BlackBerry to launch absurd 4.5-inch QWERTY Passport phone in September

Read our full BlackBerry Passport review.

BlackBerry just won’t give up on its handset business. According to CNet, CEO John Chen told investors and members of the company that BlackBerry will release a new smartphone this September. The device’s name is Passport and it’s the biggest BlackBerry smartphone yet. The Passport will feature a 4.5-inch square display and a physical QWERTY keyboard.

Although most of the device’s specs remain unknown, the size, shape, and resolution of its display are no mystery. The Passport’s display will measure 4.5-inches and be perfectly square. The square display has a resolution of 1440 × 1440 pixels, which is undoubtedly impressive, but then things get a little weird. BlackBerry tacked its famous keyboard at the bottom of this large display, adding quite a lot of extra length to an already large smartphone.

It’s unclear exactly how much more length the keyboard will add to the device, but based on the size of the BlackBerry Q10‘s keyboard, it could add almost two inches to the Passport’s length. The smartphone could measure anywhere between 6 to 7 inches long, making it at least as long as the massive Samsung Galaxy Mega, if not longer.

For those of you who don’t know, the Mega has a 6.3-inch display and measures almost 6.6 inches long. The Passport will also be wider than the Mega, given that its display measures 4.5 inches wide. The Mega is just under 3.5 inches wide. Back in 2012, LG launched a square phablet called the Optimus Vu, which was also unwieldy and square with a 5.5-inch display.

In other words, the BlackBerry Passport sounds like it will be phablet-sized, but without the benefit of a truly large display. Although the Passport’s larger display and physical keyboard may attract a few loyal BlackBerry fans who’ve been waiting for a phablet, it probably won’t attract many new customers. Regardless, we will see what the Passport looks like in real life this September when it launches.

Get our Top Stories delivered to your inbox: