BLACKBERRY PASSPORT ‘TOUCHSCREEN’ KEYBOARD
At first glance, one might wonder why the keyboard is void of numbers. The QWERTY keyboard consists of three rows of letters separated by silver metal frets, with no extras but a space, backspace and enter key; it is hybrid. By hybrid, we mean that full access to numbers, symbols, and even emoticons becomes visible when one starts typing as another digital row appears, a swipe up on the keyboard displaying an even greater selection.
The entire keyboard is touch sensitive and, by doing this, Blackberry has been able to incorporate some surprising shortcuts into the keyboard. For instance, type a line and then swipe left to see text being deleted, or, tap the keys to place the cursor for highlighting text.
The ability to use your keyboard as a touchscreen was a brilliant move by Blackberry who also included very simple interactive tutorials when you first turn the Passport on and set it up!
Next, hold the digital shift key and slowly swipe left or right to highlight text for formatting, copy, replace or deletion. Lastly, as you type you will notice that BB10 tries to predict your next words and displays them at the base of the screen. To select, simply swipe up from under the word on the keyboard and start (or select) the next word.
The top of the Blackberry passport contains the power button and a 3.5mm headphone jack while the right side contains the ‘Volume Up’ and ‘Volume Down’ keys separated by a convenience key.
The bottom contains the microUSB/HDMI port and stereo speakers, along with the first of four mics that are contained on this smart phone. Two of the other three are located on either side of the camera lens on the rear, and the last within the speaker top center of the Blackberry.
The back contains the 13MP camera with LED flash and settings can adjust the rear camera resolution to 720p, 1080p or 720p at 60FPS for video. They have finally included Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). Pictures can be taken in the smartphones native 1:1 aspect ratio, 4:3 or 16:9 but to get optimal resolution, 4:3 is necessary. Extras such as panorama, time shift and burst mode are included as well as a selection of Scene modes to include Auto as the Passport determines the best mode for the light and conditions at hand.
As we finish ‘kicking the tires’, the last exterior feature to mention is the fact that only the top portion of the cameras back is removable, allowing access to the nano-SIM and microSDXC cards. We can guarantee that many have tried unsuccessfully to get the entire back off by pushing up or down at the middle.