Read our full BlackBerry Passport review.
A video published on YouTube just before the weekend has given us a closer look at the upcoming BlackBerry Passport, an unusual device from the struggling manufacturer. We’ve seen the phone before, but only in picture form, so it’s interesting to see how it responds during some hands-on time.
What’s most striking, aside from the shape, is the dual function QWERTY keyboard. It can also be used as a touchpad, when a light touch sees you scroll and swipe around the screen, without fingers getting in the way of the display. There’s also a double tap feature which lets you move the on-screen cursor around. The keyboard itself has three lines, and is stretched out wider than those used on previous QWERTY BlackBerry phones.
Although the keyboard has touch functionality, the Passport’s display is also a full touchscreen, and will measure 4.5-inches and have an unusual 1440 x 1400 pixel resolution. According to BlackBerry’s preliminary specs for the unreleased device, it’ll be powered by a Snapdragon 801 processor running at 2.5GHz, along with 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage memory. It’s unconfirmed, but rumors put the camera at around 8-megapixels.
When the Passport is finally announced, it will come with BlackBerry 10.3 installed, complete with BlackBerry’s own virtual assistant software, currently known as the, um, BlackBerry Assistant.
This won’t make the phone standout much, given such a feature is already available on most other smartphone operating systems, but the Passport’s design is sure to turn heads. BlackBerry said it has broken design boundaries with the new phone, and although it’s primarily made to appeal to business users thanks to the keyboard, the large square screen will apparently be equally as good for entertainment purposes.
We’ll have to wait and see how the Passport performs once it arrives later this year.