Reader Submission: The First Five Things I ‎Did When I Got an Unlocked Passport Silver Edition

I love the Z30 and for a while I was certain I’d buy a second one as a spare. The Z30 was my first BlackBerry and it was such a wonderful work horse that there wasn’t a device in the market that piqued my interest at all. That changed, however, with the Passport. How could a phone with such an ‘unusual’ form factor work for someone like me who’s so used to, and loving, the Z30? Before buying a device, or any thing really, I try to read everything about it – reviews and all. I don’t do impulse shopping. And I was sure that the Passport wasn’t right for me.
Never say never, as the saying goes.
For more than three years, since the launch of BB10, I’ve been keeping my brother up to date with BB10 devices. (He’s an Android guy.) We both share an interest in tech, cars and motorcycles. I must have instilled subliminal messages successfully because he bought himself a BlackBerry Passport SE two weeks ago without telling me! And he did it again!
Four evenings ago, my brother dropped by my home and handed me a black box. A BlackBerry Passport SE box. WHAT’S THIS, WHAT THE HECK FOR, I exclaimed. He said, “I know you’ve been wanting this phone for two years now. I’m buying it for you.”‎ Thank you, brother!
I want to share with you my transition and initial experience from Z30 to SE.‎ So, the first five things I did when I got my new unlocked BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition:
1. Back up BBM chat on the Z30.
Launch BBM app, swipe down from top of the screen to get to Settings, and tap Back Up Now button which is placed under Save Chat History.
2. Back up the Z30 via BlackBerry Link.
But first, make sure there’s enough storage in the computer hard drive; my last backup required about 9 GB.
Note: It took me a couple of tries for Link to start backing up. I had to restart the computer, reconnect the phone and relaunch Link.
3. Basic setup on the SE. No email or social accounts. Connect the new SE to the computer and restore from backup.
Note: Pretty much everything was restored. I had to re-enter passwords. Android apps like Netflix and OverDrive (for borrowing e-books from the library) worked. But Snap didn’t work; it was telling me my Google account password has been changed, or something like that. There were a couple of apps that didn’t work either; they’re streaming services like Global Go (TV station). But, thank goodness, TSN Go (sports channel) worked!
4. Get a new nano SIM card from carrier store and activate it. (Z30 uses micro SIM card.)
Note: ‎I wanted to use a never-been-activated nano SIM card that was in my tablet, but it didn’t work. I didn’t know why and neither did the store salesperson. No worries, though.
5. Grab a mug of coffee. Next task is to assign keys to launch apps.
What’s a physical keyboard good for, eh?! Keyboard shortcuts! Go to Settings, Shortcuts and Speed Dials. Long press on a letter and an Edit/Assign A Shortcut pop-up will slide out from the right. You can assign an app launch shortcut or speed dial. For example, I assign the ‘A’ key to call home, and ‘D’ to launch BBM. Why ‘D’ you may ask? Well, I’m left handed and prefer to use the keys on the left side.
After only a few days, I can say that I’m enjoying the Passport. I like the smart keyboard, the sharp display, the clear call quality and the zippy performance.
Happy reminiscing for those of you who have gone through the transition. For those who are still on the fence, go get the Passport SE while it’s on sale at!

Passport SE