BlackBerry Passport “Very Valuable” Tool for this Millennial Tech Startup Founder

trotman couch squareThere are many who dream of being entrepreneurs, but the ones who actually take the initiative to get the ball rolling are the ones to watch.

For Dale Trotman, the drive was there “from a very young age.” The 26-year-old Barbadian is pursuing his dream with MedRegis, a budding startup that is creating a series of e-health apps for the medical industry in the region.

Entrepreneurship requires the right tools and the know-how to use them effectively to realize change and get results. For Trotman, his BlackBerry Passport is the right tool for his needs, which he features prominently in MedRegis’ promotional videos (below, and in lower screenshots).

(Read our other Q&As with Passport-wielding entrepreneurs and CEOs, including celebrity chef Tyler Florence, who is involved in 8 businesses, this serial tech entrepreneur, this IT consulting CEO, this non-profit founder, this pharmaceutical CEO and more. Or read the great reviews for the BlackBerry Leap, our budget-friendly all-touch device targeted at younger professionals.)

Matt Young: Tell me about the apps that MedRegis is working on.

Dale Trotman: Our approach is to create a suite of four apps which center on the individual duties of each major professional in ambulatory care – front desk, nurse, doctor and pharmacist – designed to assure efficient workflow processes from one professional to the next throughout the entire care of a patient.

This has created a buzz within the ambulatory care community in Barbados. Many clinics and doctor offices have offered their facilities and staff to pilot the solutions.

Young: How did you hear about and get the BlackBerry Passport, and why was it your pick?

Trotman: BlackBerry has been my cell phone choice from the first BlackBerry Bold through the Z10. When it comes to productivity, no one has captured that concept quite like BlackBerry, especially with the BlackBerry Hub.

When BlackBerry introduced the BlackBerry Passport, the first feature that captured my attention was the screen size. I remember saying to myself, “Documents and emails must look amazing on this device.” I can remember actually stalking waiting for them to be restocked in October and November. My final decision to upgrade from my Z10 was a combination of the BlackBerry Hub, the revolutionary keyboard with its new features that enhance typing, and the screen size – great for emails and documents.

trotman pp

Young: What do you see as the defining benefits and what are your favorite apps?

Trotman: I love the ease with which I can replace the use of a tablet PC with the BlackBerry Passport, due to its enhanced mobility and screen size.

BlackBerry Blend has also been an amazing experience. Many times while doing work on my laptop I miss important emails and BBM messages. It integrates these applications into my schedule so I can take notice of other important events, even when busy.

I utilize BBM and I have a custom PIN, and I also use Password Keeper, Dropbox, OneDrive and Box, BlackBerry Express, Documents To Go, BlackBerry Blend, BlackBerry Travel, Evernote and Remember.

MY: How does the long battery life affect you? Is it liberating?

DT: When productivity is one of the key areas that will define your success, battery life becomes crucial. The battery life of the BlackBerry Passport is truly amazing. I can go more than 24 hours in some cases without having a dead battery and this is essential when I am traveling or on the road and still need to conduct business as usual.

MY: So overall, the BlackBerry Passport is a valuable tool in pursuing your goals?

DT: It’s a very valuable device for me as an entrepreneur. Emails are core to my entrepreneurial journey and the BlackBerry Hub keeps me organized and on track in a way that the iPhone or an Android device cannot.

Also, the widescreen has been a huge advantage over other cell phones. For example, in April, MedRegis made the finals of TIC Americas X-Edition entrepreneurial competition in Panama.

trotman and pm

Trotman with Barbados Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart.

As one of thirty-two finalists chosen from over 2,700 entrants from across the Americas, we were judged on our pitches to the judges in a private session and also we were judged on how we marketed our projects at our public booths.

I had the perfect idea to utilize my BlackBerry Passport to assist me. Instead of being in the confines of the booth, I preloaded all of my documents and videos and created a mini presentation using BlackBerry Express and made myself mobile with the hope of creating that ‘WOW’ factor – and it worked.

People were impressed with my approach and they also took notice of the BlackBerry Passport. The comments ranged from how the screen limits the need to scroll when previewing documents at a readable size, to the amazing screen resolution, to how productive BlackBerry Express is.

At the end of the competition I was the recipient of the Social Innovation Award.

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BlackBerry Leap Customers and Reviewers Continue to Hail its Affordable Productivity Prowess


The BlackBerry Leap, has been impressing customers and reviewers with its impressive suite of productivity features packed into a familiar, affordable, all-touch device users hail as a “great handset.”

Now rolling out across the globe, the BlackBerry Leap features real work and communication tools that redefine what professionals should expect at an “entry level” price.

From the BlackBerry Hub’s all-in-one streamlining of email, messaging, calls and social media accounts to BlackBerry Blend’s substantial workflow continuity power and the BlackBerry Calendar, it’s all available out of the box at an unmatchable price point.

Let’s take a look at a few customer reviews, then go on to the latest reviews from the press.

Customers Say this of the BlackBerry Leap: “Great Smartphone, Great Price”

Over at Amazon’s UK site, you have review titles ranging from “WOW” to “Great smartphone, great price,” and “Great handset from BlackBerry!”

These initial customer reviewers all award the Leap 5/5 stars, and with good reason: it does what they need it to.

Leap customer reviews

Amazing phone,” praises “jonatha,” who writes, “Honestly, Blackberry [devices] are changing so fast. [The Leap offers] brilliant speed and great battery life.”

Verified buyer “Christopher Pope” writes, “I’m really pleased with this phone…I looked at the iPhone 6 and just saw more of the same old iPhone. Boring! The Leap has the best battery which actually lasts all day with heavy use. I’m really pleased as my iPhone used to die several times a day. The Siri-type Assistant seems to be more intelligent. The price was excellent too…I’m glad I stuck with my instinct.”

And “Mrs R.” is enjoying her upgrade, writing, “I just upgraded from a Z10 and I’m really impressed. [T]he screen size is great and it feels like a really sturdy phone. Easily set it up from my BlackBerry Link […] and I didn’t lose any data. Great phone at a great price!

Meanwhile, over at Rogers in Canada, “techjunkie” calls the Leap a “great entry-level device,” writing, “[It’s] very snappy [with a] nice durable feel to it, [and a] nice big bright display. [It features] the only desktop messaging software that works on iPad/Mac Windows and Android [and it’s a] great business tool [with] battery life that is as powerful as flagship devices. Great device for those who don’t want expensive contracts and who value their data and information more secured.

Press Reviewers say the BlackBerry Leap “Means Business”

In addition to satisfied customers, reviewers are still putting out the good vibes for the BlackBerry Leap.

The Street’s Gary Krakow writes, “BlackBerry is still producing a solid platform and worthy devices to help power users take care of business . . . [T]he company’s latest Hub software system excels at handling numerous messaging accounts…The Leap runs on the latest Blackberry operating system [and] runs the most modern BlackBerry apps [and] features BlackBerry’s Blend app which integrates messaging, media and content . . . BlackBerry Assistant [allows] users to use voice and text commands to manage both work and personal items…We found Leap to be worthy of the BlackBerry name. It’s fast, easy to master and is unequalled in its ability to deliver messages in one location . . . Overall, the Leap is a very good smartphone and a terrific business tool that BlackBerry is offering at a super-attractive price.”

Over at SiliconIndia: “The Blackberry Leap […] brings along a whole new package this time. The company has always made use of some exceptional quality on their handsets with their own proprietary OS BlackBerry 10.3.1 and updated applications and features…The BlackBerry Leap […] [features] a classy look with a slim face and neatly strapped lines on its side . . . [T]he display is [great] on the Leap where the text appeared to be crisp [and] colors pop nicely…BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 […] comes with loads of neat tricks where it runs most of the Android apps and [the Hub] lets you see the messages and respond to them quickly…This is a phone that would be a great buy.”

Fellow Indian site LiveMint’s Vishal Mathur praises the BlackBerry Leap’s killer software, writing, “The best feature of the BlackBerry 10 OS is the Hub [which you can customize] in many ways, making sure you see only the mails and social media updates you want to. BlackBerry still remains the best platform for receiving email on your phone—our test mails consistently showed up on the Leap at least a few seconds before they did on an Android phone. BlackBerry also has what is possibly the best on-screen keyboard among all smartphones right now.”

BlackBerryIndiaBlog also has a great review video:


More to Come

The BlackBerry Leap is barely out of the gate, but as these early birds are discovering, the value to be had for the money is exceptional.

Stay tuned to INSIDE BlackBerry for the latest news on the BlackBerry Leap, including pricing and availability, which you can find in an updated article HERE.


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BlackBerry to Cut Jobs Worldwide as It Consolidates Businesses

The Canadian smartphone and mobile solutions provider did not specify how many employees would be affected.
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BlackBerry Passport Users Leave Glowing Reviews at Carrier Websites Around the World

red black and white passport stack
The BlackBerry Passport turned heads and garnered widespread attention from customers and the press when it debuted on ShopBlackBerry and Amazon in the fall.

From its striking design to amazing “get-stuff-done” features including the BlackBerry Hub, touch-sensitive keyboard, BlackBerry Blend, and much more, the productivity powerhouse has been receiving rave reviews across the board at sites including Amazon (4.6/5 average of 1,000+ reviews), Carphone Warehouse (5/5 average) and FlipKart (5/5 average).

There are also a ton of press reviews, which we’ve featured in roundups you can read HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Customers have also been taking to the websites of our carrier partners to tout the device’s virtues, be it at AT&T in the U.S., Rogers in Canada, Orange in France, Vodafone in Germany, and others elsewhere.

(Check out THIS ARTICLE for the full list of purchase options.)

And fresh off the presses, ZDNet ranks the Passport among its 10 best smartphones of the year.

Let’s take a look at a few.

AT&T (U.S.)

Customers in the U.S. have awarded the BlackBerry Passport a stellar 5/5 average rating across 113 reviews at AT&T, with virtually all of them giving it perfect scores and beating out the iPhone 6’s average rating of 4.3 stars.


AT&T Customer “Mt person” calls the BlackBerry Passport “a honey of a phone,” writing, “I have used BlackBerrys for some time. This phone just works and is extremely productive. I worried because I have smaller hands. Didn’t have to worry long. BlackBerrys just keep going . . . BlackBerry gets it done and the hardware is a dream. You won’t go wrong and the screen is amazing. Still discovering all the little things that have been included. I work on social media and I need a phone that would hold up. I got it in the Passport. Thanks, BlackBerry.”


To “Crispin_Gatieza,” it’s “worth every penny.” As Gatieza writes, “This is a proper smartphone for those who appreciate quality hardware, robust communication features and some eye candy. The keyboard is ingenious with its 3-row design and a sliver of capacitive options on the screen. You get a compact design that’s well balanced and don’t have to sacrifice display real estate . . . Do yourself a favor and check this phone out for yourself.”


To “ksilvers,” the BlackBerry Passport is the “best device ever”:

“I have used several other BlackBerrys, Androids, iPhones but the Passport hands down is absolutely brilliant. This device is superior to anything on the market. It is innovative and the BlackBerry 10 UI is the best operating system I’ve used. BB10 is unbelievably fluid and multitasking. People don’t know what they’re missing.”


There are many more excellent reviews up at the AT&T’s website, and you can read them all HERE.

Rogers (Canada)

For another perfect average rating of 5/5 stars, look no further than Rogers in Canada, where 47 reviewers have chimed in with their admiration.


Rogers customer “JoJo” recommends people “do wide,” writing, “Has been 6 months with this BlackBerry and I plan to have it for a long time. This device just keeps on running (true BlackBerry) with its great battery life and durable structure . . . Overall, this is a great smartphone and I have no regrets.”


“SG14” argues the BlackBerry Passport “beats any other phone out there,” writing, “I have never used a smartphone as groundbreaking and exhilarating as this. Highly recommend over the iPhone 6 Plus.”


You can read the rest of the Rogers customer reviews HERE.

Orange (France)

French customers are having their say at Orange’s carrier page, again with a 5/5 star average (seeing a theme, yet?)


Thanks to Google Translate, I was able to get an idea of their goodwill.

For example, Orange customer “jeffuspsr” writes, “The best phone I have had to date. Very nice screen, great keyboard, customization options, a very good speaker, the Hub is perfect, BlackBerry Blend is huge . . . A true innovation.”


To “wikioklin,” the BlackBerry Passport is “superb”:

“After a little hesitation, I decided to buy the BlackBerry quickly after seeking opinions on the internet. I do not regret my purchase. Functional telephone, very well finished and I find it very beautiful. Using it is easy and I think I’ll quickly be unable to do without it. A phone an original design, but is very pleasant to look at and to touch . . . The battery is superb . . . Congratulations to BlackBerry.”


You can read the original French reviews at the Orange carrier website HERE.

Vodafone (Germany)

Over at the German carrier Vodafone, if you were to ask customers if they “Sprechen Sie Deutsch?” (Do you speak German?), they would likely say “Ja” (Yes), and then regale you with stories of how their BlackBerry Passports are “ehrfürchtige” (meaning “awesome”).

Again, a perfect 5/5 average!


Here is a final customer review to wrap up with. (Google Translate liked this one, but the rest, not so much.)

Verified customer “Peter” writes, “Very good smartphone. Initially some getting used to because of the format, but after 2 days you do not want to miss it. Finally Overview in mail, calendar etc. The keyboard is super like all BlackBerrys, the battery has a crazy runtime. The OS is terrific and even superior to iOS by far. By contrast, iOS looks like a toy for toddlers! BlackBerry is back. Very nice! . . . Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.”


Check out the rest of the reviews in the original German HERE.

Tri colour passport
Join the Ranks of Satisfied BlackBerry Passport Owners

These are but a few of the many, many customer reviews floating around on the web.

The BlackBerry Passport has stoked the passions of BlackBerry fans around the world, and now is a perfect time to see what the commotion is all about.

Check out THIS ARTICLE for the full list of purchase options, including ShopBlackBerry, where you can buy an unlocked Passport in any of 3 colors for $549 (U.S.; prices may vary in other countries). Stay tuned to INSIDE BlackBerry for the latest BlackBerry news.

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Microsoft, Xiaomi, Others Eyeing BlackBerry Acquisition: Report

Microsoft is said to be the frontrunner for the BlackBerry acquisition while Xiaomi, Lenovo, and Huawei are also lined up as investors.
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Hacks on a Plane

Originally posted on Inside BlackBerry for Business Blog:

Passenger airplane travelling through sky against stormy bolt cloudscape

Working in IT security my entire career, I’ve seen some amazing things – from hacked insulin pumps to hacked cars to an ATM spitting out money live on stage. But of all those news stories, presentations and discussions, this might be the craziest one:

“A cybersecurity consultant told the FBI he hacked into computer systems aboard airliners up to 20 times and managed to control an aircraft engine during a flight, according to federal court documents.”

Now there’s still debate around whether the consultant actually interfered with the operation of the plane in-flight or simply proved that he could do so in a simulated test, but what’s clear is that the separation between the in-flight passenger entertainment systems and the electronic systems that control the airplane is nowhere near as safe as it needs to be.

Security is like health: We all know it’s important, but we often…

View original 360 more words

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This CEO’s Colleagues Became Hooked on the BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry Blend After One Demo

Andreas Ponte is CEO at Swiss IT solutions provider Belsoft Collaboration AG.

An avid BlackBerry user who blogs about his affinity for BlackBerry tech, Ponte caught our attention after he tweeted about the positive reaction his BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry Blend received from peers at a recent meeting.

German CEO 1

Credit: Andreas Ponte

This Zurich resident credits the productivity boost of using Passport and Blend together for giving him the time to live off the clock and enjoy the rich cultural experiences offered in his region.

(Read our other interviews with other power professionals happy with their Passport, including celebrity chef Tyler Florence, this serial tech entrepreneurIT consultantreal estate agentsenior hospital executivemanufacturing executivenon-profit foundersoftware engineertech journalistlegal administratorpharmaceutical CEOsoftware managerinsurance salesmancorporate IT manager and these workers from multiple industries.)

Brea Watts: What sold you on the BlackBerry Passport?

Ponte: Initially I was curious because of the form factor and the keyboard, then I read customer reviews and became really interested. My Z10 was also starting to show its age so I thought this would be the perfect upgrade.

Watts: What piqued your colleagues’ interest about BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry Blend?

Ponte: The BlackBerry Passport only had to sit on a table to make people gawk at the screen size and keyboard. Many people at that particular event were using Q10 devices and were looking for a keyboard device again. I showed my peers some functions of the adaptive keyboard and they were impressed. After trying it for themselves they were hooked.

I also showed them how easy it is to access files stored on the internal network without the need to use a VPN by using BlackBerry Blend. The fact that you don’t need to install any software other then BlackBerry Blend on all of your devices was a great selling point.

Watts: What type of work have you accomplished with the BlackBerry Passport?

Ponte: Shortly after I got the BlackBerry Passport I went on a business trip for a two-day conference. I brought my laptop with me but I barely touched it. I answered all of messages, took notes, modified documents, practiced my presentation, took pictures and so on.

Shot taken using Ponte’s BlackBerry Passport Credit: Andreas Ponte

The amazing battery life got me throughout the day without needing to recharge at all. Since then I’ve reduced my need to use a laptop, especially while traveling.

Watts: Can you describe how BlackBerry Blend has been useful to your job?

Ponte: It’s a time saver that makes getting work done more efficient and flawless.

I used to constantly send myself files, pictures etc. to get information and data from one device to the other. But with BlackBerry Blend I can directly access the files, transfer them or attach them directly to an email.

I’m able to access files which are stored in the office without needing to connect via VPN on my laptop or tablet through BlackBerry Work Drive. Just a few days ago I was working from home and needed to check text and BBM messages but had misplaced my BlackBerry. Instead of wasting time looking for it, I just used BlackBerry Blend from my desktop to get my messages and information.

I really love the BlackBerry Hub because I get all of my messages – email, BBM, social streams and more in one space. With BlackBerry Blend and the BlackBerry Passport I don’t have to login all these places just to connect with several clients.

Watts: It seems you’ve gotten a considerable productivity bump with the BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry Blend.

Ponte: Definitely! As I mentioned before, it’s much easier to work and interact with data with the combination of the two.

I’m able to write and prepare more items with the BlackBerry Passport because the keyboard is that great and allows for very quick typing.

Watts: How would you rate it?

Ponte: Outstanding!

The BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry Blend with the functionality of BlackBerry OS 10.3, the Hub, and the battery life are perfect for all of my needs.

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How BlackBerry Blend Saved my Bacon Twice Thrice . . . Part 2

In an earlier post about BlackBerry Blend, I explained how I used it to access important information from my BlackBerry Passport from thousands of miles away. In an emergency, Blend came through for me. Blend has also made my life more convenient and comfortable at a much closer proximity.

Brrr, do you know how cold it gets in Canada?

I’m not typically one for stereotypes, except when I can use them to my advantage in corporate blog posts to paint a more interesting picture. In this case, I’m playing up the notion that my home country is an icy tundra, year round.

donny blend desk

On this particular day in July, I had just finished shovelling out of three feet of snow, warmed up the car and drove into the office. It wasn’t until after I’d hauled myself through various parking lots, security checkpoints and four flights of stairs to reach my desk that I realized I had arrived there sans BlackBerry Passport.

I pressed my nose on the frosted window pane, looked in the general direction of my car and muttered some less-than-savoury words to myself. Alas, my BlackBerry was sitting on the passenger seat, and I was a frigid five-minute walk away from retrieving it. I had an impending meeting to attend, and a series of tasks to tackle throughout the morning. I would be BlackBerry-less for at least a few hours. . . the horror. I returned to my desk defeated and feeling lost without my BlackBerry, when it hit me. . . Blend! I exclaimed.

(Read about six other scenarios where BlackBerry Blend can save your day.)

I didn’t even miss a beat

I was at my desk, so naturally I had access to my corporate email and calendar via my standard email client (Outlook in this case), and my desk phone. Let’s face it, though: the real conversations are happening via text and BBM. I logged into Blend and was able to easily keep on top of everything, as if my BlackBerry was right at my side.

One thing that I really like about Blend is that it makes it easy to share articles and links with people via BBM. I do a lot of reading, research and meme-ing (is that a thing?) on my computer via the browser. If I want to share that over BBM, I would first have to get the link from my computer to my BlackBerry (usually by email). . . but with Blend I can just paste the link. It saves a few steps, and those equal precious seconds that I’m more than happy to have back.blend comp

It just works. . . really

The astonishing thing for me (other than the fact that forgetful-me forgot my BlackBerry somewhere again) was that my BlackBerry was connected over cellular and my computer over Wi-Fi. . . they don’t have to be on the same network, or EVEN the same technology. In my first post, I described how well it works when both devices are on Wi-Fi. . . but Blend doesn’t limit you to just that. In my next post, I’ll demonstrate how and why you would use USB (yet another way to connect).

Bring it all home, now

BlackBerry Blend is a simple program that is FREE to our customers that adds incredible value. It allows you to connect to priceless information on your BlackBerry with your PC/Mac or tablet. This innovation brings the productivity of BlackBerry Hub onto countless other screens and puts you in control of what device you work from. Best of all, it’s secure, making clever use of BlackBerry’s renowned infrastructure, because IT managers need to sleep through the night, too. I’ve become the vocal BlackBerry Blend cheerleader around the office because it has genuinely improved the way I work AND bailed me out of some situations not once, not twice. . . but thrice.

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BlackBerry Elite Users Share how THEY get the most out of their BlackBerry 10 Devices

Our latest BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 offers an incredibly powerful suite of productivity tools, from BlackBerry Blend to the BlackBerry Hub, the BlackBerry Calendar, and much, much more. (Check out our BB OS 10.3.1 overview HERE.)

With the continuing momentum in BlackBerry handsets, including the BlackBerry Passport, BlackBerry Classic, and now the BlackBerry Leap, we wanted to feature the inside scoop from BlackBerry Elites, those BlackBerry-selected, well-positioned power players from key industries. It’s similar to the tip roundup from BlackBerry employees we shared recently.

The BlackBerry Elites featured here include:

Vivek Bhattacharyya

Vivek Bhattacharyya, an IT Specialist at IBM




Simon Hain

Simon Hain, a BlackBerry Developer at ISEC7, a strategic partner of BlackBerry in Hamburg Germany



Jim CourtneyJim Courtney, the Editor / Publisher for Voice on the Web, an independent online publication covering Skype, smartphones and IP-based communications



Christian Brier

Christian Brier, founder of




Elias Attieh

Elias’s admin and founder (and a chef!)



Oliver Martinez

Oliver Martinez, a BlackBerry 10 Mobile Applications Developer




Bill Archer

and Bill Archer, the VP of Enterprise Solutions at Wavefront, a Canadian Wireless Commercialization and Research company.



We asked each of them some questions as a springboard, and here’s what they said.


What do you use your BlackBerry for the most, and why?

Vivek Bhattacharyya: “The OS is full of wonderful features and fluid design that anyone IMG_20150514_220249new to the BB10 world would love. I use my device mostly for coordinating my life. The BlackBerry Calendar is robust and accurate.I love instant replies – the ability to reply instantly to messages that pop down allows me to quickly respond to requests and questions people may have.The ability to customize how apps notify me and even individuals allows me to categorize the priority of how I need to respond. For editing, the keyboards on the all-touch devices are amazing. The autocorrect just is fantastic and the ability to delete quickly with the two finger swipe delete (multiple words) is key when trying to quickly edit emails or messages.”

Simon Hain: “I use mine for Twitter, RSS feeds, web browsing, BBM, email, navigation, and getting train and bus tickets.”

Jim Courtney: “For communications, the Hub’s centralized messaging management is great, and visually, the display on the BlackBerry Passport has amazing quality, especially for handling video. As for the browser, many apps and websites have mobile responsive versions. It’s fast and, in fact, supports a couple of activities that surprise even the developers. There’s support for mobile responsive modes of Gmail, Google Maps, and Google+.”

Christian Briere: “I use my BlackBerry all day, from as soon as I get up to when I go to sleep. I use it as personal device, but also to manage my blog and BlackBerry community. I’m always available on Twitter, BBM Channel, BBM and Mails.”

Elias Attieh: “I use my BlackBerry almost 18 hours a day. I live connected to my computer, either at work or at home. I am always looking information on the internet, emailing with clients and responding to merchandise orders.
Leap hub

Oliver Martinez: “When it comes to work, I only use my BlackBerry because it’s the best device to work on.”

Bill Archer: “I recommend the Hub: where you can add Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and
other social media feeds and then allow those feeds to ‘find friends’ in Contacts. The Contacts application is a really powerful business tool when used this way. BlackBerry Assistant is different than Siri and Cortana but in a good way, and BlackBerry Blend allows you to use your device even if you’ve left it at home. Using a full sized keyboard to handle all aspects of your email, text messages, and BBM feeds is a great feature.”

What do you appreciate most about the OS?

Vivek: “BlackBerry Blend is a powerful way to keep on top of what’s going on with your
phone with what’s going on in a laptop/desktop-oriented work environment. With universal search the need for an icon is gone since you just have to type two or three letters before BB10 figures out what app you want! BlackBerry Assistant is great when in the gym or driving when you don’t want to use your hands to launch apps and send emails. You can also have web shortcuts on the home screen – I have countless shortcuts to websites I often visit, and the BlackBerry Browser is the fastest browser available.”

Simon: “The OS is very responsive, secure and stable, with quick access to everything in the Hub. And I can access to most of it from PC or tablet via BlackBerry Blend.

Jim: “In addition to the communications capabilities, I also appreciate BlackBerry Blend, with its ability to follow device activity on a PC or tablet. I also like how the OS handles multitasking and notifications.”

Christian: “What I love is the Hub. You have all of your notifications inside it. Emails, social networking, and even some apps (QuickPost, Blaq, Inst10, and many more), BBM, SMS… All you need is in this.”

Elias: “In general, the operating system has greatly improved with each update, bringing with them more features and efficiency. The most wonderful feature of the operating system is the fluidity in the connectedness between using applications and writing emails, all while answering instant messages via BBM. The fantastic BlackBerry Hub gives you better mobility within the device.”

Oliver: “I appreciate the user interface, user experience, productivity tools, the BlackBerry Hub, and the useful keyboard shortcuts.”

Bill: “It does everything a BlackBerry should do, very efficiently, BUT it also adds Android app functionality as well. The gestures take a little while to get used to, but then you find that you want ALL touch screen devices to work this way.”

BB_Passport_Travellers_reveal.tif edited

When traveling, what do you find the most useful?

Vivek: “I love this phone when I travel. I don’t travel much but those 4-6 times I do…

BlackBerry travel organizes all my hotels and travel information in once spot! Sometimes data isn’t available when I travel, so the Wi-Fi antennas on these phones are great and I always have great signal. I love the ability to limit how my email handles attachments and large files, and the ability to stop it from auto downloading to my phone is crucial when you don’t want to use roaming data. Also, BlackBerry maps is very thorough in its map listings and is great as a GPS when lost!”

Simon: “I like long battery lifetime, easy access to boarding passes and tickets, and navigation and maps.”

Jim: “Keeping current with communications activities – email, SMS and social networking messages – is important.”

Christian: bbm logo“I’m always connected through my BlackBerry when I travel, using social networks and BBM. BBM is important because I have to be connected for my blog ( with BlackBerry Native Developers and my community team (”

Elias: “When I travel I may be in constant connection with my loved ones. I have the ability to use a GPS to see how to get to my destination and locate hotels, restaurants, and even entertainment venues.”

Oliver: “I utilize the BlackBerry Browser, the Hub and BlackBerry Travel.”

Bill: “The devices work well everywhere in the world, it seems, aside from two American networks. I have used my BlackBerrys throughout Asia from Japan to Australia and everywhere in between as well as all of Europe and the Middle East. As I’m on Rogers in Canada I seem to get LTE roaming while traveling, too. A large memory card allows the ability to bring along lots of supporting documentation as well as music and videos. (Currently my Passport carries an additional 128 GB card).”

What are your favorite apps from BlackBerry World and the Amazon Appstore?

Vivek: “BlackBerry World: Untappd is a great way to find waterholes in those cities you’re not familiar with and also find out about beers you want to try but may be afraid to given you’re not sure how it’ll taste. Blaq offers a nice clean efficient way to handle my Twitter feeds. Amazon Appstore: Fitbit – pair with your Fitbit and keep track of your health!”


Simon: “BlackBerry World: Blaq is the best Twitter client, gNewsReader is the best RSS reader, BeMaps Pro offers good Google Maps integration, and the Kindle app from the Amazon Appstore lets you continue reading anywhere.”

Jim: “Skype offers excellent performance, especially on the BlackBerry Passport. I use Tim Horton’s with NFC payments. BlackBerry Maps – with support of almost real time traffic conditions, is used frequently for reaching destinations. PamFax makes my BlackBerry my entire fax setup (but then I’m biased as the product manager). I also use Cineplex for purchasing movie tickets.”

Christian: “I only use BlackBerry Native Applications from the BlackBerry World. That’s also why I’ve founded my blog dedicated to the 260,000+ BlackBerry Native applications and their developers. There are so many I often use I’ve written an article about them: Blaq for Twitter, Inst10 for Instagram, QuickPost, Whine for Vine, SuperTube for YouTube, SelfieCam, Music Search, KloudMix, Snap2Share, BBM and many more.”

Elias: “My favorite application is BBM, of course. I also use is Twitter so I can see my social networking company, Insta10 since I’m always sharing photos with friends, followers and customers.”

Oliver: “I like Pinterest from the Amazon App Store. It’s a great and smooth app for sharing and collecting images.”

Bill: “TRAVEL: Air Canada, BlackBerry Travel,, Waze, FourSquare. Productivity: Evernote, Focus@Will, BRIA, Skype, Lync (Android version. Grrr!), Scan-to-Text, Mega, CIBC Banking, CIBC Mobile Wallet, Pay-by-Phone parking, RoboForm, TeamViewer, Energy Hub (BC Hydro), BeWeather Pro, Bloomberg. Entertainment & Other: Reddit In Motion, FitBit, Chamberlain Garage, Nest, Cineplex, and Flixster. These are all Android applications but they work perfectly on my Passport.”

What do you think are some of the surprising things people can do with a modern BlackBerry that new users likely haven’t considered?

Vivek: “People have said BB doesn’t have apps, but that ‘app gap’ isn’t there. Browsing experience – those with older BBOS devices may be used to the old experience, however this new browser is fast and efficient.”

Simon: “You can use Android apps, but surprisingly, most people don’t know that. New devices have an excellent and very fast web browser, and you can use the Hub to access all your messages at once. You can use BlackBerry Blend to access (nearly) everything from PC or tablet.”

Jim: “You can use the BlackBerry Passport keyboard as a trackpad, use predictive text tom probably type about 30 percent of characters sent in messages, get real-time video calling with excellent HD video quality using BBM or Skype, and use the browser’s reading mode which is very useful for small-font websites. The browser supports links from Facebook and Twitter effectively.”


Christian: “People can use their BlackBerry on their computer using BlackBerry Blend, have a better browser with private navigation, and the Hub. They can also use multimedia functions easily. Users have only to slide to use a modern BlackBerry and it’s a more logical approach.”

Elias: “And infinite number of things can be done with a modern BlackBerry, from email, chat with friends and clients, all without having to jump in and out of apps, because of the BlackBerry Hub.”

Oliver: “People need to know about the BlackBerry Hub, learn how fast the browser is with its beautiful and great user experience, and discover how productive they can be using a BlackBerry 10 device with the tools provided.”


Bill: “Very few people understand that BB10 supports Android apps very easily. It’s also easy to use iTunes on the PC to synchronise music. Some lawyers I work with were amazed that I could carry a whole case file (Activesync, Outlook, Office 365) and have instant access to all my files and documents. For people moving from BBOS to BB10 the speed and functionality of the Browser is really an eye opener.”

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Engadget Readers: BlackBerry Passport a Powerful Productivity Tool

The great thing about online product reviews is that the ‘official review’ is just a jumping off point. As commenters add their own experiences, readers get a well-rounded perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of the product.

Such has been the case with leading tech blog Engadget’s review of the BlackBerry Passport. While Engadget gave the device a solid 8/10, actual users of the device rate it even higher — with an average of 8.9/10. Engadget highlighted some of the top reader reviews, and it provides a nice insight into why users love their BlackBerry Passports.

(Also read this roundup of happy Passport users who had switched from an iPhone, these five-star ratings from buyers posting at their favorite online stores, design awards for the Passport, and these Q&As with power professionals loving their Passport, including celebrity chef Tyler Florence, this serial tech entrepreneurIT consultantreal estate agentsenior hospital executivemanufacturing executivenon-profit foundersoftware engineertech journalistlegal administratorpharmaceutical CEOsoftware managerinsurance salesmancorporate IT manager and these workers from multiple industries).

passport jacketIt Fits

One of the biggest questions users have about the BlackBerry Passport is: will it fit in my pocket? Engadget commenter nixxonexxo says that it fits in a pocket just “fine for a phone this large.” Other commenters verify the Passport is eminently pocketable: it will fit in skinny jeans, jackets and the top pocket of a blazer, for example.

Square screen has advantages

The BlackBerry Passport’s 4.5-inch square screen defines the device. It’s what gives it its distinctive shape. And, it’s not just for style. When it comes to the Passport’s 1,440 x 1,440 screen, form truly does follow function.

For example, ZzaqpazZ runs a metal-fabrication business and needs to review blueprints and CAD files on-the-go. On the Passport, these looked “much better than the typical rectangular phones.” The Passport also offers the option for taking square, full-screen photos which Engadget commenter aspani says actually “works great in reports.”

Productivity powerhouse

The BlackBerry Passport’s unique form factor helps users get real work done. Engadget commenter goodtobe says their Passport “has already saved me having to dash to the laptop several times.” Ttwb says that it’s “the first device that doesn’t give me the feeling I need to return to my computer to answer longer emails.” POPPKPD says the device serves as a “mobile office” while lloydlawrence sums it up nicely by writing that the Passport “really delivers the tools you need to get you through the day.”

Image of someone typing on a BlackBerry Passport

Right tool for the right user

As of Thursday, Engadget’s roundup has elicited 80+ more reader comments, including first-time BlackBerry user zedd88 who says the Passport “has been a God send” and “truly one good device.” Check out more of the comments here.

As John Chen has written, the BlackBerry Passport is a “clear indication of BlackBerry’s singular focus: We are innovating mobile technology for serious users who care about serious productivity.” For those users, it’s a powerful tool.

That makes it a polarizing device. For a user focused on getting things done, though, the BlackBerry Passport provides some compelling capabilities. nixxonexxo sums it up nicely by writing “if you’re looking for security and productivity, then this is the only phone you need consider this year.”

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