As a person who loves smartphones (especially BlackBerry) I often find myself in awe of the determination that drives some of the “dislike” towards the company. Last week, I spent time reading other publication’s reviews about BlackBerry’s latest device, the Passport (see our review here). Some of the reviews reignited my belief that people won’t give a BlackBerry device a fair chance.
I wish bloggers and journalists realized that liking a BlackBerry doesn’t make them any less popular or an Apple hater. Anyone has the right to like more than one device. Some of the reviews I read detailed the shape and screen size of the Passport not being their preference. I understand those opinions.
What I don’t understand is the mindless and sometimes disrespectful approach of certain journalists, even those from the world’s most renowned publications.
Even as a BlackBerry fan site, we don’t bash other devices. Sure, we may revel at the sight of an iPhone 6 Plus getting blown to smithereens, but ultimately we respect everyone and have come under fire from our own readers for not being enough “pro-BlackBerry.” We want to remain fair, classy, and not saturate our site with Apple and Android bashing articles. You’ve come to N4BB to read about BlackBerry, not that other trash.
I have since taken the time to correct some misinformation that seems purposefully published by other publications to promote their biased anti-BlackBerry sentiments. Here’s an unofficial #BBFactCheck on the BlackBerry Passport reviews:
1) I was surprised to see certain reviews not mention the Passport’s specifications. For years now I have read reports from mainstream media that BlackBerry was so behind the specs race and how it was a main factor to the company’s decline. However, the BlackBerry Passport hardware is extremely competitive, if not a leader, in certain respects.
The device sports the best in class speakers and microphones, which provide the best in class call quality (isn’t that what phones are for?). When the HTC One was released people went crazy about the speakers, but no mention about how the Passport trumps the HTC One. The Passport rocks a very highly regarded Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor and an astonishing 3GB of RAM. It is very impressive if you consider the new iPhone (which is fantastic device on its own) only has 1GB of RAM.
And no device on the market can come close to the Passport’s incredible battery life from its 3450 mAh battery.
2) One reviewer claimed that Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn look very ugly on BlackBerry 10. The exact verbiage was, “While big apps like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Yelp are there, they’re slower and uglier than the iPhone and Android versions.”
Perhaps not the most outrageous thing to say, but it is incorrect. The author failed to mention what advantages you can gain by using those apps within the BlackBerry 10 OS. One great example is how integrated those apps are within the OS. With the BlackBerry Hub, you technically never have to open your Facebook or Twitter apps to reply to a message or a notification. Talk about being connected and getting things done!
3) I understand the fact that Google Maps is light years ahead of BlackBerry Maps, but the claim that BlackBerry Maps were awful is misleading. In the review, an example to prove that the BlackBerry Maps were awful was to show that of a restaurant called “La Esquina” in Brooklyn, NY.
The claim was that the BlackBerry Maps application returned results for somewhere in Spain. I personally live in NYC, and when I tried the same search I received the complete opposite results. As you can see, the application found the exact location and even offered to give me guided navigation to it. I can assure you I do not possess a magical Passport.
4) The biggest “pain” for most who reviewed the Passport was that you can not post a picture on Instagram. According certain reviewers, why would you want to post your photos anyway, since the camera on the Passport is just not that good. I still am not certain how to respond to this. I figured I’d post some pictures I personally took and let you be the judge of the Passport’s 13MP camera quality:
The claim that you can’t post an image to Instagram is also incorrect. BlackBerry World has a beautiful, native, unofficial app by the name of iGrann that you can use to upload, like, and view videos on Instagram. Otherwise, you can simply download the Android APK (version 6.0), and have the official app on your Passport. Either way, you can use Instagram on BlackBerry 10 and the Passport.
It would have been nice if some of the reviews took the time to mention some of the incredible features that the Passport offers. For example, instead of bashing the fact that Uber and Snapchat aren’t yet “officially” available, the reviewers could have mentioned that this is the first BlackBerry with the Amazon App Store, which brings over 200,000 applications to the BB10 platform. Somehow having Netflix, Pinterest, Candy Crush, and a plethora of consumer applications was not worth a mention.
Furthermore, one review gave the claim that, “I just don’t need such a thing as a long-lasting, email-centric ‘work’ phone anymore.” I was in disbelief that the author is seemingly so anti-BlackBerry that the need for a phone with good battery life was not expressed so as not to have to mention the phenomenal battery life of the Passport as an advantage.
I can assure you, that the BlackBerry Passport makes me more productive, and it enables me to communicate with ease. The Passport allows me all day to take clear 1080p videos along with some incredible pictures to help preserve memories.
The next puzzling claim was,”Modern-day smartphones allow us to not only be power professionals, but also power parents, spouses, fitness nuts and more. They enable us to communicate far beyond the inbox.” I have no idea what “communicate beyond the inbox” actually means. Perhaps, the author meant sending Snapchats to friends, which as mentioned, you can do on a BlackBerry by downloading either a native app called Snap10 or its Android counterpart. Additionally, there are more than 30 capable fitness apps available on BlackBerry World and likely now even more with the Amazon App Store. No one has claimed that there is not an application gap between iOS, Android and BlackBerry 10. However, claiming BlackBerry users can’t do those things is absolutely incorrect.
I had hoped the mainstream media reviewers would be able to see passed their blinders and offer fair reviews. Unfortunately, it seems some went through great lengths to convince people that the Passport is not for them. Hopefully, this unofficial BlackBerry Fact Check has proven the contrary.