The Blackberry name was not a very popular name in South Africa amongst the blind and visually impaired users.
It was slow, crashed more than what was acceptable and generally provided a horrible UI that was slower than many things I can think of but, that I won’t mention here for the fear of not having enough server space to store the content thereof.
however, the Blackberry Passport was a refreshing change and Blackberry provided me with a test unit. Thank you.
The device feels very solid in the hand; a very sure 196 g, and comes with a physical qwerty keyboard.
Looking at the specs, one cannot really complain but, as a totally blind user, you would not really like the device.
The screen reader is still very unfinished and I wouldn’t use this phone as my primary phone.
However, the magnification features built-in are definitely of a decent standard thus, if you have some vision left and you can afford this beasty, I’d highly recommend it.
The phone is quite big and not the right size for everyone.
The Body Dimensions are 128 x 90.3 x 9.3 mm and as mentioned earlier, it weighs 196 g.
At the rear, toward the top, there’s a pannel that you can remove and there are two slots. One for the Nano-SIM and the other for the micro-sd card with a storage capacity of up to 128GB.
It is running BlackBerry OS 10.3, upgradable to v10.3.2 and sports a Qualcomm MSM8974AA Snapdragon 801 chipset with a Quad-core 2.26 GHz Krait 400 CPU.
The GPU is not as high as I’d expect but, Adreno 330 does the job.
If you love storing a lot of media, you will have little to complain about as the Memory options are decent.
The micro-sd Card slot that we touched on earlier, has a capacity of up to 128 GB and Internally we are looking at 32 GB with 3 GB RAM.
This hardware combination is awesome and I never experienced any sort of lag when switching from one app to another or when running multiple applications at the same time.
The sound on this device is amazing. At the bottom grill, we find the stereo speakers. These performed well on speaker phone and excellent when listening to music.
Talking about speakers, the 3.5mm jack is at the top, just a little away from the left corner.
Blackberry provided a 13 MP camera, with 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus, optical image stabilization and LED flash,
The standard geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, and panorama features are found to make up the rest of the camera offering.
Oh, I almost forgot about the video recording. 1080p@60fps, is the best the BB can do.
The front camera is a 2 MP, 720p camera and suffices for video calling and other functions.
I’m not going into all of the specs but, I must say that the Non-removable Li-Ion 3450 mAh battery really comes in handy. The standby time is really good and even if you are a somewhat heavy user, it won’t let you down.
Perfect for the business user and for those who love their qwerty keyboards; really hard to find fault with this phone apart from the lack of action in the screen reader department.
However, as you may have heard, Blackberry is soon coming out with an Android based device with a full physical qwerty keyboard. Looking forward to that one? Just wondering because, I am!
Thanks again to Blackberry South Africa for having made this device available to me.
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