particularly

  • logical.

  • There are a lot of gestures you need to learn for the screen and the keyboard. There are

  • helpful tutorials available to help.

  • The home screen and apps tray have been improved with icons to show you where you are and quick

  • access icons for the camera and phone.

  • You can reorganise the app layout, add folders and change the wallpaper too.

  • There is quick settings shade. Pull down from the top of the screen and get quick access

  • to key settings (which you can change) with less clicks. Hit the main settings icon and

  • be taken into the full settings menu.

  • Here is where it gets complicated. Not all that much is logical.

  • For instance, finding out about battery usage. Settings> App Manager> Device Monitor>Battery.

  • The open apps screen is useful, as the tiles are updating and can be moved about, but they

  • just feel a bit odd. You can reorganise them, but the whole process is a bit slow and you

  • can not resize these tiles unless you close other apps down. Up to 8 of the most recent

  • apps will show here.

  • Lift to wake up, flip to mute and save power are all nice touches and take this very professional

  • feeling device and make it feel a bit more practical for the everyday.

  • I might be being a little harsh on the OS, but it lacks the fluidity of Android or iOS

  • even after a couple of weeks with it.

  • BlackBerry Hub keeps all your messages in one place and I think with a bit of learning

  • can be very powerful but it does feel overly complicated at times with more clicks and

  • buttons than are perhaps necessary.

  • Siri, Google Voice and Cortana are competitors equivalents to the new BlackBerry Assistant

  • on the Passport. A long press on the right mounted button launches the the listening

  • element. Know what you are saying and the whole concept works. It is just slower and

  • not as capable as the alternatives. Nice touches include getting it to read messages to you

  • or creating a note such asbuy milk’; which is handy when driving.

  • On a positive it does handle documents andworkrelated content well and the keyboard

  • comes into its own when replying to lengthy messages, or writing that document and of

  • course the touchscreen aids in the versatility.

  • Want to add your favourite apps, here lies a potential problem.

  • BlackBerry World remains the key place to access apps designed for the device. There

  • is a broad selection but some of the more popular titles likeInstagramare missing.

  • To combat this BlackBerry have teamed up with Amazon. Pre-installed is Amazon’s App store,

  • that has a database of Android Apps that can run on the Passport.

  • This essentially means more apps for you and I. The problem is that some of these apps

  • are still missing, ‘Instagramagain. I was unable to download apps I use on a regular

  • basis.

  • An immensely powerful feature, again aimed more at the business user is BlackBerry Blend.

  • Essentially speaking, after an initial pairing process you can remotely access and use features

  • of the Passport on another PC via a USB cable connection or WiFi. It offers access to things

  • like email, SMS, BBM, contacts, calendar and file manager.

  • What is important to note here is that all content remains on the Passport. All the processing

  • is done by the Passport and no trace is on the PC other than the Blend application.

  • If you had a particularly long email to write or wanted to organise things in your calendar,

  • but you wanted to do it from the comfort of a desk and big screen you can do so.

  • Providing the Passport was charged and connected to WiFi you could access content on it from

  • home, even if you had left it at work. This feature is not for everyone but handy for

  • some.

  • Therefore all told the Passport is capable, the software has most of what you need. You

  • just need to become familiar and be prepared to learn.

  • Built to get things done, the Passport has all the connections you need.

  • There is video out via the microUSB using a SlimPort adapter, which is a bonus for some.

  • 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, NFC, Miracast, 3G and 4G.

  • Whether navigating from the office to a client. Sending photos of a site to a colleague or

  • capturing video whilst on holiday, its all possible.

  • What more could you ask of it? Wireless charging perhaps? But with 2 days battery life is this

  • necessary?

  • The call quality is superb as is the audio recording and audio playback.

  • A selection of microphones, 4 to be precise, intelligently pick up sounds and use amplification

  • technology in real time and in relation to the environment and position of the phone

  • to the ear to provide a dynamic and clear audio experience for both parties on a phone

  • call.

  • The principle behind this is to make is as close to an face to face audio experience

  • as possible.

  • Stereo speakers on the base of the device also pack quite a punch and do not distort

  • too much at higher volumes and provide a clear and well balanced sound with almost all music

  • types.

  • Packing a high resolution camera into a phone is not always the answer to capture great

  • images. It is a mix of the camera lens, sensor, software and more.

  • The Passport sports a 13 megapixel camera with optical image stablisation and the results

  • are really very good.

  • Some colours and warmth was lost in some images and often the images had a darker tone than

  • was the case at the point of capture.

  • Whites were not blown out like they are on most camera’s with a darker tone which actually

  • works in favour rather than the brighter more saturated effect.

  • But judge for yourself.

  • The rear camera captures shots at 13 megapixels whilst the front facing camera is set to 2

  • megapixels.

  • Both these and the video recording option offer 5x digital zoom. You need to use a pinch

  • and zoom technique on screen to take advantage of this.

  • There is the option to capture normal photos, timeshift, burst and panorama.

  • HDR and timer options are available as well as are different scene modes.

  • During video recording, which is possible at 1080p at 60 frames per second you can too

  • capture still images and easily switch the video light on and off.

  • The camera is not the most expansive in terms of options but I do believe there is a really

  • good balance of functionality and practicality.

  • Editing is also possible withinstagramlike filters and tools available to tweak

  • the images you capture.

  • 3450mAh of battery power is built into the Passport.

  • The Note 4 from Samsung has 3220mAh and Sony’s Z3, 3100mAh.

  • Thisextrabattery explains the additional weight and bulk of the Passport but for those

  • who are always on the go and attached to a mobile then you can rely on the Passport.

  • The Passport WILL last well beyond a day. You will most likely get 2 full days out of

  • it. In fact I was able to get more than this. with lighter use.

  • There are not the samepower savingsoftware options like there are on many Android

  • devices, but careful management of connections and power draining apps will allow you to

  • conserve the battery, there just isn’t that button that shuts it all down for you.

  • At the time of recording the Passport will cost £485 including taxes when purchased

  • from Clove.

  • Take this cost over 24 months, consider how many hours a day you use it and how productive

  • this helps you be and I am convinced the cost will be more justifiable.

  • Thanks to the broad range of global connectivity options, the sheer processing power, capability

  • and management tools, the Passport offers a lot for business users and large corporations.

  • Personal preference will always play a part in whether the OS is for you, whether you

  • have all the apps and whether the Passport has the interface you can work with.

  • In parts it is massively clever, in others it is complicated and almost daunting.

  • Spend a little time with it, learn the pros and cons and there is every chance it will

  • change the way you see the device.

  • The Passport is for those who just want to get stuff done. Whilst we all wish to do this

  • at times, many of us like to play games and embrace videos.

  • If I was on a business trip or conference, I would take the Passport.

  • If I used a work phone and a personal phone, the Passport could easily become my work phone,

  • if I could get over the size issue.

  • However, I use one phone for both and for me, the Passport does not blend well into

  • the two lifestyles.

  • The size, slightly complicated OS and the app availability all play their part.

  • That said, I have been impressed and warmed to BlackBerry again. BlackBerry Blend, the

  • camera and battery life are all very compelling, but not enough to switch.

  • If you need a business device, are about getting stuff done and think you can cope with the

  • unusual size then the Passport may make you more productive.

  • A not quite so wide version of the Passport with theclassicBlackBerry keyboard

  • is what I think it needs to win more of power and consumer users back, but at the moment,

  • the size and uniqueness of it makes this a bit of a marmite phone. You will likely love

  • or hate it.

BlackBerry are a household name when it comes to smartphones, but a name that many have

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ブラックベリーパスポートのレビュー (BlackBerry Passport Review)

  • 180 15
    Luke に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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