The latest handset from Blackberry is bigger than the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 but its design makes it far from being considered a phablet.
Last week, we learned that Blackberry’s CEO John Chen confirmed the existence of the much rumored “Windermere” handset at the company’s quarterly earnings call. Dubbed the “Passport,” it is a monster sized Blackberry with a QHD screen that the company hopes will secure them a spot in the rapidly expanding phablet market, but there is just one problem – it’s not a phablet.
One thing is for sure: the Passport is one of the biggest Blackberry’s we have seen to date and at close to 5-inches wide it is even bigger than the Galaxy Note 3, the unofficial gold standard of phablets, but unfortunately for Blackberry physical dimensions alone are not what make a phablet.
First off, the Passport features an unusual 4.5-inch square display with a resolution of 1440 x 1440. Sure, the resolution is impressive but phablets are meant to offer a rich multimedia experience and multitasking functionality that other smartphones just can’t match. So unless you are using this thing to watch TV shows from the 90’s, you won’t be taking full advantage of the available screen space as most games and movies these days are displayed in a widescreen format.
Right below the screen is a bare-bones QWERTY keyboard that is shorter and wider than most of the keyboards found on other Blackberry devices. Rumors from Blackberry insider N4BB indicate that it will be touch sensitive and will function like a trackpad. For example, users can swipe they keyboard from right-to-left to delete words when typing or use it to scroll through webpages when in landscape mode.
While it’s obvious that Blackberry is staying true to their roots, the Passport would have been much better off with an extra inch of screen space and a virtual keyboard like the one found on the Blackberry Z3, giving the Passport a 6-inch display that would place it among the ranks of the Galaxy Mega or Xperia Z Ultra.
Looking past its unusual rectangular design, not much else is known about the Passport other than it will be officially launched in September at a special event in London. Under the hood, the new Blackberry Passport could feature a quad-core Snapdragon MSM8974 processor with an Adreno 330 GPU and 3GB of RAM, according to reports by N4BB.
It’s not exactly clear what Blackberry is trying to accomplish with the Passport; it appears to be nothing more than a really big device aimed towards business executives, not a phablet.