Like fine wine, BlackBerry Passport gets better with age
The BlackBerry Passport helps get things done
My excitement for a new smartphone tends to wear off after two or three months, but occasionally a device rises to the top and keeps me coming back for more.
I bought my BlackBerry Passport in October 2014 and the efficiency of the operating system continues to impress me daily. Honestly, I don't know why more people are not using the BlackBerry Passport for communications and productivity.
There is not another device in my smartphone collection that feels as rock solid as the BlackBerry Passport. The metal I-beam frame, metal buttons, soft touch back, curved glass front, and angled QWERTY keyboard are incredibly well designed and built.
The hardware keyboard, with integrated software aspects, is awesome to type on and the more you use it the better it gets. There are a number of tips and tricks for the keyboard and your efficiency increases as you discover them. Just last week I finally set up a number of custom keyboard shortcuts that help me work faster.
The BlackBerry Passport has a massive 3,450 mAh battery and it lasts me longer than any other smartphone I own, including the iPhone 6 Plus and Sony Xperia Z3.
I've been making more phone calls over the past few months than I have in recent years and forgot how important such a core capability is for a smartphone. No other phone sounds as good as my Passport and the OS makes calling and communications better than any other.
BlackBerry 10 OS
If communications is important to you, the BlackBerry Hub is the most efficient communications system I have ever used and my productivity increases daily as I fine tune it to fit my needs.
Actions in the right menu of the BlackBerry Hub change with the service you have selected while composing from a central launcher is quick and easy. The web browser supports communications in a manner not seen in other browsers; check my screenshot in this gallery for the options.
Speaking of the browser, there are many advanced smart links, functional reading mode, ability to share via a number of services you have installed, and other features that make web browsing on a Passport my favorite mobile web experience.
Scroll regularly with your finger on the keyboard and you will quickly miss that on other devices. Start pounding away on the keyboard to have BlackBerry Assistant get you where you want quicker than any other mobile operating system.
BlackBerry Assistant always gives me accurate voice-to-text results and I love how it's easy to launch with the button between the volume buttons.
As an engineer who spends most of the day at an office computer, BlackBerry Blend is essential for centralized communications. I'm able to stay in touch using a number of services, get notified about meetings, and more. No other smartphone platform offers such connectivity across platforms.
Third party apps
I turned on my iPhone 6 Plus and Xperia Z3 and put them next to the BlackBerry Passport to go through app by app and set up the Passport to match these devices. Nearly every app I use is available via BlackBerry World, the Amazon Appstore, or the Google Play store (via Snap). There is nothing I use on a regular basis that is missing on my Passport.
The Fitbit Charge HR works, with call notifications coming through as well. Actually, the Bluetooth connectivity is more stable on the Passport than on the iPhone 6 Plus.
I like the iPhone 6 Plus and my Android phones, but the BlackBerry Passport gets things done more efficiently and is a joy to use. Every time I pick up the Passport, I feel I have a rock solid phone in my hand that I know won't let me down.
ZDNet BlackBerry Passport coverage
(Image: Matthew S. Miller)