BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) hopes to bring past loyalists back into the fold with its upcoming Passport smartphone. The company has been shipping the phones to carriers all over the world, and now there are some new preview videos and photos showing what it’s like to have a hands-on experience with it. A couple of Czech websites published previews this week. Smartmania (via Business Insider and Phone Arena) and mobilenet.cz (via n4bb) both offer previews of the Passport.
BlackBerry goes square with Passport
Of course the most obvious feature of the BlackBerry Passport is its square shape. The company has been touting the square-ness as being perfect for those who like to read on their smartphones because the screen is wider, giving more space to read each line across. It also features a high resolution screen and a physical QWERTY keyboard.
When compared to BlackBerry’s other rectangular phones, it’s pretty easy to see how much bigger the Passport is. But in spite of the large size, Smartmania claims that it easily slides into a pocket. Also the physical keyword will apparently work like a touchscreen as well, enabling users to swipe between letters and numbers while typing, just as some touchscreen-only smartphones allow.
Other observations that are easy to make is a bit of a curve on the back of the handset, even though it has a boxy design. Also the camera is right next to the SIM card slow and the SD card slot.
Will the Passport be enough to win people back to BlackBerry?
So far, those who have reviewed the BlackBerry Passport have had plenty of good things to say about it. The phone’s high resolution screen has garnered a ton of glowing reviews. Of course BlackBerry is facing an uphill battle against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android phones.
The company is taking a huge gamble by releasing a square phone like the Passport because it’s unlike anything else on the market. Then again, any new phone from BlackBerry is basically a huge gamble, as the failure of its touchscreen phones has made evident. So will the Passport bring BlackBerry back into the good graces of its former fans?
It’s far too early to tell now, but one thing’s for sure: the thing will probably either totally bomb or be a big hit, at least with former BlackBerry loyalists. After all, with a square-shaped smartphone, it’s hard to imagine that the reaction will be anything in between.