On Wednesday (July 9), BlackBerry revealed a new phone, called the Passport, with a 4.5-inch square screen.
As you can see in the photo (above), it makes for a unique form factor with sharp edges. The physical keyboard looks different: It only has three rows of buttons.
Yesterday (July 19), Michael Clewley, Director of Software Product Management at BlackBerry, wrote on the company blog that the Passport "re-invents the mobile keyboard."
He wrote: "With the Passportís touch-enabled keyboard, youíll be able to navigate web pages, apps and e-mails by lightly brushing your fingers over the keys, which helps with things like scrolling and cursor placement.
"Itís a minimalist design that maximizes BlackBerry Passportís already-awesome amount of screen real estate. Youíll be able to read documents faster, as well as keep your fingers close to the keys, ready to type."
I'm a little skeptical. The square screen ssems gimmicky and basically looks like an old BlackBerry, which we all know has already gone out of style. Granted, it may appeal to loyal BlackBerry fans in terms of its "retro" design. The sharp edges also make it appear less pocketable.
I'd have to try the keyboard to see how user friendly it is, though. Click through to Clewley's full blog post to see all the purported benefits of the new Passport keyboard.