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  5. BlackBerry Passport hits pre-order, as phone-maker targets recovery

BlackBerry Passport hits pre-order, as phone-maker targets recovery

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BlackBerry Passport hits pre-order, as phone-maker targets recovery

The latest Passport smartphone from BlackBerry is up for pre-order now, as the ailing Canadian tech market player bids to snatch back marketshare long ago lost to Apple and Android.

Carphone Warehouse is offering the handset free from £30.50 on Vodafone. That gets you 1GB of 4G data and 600 minutes per month, as well as unlimited text messages.

Choose O2 and you’re looking at a minimum outlay of £38.50 when you buy via Carphone. Allowances here are 1GB of 4G data and unlimited texts and calls.

There’s no mention of an arrival date on the site. But according to the retailer's reps, the handset will be “delivered as soon as we receive stock, which should be within 14 days” of receipt of placing your order.

Touted as a return to BlackBerry smartphones’ core business functionality after years of flirting with the affections of more mass-market users, the Passport packs a 4.5-inch square screen and a rethought touchscreen keyboard that doubles as a touchpad for gestures such as swiping for scrolling through web pages.

Powered by the latest 10.3 version of BlackBerry’s OS, it also plays host to a 13-megapixel camera, a quad-core 2.2 GHZ processor and the BlackBerry Blend app that enables users to easily port information from their laptops and tablets to their handset and vice versa.

And after years of BlackBerry phones being ill-served for apps, the Passport offers access to Amazon’s Android applications, games and downloads store alongside BlackBerry’s own, more productivity-focused BlackBerry World shop.

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