BlackBerry releases the Passport

    New smartphone includes a high-res 4.5-inch square screen
    BlackBerry's Passport to recovery?
    BlackBerry's Passport to recovery?


    BlackBerry launched its latest smartphone, the BlackBerry Passport yesterday.

    The new smartphone, which was launched simultaneously in Toronto, London and Dubai features a large square touch screen and new QWERTY touch-enabled keyboard.

    "As we set out to design BlackBerry Passport, we were guided by a simple yet challenging idea - to set aside the limitations of traditional design and to instead simply build a device that fundamentally changes the way business professionals get work done on their smartphone," said John Chen, executive chairman and CEO at BlackBerry.

    "The BlackBerry Passport was created to drive productivity and to break through the sea of rectangular-screen, all-touch devices."

    According to a statement from BlackBerry, the new handset, which includes a includes a high-res 4.5 inch square screen was inspired by actual passports, as the universal symbol of mobility and is exactly the size of a regular passport.

    Thanks to its square design, the new BlackBerry has been nick-named a "squablet", Ashish Panjabi, COO of Jacky's Group tweeted: "In a month full of phablet launches, we have a #squablet launch here in Dubai. #Blackberry #Passport".

    The Passport features a 13MP rear camera, a 3450 mAh battery, which the company says provides up to 30 hours of talk-time, runs on a Quad Core 2.2 GHZ Processor and includes 3GB RAM and 32GB memory.

    The Passport also comes with BlackBerry's new 10.3 OS, which includes new features such as the BlackBerry Assistant - Siri's competitor, BlackBerry Blend - which lets users sync all their devices, and the Amazon Appstore which showcases the latest Android games and apps, such as Minecraft - Pocket Edition, Candy Crush Saga, Pinterest and Temple Run 2.

    Priced at AED 2,699, it will be launched specifically in BlackBerry's Dubai Mall store today, and will be available across the UAE by the end of this month.

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