Leaders don’t do different things; they do things differently! That’s exactly what happened when Blackberry Passport was launched in Oct 2014. A bold move in every possible aspect of design, concept, production, and marketing. Honestly, I had the last year’s flagship by Lenovo (Vibe X3) and have been eager to buy Blackberry Passport ever since Silver edition was launched. Price, I always felt was, on the higher side so conveniently avoided until I found major price drop this year and thus got one BB Passport. I have been using it for over a month now and in this blog, I wanted to share my experience and review of Blackberry Passport Silver Edition.
Why Blackberry Passport in first Place
I Phone is something I never understood, I always respected the design (I know all the hardware guys copy something or other from I phone), but most of the time I have seen people buying this because of features and premium feel, I don’t know if it’s intentionally priced higher than other phones too. Apple, over the last few years, has made the entire mobile world “vertical”, android too followed similar steps and ensured all of them made all screens vertical and flat. Every leading brand today is in the same race trying to be more vertical, more and heavier on specs. People who use ordinary 1 GB RAM for actual utilization are now running behind 4 GBs, 5 GBs and more. Thanks to our friends in China.
Blackberry passport had the courage to do something totally different. They brought back the Square screens to see the world differently (referring my quote at starting of this blog) backed by power of their flagship trackpads into the whole new physical qwerty keyboard combined with best possible R&D to bring out best of Blackberry in Passport, made it even bigger with launch of Passport Silver edition in Aug, 2015
What Blackberry Passport can do for you
Everything what i OS and an Android OS can do to you. The latest OS build on blackberry Passport is BB 10.3 OS and 10.3.3.1435 in specific. Of course, it comes with latest hardware specs, Read More
You see the world different:
A wider world, try using a standard vertical smartphone and then this device for a week. You will feel the difference.
Thus, u need to scroll less (right and left)
No more endless Scrolls
Business guys out there, it’s almost carrying a laptop in your pocket, edit your documents on the go.
Longer Battery Life
Touch-enabled Physical Keyboard
The keyboard is the touch screen itself, so it is only here you scroll down or up without touching the screen. Delete text, just swipe left on your keyboard, it shall delete multiple words, sentences in one go. I Phones can’t do this 🙂
The front is mere 2 MP but does the calling Job. Back Camera, Not that great in low light, however, in light this 13 MP camera performs better than 21 MP of Lenovo. Also, not to forget, its square images here, that means for your DPs on WhatsApp (round ones), Profiles on Twitter and Facebook profile pics (square boxed ones), it will do the greatest job without the much-needed cropping otherwise.
Apps that run on Blackberry Passport in 2017
In this section, I would like to share how to made all the important apps work on your BB Passport in 2017
Cobalt is the well-known guy who has made most of the cracks possible, Blackberry OS supports installing Android apps and apps from Google Play Store. The fundamental is to have Blackberry world, Amazon App store and Google play store installed on your device. First two are pre-installed by default. While the third one needs a crack, please find the detailed guide about installing Google Play Store by Cobalt here
Once you are all set with Google play store, a lot of apps would require Google play services as build. Find more about steps to install Google Play Services here and Cobalt’s official file share here.
Once you have Google play services enabled you should find that as “Google Plus Whitelist” on your smartphone. Each time you try installing a new app from Google Play store, click on the whitelist and add in Google Plus whitelist. Followed by which, the app would run smoothly on your BB device. If that doesn’t work, you will need to remove Google play services requirement itself using awesome patcher provider by Cobalt. The last file in the screenshot below:
Step 1: Download the desired app from Google Play Store, This is required on your laptop or desktop, thus, search for your app, copy the URL, then GO to https://apps.evozi.com/apk-downloader/ paste the URL in address box here, click “click to download….. now”. That’s all to get your APK file directly from Google Play Store.
Step 2: Go to Patcher app on your system, downloaded from Cobalt file share link shared above. Locate the app APK you downloaded in step 1 above and “Analyze APK” followed by “Patch”. Basically, it removes any need of Google play services in the backend. You can find your new APK files in PS_Patcher folder>Output
Alternatively, I am also sharing relevant videos in case you feel any difficulties further:
Coming back to the important apps that run smoothly on BB10 or Blackberry Passport “Silver Edition”
1) WhatsApp on BB 10 Devices
Avoid downloading the Blackberry world’s version, you will be getting annoying messages stating “Support ends in Jun 2017” read more will tell you that WhatsApp believes they will move on to latest devices” which I disagree with. All you need to do is Download Apk file for WhatsApp from Google play Store as given in steps above. Install WAA Fixer as per the steps in this video here by Ole.
2) Twitter & LinkedIn
Just download directly from Play store, it works smoothly for me if problems persist, please patch using the PS_Patcher by Cobalt and you are all set.
Any Facebook lite version from Play Store would work. Latest Android version won’t work at all. I already tried patching and all such alternative methods. F10 available on Blackberry world is not that great, you can’t “check in” and there are multiple such limitations with this app by Nemory. I would recommend using this APK file and avoid any update notifications.
4) Google Maps
Should work fine once you perform “Google Plus whitelist” as mentioned above. The good news is that Blackberry World has the Readymade substitute of Google Maps (map by Mathieu). Download here
Patching works sometimes but not always. “Video for YouTube” by Freeman Apps on Amazon App Store worked best for me. Download here
6) Google Drive
Works smoothly by patching.
I just couldn’t do it so far. Using “Blue mail “from play store which serves the purpose. Paytm on Blackberry Device – For users in India, Download from Play store and patch with Cobalt’s version given above, it works like charm.
Colour notes from Play Store work best for me while moving from Android to BB, simply, log in using Gmail ID and Password, it backs up everything.
The Battery drain Issues with Blackberry Passport
This is going to be the major issue at least when you update your device to 10.3 OS for the first time. In fact, first few days were frustrating, the battery could hardly last for 3 to 4 hours on full charge. Charging itself took some 4 to 5 hours for 100%. Basically, once you update blackberry OS, all the files and folders start aligning in your root drive. This happened for about 4 to 5 days initially for me. It’s all working fine now. A lot of people do complain about this and these problems just vanish in some days, so please be relax, your decision of buying this device is not wrong.
It’s a wonderful out of the box phone, probably too futuristic and secure for this time & year. Blackberry has made a bold move doing this, while everyone is busy running behind megapixels and battery sizes and what not. I also know, they were trying to come up with a complete android version of Blackberry Passport which was eventually dropped last year. People who have this device are happy including me. If you need productivity like a laptop device in your pocket, low on SAR value, radiation safety and with a wider different experience minus some compromises on ease of app installs and painful turnarounds, Blackberry Passport is for you!
For those of you who still hate Blackberry Passport, here is an interesting video I loved:
And the video above is incomplete without this
What do you think? let me know in comments section below.
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Neeraj is a Tech Marketer with 9+ years of experience in B2B Sales and Marketing. At StepToInbound, Neeraj writes about Website, Search, Social Media and Marketing Automation practices.