Monday, 24/10/2016 | 11:32 UTC+8
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First Look: BlackBerry Passport arrives in the Philippines

First Look: BlackBerry Passport arrives in the Philippines
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BlackBerry is alive and kicking. It has just launched in the Philippines the company’s latest smartphone with the popular physical QWERTY keyboard.

Boasting specs that rival other brands’ flagship models, BlackBerry Passport comes with a touch-enabled QWERTY keyboard, a large 1:1 touchscreen, BlackBerry Blend, BlackBerry Assistant, BlackBerry World, Amazon Appstore, and BlackBerry’s latest OS, BlackBerry 10.3.

We went hands-on at the launch event and here’s our first impression of the BlackBerry Passport. Check out the specs, price, and availability. We’ll let you know more about the product when we spend more time with an actual review unit.


The BlackBerry Passport looks curious, at the very least. But the large square display does grab attention. The 4.5-inch screen has a 1:1 aspect ratio and 453ppi pixel density, and is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

The body is thin and actually feels light. It looks unconventional and difficult to grasp but holding the Passport and typing on it (with two hands) didn’t feel weird. The keys were responsive and easy to use and felt rubberized. The QWERTY keyboard is actually touch-enabled (as mentioned above), which means its surface also functions as a trackpad.

With a 3450mAh internal battery, the BlackBerry Passport should have a talk time of up to 14 hours on GSM, according to BlackBerry.


[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]
  • 4.5-inch 1:1 1440 x 1440 453ppi HD display
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Capacitive QWERTY keyboard with gesture support
  • BlackBerry 10.3
  • 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage, microSD up to 128GB
  • 13MP rear camera with OIS and 1080p HD video recording
  • 2MP front camera with 720p HD video recording
  • LTE, Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n), 4G Mobile Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB
  • 3450mAh battery
  • 128 x 90.3 x 9.3mm


The BlackBerry Passport runs the BlackBerry 10.3 gesture-based UI, is installed with BlackBerry Hub and BlackBerry Assistant, and feeds content to your computer or tablet via BlackBerry Blend. BlackBerry’s senior director for product management in the Asia Pacific, Damian Tay, talked extensively about the features of BlackBerry Blend, which lets you interact remotely with your Passport’s contents through the internet. One Passport device, with its unique ID, can interact with several computers or tablets.

For apps, the Passport has the BlackBerry World storefront and Amazon Appstore, where you can get Android apps to install on this BlackBerry. The Amazon Appstore won’t replace the BlackBerry world, said Tay, but the latter will eventually focus on BlackBerry’s enterprise apps.

All these sound exciting coming from a mobile company whose future has been questioned a lot in recent years. But BlackBerry aims to restore their “heritage as a top provider of security in mobile devices,” said Cameron Vernest, managing director of BlackBerry Singapore and Philippines. Vernest assured the local press that BlackBerry is here to stay, more so under the leadership of their CEO, John Chen.

The BlackBerry Passport is now available through authorized resellers, and soon through Globe and Smart, at P35,790.

Words Aritha Zel Zalamea

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