Showcasing an unreleased product yourself and letting info trickle out gradually instead of trying to be all mysterious and getting sidetracked by professional “leakers” is sure an unconventional way to build buzz ahead of a commercial release.
But when you’re in the kind of financial hole BlackBerry’s been trying to dig out from for ages, outside the box thinking may well be your very last chance at survival. Of course, everything about the upcoming Passport smartphone is outside the box.
In fact, the handheld looks so outside the box BB would probably have trouble locating the box. As the name suggests, their next Hail Mary pass resembles a passport from an aesthetical standpoint, with a square-shaped 1,440 x 1,440 pixels resolution 4.5-inch touchscreen.
Beneath the display, there’s an iconic BlackBerry QWERTY physical keyboard, but the numbers and punctuation buttons have been ditched in order to save up space. Fret not though, they’re available at all times as on-screen virtual keys.
Software-wise, the Passport should naturally run an advanced version of the BB 10 OS, with the worthy addition of pre-loaded access to Amazon’s Appstore. Well, isn’t that a pleasant surprise? Also encouraging, rumors of a porcelain-like smooth, grippable rear cover, which would very nicely complement the nearly confirmed stainless steel frame.
So yeah, you’re looking at an extremely strange slab, but also one that’s elegant, sturdy and easy to handle… once you get past the unusual shape. Check the gizmo out in this following preview clip and expect it on store shelves in the fall: