The world’s best mobile productivity tools for on-the-go professionals just became easier to get your hands on.
On February 20th, AT&T made the BlackBerry Passport and Classic available to customers, and as has happened with each of the devices’ previous launches through ShopBlackBerry and Amazon, there has been an enthusiastic (and still brewing) response.
(For info on the pricing options via AT&T, read our article HERE, but the gist is BlackBerry Passport is available outright for $649.99 or $199.99 with a 2-year contract, with the Classic at $419.99 outright or $49.99 on a 2-year contract.)
The Motley Fool’s Daniel B. Kline believes “the deal might cause some lapsed Blackberry devotees to move to AT&T and it could lure in some existing customers of the wireless carrier who long for a phone with a keyboard . . . Both the Passport and Classic should appeal to Blackberry’s [base].”
And Business News Daily’s Brett Nuckles writes, “So what do these new BlackBerry phones have to offer business users? For starters, they’re the only modern smartphones on AT&T’s network with physical QWERTY keyboards . . . Plus, both phones come with BlackBerry’s excellent suite of security features, including built-in encryption for messaging and email.”
Let’s take a look at the news and reviews surrounding the releases, beginning with the newly-redesigned BlackBerry Passport.
BlackBerry Passport: A Well-Rounded Productivity Powerhouse
AT&T is offering a re-designed BlackBerry Passport, and people are taking notice. While you can “work wide” with either the original global model or AT&T’s version, the new edition offers a slightly different aesthetic take.
As The Verge’s Dan Seifert noted, “The internal hardware is essentially the same, but AT&T dictated notable changes to the design of the device that alter its character ever so slightly.”
“AT&T’s version has swapped the hard corners of the original for softer, rounded edges . . . And the back of the phone feels ever so slightly softer and more rounded than before . . . In practice, AT&T’s design arguably works better: it’s more comfortable to hold in one hand (or two), and it’s more comfortable in your pocket . . . I’m happy to see that there is noticeable forward movement.”
Michael Fisher of Pocketnow has also released a video review of the AT&T edition, in which he says the BlackBerry Passport “feels incredible”:
…along with MobileTechReview’s Lisa Gade, who says it features “some of the best specs you can find on a flagship phone.”
Customers are certainly digging it as well, with early customer reviews at AT&T’s site awarding it an average of 5 stars, with 30 out of 31 giving it a 5, and one additional review coming in at 4 out of 5. Not too shabby.
(Check out our other interviews with satisfied BlackBerry Passport users, including celebrity chef Tyler Florence, this senior hospital executive, manufacturing executive, software engineer, tech journalist, legal administrator, pharmaceutical CEO, software manager, insurance salesman, and these workers from multiple industries.)
Customer “Revy77” writes, “I had the pleasure of trying out this device before I purchased it, [and] the screen is as sharp and as clear as any on the market. The speakers reproduce such high quality ranges from low to high. The antenna provides the most reliable connectivity of any phone to date . . . There is no phone call that sounds more clear. There is no video that comes in more defined.”
Another reviewer going by “Mississippi Business Man” loves the battery life (among other things), saying, “Mine lasts 38 hours on a single charge. Blend is so helpful . . . The keyboard is simply perfect . . . All the apps you need or want available through the Amazon App Store or Blackberry World. Both are represented on the phone. Sturdy construction and gorilla glass!”
There are plenty more if you want to read them, and the love spread to Twitter as well:
BlackBerry Classic: Classic Productivity Appeal, Evolved
Joining its larger sibling on AT&T is the Classic in its original, already-beloved form.
“I purchased this phone about 6 weeks after its launch,” writes “AngelWheels.” “I have the very best of both worlds, with a super fast operating system! Do your research; then, get the phone! I really believe you will be surprised! Yes, Blackberry finally came through!”
Customer Gabriel Cleveland calls the Classic “a super Bold,” writing, “I purchased this phone when it came out, and I can say it is the perfect size. It’s a message-sending monster and very durable. [T]he Passport is the ultimate phone, but my Classic is my everyday super-upgraded Bold. I love it.”
Fellow customer “halfnibble” writes, I knew this phone would be ‘good,’ but at its lower price point and lower specs, I doubted it would be the exceptional phone that it is. BlackBerry really got everything right with this latest OS release (10.3.1) . . . The keyboard is, of course, the best. And the trackpad is a new feature to me [but] it works so well for typing and navigating websites that is has me wondering, why on earth did we ever go without it?”
Fans took to Twitter to rave about the Classic, as well (and some got both):
Which one will You Choose?
With both devices available on the same carrier, there’s a tough decision to make, but it’s a good problem to have.
The BlackBerry Passport is available for $649.99 unsubsidized or $199.99 with a 2-year contract, while the Classic is $419.99 outright or $49.99 on a 2-year plan.
Let us know which one you plan on rocking in the comments below.
Follow us on @BlackBerry for all the latest news and announcements from Mobile World Conference 2015 (#MWC15).