After a good long month of testing out my BlackBerry Passport, I’ve decided to share my experience to help others better understand what this device brings to the table. You can read tons of other subjective reviews, biased reviews, or even reviews designed to destroy the Passport (N4BB), but this one will mainly cover the entertainment features that made me fall in love with the Passport more and more everyday. To make this testimony even more unique, I am writing it ENTIRELY on my BlackBerry Passport using the included Docs To Go program.
Music. What can I say? If a device cannot handle music playback and streaming well, it’s dead in the water in my book. I don’t need a secondary device dedicated to music because that’s just one more thing to carry (and charge, and manage, and worry about dropping, etc.). I need my phone to do it all: otherwise it’s not a smartphone, it’s a dumbphone. I also need to have freedom to load whatever songs I want from any source, and I need it to sound pristine. The BlackBerry Passport has this down pat. The music player in OS 10.3 isn’t specific to the Passport only, so I’m not going to delve too much into a review of that portion; let’s just say that OS 10.3 brings amazing enhancements to the music player with EQ presets and a carousel that offers quick access to frequently played music. BlackBerry 10 has supported aptX for quite some time now which means the Passport supports that as well (aptX is the best audio codec for Bluetooth music streaming). From what I gather, FLAC audio support quietly came with OS 10.3 as well; fellow audiophiles will absolutely find that to be a welcome addition. The unique feature that the Passport contributes to the sound experience can be found in its Bluetooth Class 1 radio. What this means is extended range for not only calls but for Bluetooth music streaming which I have been a champion of pretty much since BlackBerry 10 launched. In order to enjoy the range, your paired device must also be Bluetooth Class 1; I recommend the Sony BM-10 as a home solution and the BlueAnt Pump HD Sportsbuds for on-the-go listening, but other choices are out there. Long story short: sell or donate your secondary music player. You won’t need it anymore.
The movie aspect of the BlackBerry Passport is in line with other BlackBerry 10 devices. The main difference is that because of the aspect ratio of 1:1 the Passport screen offers, and the fact that 16:9 is the most common format videos across the Internet and other outlets are presented in, you’ll get the widescreen bars above and below the video just as you did in the old days when TVs were still square and DVD began to offer widescreen formatted videos. Does it matter? Not really. It’s still an excellent display to watch those favorite flicks on with that bright IPS LCD display and its 1440×1440 resolution. If you need it larger, you have Miracast for wireless display mirroring (provided your TV supports it; if not, the ASUS Miracast Dongle is an affordable choice which plugs in to an available HDMI port), or with a SlimPort adapter, you can feed the content through an HDMI cable (again if your TV or monitor has an HDMI port available). And with OS 10.3, the native video player includes EQ presets to give you the most bang for your buck in the audio department. A wide range of video formats are supported (including MKV as has been the case in previous versions of BlackBerry 10) so you’ll be able to playback most videos out of the box. How does the Passport stand out in video? It just looks and sounds awesome!
Gaming on the Passport has been grossly understated. The processing power and amount of RAM under the hood coupled with the eye candy display begs to have a game or two played, and not just a Candy Crush type game either. I think that BlackBerry has chosen correctly to market the BlackBerry Passport to the business sector to fortify their foothold in the enterprise security realm, but if anyone says the Passport is not for playing games, well, I beg to differ….
If you would like to know more about what the BlackBerry Passport can do on the consumer side of things, don’t hesitate to comment below. A well informed consumer makes a well informed purchase, and the Passport has ample additional value that a single review just can’t cover adequately. I love my Passport, and I know you’ll love it too.