BlackBerry explains why they made a square smartphone

BlackBerry explains why they made a square smartphone

BlackBerry recently announced a new smartphone with an unconventional shape – the BlackBerry Passport. It takes on a 1440 x 1440 display resolution giving it a square build combined with its trademark physical keyboard. The phone received mixed responses afterwards which made the company release an explanation regarding this odd form factor.


Samples were previously given as to where the Passport would prove useful. Now BlackBerry adds more reasons why they went with this design. One of the main purposes is to maximize reading. BlackBerry noted that the screen is 4.5 inches which is twice as wide as the screen of the iPhone 5S.

“Based on academic typology, the optimal number of characters on a line in a book is 66 characters (current rectangular smartphones show approx. 40 characters and BlackBerry will show 60 characters,” the statement said. “BlackBerry Passport offers its size and aspect ratio to accommodate these characters.”


One thing people are complaining about is its lack of a full keyboard as other important keys like Shift and Caps were omitted. The company defended the Passport and said that it helps writing efficiency and speed since “when you are looking to type stories or notes, your virtual keyboard doesn’t cover most of your screen.”

Obviously, the Passport isn’t aimed at a wide range of consumers. It has its specific target market and that’s what’s BlackBerry is most likely targeting to find its own new niche. If you were in a field of work that would make the Passport useful, would you find yourself getting one?

BlackBerry Passport specs:
4.5-inch 1440 x 1440 touch screen display, 453ppi
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core CPU
32GB internal storage
up to 64GB via microSD
13 megapixel rear camera w/ LED flash
2 megapixel front camera
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0 LE, w/ A2DP
3,450mAh non-removable battery
BlackBerry 10.3 OS


Kevin Bruce Francisco is the Senior Editor and Video Producer for YugaTech. He's a Digital Filmmaking graduate who's always either daydreaming of traveling or actually going places on his bike. Follow him on Twitter for more tech updates @kevincofrancis.

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14 Responses

  1. Sachi says:

    I’ve always been a fan of physical keyboards so this works well for me. Long gone are the days when one would have to look forward to phones with exciting hardware features such as the Nokia N series. It’s quite refreshing to see something new from the market.

  2. Easy E says:

    naalala ko ang LG VU. Is it left for dead? Napaka scientific naman ng bb. Hope this will turn into profit. Pricing? I want this as a toy.

  3. Oona says:

    I would love my company to release this as our business phone. Unfortunately they’re starting to roll out iPhones which would be useless since it will be restricted from installing apps and personal stuff.

  4. Booz says:

    If there will be an Instagram App for this phone, square screen will be all worth it. LOL.

    • bobby says:

      Yeah! After the launch of Instagram for Windows Phone, sana nga they’ll add an app version for BlackBerry.

    • menglim says:

      You ca get igrann. A blackberry client app for IG and it works great!

  5. gadgeteer says:

    because of this blackberry has finally sealed it’s fate of doom! goodbye blackberry!

  6. BB says:

    Hay naku, BB. Your new phone is fugly! It’s like you’re intentionally killing yourself.

  7. Orange says:

    Fugly? It looks very slick, and you can tell the build has a premium feel to it even without touching it. Sana nga this will be my next company issued phone! I’m not happy with iPhone 5s at all – the only good thing about it is its looks (have the gold one) but it gets old fast.

  8. Greg says:

    Looks like a beautifully crafted device, in my opinion. I remember when Samsung first came out with the Note and everyone was shocked and called it fugly too. I’m sure this “fugly” BlackBerry would be a bestseller.

  9. Oona says:

    I’m sure papatok to sa business users who understands how Blackberry’s enterprise integration is unbeatable. I heard corporate release lang to and not mainstream. Imagine remote desktop on this screen!! The resolution is higher than my company laptop’s!

  10. I actually like the design of the phone. The phone’s design, I think, undergone a very long process critical thinking. I just appreciated the phone more because of their explanation of the design. Looking forward to having this. ???? Calling out to my mom, ma oh! Hahaha ????

  11. kamoteNamanOh says:

    kung may android phone na ganito ang style… that would be really great.

  12. nameless says:

    I also think that the dimension of this phone is good! Perfect for one-hand reading (like LG Gpad 8.3) and perfect for two-hand typing.

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