Blackberry Ltd. has announced the release of a weird new rectangle that is supposed to be some kind of phone, that they call the “Passport.” Joining the race in “phablet” market a little late in the game, the former tech giant is hoping to foster renewed interest in their, primarily business, market structure. The phone, while not the only new device the company plans to release, is one of the most interesting. The “Passport” was joined by the “Classic,” formerly know as the Q20, when the two were announced together at the company’s annual meeting. Little is known about the “Classic” currently, except that it will have a 3.5 inch screen, a full QWERTY keyboard, and a “large battery.”
Far more is known about the “Passport” however. Starting with the screen, which for this phone is a strange one, users may find the 1,440 by 1,440 a little hard to get used to. Most rectangular phones use what is called an Aspect Ratio. Apps and pictures have to be adjusted to fit the screen. So if there is an image being displayed on a screen with an aspect ratio of 4:3 this means that for every 4 inches the image is tall it is 3 inches wide. When talking about these ratios, however, the type of measurement being used, inches in the case, is irrelevant. Only the ratio itself matters. The reason for this explanation, though, is because of the crazy ratio that the “Passport” uses. It is a 1:1 ratio because the screen is a square instead of an actual rectangle.
Looking past the unusual design of the curious new rectangle, Blackberry Ltd.’s “Passport” has the internals that really start jumping off the page as well. A 4.5 inch screen, sporting a rumored 453 PPI (Pixel Per Inch), fills the eyes with 16 million possible colors. In addition to this, features such as Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, MicroSD support, and LTE connectivity make this phone worth more than just a passing glance. The final icing on the cake is that Blackberry Ltd.’s new “Passport” comes with a Qualcomm Quad-Core Snapdragon 800 processor that could top out at 2.3 GHz. That is a pretty great looking phone a high level media consumer.
The unusual new rectangle their calling “Passport” aside, Blackberry Ltd. will be adding its new phones to a long list on its “10” line that will be enjoying a new relationship with Amazon. Having Amazons support combine with the news of Blackberry Inc.’s new phones caused the its stock to jump nearly 8 percent before the stock markets closed Friday. Even though Blackberry has been out of the mobile market game for the past few years, does not mean that the company is ready with a few trump cards. Making a comeback with a “phablet” though, so close to the rumored 5.5 inch iPhone 6, and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 at a rumored 5.7 inches, is a pretty gutsy move. As the niche “phablet” market gains more mainstream attention, it is possible that this strange new little rectangle will emerge with more than a few fans, and could help bring Blackberry Ltd. back to life.
Opinion By Phillip Schmidt