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BlackBerry Explains Some of the BlackBerry Passport Design Inspiration


BlackBerry has not told us much about the design of the upcoming revolutionary Passport device until now. We have been able to piece together a bit but now BlackBerry has finally come out and rounded out a few details about why they are returning to the classic square screen in a larger form factor. They detail that they are offering the same viewing space as a 5” smartphone screen in a 4.5” square screen form factor.

They also base the dimensions on topology where the optimal characters in a line for a book are 66 with current rectangular smartphones supposedly only showing 40 and BlackBerry’s currently showing 60. In other words it is all about aspect ratio as you see in the picture above.

Here are a few use cases that BlackBerry shares for the added screen real estate:

  • For architects and mortgage brokers, imagine being able to look at full designs and schematics on the go, and still being able to handle piles of virtual paperwork with ease.
  • In the healthcare field, picture being able to go through x-rays or medical documentation in the office with a patient, on a device that can maintain the necessary security standards for HIPAA compliance.
  • In the area of finance, how about navigating your Web-based trading platform on your device? With enough screen real estate, you can clearly see the fluctuation in your stock and determine whether it’s time to sell.
  • Writers will truly be unlocked with a navigable keyboard, while the large square screen enables faster content development and delivery. When you are looking to type stories or notes, your virtual keyboard doesn’t cover most of your screen.

What do you think of the new screen size?

8 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. I like what BlackBerry is doing here. Just put it into commercial with Hue Lewis Hip to be Square song playing.

  2. Yes but please no elephant feet 🙂

  3. This Passport is the most innovative smart phone in existence. Will it take off in sales? For business people, I can see this as a hot seller. For the average consumer, perhaps. I know many that would like a change from there boring Galaxy and iPhones, and are willing to try out the physical keyboard. But with a large full touch screen.

    • The “quirky” design will actually attract new followers and it will be a difficult one for iPhone and Android to copy unless Android manufacturers want to get back into keyboards.

      I like Chen’s big stamp on this one, but I really question the need for the Classic. It’s old BlackBerry – dump it! We need fresh designs like the Passport that turns heads.

      A large Z50 is needed fast to follow the Passport.

      Also, frankly, I do prefer the letter/number combination for names, rather than “Passport”. It doesn’t translate easily in other languages in a global market.

      • When I say “old BlackBerry”, I mean it looks too much like a BB7 9900. BlackBerry needs to get past the “same old” look.

  4. With a physical keyboard and large square screen, the Passport screams ‘BUSINESS, PROFESSIONAL’. I fully expect a whole host of software to make sure it performs to the high demands of professionals. My take:

    – Perhaps a 4th row of keys for numerals and special functions? Because when you invent a form factor for the pros, you better make sure the keyboard is the very best. This could means add 1/4″ to the height.

    – Make the battery replaceable! I know this is tough engineering but make it happen. This is to ensure pros engaged in field work can bring additional batteries. And if this mean a slightly thicker phone with a removable back, so be it. Also, consider a back that is slide in, not snap in.

    – Add all band (AM/FM/SW), including police, aircraft & emergency band radio. Allow external antenna to be plugged in.

    – Make the USB port output digital audio, so that an external DAC can be used. Add HDMI port.

    – Add pen functionality. Nothing fancy, but allow a pen to be used somewhat like a mouse.

    Make sure this thing is 120% professional robust. Pros don’t mind a large form factor, slightly heavier than usual, as long as the device performs amazingly to get work done. Don’t let the young consumer and Apple crowd distract from its mission.

    I currently use a Galaxy Note 3. It is a wonderful device but forget doing any kind of serious typing, for me. I will buy a Passport without giving up my Note 3. I will simply use both of them. As to price, less than $1000 is OK as long as it include a nice suite of apps.

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