BlackBerry 10.3.3 Timeless Flow
BlackBerry 10.3.3 is becoming available on devices such as the Passport, Classic and Leap. Not only does this update bump the version number but it also brings in security enhancements such as NIAP certification and other bug fixes and improvements.
You can watch a short showcase of some of the most apparent changes with BlackBerry 10.3.3, but ultimately it’s what you don’t necessarily see that makes this update and the devices that support it so meaningful.
BlackBerry has shown a commitment to best-in-class secure software. Some may argue that the market has chosen Android as the platform of choice, BlackBerry has adapted their security offering to meet their customers wherever they may buy.
BlackBerry 10 is newly refreshed for highly regulated enterprises and government clients who rely on a pure-bred, end-to-end solution for device management. When the BlackBerry 10.3.3 update came over the air to my BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition, I immediately tossed my SIM card back in to see what was new. Profoundly, what I found wasn’t new. Instead, I rediscovered BlackBerry 10 and it brought me to a few conclusions…
Android Is Not For Everyone
While Android is perfectly usable, it’s lacking some of the innovative UI implementations that are baked into BB10. The way the system handles notifications is much more streamlined and integral to how you flow through the operating system. Android remains highly functional but the paradigm of interface has not advanced beyond the commonplace notification shade. BlackBerry 10 nails the basics in ways Android obfuscated. The cluttered, often frustratingly bland experience hinges on the use of three on-screen buttons that slow down how you move between applications and services.
Android is at best an ecosystem that’s size exceeds its focus. From the ground up, BlackBerry focused on security and productivity and, by design, BlackBerry 10 delivers on that focus far more easily than you can patchwork together on Android. If tinkering and digging deep into Google Play to find apps to supplement your uses is not for you, BlackBerry 10 offers a fantastic out of box offering that nails the core directive for what a smartphone needs to do best.
BlackBerry Hardware Is Charming & Modern
Looking at the Passport Silver Edition, you see a greatly refined evolution of the form factor that was introduced with the original Passport. There’s a reinforced matte steel frame, a comfortable three row keyboard, a grippy diamond-patterned back plate, and minimal camera ring accents. All in all, this hardware is rock solid. Unlike almost every other device out there, the Silver Edition Passport feels like a work tool. That utilitarian hardware aesthetic percolates deep into the software experience as well.
BlackBerry took everything they learned from the original design and refined it. There’s a slightly larger bottom chin which makes the keyboard more comfortable to type on. It has laser drilled speaker holes for the bottom facing stereo speakers and the ear piece. It looks cohesive, it feels powerful, and delivers on both. There’s a proud BlackBerry logo on the front and the keyboard is modernized with a software 4th row that adapts to different text fields. It pulls on the nostalgia of the physical keyboard. Its decluttered layout and touch enabled abilities raised the bar for what a true BlackBerry keyboard is capable. The unique, albeit polarizing, 4.5″ square display changes the game for viewing and makes using rectangular slabs feel narrow. It’s amazing how much content you can see at once in the calendar, Hub, email and other native apps like BBM that are adapted for this 1:1 ratio.
BlackBerry 10 is entirely worth looking at. The devices are very reasonably priced and offer tremendous value. Buyers must understand that the OS is being maintained by BlackBerry with security updates and bug fixes. What you see is what you get. You can’t set unreal expectations for “new” features – if that’s what you’re looking for, BlackBerry has Android devices which get updates and tweaks monthly.
BlackBerry 10 is a best-in-class workhorse. Devices running BlackBerry 10 are the only ones I can comfortably manage 5+ email accounts on. It’s a streamlined productivity tool with a strong security pedigree and BlackBerry will only continue to strengthen this in the year to come. If you want a no-nonsense, out of the box, fully featured device whose performance will standout as much as its design, then a Silver Edition is your ideal pick. It is the best BlackBerry 10 device we’ve seen.