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BlackBerry Passport Launches with Square Screen and Keyboard

BlackBerry launches the Passport, a smartphone with a large, square screen and a physical keyboard.

The keyboard is back. The BlackBerry Passport was unveiled on Wednesday as the work-friendly competitor to phones from Apple and Samsung. Besides the physical keyboard, its most notable feature is the 4.5-inch by 4.5-inch square display. It also promises an impressive 30 hours of battery life. During the launch event in Toronto, the BlackBerry Passport was clearly being targeted toward business users, who have long been the company's bread and butter. Passport will be the first BlackBerry device to feature BlackBerry Assistant, touted as "a personal assistant built for work." It's kind of like Siri, if Apple's assistant had access to users' work email and calendars. BlackBerry boasted that the Passport's speaker is 350 times louder than the one on the Samsung Galaxy S5, which could be useful for conference calls. As for specs, the BlackBerry Passport has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, 32 GB of storage and a 2.2 GHz quad-core processor. The phone is available now for $249 with a two-year contract and $599 unlocked.




— Keith Wagstaff