June 19th 2014 11:52 am

75

A niche phone that takes some getting used to

75

The Passport is an odd duck; it's difficult to bestow one final judgment that applies to everyone. It's your only choice if you want a high-end phone with a physical keyboard, and it's the best-performing BlackBerry in the lineup. But it also feels niche, thanks to its peculiar shape and keyboard layout. No doubt, the Passport takes some getting used to.

Once you do, however, it's actually a surprisingly good handset -- the best BlackBerry 10 smartphone so far. It's well-built, comes with clever engineering and software services, has good battery life and features a screen that's easy to read outdoors. But the one-handed experience is also incredibly awkward; the keyboard isn't among BlackBerry's best (typing a 4,700-word review on the thing convinced me of that); and the company continues to struggle in its quest for a thriving and more robust ecosystem. (The fact that it has three methods of obtaining apps and still can't get the biggest titles is a testament to that.) For what it is, it's a solid device. But the problem is figuring out whom it's for, and why it matters. My sore thumbs and I haven't found an answer yet.

Critic reviews

6.7
8 reviews
  • Reception and call quality
  • Display
    8.3
  • Battery life
    7.8
  • Camera
    7.1
  • Ease of use
    6.0
  • Design and form factor
    6.4
  • Portability (size / weight)
    5.1
  • Media support
  • Durability
    8.0
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.)
    5.9

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User reviews

8.9
31 reviews
8.0
Engadget Oct 30, 2014

The Passport is the best BlackBerry 10 device you can buy, and comes with a number of flagship-caliber specs. But its odd shape and size, as well as its weird keyboard, may be a turnoff for many.

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7.0
Gizmodo Sep 24, 2014

The screen's strange size doesn't deliver enough convenience to justify its awkward bulkiness, the app selection won't satisfy a moderate power user, and in some places, BB feels like a shadow of more capable operating systems.

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7.0
CNET Sep 24, 2014

The BlackBerry Passport's bullish focus on productivity spawns a fantastic keyboard, but its blocky shape makes one-handed use difficult.

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6.0
The Verge Sep 24, 2014

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.

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6.0
TechRadar Oct 2, 2014

Blackberry's faith has been placed in a device very much suited to a particular type of customer. The specs and features are all there, but the form factor falters against conventional devices.

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6.0
TrustedReviews Oct 3, 2014

The BlackBerry Passport tries to be different but doesn’t quite get it right. As a result this is not the smartphone serious business professionals should consider.

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6.0
The Next Web Oct 10, 2014

In many ways, the Passport is a great smartphone, but its features, design choices and out-of-the-box services mean it’ll only ever really appeal to a small section of the market.

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9.0
ketill ketill

Hated the device on sight - charged it, played with it a little, hated the keyboard, put it away for a day - decided to return it. Loved BB keyboards in the past. Took it out again and really used the keyboard - ended up liking it. Put all the apps I needed on the phone, some only available by...

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8.0
halabi94 halabi94

I start by first stating that I am an x apple user, I started with the iPhone 4 and ended with the iPhone 5. I didn't buy the iPhone 6 because it lacked character and I was bored with apple. I have the blackberry now it's a new experience the pros of the phone the mics provides optimal quality...

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9.0
lloydlawrence lloydlawrence

Love BlackBerry or hate BlackBerry, you really can't ignore this phone. As a power user, this phone is a beast and really delivers the tools you need to get you through the day and is packed full of innovation. It's a shame that there is so much negativity towards BlackBerry, many of it is from...

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10
ZzaqpazZ ZzaqpazZ

I own a metal fabrication business and use my phone to look at blueprints which is GREAT on this phone. Also downloaded autocad via the snap android store which has all the apps from a regular android phone. Again, cad file look great on this device, much better than the typical rectangular...

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10
ttwb ttwb

I have to admit i already owned a Blackberry Z10 before, which i did like very much besides the unacceptable battery life. So i did already know the OS. I especially like the Hub to handle communication easily. It integrates very well with my Exchange account, and social platforms to update...

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9.0
tomsevo tomsevo

First of all, I have a confession to make...I'm a self admitted blackberry fanboy. I had a 9930 and replaced it with a Galaxy note3 last year. More on that later. First of all, a little about me. I'm a 49 yr. old physician. Our practice communicates primarily via text messaging between the 10 or...

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10
geneismean geneismean

I loves this computer, phone, tablet, phablet. It does it all. It's cool having something more interesting than anyone else. Very cool device!!!

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5.0
archies2002 archies2002

I have been using BB since 2009, from 8830, 9700,9810, Z10 and now Passport. I was so happy with the BB and i continue to be, well to an extent. My main area of concern is with the apps and apps alone. Well you might say, Android apps can now run on OS10 phones, but does it really work the way...

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9.0
STEMAT STEMAT

The Blackberry Passport, a device thats build by business people for business people. Not that anyone else can't use it! Battery life is great. Gets you though the whole day and more. Perfect for those long weekends where there are no changing ports. Even with heavy use, you can push through 30...

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5.0
adityan adityan

Just like the Q10, usage of physical keyboard and touch screen sequentially, is the only way to navigate this devise. The promise of tack pad on keyboard is plain horrible. It has so little functions, as against the full functional trackpad we are so used to. The size is uncomfortable, and...

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7.0
lol3caring lol3caring

I got it because I like a keyboard, and I like blackberry. A huge reason for me to get this device is because Blackberry is a secure device through and through. I am not saying I have sensitive information on my device but I much rather have my information in the hands of a device that knows how...

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10
goodtobe goodtobe

I am a doctor, I read files, secure documents, pdfs, and I need to see images clearly on it. It has already saved me having to dash to the laptop several times. Hard to put it down since I have had it, from playing with videos and browsing to twitter to emails. The wider key pad takes a bit of...

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10
nixxonexxo nixxonexxo

Over this is a great device. Blackberry is back with a phone that is a breath of fresh air from the crowded long narrow smart phone design. There are so many new innovative features in their BB10 OS it's unbelievable that I can't believe Android and Apple haven't thought of them before. If you're...

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9.0
POPPKPD POPPKPD

This is a beast. It is a mobile office !. Excel, PDF, Doc email calls Webex Evernote, conference calls works like a charm. You need time to get used to it but eventually you will really like to look at webpages and document on it ! my other narrow phone is not as suitable ! Another plus is great...

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9.0
aspani aspani

I switched from a Iphone and will not be going back, the keyboard is excellent the screen easy to look at and the built in apps tie things together well, I use my laptop in the field 50 percent less with this phone, love it

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