As the BlackBerry Passport launches around the world, people everywhere are excited about its cutting-edge features, from the 1,440 x 1,440 touchscreen to the innovative, touch-enabled keyboard, huge battery and generous amount of RAM, leading to BlackBerry Passport jumping to the number one position among unlocked phones on Amazon.com in the US, until the initial wave sold out.
One of those regions is India, where BlackBerry devices and services trumped many other brands in terms of functionality over the nation’s emerging wireless infrastructure.
Just a few years ago, 3G was barely emerging, according to The Indian Express, and BBM (then a BlackBerry exclusive) worked great over 2G, catering to messaging fans on a budget in the emerging market. This contrasted strongly with iOS and Android devices at the time. Of course, the phones were well-reviewed as well, so the mix of those two factors endeared many to BlackBerry (and evidently, the “BlackBerry Boys” ad campaigns were a hit as well).
Flash-forward to today, and there’s a real sense of anticipation building as the Indian press unveils early reviews.
Let’s see what they have to say (bolded emphasis is ours):
“The Most Innovative Phone in Recent Times”
In a piece for The Indian Express, reviewer Nandagopal Rajan hailed the complete package of the BlackBerry Passport while examining the market, stating, “If this phone had come from an unknown start-up and sold only on one e-tailer, the world would . . . would have written reviews calling it the most innovative phone in recent times. But the Passport . . . is from BlackBerry…”
Rajan calls BlackBerry Passport “the most unique phone we have seen in recent times . . . [The] keypad [is] more functional than in any other device . . . The keypad is so good you will not need to touch the extra large 4.5-inch square touch display.
“With stainless steel edges and a very strong build, the phone feels premium and robust . . . In fact, this phone offers the best views in town and can let you scan spreadsheets and docs without resorting to pinch or zoom.”
“An Extension of the Office in Your Pocket”
Over at India’s Business Standard, Abhik Sen wrote a pre-review first look: “Blackberry’s new offering is meant for corporate warriors who want an extension of their office in their pocket . . . Once you get over the rather unusual shape of the phone, you find a device which looks and feels premium . . . The phone boots up fast and swiping through the apps was devoid of any lag . . .”
Sen also loves the display: “Text appears crisp on the Passport and is easy to read because of its form factor. Pictures and videos also appeared bright indoors . . . The Passport turns the physical keyboard into a giant touchpad, and it’s very easy to scroll through pages . . . It’s is meant for corporate warriors who want an extension of their office in their pocket. To that end it seems to succeed.”
“Purpose-built for Productivity-driven Business Professionals”
Meanwhile, on the Technocrats blog at Telecom Drive:
“Featuring a large square touch screen and new QWERTY touch-enabled keyboard, the BlackBerry Passport is a device purpose-built for productivity-driven business professionals who want a smartphone that empowers them with the mobile tools they need to get things done, without sacrificing style or portability.”
The blog continues: “[T]he BlackBerry Passport is a device purpose-built for productivity-driven business professionals who want a smartphone that empowers them with the mobile tools they need to get things done, without sacrificing style or portability . . . The large square screen is optimized for viewing and creating content, and will make everyday tasks . . . more comfortable and effortless.”
“The Performance Smooth”
Know Your Mobile India’s Ritij Khurana pulled together a listicle of his top five features:
“BlackBerry has just launched the Passport in India . . . and the smartphone will be going right up against the latest generation of flagship smartphones. The smartphone comes with a lot of expectations and BlackBerry has loaded it up pretty well too . . . [T]he display is as clear as things can get. It may look a bit quirky but the color reproduction and depth is . . . on the better side of things.”
Khurana also calls out the beefy specs, writing, “[As for the processor and RAM], the performance is as smooth as you can expect. The yesteryear flagships from BlackBerry came with specifications equal to a mid-ranger but the Passport matches up with the others in this regard . . . The rear camera is quite the performer and grabs our attention . . . [I]t pretty much leaves nothing to be desired in the memory department.”
On the connectivity and monster battery: “To make things sweeter, it also gets 4G LTE connectivity in addition to the regular 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC . . . A 3,450 mAh battery . . . will keep it going easily for over a day. With battery lives going south in today’s world, the Passport is one such flagship device which won’t let you down in the battery department when you are traveling.”
Last but not least, you had the Hindustan Times, which welcomed the Passport as a “good fix for business users” and, noting its high-end specs and form factor, asked: “Is this a phone or a computer?”
We’re excited for the India launch of the BlackBerry Passport, too, and look forward to customer reviews to come as those ready to “work wide” get their hands on the productivity powerhouse.
Until then, stay tuned to INSIDE BlackBerry for all your BlackBerry Passport news.
Pricing and Availability (UPDATED)
You can get your factory-unlocked BlackBerry Passport from ShopBlackBerry.com at these links:
…and at Amazon HERE, with AT&T offering it for $649.99 unsubsidized or $199.99 with a 2-year contract. The BlackBerry Passport is also available in Canada via Rogers for $249 and Telus (for as low as $150 up front) and other carriers.
For those outside the North American market, you can get your BlackBerry Passport directly from us at our global shopping portal HERE.
(Check with your local carrier for device compatibility.)
Remember – the BlackBerry Passport has a battery capacity that exceeds all rivals in milliamp hours:*
|BlackBerry Passport||30 hours|
|Samsung Galaxy S5||23 hours|
|iPhone 6||21 hours|
|iPhone 6 Plus||25 hours|
(*Based on third-party lab testing sponsored by BlackBerry, under 4G and 3G wireless conditions, using a mixed-usage profile. Results will vary by carrier and network conditions.)