BlackBerry Passport: Hello, innovation. Goodbye, BYOD?

Square display is not for squares

blackberry passport

We have seen the future, and it's square. At least, that's what BlackBerry would have us believe. Early reactions to its new Passport smartphone are... Well, read on to find out.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers gettaloada the unity aspect ratio.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Matt Hamblen gets to the point, without rambling: [You're fired -Ed.]

BlackBerry announced its Passport[ting] there are users who will want a qwerty physical keyboard with a...square, 4.5-in. display...for $599 unlocked.

Wayne Gretzky...praised the long battery life. ... "From day one, I've been a BlackBerry user and I really believe in the product." Gretzy said it's best to pay attention to what BlackBerry will do in the future:.."Go to where the puck's going to be, not where it was."  MORE

Andrew Orlowski makes a British joke, meaning it polarizes opinion:

Passport is a Marmite device – you'll either love it or absolutely hate it.

BlackBerry may as well have called it the “***”. [That TLA is NSFW -Ed.]

But you can’t fault BlackBerry for not thinking about trying to improve the everyday basics...its QWERTY keyboard doubles as a capacitive multitouch trackpad...I particularly enjoyed being able to select and manipulate blocks of text very can move your hands out of the way - and keep them out of the way - so they don’t obscure the screen...that’s when you really start to appreciate that the eccentric design isn’t just for show.

It runs Android apps without delay and without any perceptible lag. [It's] a solid, substantial, well-made device that’s weirdly larger and smaller than you think [with] a terrific battery - 3450mAh - with what BlackBerry claims is a 30-hour battery life. ... The Paratek antenna that made [the] Z30 so capable in poor reception conditions is here. [It] cleverly adjusts the call volume based on ambient background noise. ... The Passport is designed to get BlackBerry noticed again – and it may well do’s seriously put itself back in contention with a powerful and practical phone...and grabs the ‘Think Different’ laurels back.  MORE

But Blackberry's Donny Halliwell is not at all biased:

This is a unique new device that allows you to work wide...built to keep you productive...standout benefits...amazing new device...built for the most demanding user using durable materials.

Actual results may vary.  MORE

So Jin S. Kim displays his interest:

The name Passport is superb, and gets an A+ in marketing. [It] makes me think of business people who travel a lot. ... The square display is unusual, but it is purpose driven: it lets the business person read, review spreadsheets and presentations.

I do not think targeting regular iPhone and Android folks; the company is laser focused on business people who want to get stuff done.  MORE

Meanwhile, Eric spots the fly in the ointment of BB's shquare shcreen schtick:

If only there were a way to use "Smartphone X" horizontally...
Oh, wait...  MORE


You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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