Meet the Blackberry Passport: a square phablet with a hardware keyboard!

BlackBerry previously gave us a sneak peek at a device that’s as category-busting as the revolutionary ASUS Padfone, called the Passport.

CEO John Chen with the Passport in his left hand

The company, it seems, wants to change the shape of the smartphones/ phablets/ tablets from rectangle to square, according to a blog on their website by BlackBerry blogger Matt Young. In the post, he has avoided calling it either a phone or a tablet by using the term “device.”

The blog post itself asks “Why?” (Yes, in Italics), so this shows that BlackBerry knows a lot of people, like me, are thinking what is this … thing and what is its purpose? A square 4.5-inch screen on a device which is as wide as two iPhones placed side-by-side.

The answer to the above question(s) begins with something academic typology, the number of “optimum” characters that should appear in a line on a screen, which isn’t exactly a great feature to design a device around, in my opinion at least. But this means that the display size is optimum for all the tasks that Business people perform like reading e-books, going through documents or reading text-heavy pages on the web.


BlackBerry blogger Matt Young goes on to mention a few other different scenarios where the Passport’s unique display might come into use as the ideal handheld display like architects and real estate professionals switching between blueprints and contract docs; doctors checking X-rays and patient info forms; financiers watching the stock market bob up and down; and writers looking for the joys only a real physical keyboard can bring.

The fact that BlackBerry is trying to be different and still trying to bring out a game changer does lower my skepticism of the fact that this seems like a very narrow user base which they have targeted. The average customer though, in my opinion, will not leave his/her current mobile device be it a phone or a tablet for this thing (phablet?). But that’s what they said about the iPad, right? Though, at this moment, the only innovation coming is in the form of curved display, which didn’t quite be hit, maybe a Square is all we need in our lives ?


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Shaminder Pal Singh

I am a student by day and tech blogger by night. I try to bring to the public the latest and greatest news from the tech world!

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