Blackberry has officially launched its new square-shaped phone, the Blackberry Passport, named because it’s…shaped like a passport.
These rectangular phones are all well and good, but wouldn’t you really like a nice square phone instead? Of course you would, or at least that’s Blackberry’s take on things. Beacuse the new Blackberry Passport phone, the company’s first in a while, actually sports a passport-shaped body so you can ‘work wide’.
Blackberry Passport: Design
The Blackberry Passport features a QWERTY keyboard, Blackberry’s staple phone feature, but it also acts as a trackpad – just drag your finger across the whole board and you can flick your way through a webpage and so on. Why would you want to do that rather than simply swiping the screen? Well, maybe you don’t want to get fingerprint scuffs on your lovely clean display. Or something.
When you’re typing out messages, a row of virtual word suggestions appears at the bottom of the display, just above the keyboard. Handy for fast typers.
Despite that square build, the Passport will apparently still fit into a ‘gentleman’s pocket or lady’s purse’, according to CEO John Chen.
Blackberry Passport: Specs
Delving into the specs, the Blackberry Passport sports some premium innards. A 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor should keep things ticking over nicely, backed up by 3GB of RAM.
The 4.5-inch screen is a 1440 x 1440 display packing in an impressive 453 pixels-per-inch, which is beaten only by Quad-HD delights such as the LG G3. The square design apparently makes the Passport a more enticing prospect for editing documents than a narrow screen, as you can fit more text on at once.
There’s also space for a 3,450mAh battery, 32GB of storage and a 13-megapixel camera that boasts optical image stabilisation, just like the iPhone 6.
However, as with previous Blackberry phones, you won’t get the extensive selection of apps that Android and iOS users enjoy. Amazon’s Appstore is accessible, which had 50,000 apps as of June this year and at least boasts some essentials such as Netflix, but it’s still rather sparse compared with the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Blackberry Passport: UK price and release date
The Blackberry Passport can be yours right now for £529, a pretty price indeed. Will it be enough to sway consumers away from premium Androids such as the Sony Xperia Z3 and of course Apple’s new iPhone 6? Personally we think Blackberry has a huge hill to climb and this sizeable price tag isn’t going to help, especially given the unusual nature of the phone. Full review coming soon.