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Up Close: Blackberry Passport, specs, release, price

Editorial by Luke Jones on Monday August 18, 2014.

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Blackberry Passport
Blackberry Passport

There are many people out there who think that I am a Blackberry hater. Perhaps after writing articles about the hardware failing, sales falling, Android better, iOS better, and so on and so forth that is justified. The truth is though I am (or used to be) a Blackberry fan, I have owned devices from the company in the past and am at least mildly intrigued about what it can deliver in the future. My grievances with the company are because it let its solid position in the market slip, delivered some poor hardware, and (still) has some horrible strategy.

Yes, I have derided the chances of the upcoming Passport in the past, but I am willing to admit when I may be wrong. As it is, I am now warming to the unique handset and am actually looking forward to it, so much so that I am considering getting one. In other words, I am willing to give Blackberry a chance again and I imagine there are many other people like me... so Blackberry may be down but it is not yet out.

As for the Passport, it may be niche filling, but its recently leaked specs reveal that it is going to be something of a powerhouse. It will of course feature a square screen, a 4.5in (1440 x 1440) panel with a 1:1 aspect ratio. According to Blackberry, this display makes for better reading of content because of its perfectly square dimensions, which we guess will prove to be the case.

As for other specs, the Passport will nestle itself nicely into flagship territory with a quad core processer paired with 3GB of RAM, an Adreno 330 GPU, and a 13 megapixel rear camera. I am admittedly not a Blackberry user anymore, but recently spent a day or two with the latest version to the company's BB10 platform and was impressed with how far it has come. It is certainly not the finished article, but it is infinitely better than when it launched and it left me thinking if Blackberry could have delivered this software at the start then some of the company?s problems may not exist right now.

With an improved UI experience, more apps, and what is undoubtedly a good smartphone with a unique touch, the Blackberry Passport could be one to remember. That will probably not translate into huge sales in the consumer space, but in the enterprise arena where Blackberry still carries weight the platform is likely to be well received.

I suppose it says a lot for the device that a whole article has been written without talking about that QWERTY keyboard. I would be remiss not to mention it of course, and if this board is as slick and user friendly as Blackberry says, then that could be another major plus, especially for the business oriented.

As for a release date, the Passport is likely to be launched during a press event in London during September, while we expect it to be an expensive handset. Probably too expensive to make it a true contender, but that square screen can hardly be cost effective to produce.

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About the author

Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.

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