The BlackBerry Passport Is A Phablet With A Hardware Keyboard That Makes No Sense Whatsoever

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Just when you think you might have figured out what BlackBerry is up to (a strong push in enterprise services and emerging markets like the Internet of Things) they go and do something like the BlackBerry Passport.

The device broke cover today (via MobileSyrup) during the Canadian smartphone maker’s earnings call, and it’s set to be launched in September this year, following an official unveiling with more details about specs and pricing coming then.

The BlackBerry Passport has a 4.5-inch square display that manages an admittedly impressive-sounding 1440×1440 resolution, but everything else about it is crazy and not impressive. It sports a QWERTY hardware keyboard underneath that huge square display, which is rumored to be touch-sensitive for gesture interaction, and it’ll be unwieldy with a device width that exceeds that of the gargantuan Galaxy Note 3.

Honestly I have no idea what to say about this device. It’s not a Playbook, to its credit, but is it something better? BlackBerry is clearly committed to its core audience’s love of the hardware keyboard, but putting one on what’s basically a tablet seems like the wrong way to interpret that desire.

At least now that they’re partnering with Foxconn on all new hardware, they’ll be offsetting some of the cost of making this improbable beast. And I do kind of want one for the lulz.