BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s Passport has attracted analysts and tech experts after the company officially launched the square-shaped phone yesterday. The Canadian smartphone maker targeted professionals by advising them to “work wide” rather than cling on to narrow smartphones. The Passport was trending on Twitter in the United States and Canada, along with being first-page news on Techmeme.
Perfect for professionals
Reporter Matt Hamblen of Computerworld magazine published the views of several analysts, including Rob Enderle of Enderle Group, Maribel Lopez, an analyst at Lopez Research, and Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates.
Enderle praised the physical keyboard, noting that the advantage is that the user can type blindly, which means that even though they are not entirely concentrated on the screen and keys, they can still type and send emails or texts. Enderle added, “The Passport will be a great tool for those that are still wedded to a keyboard and want a more cutting edge phone.”
Lopez said QWERTY keyboards are highly underrated and that even though they are considered obsolete, they are very useful.
Gold found the phone suitable for business professionals, saying that the Passport is meant for enterprise users with its unique shape for document creation and editing. Gold added that the phone is targeting really heavy office-type users and its core messaging users. According to Gold, the Passport could expand BlackBerry’s enterprise installed base. Gold also said that those criticizing the Passport have failed to understand its intended professional audience.
Can the Passport revive BlackBerry?
Andrew Orlowski wrote in his review for The Register that the QWERTY keyboard, which can double as a capacitive multi-touch trackpad, is one of the major distinctive factors other than the striking shape of the phone. He said that the design and keypad of the phone gives the Passport an edge over regular rectangular smartphones. According to Orlowski, the phone does not move in the hands while users performing tasks.
“I particularly enjoyed being able to select and manipulate blocks of text very quickly,” he wrote.”
Lynn Greiner of CIO said that videos are perfect on a wider screen and that the stereo speakers are just perfect, even for the music like Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” In a nutshell, Greiner said that it is a great phone with solid functionality, a comprehensive set of features and strong performance.
“It definitely puts BlackBerry back in the game,” she said.