BlackBerry Passport – Still My Device of Choice.

A few months ago BlackBerry announced it was exiting the hardware business and no longer building new devices. The Priv was the last Android phone made by BlackBerry and the Passport was the last BB10 device.

The Passport is a little over two years old now and I have been using it as my daily driver for that period. There’s just something extra special about it. It’s unique, unlike any other smartphone ever made. It stands out in the crowd. The touch sensitive keyboard that allows scrolling and swiping took me ages to get used to. The fact it was only a three row physical keyboard and half on screen keyboard really took me a while to get typing at speed. But now I absolutely love it. I can type quicker on my Passport than I ever have on any other device.

And that screen, a square screen that looked odd for a phone is just sensational for viewing content. Web pages are much easier to see and display more content. I have really grown fond of my Passport.

So much so that I can’t bear to put it aside in favour of using my Priv as my daily phone. Don’t get me wrong, the Priv is an awesome phone in its own right, and it has a more traditional style of keyboard that most of us are used to. The availability of apps is a huge bonus, and BlackBerry have done an amazing job with Android by doing what no other had managed to achieve. BlackBerry Secured it.

But when it comes to productivity, I’m just not as quick or comfortable with the Priv as I am with the Passport. I use my Priv daily as well, but after hours only. The Passport is my go to device that just does everything I need it to.  In fact, when I blog for UTB it is all done on my Passport. Editing articles for our other writers, done on Passport. Putting our posts on the UTB BBM channel, again on Passport.

I fell in love with my Passport immediately after buying it. I knew it was the device I wanted to be using for years to come. So one day while browsing eBay I came across a cheap white Passport so I decided to snap it up as a spare, just in case.

It is in immaculate condition, always had a screen protector fitted, as have all my phones (except for priv). But with the nature of my work as a forklift technician it wasn’t suitable for work conditions as it would get covered in grease and dirt in no time.

Recently the Passport had run out of stock through Shop BlackBerry, no longer available. So I went into panic mode, what if something happened to my beloved black Passport? I need a backup Passport for work. So back to eBay I go. Looking for a new original black beauty, they were now going cheap.

I hesitated for a bit and I’m glad I did, because  I stumbled across a used Silver Edition. Wow, that thing is pure class, I had to have it. So I had it shipped from Canada and when it arrived I was in awe. The rounded corners at the bottom made it extra comfortable to hold. The silver trim, frame and buttons gave it that extra feel of quality. Just beautiful. And although it was used, it was in mint condition.

But something just kept me wanting more. A friend of mine had a red Passport a couple of years ago and when he went to sell it, I was running a little tight on funds. It was knocked around a bit too which put me off. I missed out on that one but had really admired it. The red just really stood out. One day I would get one.

A few weeks ago I found a used red one on Gumtree, a classifieds site run by eBay. It was listed at $600AU and when I enquired about it the seller decided to withdraw from sale. She couldn’t bear to part with it and knew it would become a rare collectors item. So close yet so far.

So I kept searching but the red Passport is almost impossible to find now and I knew if I did find one, I was going to pay dearly for it.

Then one day when commenting in our forums I mentioned I was looking for a red version. Low and behold, one of our forum members, Rico said that he had one as a spare. He was waiting for his SE Passport to be repaired by BlackBerry and was currently using the red one until he got the SE back. We negotiated a fantastic price and last week he shipped it over from Spain.

It arrived today, well packed with all care taken. It was in immaculate condition. I immediately have fallen in love with it. There’s just something about that beautiful red keyboard and back cover. It really stands out. According to Rico, he had only used it for a month or two and it showed. Not a scratch on it. He was also kind enough to throw in a few extras. Cases, leather pouch, cleaning cloth, etc. This was one sweet deal, and I’m so thankful to him for parting with it.

So now my collection of Passports is complete. Except for the AT&T version and the extremely rare and very pricey limited edition gold version. Who knows, maybe one day I will finally get a gold edition but I don’t fancy my chances. My Passport collection has become an obsession. I have even ordered a few spare batteries to keep me going for some time yet.

Wayno

Long time lover of all things BlackBerry, from the Bold 9000 thru to the Passport and now the Priv. Always dreaming of the next new BlackBerry to add to my collection. Had the rest, now got the best!

  • zensen

    Great read. The SE definitely sounds comfy with the rounded edges. The red looks great! Makes me want to get my hands one.

    • Wayno

      Thanks Zensen. The red is definitely my favourite now

  • Fahed Al Derbi

    Congratulations Wayno for your great and rare collection and of course BlackBerry Passport is a unique device and it’s definitely deserving every cents

    • Wayno

      Thanks Fahed, the red Passport is the icing on the cake!!

  • Slash82

    Same here.
    The Passport is the best device ever had and THE BlackBerry of all BlackBerrys!
    My relationship with BlackBerry has been lasting for +11years(!) now and it will end when my Passport SE stops working or the I won’t be able to use it anymore because of lacking software support.

    I never wanted to switch to Android nor I wanted iOS.

    But I will leave the brand BlackBerry after that – Android-Berry is no option for me.

    • Dave Matthews

      Just out of curiosity, what would you move to? Windows phone seems tenuous (right now, but things can change). Ubuntu seems like a failure to launch. Sailfish and Tizen feel unsupported generally as well.

      • Roy shpitalnik

        Agree. There are basically 2 main OS’s that people use today. So if you leave BlackBerry 10, and don’t want iOS or android… Maybe Nokia feature phone ? i heard they have SNAKE !

        • Wayno

          Yay Snake!! Lmao

          • Prem_Watsapp

            Yeah. Hardcore productivity and privacy nuts are running out of apptions… ;-)

      • Slash82

        Thanks for your reply. The big problem here is that there is no ‘real” alternative to BlackBerry OS. So I summed up what might be the “least” worst alternative for me. First of all: I’m not a real app user – so app selection is not that big deal for me. I don’t use cloud services nor Google services. When it comes to the OS itself – Android as well as Windows mobile live from “collecting” data which is the main reason why I want to avoid those 2 OS. Which would lead me to iOS, which still seems to be most private OS besides BlackBerry OS.

    • Wayno

      Again, BlackBerry Android is well worth looking at. It is becoming more and more like BB10 and in some ways, even better. Gestures and file manager are pretty much all that’s missing. But so many additional features that make up for it

      • Slash82

        Thanks for your reply! I don’t say that Android-Berrys are bad devices and I know that BlackBerry puts a lot of afford into “making it feel like OS10” – but my “problem” is Android itself. I don’t wanna be a part of the “Google machinery”, until this date I have never used any Google services nor I use it as my searching machine. Even BlackBerry won’t and isn’t able to tell what Google is tracking – doesn’t matter how “private” app permissions might be. Security isn’t the same as privacy.

  • aiharkness

    It will be a sad day for me when I have to switch wife and I to another platform. I don’t know what that will be, but I know the day will come.

    I can’t compare the Passport to the BlackBerry devices powered by Android because I haven’t used any of them, and will not use any of them.

    I can compare to employer-issued iPhone that I also use, and given that comparison I’m happy with the Passport for what I need.

    BlackBerry has left me. I haven’t left BlackBerry.

    • Wayno

      BlackBerry hasn’t left you but rather given you an alternative with BlackBerry Android. If you get a chance, try it, it’s very good as we have reported here on UTB numerous times.

      • aiharkness

        Sorry, that logic doesn’t work. In a market that is roughly 80% Android and 20% iOS, BB10 was the alternative.

        Further, the world has BlackBerry’s Android because BlackBerry went down that road to try and keep its handset business afloat because the handset business was sinking with BB10. It couldn’t do it even with Android and it folded the business. Now it is licensing its name, property, and expertise to generate revenue on what it has that is of value to a licensee. This is the way the cookie crumbled and not BlackBerry’s desire to give us an alternative.

        That’s just the way it is. I don’t blame BlackBerry for being in business to earn what its shareholders believe is a reasonable rate of return. All the same, BlackBerry has gone in a direction different than the direction I’m on. If it is better to say we are taking separate paths now, then that’s what I’m saying.

        • Actually, it’s still BlackBerry software and security. And these are no regular licensing deals. BlackBerry is still in elbow deep on these phones. To say otherwise is a disservice to BlackBerry, TCL and other licensees, and to ignore what we’ve heard from all those involved.

          So my question, is what is your direction? Unsecured Android? Heavily marketed, highly priced, yet extremely limited iOS? A near dead WP? You obviously have plenty of time to think about it. BB10 is still running strong. I just don’t understand the direction. Seems like a you’re heading the wrong way.

          • aiharkness

            You are responding to points you apparently think I expressed but in fact did not.

            I know it is BlackBerry security on top of Android. I know the license is for more than just BlackBerry’s name, and that BlackBerry is involved and will be exercising oversight with the partners. I am not saying otherwise. If you read carefully you will see that I wrote that BlackBerry’s expertise is part of the deal. It seems you jump on anyone who expresses a contrary point of view. I don’t mind that so much as the accusing me of making statements I did not make.

            I would like you to understand that not everyone else is a noob, and we all can read and follow multiple sources of information. And everyone who disagrees with you is not misguided.

            And you could have stopped with the simple question about my direction. In fact my alternatives are not limited to some other smartphone. One alternative is no smartphone. When the time comes and my only smartphone options are some Android derivative or iOS, I will probably go with a dumb cell phone for the time being and get a mobile hot spot for the laptop, and data can wait until I get to it. But for now, at the moment, there is no good alternative to BB10 for me.

            Yes, BB10 OS is probably good for another couple of years, at least, maybe another year or two after that. The BB10 hardware that exists now will last as long as it lasts, and there is no reason now to believe there will ever be new BB10 hardware. I wouldn’t say BB10 is running strong. Running for now, yes.

            • You get pretty irate when someone questions you eh? Lol.

              Your original point stated that it was not BlackBerry’s decision to provide an alternative. Perhaps I’m reading it wrong. Won’t argue that I’m not. But I think the fact that we still have a BlackBerry option is BlackBerry giving us an alternative. BB10, as fantastic as it is, wasn’t enough. BlackBerry handling all the chores on an android device wasn’t enough. What is enough, is software. BlackBerry could have easily walked away from BlackBerry phones altogether. They didn’t. John Chen said he didn’t want to be the CEO that killed BlackBerry phones, and he found a way to keep them alive, while pivoting the company to software. It’s genius, and an action that was pointed at us, BlackBerry customers, both consumers and enterprise.

              I won’t be on another brand and can’t imagine going to a dumbphone again. Hopefully, we can change your mind before your Passport dies. Like I said, we have time.

              • aiharkness

                Not at all. I think you are projecting.

                You did read it wrong. I wrote I didn’t leave BlackBerry, BlackBerry left me. Wayno, replied that BlackBerry didn’t leave me, BlackBerry is giving me an alternative. To that I replied that BB10 was the alternative. And I added, to paraphrase, that in fact this is how matters turned out. It isn’t like it was BlackBerry’s intent all along to have things where they are now and give me the Android alternative.

                Yes, BlackBerry could have walked away from smartphones altogether, but not really, not while it still had marketable property and services. I don’t blame BlackBerry for that, but nor do I try and twist Chen’s decisions into some heroic gesture. As far as Chen, I know and you should know the difference between sales talk and reality. Again, I don’t blame Chen for being the salesman and putting spin on reality in the moment in favor of himself, BlackBerry, and BlackBerry shareholders. And I agree Chen is one smart individual.

                Keep working on me. Though I must tell you, I am very anti-Google. I can’t see myself using Android under any circumstances.

  • BlueTroll

    Wayno, I have to agree, the Passport is an amazing, exceptional device. Mine is the original and I got it perhaps a month after it was released. I have used the heck out of it. However I have a glitch and have had to switch over to my wife’s old Priv. While it’s a decent device for personal use, the connectivity with enterprise server and general UI is not as good as the Passport. Right now I’m looking at buying a new one from an Amazon seller. It’ll set me back about $460CDN, but it will be new and worth it.

    • Wayno

      Blue Troll, check ebay. I found numerous Passports for around $260-300AU which is on par with CAD. That’s new and delivered too, still plenty on there. Hope that helps

  • Rico G

    Wayno! Glad to read this post and see your mention and my ex PASSPORT RED. It was not about selling or
    more € (could have as there were offers) but more selling to someone who really appreciates it. From a fellow BlackBerry Passport Supporter to another BlackBerry Passport Supporter. From Spain to Australia
    Ps glad you enjoyed the extras
    Take care of her she is a beauty!

    • Wayno

      My pleasure Rico. It will definitely be appreciated here. It was an absolute pleasure dealing with you and would have no hesitation recommending you if anyone was to deal with you in future. You even posted it before it was paid for, very trusting and honest seller. A true gentleman!! We will have a beer one day!

  • Roy shpitalnik

    Wow, Wayne. Just Wow

  • bnew70

    Great post Wayno, and yes the Passport is a great device, definitely one of the best. However, some of the comments below confuse me. Leaving BlackBerry devices once their Passports erm er pass. Strikes me as strange that people would jump ship and rather buy an unsecured Android device or a iphone, if they can’t get BB10. More than a little odd, considering if your going to go Android, your best bet is more than likely (in my opinion) t stick with a BlackBerry Android. Some things don’t appear to add up or is it just me??

    • Wayno

      Agreed. Nothing wrong with BlackBerry Android, in fact it is becoming more and more like BB10. And it is pretty much just as secure. This article wasn’t written about the OS, but the device itself. Passport form factor is amazing. But when my Passports no longer work, BlackBerry Android will definitely be my daily driver, no question about it. It has come a very long way in such a short time.

  • Prem_Watsapp

    Passport NV…?

    Just don’t turn into a Passhole, my good friend… :-D

    Great collection!

    • Wayno

      Lmao. You know me better than that!!

  • Alan

    Thanks Wayno, nice written article. I can relate completely about the Passport. Love it! Someday maybe I will enjoy using a BlackDroid as much as I do using my Passport on BB10 . I believe in BlackBerry. I believe BlackBerry has a good thing happening right now with TCL and the other Licensees, and future new Licensees. As for the form factor of the Passport, what’s to stop TCL from making a Passport with Android in it!? I wouldn’t put it passed them. I get the impression TCL is very committed to connecting with the BlackBerry communities and it’s fans. I believe TCL will give us its best effort (100%) into making phones that we can love and be proud of. In fact the people at TCL are excited about doing just that, and they are convinced they can do it. . TCL employees are welcoming this challenge and this opportunity. As to BB10 well who is to say? People say a lot of things. Enjoy your phone.

  • CaseyC

    I plan on keeping my Passports (Black and SE) for a long time. Where did you order extra batteries from?
    Thx

    • Wayno

      Hi Casey. Batteries were from alibaba.com or you can get cheaper from etradesupply.com

  • That’s so cool! I wish I could use the PP on Verizon’s network, those imbeciles.

Top