Brief Review of the AT&T BlackBerry Passport

11/17/2015 UPDATE I am very happy about the arrival of the Blackberry Priv. I think it will create an awesome synergy between Blackberry Security/Quality and Android App availability.

Blackberry Passport Review

This is a really well built Phone! The keyboard speakers, and screen are awesome!…

However, there are some issues, first with the AT&T Version and GPS, secondly with the OS in general and lastly with the lack of Widgets/Tiles.
1.) The GPS Issue:
The Blackberry map app has difficulty locking on to GPS Satellites, therefore does not work well for Navigation. I kept getting an BlackBerry error 1001 and 1003 when trying to locate my current position on the map.. I think GPS is only a problem with the AT&T version of the device. The GPS signal seems so weak that the maps only refresh periodically.
2.) The OS Issues:
The Multiple App Stores make for a rather disjointed experience. You have Blackberry AppWorld, Amazon App Store and you can “hack” in a version of the Google Play Store. The Android Apps generally work well, but are not always sized correctly and take more battery than others. You get the idea that Blackberry OS10 is just a Bolt-On to the old but reliable Blackberry Email System. Also, while the Hub is as awesome as as it’s ever been it is also pretty much the same as it’s always been…displaying hundreds of text notifications from all kinds of Apps on the phone.
3.) Widgets and the Lack Thereof.
What was really missing is what Android has in Widgets and what Windows (Mobile) Phone 8.1 calls Live Tiles. There is no simple easy way to see current temperature or any other real time information for that matter. To get real time information, you have to open each App sort of like the iPhone, except the iPhone can show this information in the Notification DropDown.. After awhile I got the feeling like I was an inexperienced Linux user who just installed Ubuntu…”Kind of like now what?’…the interface is kind of blank and empty as if BlackBerry forgot something. It’s not just minimalistic -it’s empty! Hub, Windows & Apps….that’s it, Somebody said leave your apps open as Windows and you will see there statuses, but that is nothing like a Live Tile or a Widget. Someone else suggested looking ot the Hub for Weather Alerts or installing a Third Party home Screen App.

Other than that an excellent Sturdy Device. It is the kind of phone that could hold up to anything and last forever. It is extremely High Quality.

I would only recommend if you are a bit of a hacker type and don’t need GPS, just use email on your phone and/or can stand some inconsistency in an otherwise well-built device.


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