Here's Your Best Look Yet At BlackBerry's Strange New Smartphone -- The Passport

BlackBerry’s square-shaped smartphone isn’t expected to launch until September, but a new set of photos provides the most in-depth preview we’ve seen yet.

Czech blog Smartmania (via Phone Arena) has posted a handful of new photos that show the Passport’s keyboard, high-res screen, and how it compares in size to previous BlackBerry phones.

Here’s a look at what it’s like to read an article using the Passport. BlackBerry has been touting its square-shaped display as an advantage for avid readers, claiming that the wider screen offers more screen space.

BBPassport1SmartmaniaThe BlackBerry Passport

Notice how much larger the Passport is compared to the company’s standard rectangular smartphones.

BBPassport2SmartmaniaThe BlackBerry Passport (middle) with two other BlackBerry phones

Even though it’s bigger and more angular than your average phone, Smartmania’s Ruslan Botsyurko claims it slides into the pocket with ease.


The BlackBerry Passport

The Passport’s keyboard is going to be a big deal. It functions as a touchpad, too, which means you can just swipe to choose numbers and characters when you’re typing.


The BlackBerry Passport

Although the design is boxy, it looks like the Passport’s back features a slight curve.

BBPassport7SmartmaniaThe BlackBerry Passport compared to another BlackBerry phone

The SD card slot and SIM card sit right next to the camera.


The BlackBerry Passport

Here’s a glimpse of what BlackBerry’s user interface looks like on the Passport. There are virtually no side bezels around the screen, although the top bezel is a bit chunky.

BBPassport5SmartmaniaThe BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry took the wraps off its Passport phone back in June, and early reviews have been positive since then. CrackBerry previously said the Passport’s screen “is of such an elegance, it even made the most diehard iPhone user smile.”

Still, BlackBerry has a long way to go if it wants to catch up with Android and iOS — the two platforms that currently dominate the smartphone space. In the last quarter of 2013, the IDC said BlackBerry only accounted for 0.3% of the smartphone market share. It’s unclear if a device like the Passport will be enough to change that.

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