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BlackBerry goes for qwerty keyboard, again, in Passport smartphone

Matt Hamblen | Sept. 25, 2014
Square-shaped display, quad-core processor, big battery, and new voice assistant might attract older BlackBerry users who still want a physical keyboard.

Because of the Passport's square display size, BlackBerry said users will see a truer browser page or more columns in an Excel spreadsheet. BlackBerry also claims that users' typing on the device's qwerty keyboard was nearly four times more accurate — meaning fewer typos — than when using a BlackBerry 10 device with a virtual keyboard.

The qwerty keyboard also innovates with a responsive touch surface in addition to its touchscreen display. Many touch functions can be performed from the keyboard across all the keys, like a trackpad, including scrolling up and down through Web pages and moving the cursor left or right for document edits.

Passport's 3,450 mAh battery is the largest of any smartphone on the market, offering 30 hours of mixed use, BlackBerry said. However, it is not removable.

The phone also has two cameras with image stabilization — a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front camera.

Passport also comes with BlackBerry's first quad-core processor, a 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 801. There is 3GB of RAM, with 32GB of internal storage.

While the Passport is almost exactly the size of a travel passport, it is much heavier at 6.9 ounces. In overall size, it is 5 in. x 3.5 in. x 0.36 in., making it shorter than the new iPhone 6 Plus with its 5.5-in. display, but wider and thicker.


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