BlackBerry Passport review: Ticket to ride

GSMArena team, 15 October 2014.

Display

The BlackBerry Passport sports a 4.5-inch square display of 1440 x 1440px. It's quite an unconventional resolution, but it's certainly not the first BlackBerry to have a square display. It is the densest, however, as the resulting pixel density is around 453ppi.

Here's a look at the pixel arrangement under our dedicated microscope.

Blackberry Passport

Taking a look at the display in more detail, we found that it has some great contrast thanks to some deep blacks and not bad whites either. We were only able to measure at 100% display brightness as there is no way to stop the ambient light sensor from adjusting the brightness automatically, which ruined the 50% brightness test. Still, the contrast of the Passport's 4.5-inch display is comparable to the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, and beats out the units found on the LG G3 and the Sony Xperia Z3.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
HTC One (M8) 0.2 245 1219 0.46 577 1256
Samsung Galaxy S5 0 274 0 529
LG G3 0.14 109 763 0.72 570 789
Oppo Find 7 0.22 248 1135 0.4 448 1123
OnePlus One 0.39 317 805 0.75 598 799
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact - - - 0.77 725 942
Xiaomi Redmi 1S 0.08 158 1437 0.45 615 1370
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 0.17 208 1197 0.52 705 1361
BlackBerry Passport - - - 0.46 617 1341


Outdoor legibility is also good with a sunlight contrast ratio of almost 2.6, which places it well within the upper half of our charts. You should have no difficulty seeing what's on the screen in all but the brightest environments. Viewing angles also showed no contrast or color shift.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    3.567
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3.509
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    3.174
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia T3
    2.609
  • BlackBerry Passport
    2.595
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    1.905
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Windows Phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
    1.672
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    1.35
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1.331
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Asus Memo Pad 7 ME176C
    1.198
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

Battery life

The BlackBerry Passport sports a hefty 3,450mAh battery that should be able to post excellent numbers considering the hardware specs. The 4.5-inch is a square 1440 x 1440px display, which is the same amount of pixels as a standard FullHD display, so expect a similar battery draw to a 4.5-inch 1080p device.

As expected, the two most battery-intensive tasks in our tests were video playback and web browsing. At just over 10 hours each, the two results are above average for its class. This comes alongside over 25 hours of 3G calling.

All three combined with the battery draw in standby, resulted in a very respectable 73 hours of endurance rating. 73 hours of endurance means that the BlackBerry Passport will be able to last just over 3 days on a full charge if you perform 1 hour each of watching videos, 3G calls, and web browsing per day.

Blackberry Passport

Considering the high display fidelity of 453ppi, this is a great result.

Connectivity

BlackBerry designed the Passport to be a world-wide business phone and it's chock-full of telephony options. It features quad-band 2G and penta-band 3G connectivity, alongside a boatload of 4G options including support for up to 10 LTE bands depending on your market.

Local connectivity is fully featured as well. Dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac handles local Internet connections and Bluetooth 4.0 handles accessories. There's also a microUSB port for data connectivity.

NFC is also on board, allowing easy exchange of data. You can use the dedicated app to create tags (e.g. a tag with contact info), which you can send to another NFC-enabled phone. The app also handles reading tags and storing the data for when you're on the receiving end.

You don't need NFC to transfer tags either - the Passport can create a QR code and read QR codes too, which is great for communicating with phones that don't have NFC.

You can also share the Passport with an HDTV using Miracast. Wi-Fi Direct is also on board.

While we're at it, we have to go over BlackBerry Link - the PC Suite for the Passport. The phone has the install file for your computer, just plug it in and install the program. Once Link is on your PC, the Passport will appear as a drive on your computer. You don't even need a USB cable to transfer files - as it will appear as a network drive if it's on the same Wi-Fi network as your computer.

Link can schedule phone backups and automatic sync of content (both docs and multimedia). That's great with the Wi-Fi option - it will automatically sync your docs at work and then your music at home.

A similar yet more robust feature is BlackBerry Blend, which is currently only available on the BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry P'9983, because only they run the latest BB OS 10.3. Blend allows you to use your Passport for sending and receiving messages, checking your calendar or accessing all your device's files without ever touching the Passport itself. Instead, you use your your computer or tablet (iOS or Android) and do everything from there.

Both Link and Blend are connected through a BlackBerry ID account.