Blackberry Inc., (NASDAQ: BBRY) unveiled the Passport, its latest smartphone on Wednesday, in order to make a comeback to the mobile phone market. It has a unique build among all the smartphones, having a large and unconventional square-screen, and a modified version of the company’s well-known keyboard.
It is the first major Blackberry launch under the leadership of John S. Chen, chief executive of BlackBerry. The company presented the phone at big events in London, Dubai and Toronto. It features a 4.5-inch (11.4-centimeter) novel square display and a physical keyboard that doubles as a touch-sensitive trackpad. Chen said, “It could be extremely important to me in the turnaround as part of the strategy, but it does not have to be it,” he continued, “as long as it does not lose money, this will not affect my turnaround plan in a negative way.”
True to its namesake, the phone is the same size and shape as a U.S. passport. It’s thicker than the travel document, but it’s quite svelte for its size and the well-made resin back is satisfyingly smooth. The reason Blackberry made it square-screen is that the wider, 1440 x 1400-resolution surface displays more horizontal text of websites, emails and Excel cells than others. It gives the ability to see the entire website map of a spinning class without having to zoom in or rotate the display, the way one has to on the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6 Plus.
The Passport features IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Protection, 32 GB Internal Memory and 3 GB RAM. It has a 13 MP primary camera with autofocus, optical image stabilization, LED flash, geotagging, face detection, HDR and 1080p video recording capability at 60fps. The secondary camera is of 2 MP and records up to 720p videos. The device has latest BlackBerry 10.3 OS powered by Qualcomm MSM8974AA Snapdragon 800 Quad-core processor clocked at 2.26 GHz.
But all in all, the phone is too bulky and is something you wouldn’t like in the pocket. Since we do not need long-lasting, email-centric “work” phone anymore, it’s very unlikely for it to sustain in the market.