Is it worth buying a Blackberry Passport in 2018

I have been coming across this question quite often during the last 6 months, therefore, I thought of covering this in my 3rd blog in the Blackberry Passport series.

Blackberry Passport is at least 4 years old now and it still survives. The end users and a lot of Blackberry Fans appreciate its design, top notch security and reliability with BB10 OS brought to the table. Let’s explore why It is worth looking at Blackberry Passport as your daily driver in 2018.

11 Reasons Why it is worth buying a Blackberry Passport in 2018

1) Security

Blackberry until last year’s rebranding exercise has been well known for Security and enterprise level encryption. The security is built into every layer of Blackberry Passport including hardware and software. BlackBerry has over 50 security certifications and approvals, more than any other mobile vendor, including the only “Full Operational Capability” approval to run on U.S. Department of Defense networks.

  • Blackberry Verifies the authenticity of BB10 OS and software every time a BlackBerry 10 device in the world boots up.
  • All the applications are placed in their own sandboxes to protect against malware and data leakage. All the apps are even scanned for malware and privacy before they get added to Blackberry World.
  • Even if you use patching/ or patch android apps which are supported on BB10 OS, they are only installed when they are scanned for Malware and are safe to use.

In fact, a Canadian man was sentenced to 9 years for selling encrypted BlackBerry smartphones to criminals 🙂 

Know more about each security feature provided by Blackberry Passport/BB10 OS as below:

Security Overview of Blackberry 10

2) Reliability

The hardware is unique, beautiful and very sturdy. Software is privacy controlled, malware free and encrypted.

3) Best in class Audio Conferencing

This is something I have tested in person and observed across many other android devices. If you are on a conference or usual voice call, try using the speakers for audio, the person on the other side will feel that you are sitting in a conference room. It’s that crystal clear in sound quality. Passport boosts up or reduce the volume of the call basis the environment you are in.

BB Passport sound with natural sound technology

4) Design

This is an out of the box incredibly cool and bold design. No other phone has a square screen ratio. Black or white with silver edges look stunning. It comes in multiple colors to match your style like black, white, red, silver and even gold.

gold color blackberry passport

Image Source: image by blogs.blackberry.com

5) Physical Keyboard

Very ergonomic and beautifully crafted physical keyboard with flick typing and use of keyboard as a track pad is productive, the experience it offers cannot be compared with a touch screen keyboard. It is still bigger keyboard and more user friendly than the new blackberry mobiles out there with Android. Above all, slide up to close an app is there in blackberry passport sine 2014, I Phone X has this feature only now.

6) Productivity

It’s like carrying a mini laptop in your hands, you won’t need to go back to your laptop/desktop most of the time unlike what we must do while working with smaller Android/ I OS phones. Excel, word, PowerPoint and making a presentation is very convenient on this device.

7) Inventory and resell value

Its easily available at very cost-effective prices, this being 4 years old, across the globe. Canada and US on Amazon, Dubai on SOUQ, eBay and so on. Resellers or merchants are still making money and life out of Blackberry Passport sales.  This also indicates the underlying demand and love for Blackberry Phones.

Above all, if you buy a Blackberry Passport and not satisfied with performance, you can easily sell it back at great resell value. I managed to buy one at $100 and sell it to an online recycling company at $100 itself for instance.

8) eBooks

If you love reading eBooks, this phone works best, you won’t need a kindle device and yes, the software and every apk file from Amazon App-store just works fine.

9) Blackberry Hub

This is a blockbuster product, the ability to have all communication and app related notifications in one place be it email, tweets or Facebook messages is phenomenal. You can even respond from the Hub directly without having a need to go the app and open it to type a response. The patched apps from Play store don’t work in BB10 OS and its blackberry Hub though!

10) Emails

They are best viewed with more space , lesser scroll down, exceptionally beautiful sync with Blackberry Calendar.

11) Browser

The privacy control is exceptional, the moment a website which tracks your location is opened in your web browser, a pop-up alerts you immediately. This browser is also unique as the address bar is placed at bottom of the browser.

Conclusion and Thoughts

We used to have Windows mobile, BB OS, Symbian, Android and I OS together in the market, once upon a time. Unfortunately, today, there are limited 2 choices with mobile users, Android or I OS. Blackberry Passport is the last bet to provide a different experience to the end users backed by a decade of experience Blackberry had in mobility markets. It’s the last true blackberry phone, wherein hardware and software were both in the hands of RIM or Blackberry as a company.

There are mixed views for Blackberry Passport being a daily driver in 2018. If you love new apps and social media Android or I OS would be more future proof. If you love productivity and security with real privacy control, Blackberry Passport is for you and it is still worth buying in 2018 just because of the value the hardware and software brings to the table, together. I doubt if Blackberry is making any profits by selling them at such a lower price now. Blackberry Passport and BB10 OS will receive updates until end of 2019 only. After which, the device may stop functioning, I assume that the date might get postponed a bit. Having said that, this is a good time for buyers who couldn’t experience this device when it was launched at a premium price. If you don’t like it, resell value is good as well. Therefore, It is still worth and still a good try in 2018.

Explore Blackberry Passport

If you wish to know every possibility a Blackberry Passport brings to the table, its worth looking at Blackberry Passport Launch details in the video below:

I also covered all steps you could follow to install 3rd party and android apps with patching details in my blog earlier, read more about

Blackberry Passport Review in 2017

the second blog in the same serious was around all apps that work best from Blackberry World in 2018, read more about

Blackberry Passport review 2018-Updates and Apps

What do you think about BB Passport and its usability in 2018? Please post your replies in the comments section below.

#blackberrypassport

#blackberrypassportreview

#BB10OS

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Disclosure: We may receive compensation for links to products on this website.

Neeraj

Neeraj

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.

Blackberry Passport review 2018-Updates and Apps

Blackberry Passport Updates

You must be knowing that it is Blackberry team who advised Apple on i OS 11 before they even launched it. So, the great features like no button and sliding up for closing an App on I Phone X is something which was originally developed by Blackberry ever since Blackberry Passport was launched in 2014. This blog is my second in the series post review which I did last year.

Read More About Blackberry Passport review in 2017

I also assume that there was a deliberate attempt to shut down all great work Blackberry has been doing in Mobility (of course, they had plans to rebrand as a software company, which is now evident from rebranding exercise they did and all great work they are doing in Automotive, technology for embedded cars) No one would otherwise, lose a loyal following base like Blackberry OS users over the last decade.

For the people looking to buy a new Blackberry Passport in 2018, Please note that Blackberry OS and Blackberry world will have its last day on 31st Of December, 2019

To add more, last year, WhatsApp stopped supporting BB 10 OS, Google stopped supporting BB 10 OS, a lot of paid apps were taken out of Blackberry ecosystem, and blackberry was also ready to support i OS 11 on day zero of launch, in fact, Blackberry hosted an event for “How iOS 11 Will Impact Your Mobility Strategy” which were otherwise business rivals in mobility until 2017.

Blackberry has clearly missed the opportunity to leverage the large fan user base on BB 10 OS, who were forced to move to Android which is very different from BB 10 OS.

Apps that work on Blackberry Passport

Many argue that Blackberry Passport is too outdated to be used in 2018. Surprisingly, there are still buyers for new Blackberry on Amazon across the globe. I bought one personally at India, and another one recently in Canada. I have been using this device for some time now and this device just works fine with some tweaks and tricks. I will talk about apps that are a daily need and whether they work fine on Blackberry Passport in 2018 or not in this section.

Word of Caution before you Install an App

Thumb rule number 1, If you have an app on Blackberry world that works for you (bare minimum) – prefer using this over any 3rd party patched or Android app, reason being, the later one will actually slow down the system and drain more battery.

Thus, more 3rd party apps or patched apps from Android, chances are that you will slow down your Blackberry.

I have covered detailed instructions about pathing of apps and installation of apps from Google Play store in my detailed blog here.

Google Maps

Something that’s a must needed app nowadays, just download the stock make from Google play store, it’s the best app you can get. There are multiple versions of Blackberry world though, which are bit outdated and not as user-friendly as stock one from Google. The battery is not an issue with this app.

Download from Google Play Store

Offline maps: Maps.Me from stock works best.

Download from Blackberry World

BBM & Video Calling

The video calling on BBM just doesn’t work on Blackberry Passport, it works fine, however, if both the caller and recipient are using Android version of the same BBM, which otherwise, is a WhatsApp dominated market.
By the way, BBM had video calling and all features about 2 to 3 years back itself including deleting a message (it was called retracting a message) to everyone, which, now, we find in WhatsApp.

Download from Blackberry World

Uber on BBM

I tried almost all versions of Uber available on BB World, 3rd party websites and Crackberry. None of them work. The news last year about Uber being available right within the BBM apps also works at few regions, surprisingly, only on BBMs on google play store and not the one you can download from Blackberry world.

For example, this is Android version of Canada showing Uber (no option at all in BB OS version of BBM in Canada)

blackberry messenger

Same is the case with Video calling within BBM as mentioned above in this blog.

The best option you have is to use m.uber.com the web version to book your cab, it’s a bit slower than the app, but last man’s resort.

Emails

The stock version of the Hub works best, you can also download other mail apps as below.

Download Outlook from Google Play Store

Download Mail for Gmail from BB world 

WhatsApp

Download stock version from Google play store and patch it by using any WhatsApp patcher on Blackberry World, you will, however, need an SD card to be available in Blackberry Passport for enabling so.

Download from Google Play Store

Detailed Video on WHATSAPP ON BLACKBERRY IN 2018

Amazon App Store & Shopping

Stock version inbuilt in Blackberry works best, an easy upgrade is possible when you open the apps for the first time.

Dropbox

The stock version from BB world is light but bit outdated. If you prefer, the Android version also works fine from play store.

Download Dropbox from Blackberry World

Download Dropbox from Google Play Store

Cleaner

Stock version works best, very simple and effective to use.

Download

Call Recording

Blackberry doesn’t have this inbuilt unlike a lot of Android Phones these days. Parrot – Voice Recorder from stock works best.

Download

Social Media

Facebook

Face 10 by Nemory studios works best. There are other patched or old Facebook app versions which have some or other issue. Face 10 has certain limitations, but it just works fine.

Download 

LinkedIn

Android version from Play store is better. It opens a bit slower in Blackberry Passport but works fine after that. Please ignore the update now message which appears every time you start this app.

Download

Twitter

Android version from Play store works best. The others on Blackberry world are too outdated to be used.

Download 

Instagram

Inst10 for Instagram by Nemory Studios works fine. The stock also can be installed but I found some difficulty while opening the app.

Download

YouTube

The stock app name SuperTube or Player for Youtube, both are good enough.

Download SuperTube

Download Player for YouTube

Conclusion

Earlier last month, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that, “I think there might be a need in this world for a phone that is very simple and just focused on secure email, secure texts and a basic browser”. He was pointing towards Blackberry Bold (9900). That’s where Blackberry Passport succeeds, it is simple yet most secure smartphone out there. Open any website, and you will see the notifications, right inside the browser that “this website is trying to access your location” you will be surprised to know that almost every other website wants to know your location. This is one of the reasons behind growing threats to data privacy and rise of GDPR this month onwards. I am sure you must have, by now, heard of Cambridge Analytical Scandal. Facebook was questioned, Twitter is found doing so, Google (except the fines they paid in EU) is yet to be caught at this scale. If you need a simple smartphone with productivity, minus some applications with increased privacy and control on where your information is being shared, you must use Blackberry Passport until end of 2019.
Having said all of that, there can never be an end to the need and choice of apps, which apps do you use? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below.

#blackberry

#blackberrypassport

#blackberrypassportreview

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Disclosure: We may receive compensation for links to products on this website.

Neeraj

Neeraj

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.

Blackberry Passport Review in 2017

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.

blackberry layout

 

Wider Maps

Thus, u need to scroll less (right and left)

blackberry maps

 

Wider Emails

No more endless Scrolls

wider emails on blackberry

 

Wider Spreadsheets

Business guys out there, it’s almost carrying a laptop in your pocket, edit your documents on the go.

blackberry spreadsheets

 

Longer Battery Life

blackberry battery

 

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 🙂

blackberry keyboard

 

Camera

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.

blackberry camera sample image

 

Source: Know More about Blackberry Features

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:

cobalt blackberry

 

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.

apk

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.

3) Facebook

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

5) YouTube

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.

7) Gmail

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.

8) Notes

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.

The Verdict

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.

Please do subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Disclosure: We may receive compensation for links to products on this website.

Neeraj

Neeraj

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.

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