BlackBerry Passport: Battery Life
The Passport has a 3,450mAh non-removable battery, which is actually bigger than the one inside the Note 4 and if you don’t crank up the brightness and have numerous tasks you can get close to the 30 hours BlackBerry claims.
The problem is that there’s no adaptive display modes or power management apps that you can find on the S5 or the Xperia Z3 to better monitor the most power-sapping features. In more general use, taking no precautions, you will get a day’s use, but you are going to be hard pushed to get more than that. Using it in more general terms, and leaving it uncharged overnight, you are going to be down to around 10%.
In more intense testing, once we managed to transfer over a 720p HD video and run on loop with 50% brightness, you can get 7-8 hours of battery life. That’s in the same ballpark as top-end Android smartphones including the Note 3, which packs a slightly smaller 3,200mAh.
BlackBerry Passport: Call and Sound Quality
One of the features BlackBerry is championing with the Passport is call quality. It’s a feature that’s often neglected so to address this, BlackBerry has included four microphones to adapt audio volume levels depending on environments and how close the phone is to your ear. While we couldn’t really detect whether the Passport excels here, we did fine calls were clear and and very little exterior noise crept in from the background.
As for speaker quality, BlackBerry claims the Passport’s stereo speakers placed at the bottom edge of the phone are louder than the ones on the One M8 and the Galaxy S5. While that might be true, they are more suitable for speakerphone use than listening to music, where they struggle to match the warmth and richness of HTC’s Boomsound speakers.
Related: Best Headphones
Should I buy the BlackBerry Passport?
No. There are far too many problems to recommend the Passport. While we can see the appeal of a wider screen, a work phone needs to be comfortable and this definitely isn’t. Using it one hand is impossible and that’s a pretty major problem.
That’s before you factor in the mess of a keyboard that BlackBerry has come up with for the Passport. Sticking to a full physical keyboard would have made much more sense, but in trying to please loyal BlackBerry users and embracing the gesture-based operating system, it satisfies no one.
It’s a disappointing because there are some positives here, but the Passport feels stuck between BlackBerry in the past and BlackBerry trying to play catch up. Ultimately, what you are left with is an awkward phone that poses more problems than solutions.
The BlackBerry Passport tries to be different but doesn’t quite get it right. As a result this is not the smartphone serious business professionals should consider.
Thanks to EE for providing the nano SIM card to test the BB Passport
How we test phones
We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Score in detail
Battery Life 7
Calls & Sound 7
Screen Quality 8