It’s been quite a while since BlackBerry has released a smartphone, with problems dogging the manufacturer over the past two years. But now it looks like it could be back on track by unveiling the BlackBerry Passport, but what can you expect from BlackBerry’s comeback handset?
The first thing which will strike you with the BlackBerry Passport is its shape; without a doubt it’s certainly a bold move by the Canadian manufacturer. The Passport is one of the few smartphones with a square form factor, and at the moment, it looks like the best looking one we’ve seen.
It looks classy and professional, something which can’t be said of the other square phones we’ve seen, and if we’re being honest, it even looks a bit better than some regular shaped handsets. Whilst this form factor may not work with every device in the future, it is a refreshing and interesting idea from the guys and girls at BlackBerry, something it desperately lacked before now.
The only issue that could arise with this design is the aspect ratio of the screen, which stands at 1:1 (normal ratios tend to be split between 4:3 or 16:9). But According to reports, apps are already being altered to fit the display without cutting off any parts of the screen meaning all your apps will run as intended on the handset.
Classic BlackBerry Keyboard
One thing BlackBerry has always had up its sleeve is its physical keyboard, something which won it plenty of fans across the business sector.
The QWERTY keyboard works seamlessly with the touchscreen display above it, and makes for an easy and surprisingly fluid experience no matter what you’re doing on the device. So, one moment you can be scrolling through a webpage, and then switch straight to the keyboard to handle your typing duties.
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One area in which BlackBerry handsets did tend to struggle was the spec sheet, especially when squared up with the likes of the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S models. That’s a thing of the past now though, with BlackBerry really pushing the boat out to ensure power is oozing from every crevice of the handset.
Packing a 4.5” 1440×1440 display, 32GB expandable storage, 3GB RAM and a Snapdragon 800 processor, you won’t be left wanting in terms of memory or power. A quad-core processor keeps the handset running smoothly, and a 13 megapixel camera gives you images to be proud of.
The software that adorns a handset is sometimes just as, if not more important than the handset itself, and it proved to be a major problem for BlackBerry over recent years. Former renditions of the system were often slow, buggy and would crash unexpectedly.
BlackBerry has since promised to get its act together, and has produced BB 10.1 in an effort to prove its doubters wrong. This is the operating system which will be built into the Passport, and for now the jury is still out about it.
The noises we’ve heard are good ones though, with the likes of BlackBerry Assistant, a voice operated personal helper much like Siri or Cortana, looking promising. Hopefully it will prove an upgrade over previous efforts, and help the Passport become a hit.
When news first began trickling through of a new BlackBerry handset, we have to admit that we were hesitant. The addition of a square design and 1:1 aspect ratio also had us second guessing it, but it’s looking like BlackBerry could well be back on track with the Passport.
It offers a surprisingly beautiful design, a great spec sheet, and brings back the physical keyboard we’ve all missed at one time or another. Hopefully BlackBerry will have corrected all the problems it had previously with its operating system, if it does that; we could have one of the surprises of the year on our hands.
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