The San Francisco Bay Area is known for technology and innovation, and the BlackBerry Passport fits right in. As a Bay Area native, I was elated to catch up with project engineer Paul Billings in my backyard, who says, “The Passport is the best device I’ve ever had.”
Sound familiar? This statement sounds like sentiments I’ve heard from other professional BlackBerry Passport users including this tech journalist, district attorney, university professor, pharmaceutical CEO, software manager, and insurance salesman.
Watts: Mobile devices and technology are booming in the Bay Area. With so many options out there, what made you get a BlackBerry Passport?
Billings: Well, for starters, I’ve been carrying BlackBerry devices since 2004 because I love the productivity. Recently I’ve used developer devices and the Z10, but I wanted something with a keyboard, and the BlackBerry Passport was the way to go.
Watts: What is it about the keyboard that made you get the device? How is it useful to your work?
Billings: You can’t go wrong with a keyboard to handle all of your communication needs. With the amount of messages I get, it’s imperative to stay in contact with clients and colleagues.
The keyboard and the overall form factor is, without question, a huge benefit to my day-to-day operations. When I’m out on the field, I use the screen size to read better, and then I’m able to get to work on whatever Excel sheets, PDFs, or documents via Docs To Go that I have to tend to that day.
Watts: Sounds like you’ve been pretty productive with your BlackBerry Passport. How are other features and core experiences of the device working out for you?
Billings: I started fresh with this device, no back-ups or restores, but the system is very easy to get adjusted to. The only thing I did was load up my Google and BlackBerry accounts, and all of my stuff imported over without fail.
Thus far, the Hub might be my favorite feature. I have 14 accounts synced to it, and it properly manages social notifications, emails, and my calendar. I’m also fond of the Priority Hub for those important contacts I don’t want to lose in the shuffle.
Starting to use the BlackBerry Blend software, and it’s pretty cool. Whether I’m at home or in the office, I don’t have to physically interact with the phone to get the files and messages I need.
The battery life is also great. I don’t have to carry around external batteries because my Passport will easily last for over a day. Plus I hate to be that guy who’s always walking around looking for a socket to charge his phone. I have an iPhone for work purposes, and I absolutely hate it.
Watts: Since you hate your iPhone, what does the BlackBerry Passport allow you to do that you can’t do on other devices?
Billings: The iPhone really is a toy, what do I need a home button for? The way it deals with emails and notifications is a joke – those items pop up all over the place when I’d like to have them in just one spot.
Then aside from better communication, the BlackBerry Passport has, by far, the greatest and speediest HTML browser. I’m able to keep multiple windows open without shutting down like I have to with iOS, plus I’m able to see flash and other specs on various websites.
Watts: Assuming it’s safe to say you’re in love with the BlackBerry Passport, how would you rate it?
Billings: It’s definitely the best phone I’ve ever had. I show it off all the time to my friends and colleagues. Feature sets like the Hub and keyboard always catch their attention. Then I boast that they can get any app they want from Google, BlackBerry World and The Amazon App store.
A few of the people I’ve talked to are really interested because they’ve never seen anything like it before, and are eager to get their hands on one.