Will this strange new phone be BlackBerry’s Passport to glory?

BlackBerry could soon launch a new device with a totally radical design and clearly aimed at business and enterprise users.

Dubbed as the Passport, BlackBerry for the first time would be introducing a totally different form factor to a smartphone.

BlackBerry has named the device Passport as its screen is the exact size of a passport, with a 1:1 aspect ratio.

What has been seen in leaks, however, is just a prototype device and could vary compared to the final version.

Based on what is reviewed and leaked, the device could launch in September 2014, around the same time as the iPhone 6 launch and will have a more square looking 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 1440x1440, a 3GB RAM and 32 GB internal memory with an additional slot for storage expansion.

Like the iPhone 5s and HTC One M8, the Passport will be the first BlackBerry device to sport a nano SIM slot, which, along with the SD card slot placed on top of the device. It has an 8MP front camera and a 13MP rear camera as well and comes with a 3450 mAh battery, that could keep the phone actively working for almost more than 18 hours.

According to a video posted by tech blog Blackberry Blast () BlackBerry CEO John Chen is seen explaining why the company thought it was necessary to come out with a device of this design.

According to him most people are tired of the bigger mega sized devices that seem to be growing longer on just one side.

“A lot of old phones including some of ours is on one side longer than the other side. You look at our competitor phones and they get bigger and longer and wider. Most people are fatigued with the longer and wider designs,” he says.

Another significant change in this design is the unique qwerty keypad, which just has English alphabets and space bar but without any symbols or numbers on it.

Apart from the three lined physical QWERTY keyboard that can also be used to swipe up and down and scroll through the screen, the device will also be equipped with a contextual virtual key board that changes according to the context.

Entering a password and you will get a keyboard with numbers and symbols, if it is an email address the @ symbol will pop out, enter a browser and you will soon get a keyboard with the colon and backslash characters that’s required in the URL. Simply swipe down and you will be able to access a complete keyboard with everything in it.

Here’s yet another YouTube video reviewing the Passport.

YouTube video

Overall the device looks like an extended version of the BlackBerry Q10, but without the curved edges and a more pointed corners.

Although the exact launch dates for the device are yet to be revealed, it looks like BlackBerry has already started testing the device. A Canadian journalist has even posted an image of BlackBerry CEO John Chen holding the device.

There have also been multiple other leaks with images and videos, including a detailed review by tech blog Crackberry that received a pre-release version.

According to the review, the device looks like it is inspired by BlackBerry 8800, requires two hands to be fully functional.

Will BlackBerry rally be able to get back some of its lost customer base through the Passport? One has to wait and watch. The device is clearly aimed for professional business use. Some has described it as a bold move. Many who have used it say they love the device.

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