The BlackBerry Passport is the first phone in the company’s line up to come with the new BlackBerry 10.3 OS on board, which brings such features as BlackBerry Assistant, BlackBerry Blend, a versatile QWERTY keyboard, and a brand new BlackBerry Hub with Instant Actions. With BlackBerry 10.3, users also get access to the Amazon Appstore for Android and roughly 240,000 apps.
Business Insider website described the Passport as “a pretty solid phone. If you want to watch Frozen on the way to work, the Passport is not for you: there will be little black bars above and below the screen, regardless of whether you rotate the screen (which of course, looks weird with a physical keyboard). If you want to read emails, blogs, look at charts, and have basically never viewed a video on your phone it might just be an improvement on whatever you currently have.”
Lets us see some of its features and their use
BlackBerry Blend allows you to pick up emails, texts and BBMs on a PC, MAC or tablet when you’re away from your phone. It work across desktop operating systems, including Mac OS X 10.7 or higher, Windows 7 or higher, as well as iPad tablets running iOS 7.0 or higher, and Android tablets running Android 4.4 or higher. It can pair to these devices via cellular, USB or Wi-Fi connections. The downloadable version of BlackBerry Blend for Macs and PCs is available on the App Store, and Google Play.
Imaging In BlackBerry 10.3
BlackBerry has also made quite a few refinements to BB10.3’s imaging capabilities, which you can now experience aboard the BlackBerry Passport. The new imaging capabilities present inside BB10.3’s camera application are:
Faster Focus: The auto-focus is faster inside BlackBerry 10.3. There is also an option to select faces, so your subject will always be in focus Similarly, if you just want to snap a quick picture, simply tap on the focus area, wait a beat, and then snap your shot and it’ll be in perfect focus every time.
Auto HDR: If your viewfinder observes a scene with lots of dynamic lighting, like, a sunset or something similar, it will suggest you switch to HDR in order to get the best possible shot. All you have to do is select HDR when prompted, take the shot, and wait for the resulting image, complete with awesome highs and lows and contrast, to appear on your screen.
Panorama: Like iOS and Android, BB10.3 now does panorama shots. Select the option inside the Camera application and then track from left to right and BB10.3 will stitch the image together. Remember to keep the phone steady, though, otherwise you’ll get all kinds of errors and glitches in the shot.
TimeShift Improvements: You can now add TimeShift effects to shots after you’ve taken the picture, so if someone’s face isn’t quite right, you can just switch backwards in time and find a shot of them looking less weird.
Improved Filter Options: Once you’ve taken a picture, you can begin adding filters to finish everything off professionally. BB10 has always had filters, but in BB10.3 they’re implemented in a much more intuitive manner, meaning you can apply them more liberally and get better end results.
BlackBerry Passport Keyboard
The biggest feature of the smartphone, apart from its 4.5-inch 1440×1440 pixel resolution IPS LCD display (translating to a pixel density of 453ppi), it the three-line hardware keyboard with capacitive touch sensitivity. This allows you to perform gestures, select auto-complete suggestions, and scroll across lists. Notably, depending on the type of page being viewed, additional lines of keyboard show up on screen, such as auto-complete, or a legend to the numeric keyboard.
Here’s a selection of useful keyboard shortcuts designed to make typing, editing and working with the Passport’s QWERTY a lot faster and easier:
- Long press on a key to capitalise a letter.
- Tap the backspace key to delete one letter at a time; hold down backspace key to delete entire words.
- Running Shift –– to quickly select text for highlighting, hold the virtual shift key and drag your finger to the end of the section you want to highlight.
- Fast Text Insertion –– double tap the keyboard and drag your finger across the word or to the part of the sentence you want to insert something onto.
- Press “t” to navigate to the top of a page or app.
- Press “b” to go to the bottom.
- Press “space bar” to scroll down a page or app.
- Press “n” or “p” to move between sections headers.
Installing Android Apps On BlackBerry Passport
BlackBerry users can install Android applications directly onto BB10.3-powered units like the BlackBerry Passport (note: older versions of the OS require you to side-load the applications). This means all you have to do to get Android applications (things like Chrome, Drive and Instagram) up and running on your BlackBerry Passport is download a client like SNAP. SNAP gives you full access to most of Google Play’s applications direct from your BlackBerry Passport, or browse through the numerous third-party stores that offer APK files for BB10.
BlackBerry 10 has always had pretty decent multitasking, largely thanks to QNX and Active Frames. Prior to BB10.3, your most recent applications occupied the top left hand corner within Active Frames. Inside BB10.3, however, you’re free to rearrange the Active Frames as you like, meaning you can open your eight favorite applications and have them remain in exactly the same spot, which is great for quickly checking things throughout the day.
Lock Screen Notifications
BlackBerry has added in some new functionality which allows you to see more of what’s contained inside any given notification be it a BBM, a Tweet or an email. For instance, say somebody tweet on Twitter, this will appear in the BlackBerry Hub, obviously, but it will also appear on your Passport’s lockscreen too. And if you tap on the lockscreen notification it will expand to reveal more details about the tweet
Like Siri and Google Now, AND Cortana, BlackBerry Assistant is a personal assistant and like the aforementioned services it too can make appointments for you, read out texts and emails aloud (ideal if you’re driving), take notes, and set up meetings and reminders in your calendar application.
BlackBerry has always had decent universal search, but in BB10.3 it integrates with BlackBerry Assistant too, meaning you can quickly add a calendar event or reminder just by typing a few short commands example typing, “Cal,” for instance, brings up options for both calling people and adding calendar appointments. You can also just start typing something on the Passport, and then select Twitter or Facebook, Bing or Google to search there for whatever you’re looking for.