Reviewing the Reviewers

BlackBerry Passport to Launch in South Africa Early November

Very soon, we will mark thirty days since the Passport was launched out into the world. Funny word, “launched”, because that is exactly how the Passport made its debut. It LAUNCHED onto Shop BlackBerry and Amazon, then took off like a rocket as inventory was sold out in just a few hours. To say the quick out of stock status was a surprise is an understatement, but for a supporter like me, it was also good news.

So today, I was trying to come up with something insightful, humorous, and interesting to share with you. I came up blank! But while I was devoting all my brain cells to the effort, what popped into my mind sent me off to search for and read through many reviews of the Passport from sites I used to, might have, or once believed to be credible. I won’t give them credit by linking anything here. What I will do is pull bits from what they had to say and refute it, dispute it, or agree with it.

I started by doing a search for Passport reviews. I then threw out the lowest and highest marks to get an average. Then, I just started reading. I found a few common thoughts and themes: most focus on the SHAPE of the device, and think negatively, followed by typing on the keyboard, and pronounce it cumbersome (REALLY???), and finally, pick on the camera. Very few actually griped about the perceived ‘app gap’ and tipped their hats to SNAP, and the Amazon app store.

One thread that was common was griping about the keyboard. ‘Oh, it’s too hard to use one hand to type,’ ‘It’s not balanced when you use both pinky fingers to hold the device and type at the same time,’ ‘Why couldn’t BlackBerry give up a quarter of an inch and give us a fourth keyboard row?’ Hmmm. Well, I can type with one hand. It isn’t my preference, but I can. Did any of these folks notice the word prediction? Did they know how to swipe up across the keys to have the word inserted for them? Or, that they could, if they had to, tap on the word and have the same outcome? Did they even consider that using it for just a few days would give the keyboard a chance to ‘learn’ their typing style? I suspect not. So, reviewers-you are disagreed with.

Moving on to shape: well, most hate it. And I thought that was funny. I guess an anonymous, rectangular block whose differences (if you can find them) are width and height are better? Oh, wait–is it the GAME CHANGING shape they find offensive? Is it the DIFFERENCE they don’t like? Or is it the change in general? OK, let’s think about it. Sure, it is unusual and different. Yup, it’s a block. Is it radically different? Sure. Did it feel different in my hands compared to my Z10? Yeah. But within five minutes or so, I didn’t notice. I was too busy going through the tutorials and randomly hitting the keys. With one hand, then with two hands. I was scrolling my thumb up and down the keyboard, and watching the web pages react to the action. And giggling like a crazy person. I was reminded of using a keyboard, which I hadn’t for a while, and how much I enjoy it. Oh, and by the way, you reviewers, it fits just fine in MY pockets. Again, to the reviewers, I disagree.

And finally, the camera. I guess these folks are expecting a high-end digital camera. I’m no photographer, but no one appreciated the HDR, or the fact that video default is 720p. Well, I do. I’m grateful for 13MP on the rear camera. ‘It takes too long to take the picture.’ Well, I’m fine with giving it a split second or two to optimize the focus. ‘It cannot manage nighttime shots well when balancing a dark sky against bright lights.’ Hmm. The picture you, Mr. Reviewer used, to illustrate your point looked fine to my uneducated eye. Again, I disagree.

In the end, whatever site(s) you rely on for reviews, I ask that you use them as a GUIDE. What works (or doesn’t work) for them, might work for you. Read with an open mind. Go to as many as you want to, but think about what they say vs. your own opinions. Make your own choice.

Then go get your BlackBerry!


Gobbles up tech like PacMan, wants EVERY phone that BlackBerry releases, and loves to tinker with electronics.