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Blackberry launches the Passport

News by Luke Jones on Wednesday September 24, 2014.

blackberry news · smartphone news · luke jones

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We have known about the device for some time, but Blackberry has today launched the Passport smartphone, a handset that instantly goes down as one of the most unique on the market. This is the smartphone with the square screen, the one Blackberry says will cement its reputation with the enterprise market and may even spring a few surprises with general consumers. Square, unique, QWERTY keyboard, company fighting back from the brink; the Passport has it all, but is it any good?

Obviously, the huge talking point about this handset its shape, but there is probably a question why Blackberry even made this device? Is the market crying out for this form factor in 2014? The smartphone market in general is not, but Blackberry's consumer base and fans are; the numbers back it up too. The company's older QWERTY packing handsets like the Bold and Curve still outsell the BB10 era offerings such as the Z10 and Z30. Blackberry (or RIM as it was back then) felt compelled to follow the all touchscreen revolution and the result almost killed the company.

Apps have been a big bug bear for users, or should that be the lack of them on Blackberry devices, and it is still used as a reason not to move to the platform.

It is such a redundant point now that it shocks me that some people even comment on this. Blackberry has the Amazon Market on the device and these days you do not even have to side load apps, instead you are able to download Android apps directly onto the device. I would be lying if I said you can get any app or game you want because there are more available directly through Google's Play Store. However, just about everything you want is there and the perceived notion that there are no apps on Blackberry is nonsense, mainly because most of the apps that are not there are rubbish anyway. Avid mobile gamers may be a little more left out with the Passport, but I doubt many people considering this device are waiting for the latest big budget gaming release for mobile devices.

The device has respectable smartphone specs, such as 1440x1440 4.5-inch HD screen with a pixel per inch density of 453ppi. Elsewhere there is a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of on board storage, a 13MP camera, a microSD card slot, and a 3450 mAh battery. It launches today in five countries (with 30 getting it by the end of the year). The $599 off-contract/$249 on-contract device ($699 in Canada and 529 in the UK, off-contract).

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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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