|Manager Carol Lanford & Rep Rian Tieuel|
1. The service at the AT&T store on Pear Orchard Road was outstanding. Sales rep Rian Tieul (Pronounced "Ryan") was very helpful when I visited the store. He even installed the screen protector for me. He called the next day to see if I had any problems with my new phone. I know the hot chicks that are usually hired are nice to look at but this guy provided service. His number is 601-497-7244. It is better to text him than use his voice mail. He will respond and yes, you can make appointments with him. He said if the Passport is not in stock, he can order the phone for you.
2. Specs. This is the best Blackberry ever made. The OS is very fast, very fluid. 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage. Battery is 3450 mAh but non removable. It will accept a media card that is up to 128 GB. Gone are the days of the spinning hour glass or battery pulls. This thing flies. The chip is a 2.2GHz Quad-Core cpu. The phone uses Slimport technology. Huh? That means you can use a Slimport adapter and plug an HDMI cable into the phone. Watch your netflix on tv or put documents up on a big screen with HDMI. Very nice feature.
3. The display is very good. It is very crisp and clear. 1440 x 1440. You can actually see the display if outdoors in the sunlight. Very little fading. The screen is 4.5" diagonal and 1:1 aspect ratio. YES THE SCREEN IS A TOUCH SCREEN PHONE.
There is no home button. Navigation is all swipes and gestures. Swipe down from the top for settings and other featuers. Swipe to the right to get to the Hub. Swipe right to get out of a message and back into the Hub (see below).
The screen is 60 characters wide. I read alot of pdfs and word docs during the day. I've gotten tired of pinching & zooming and twistin' & turnin' and landscaping & portraiting. Its nice just to be able to open up a doc and read it. The Passport way is a more natural way to read, period. Reading docs is much easier on the Passport.
4. Blackberries are known for the physical keyboards and the Passport is no different. I tried to use a touch screen keyboard for a year and went back to a physical one a year ago. I just plain prefer typing to tapping. The keyboard is a little wider than the typical Blackberry keyboard and takes a few days to get used to but I am definitely typing faster than on day 2. My fingers now fly on the keyboard and it took only a week to get to that point.
You can also still set up the speed dial keys. Personal tick of mine. I like the ability to just press a number and the phone immediately calls someone You can also set up the keys to help navigate on the phone. Thus you can set "T" to take you to the top of your text messages or "B" to take you to the bottom of a list such as contacts.
One new feature to the keyboard is scrolling. The keyboard can act as a cursor. Your fingers glide over the keys and the screen scrolls up and down. This feature can be turned off in settings.
5. The Hub is still the Hub. The Hub allows you to get all of your texts, emails, voicemails, tweets, Facebook messages, phone calls, Whatsapp messages, BBM messages, and even Instagram notifications all one one screen. The Hub can be customized as well. You may not want all of your phone calls and FB notifications appearing in the HUB so voila, they can be removed from the Hub. The Hub allows you to reply to messages while in the Hub, something that other phones won't let you do. It streamlines how to respond to emails, texts, and other messages without opening other apps. It even sends message notifications across the top of the screen when they arrive while you are in another app and allows you to reply without leaving that app.
ONE nice thing about the text and emails IS you CAN add multiple attachments to the message. You can add five pics to an email or 4 pdf documents, for example. Blackberry's strongest suit has always been emails and messaging. Its legacy continues in this vein. Its very convenient for work or if you want your phone to be a tool, not a toy.
6. LED notification lights can be set to different colors for different types of messages or contacts. Assign purple to Coach Miles and when you miss his text, you will know its him from the purple flashing light.
7. The speakers are very good. You won't listen to your music on speakers alone as they are not up to the level of say, beats by Dre, but I just listened to talk radio for an hour and the sound quality was nice.
8. If you get the phone, download the Crackberry app. Great site for questions and help. Just ask question in forums and members will quickly help you. If you have the app, open home screen, swipe left, choose forums, Then select blackberry 10 Hub, then Passport. Ask away. Great resource and the members are more than willing to help.
9. The size of the phone. Its a large phone. Literally the size of a passport. It WILL fit into your pockets. Shorts, jeans, gym shorts, dress pants, I've tried them all. It fits fine. The bodyglove cover does come with a holster. However, it is not something that is easily used with one hand while driving, which you shouldn't be doing anyway.
10. Apps. Phones are about apps and Blackberry has had a bad reputation for apps. The Passport can run Android apps. Here are the apps available on my phone.
a. Blackberry World is the Blackberry app store. Its limited in its offering but the Amazon Appstore that comes installed on the phone allows you to purchase Android apps. The BB World apps I have on my phone are: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Slacker (music), Igrann Pro (Instagram client), BBM, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Startracker, and Skyscanner, Dropbrox, The Box, Bloomberg, and Evernote. The paid apps are: BeMaps Pro (works off Goofle), Effectica (nice photo editor), Camera ++ (Photo app), BeWeather, CIA World Factbook,. Linkedin is offered as well but I removed it.
b. Amazon Appstore Android Apps. Here are the apps I use from this source: Pandora, Iheartradio, Tunein Radio Pro, Kindle, Washington Post, NPR, Drudge Report, The Hill, Scanner 5-0, Pac-Man, and yes, Angry Birds. Popular apps such as Pinterest and Spotify are available on Amazon Appstore as well. Looking at this list, does it seem I can't get any apps?
c. I also downloaded through the Snap app (email me to learn how to sideload it) Netflix, Nascar, and Photobucket. The one app that seems hard to get is Snapchat. Many other Android apps, however, are available through Snap.
11. The browser is really good. One underrated item about the BB phones has been the browser. Probably the best one among smart phones. Browser is so good that sometimes you don't really need the app. You can bookmark the website to the home screen of the Passport where it appears as an app. Did this with Fandango as it has a real good mobile site. The Wall Street Journal mobile site appears even better than the app does.
12. Where to get a Passport? AT&T is the only US carrier to sell the Passport. However, you can purchase the Passport at Amazon or Shopblackberry.com. The AT&T version has rounded corners (the company made BB change the shape to rounded corners). It is $199 on a two-year contract and $650 off-contract at ATT. HOWEVER, the Amazon price is $519 for a brand new phone and the used ones start at $376. There are red and white versions on Amazon as well. It is $549 on Shopblackberry.com.
The phones purchased at Amazon or Blackberry are unlocked. That means you will get the updates MUCH quicker than you will from AT&T. AT&T is notorious for releasing updates at a slug's pace.
13. Blackberry is offering insurance that is much better than that offered by AT&T. I was able to buy a protection plan that covered all damage for $4.50 a month and a deductible of only $129. It is available at Blackberry care protection plan. You can terminate the plan at any time.
14. Blend. New feature. Connect the phone to your ipad or laptop. You can read all of your text messages and other phone features on your computer. You can also respond to them and perform any other action that you could on your phone. Security nuts will love this featuer: When you disconnect the phone, everything disappears from the computer so your texts, for example, will not remain on your computer.
15. BUY THE CASE. Body Glove makes a combo case and holster that is sold at AT&T stores. Seido makes one as well. Keep in mind that AT&T has a different shape so when ordering cases, make sure you are ordering the right case. AT&Y only has Seido and Body Glove. All others are for the regular Passport purchased at Amazon and Shopblackberry. Get a screen protector as well. AT&T sells them with the phone. Its the best investment one can make on this phone.
16. Blackberry Assistant. BB's answer to Siri. Ask it if the Iphone is better than the Passport. It will actually answer the question.
17. AT&T versioon has wireless charging. Bedside mode is nice. The phone will ring when in bedside mode but message notifications are silent. It can be customized.
18. One last, little trick. The phone can act as a straight FM radio. Open the music player, select radio, and you can listen to Gallo all morning via radio waves. Just make sure your headphones are plugged in because it acts as the antenna.
Note: If you purchase one, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.