The square-faced Passport, BlackBerry's high-stakes entry into the mobile market, makes its debut at launch events today in London, Toronto and Dubai.
The BlackBerry Passport's square display, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, outputs an HD resolution of 1440x1440, with a pixel density of 453 dots per inch.
In standard BlackBerry fashion, the Passport features a physical keyboard that doubles as a trackpad. The keyboard's swipe feature was implemented to keep fingers from obscuring content on the device's screen during navigation, according to BlackBerry.
The Passport is powered by a 2.2-GHZ, quad core processor and is backed by 3 GB of RAM. It includes a 13-MP rear camera and 32 GB of storage space.
As smartphone-based productivity has evolved significantly since BlackBerry's heyday, particularly due to the rise of apps, the Passport will make use of Blackberry's new dual-app store format. Users of the competitively priced Passport will have access to apps from both BlackBerry World and the Amazon App Store.
"As we set out to design BlackBerry Passport, we were guided by a simple yet challenging idea -- to set aside the limitations of traditional design and to instead simply build a device that fundamentally changes the way business professionals get work done on their smartphone," says John Chen, BlackBerry executive chairman and CEO. "The BlackBerry Passport was created to drive productivity and to break through the sea of rectangular-screen, all-touch devices."
From it's square, 4.5-inch display to the BlackBerry security tech embedded in its DNA and running through its software, the Passport is a return to what made the Waterloo, Ontario, company's hardware adored by enterprise users.
For HIPAA compliance in health care or classified documents in government setting, the BlackBerry was the gold standard for mobile devices. The Passport will carry on BlackBerry's tradition of safeguarding privy information by using the company's new Blend software.
Blend forgoes the cloud and wires to share sensitive information between connected devices, elevating productivity with no cost to security, according to BlackBerry. Users must have a Passport to access info via Blend on their laptop or tablet device. It will work across desktop operating systems, including Mac OS X 10.7 +, iPad tablets running iOS 7+, Windows 7+ and Android tablets running Android 4.4+. The downloadable version of BlackBerry Blend for Macs and PCs is available at www.BlackBerry.com/Blend, on the Apple App Store or via the Google Play Store.
"With the amount of time spent shuffling between devices throughout the day, the type of integration that BlackBerry Blend offers will bring a whole new level of productivity to our users," says Chen. "Whether you need to access important work files on the road or respond to text and email messages on your tablet while commuting to work, BlackBerry Blend ensures all of your important information is safely accessible, regardless of the device you are using."
Watch as the Passport squares off against "Smartphone X":