News Column

Latest BlackBerry smartphone is the bizarre, square Passport

June 26, 2014

Joe Devanesan

BlackBerry had hinted at the possibility of a smartphone with a square but high-resolution touch display that was more reminiscent of their legendary QWERTY handsets, but the BlackBerry Passport was not quite what was expected.

Finally a few days ago during the morning earnings call, CEO John Chen revealed the BlackBerry Passport, an angular device with a 4.5-inch screen with perfectly symmetrical 1440 x 1440 resolution that comes out to a pixel density of 452 pixels per inch.

The BlackBery Passport between the Q10 (left) and a Canadian (right)


The squared-off screen looks impressive if not for the strange dimensions which are not really like the distinctly squarish frames of older BBs which were pretty comfortable to grip and were very hand-friendly- which the Passport does appear to be, judging from the way CEO Chen is holding it.

As one of three mobile devices BlackBerry will be putting out this year, the Passport could possibly be running on BlackBerry 10.2, and reportedly might come with gesture controls instead of just traditional touch. But some might wonder why one would need to replace touch screen just for some gestures.

The BlackBerry Z3 was launched in Malaysia just yesterday, and there might be an updated version of the BlackBerry Q10 coming sometime later in the year, the Q10 of course being the actual throwback QWERTY smartphone. The BlackBerry Z3 is priced here at just RM699, so it will be interesting to find out how much the Passport will be.

Gesture-based controls for the Passport?

Word on the street is that the BlackBerry Passport will be launched sometime in September at an event in London. Would you be interested in BlackBerry’s first square phone in years? BB’s losses as company have lessened of late, thanks to its reliance on telecommunication services (51% of earnings last year was from this), so cuold this be start of a recovery in the device market as well?

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Source: Mobile 88 Online (Malaysia)

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