The Nokia E61 and its twin, the E61i, had the most comfortable hardware QWERTY keys on any candybar smartphone that I have ever handled. I owned both of them – E61 in 2006 and E61i in 2007. The E61i was a slimmer, sleeker upgrade to the E61. It’s 2.8-inch display was also the largest on any QWERTY candybar of the time. As such, it was a joy to use.
Using the BlackBerry Passport on a daily basis for about a month, I am reminded of the Nokia E61i. A large display and a comfortable keyboard have always been a winner with me. Of course, the Passport is much more capable than the E61i was. 2007 to 2014 is 7 years. The E61i was not touchscreen and didn’t have a touch-sensitive keyboard like the Passport does. I am able to use the Passport’s keyboard to scroll through webpages, documents, and menus just by running my fingers over it in whatever direction I want to go. This is in addition to everything that is expected of the touchscreen.
The E61i was marketed as a business smartphone, same as the Passport is being marketed. Both of them do business well. A larger display means that the users sees and can manipulate more and better. Whether it is webpages, email, Office documents, notes or even images and videos, everything works better on larger displays. Throw in the good battery life of the Passport, and one has a winner.
It has been an interesting time with BlackBerry Passport so far. In my opinion, it is a superb flagship smartphone deserving of the hype it has generated. Still, my full review is on the way. Hang around.