BlackBerry's unusual square-screened Passport detailed in retailer video

Cast your mind back to June, and you may recall that BlackBerry's new oddball handset made its first appearance, briefly shown off by the company's CEO, John Chen. The BlackBerry Passport still hasn't officially gone on sale, but that didn't stop UK handset retail giant Carphone Warehouse from briefly posting a video showing off the upcoming handset. 

The video has since been removed by the company but was saved before its deletion by a Russian YouTube account. In particular, it shows off the touch-sensitive physical keyboard at the base of the device, which acts as a sort of trackpad for controlling the handset, in addition to its touch screen. 

The presenter also highlights the 10MP camera of the device, along with its unusual square high-resolution 1440x1440px 4.5-inch display. She mentions that the display is great for reading and editing documents on the move, and also praises the 2.3GHz quad-core processor. 

The exact launch date for the BlackBerry Passport - as well as how much it will cost - remains unclear for now, but the fact that the retailer has already produced a promotional video for the device suggests that its launch may be imminent. For now, check out the full video below - before it gets pulled too. 

Source: BGR | image captured from YouTube video

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30 Comments

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pallentx said,
Why do you want them to stop? If you don't like the phone, don't buy it. I appreciate them trying a fresh approach.

They have been trying a "fresh approach" for several years, and people really are not buying. There product offerings are very fragmented and no real apps are being made for their platform because they scared off any developer community by making too many "fresh approaches".

They were top dog at the beginning of the 2000's, got lazy and then failed to innovate, marginalizing their brand. Self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head scenario. IBM, Novell, Sun and others did the same thing, and it is nearly impossible to fully recover from a failure like that.

In the world of technology companies: If you stagnate, you die.

This actually does look pretty good. Hope BB makes some money on this. Looks great for the businesses and where MANY still prefer a physical KB. And they fact that is is touch/interactive and not a plain KB, they really put some thought in to this.

No way that's going to fit into any pocket. You'll probably need a separate satchel to carry that thing. Also, are physical keyboards on phones even a good thing anymore with technology like swipe typing. I can type ten times faster using the Word Flow keyboard in WP.

AsherGZ said,
You'll probably need a separate satchel to carry that thing. Also, are physical keyboards on phones even a good thing anymore with technology like swipe typing. I can type ten times faster using the Word Flow keyboard in WP.

Flick can be just as fast as wordflow.
If the keypad supports swipe navigation the physical keys could support flick.

Several people who have tried it hands on have stated it still fits in pockets. It's about the size of a small passport book.

AsherGZ said,
Also, are physical keyboards on phones even a good thing anymore with technology like swipe typing.

Yes. I often get a lot of comments on how I type so fast.

Wow nice to see a company actually innovating for once instead of just copying the competition like iOS/Android does. Great looking phone!

I like almost everything, the shape, the size, the style, the keyboard and the fact that it is touch sensitive, and I happen to like QNX and it's ability to run Android apps :)

Yogurth said,
I like almost everything, the shape, the size, the style, the keyboard and the fact that it is touch sensitive, and I happen to like QNX and it's ability to run Android apps :)

I am not sure if this phone will sell well or not. Only time will tell. However the one thing nice about the square form factor that people may not think about is you no longer need to turn the phone to watch videos, view websites, etc

I always appreciate people stepping out and taking risks with something really different. I can see the value for a screen this size and the physical keyboard, but I don't know if I would want it.

I have no comments or jokes about Blackberry.

But something popped into my head while watching that video:

Netflix chose the most forward-thinking name for their company.

Internet... Flicks..... Net... Flicks..... Netflix..... genius.

On the other hand... "Carphone Warehouse" wasn't so lucky...

:D

AsherGZ said,

How about Apple then? Or Google for that matter.

What?!?!? Those are perfect names!!!

How about this... when was the last time you heard the word "amazon" and thought of a rainforest or a river? That's branding at its finest!

Now what do you think of when you hear the word "carphone" ?

:D

AsherGZ said,
How about Apple then? Or Google for that matter.

Google is a play on the Word Googol which is 1 with 100 zeroes after it.
Basically representing that a web search can be limitless.

And apple cause thats all they had for lunch that day /s

Michael Scrip said,
On the other hand... "Carphone Warehouse" wasn't so lucky...

Perhaps they should change their name to Dix Warehouse now that they are owned by Dixons. :)

Plot Twist - It will Run Android


Just Kidding, Blackberry won't think outside of the box that makes sense yet. If they want to keep their brand, time to switch either to Android or even WinMo at this point.

fusi0n said,
Plot Twist - It will Run Android


Just Kidding, Blackberry won't think outside of the box that makes sense yet. If they want to keep their brand, time to switch either to Android or even WinMo at this point.

You do know that Blackberry has signed a deal with Amazon and will include its AppStore in BBOS 10.3?

So new phone that's totally different than anything we've seen, Android apps on their OS.... Totally inside the box, you're right!

fusi0n said,
Plot Twist - It will Run Android


Just Kidding, Blackberry won't think outside of the box that makes sense yet. If they want to keep their brand, time to switch either to Android or even WinMo at this point.

Blackberry OS can install .apk files since version 10.21. Does not need any type of store to do it. In upcoming 10.3 it seems it will run Android code natively.