BlackBerry has officially unveiled its new Passport smartphone

Today at a company event in Toronto BlackBerry officially launched the Passport, a new smartphone with a 4.5-inch display, a touch-enabled physical keyboard, a strange 1:1 square aspect ratio, a 453 DPI screen, 14 MP camera, 30 hours of battery life, and a Siri-esque personal assistant. The device will ship with BlackBerry’s 10.3 operating system and will reportedly be available on AT&T. This isn’t an unveiling, however: BlackBerry heavily teased the device in June and just two days ago confirmed the handset’s $599 price unlocked. 

BlackBerry Ltd. unveiled its first major new phone in nearly two years, a larger square-screen device the company is counting on to revive its fortunes against rivals that now dominate the smartphone market. The Passport’s 4.5-inch square display sets it apart from the more common rectangular screen. It also sports a new iteration of BlackBerry’s signature physical keyboard—one that can be swiped to scroll through content on the screen above. The stakes are high for the Canadian company, whose last global device launch fell spectacularly flat. In January 2013, it introduced its BlackBerry 10 line of phones with the aim of expanding beyond its core corporate and government customer base. A botched rollout and the company’s already dwindling market share undercut that effort amid the increasing popularity of Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Android-powered devices.

Categorized as Mobile

By Alfie Joshua

+Alfie Joshua is the editor at Auto in the News. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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