BlackBerry explains the design decision behind the Passport's square display

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blackberry, tablet, smartphone, phone, passport, blackberry passport, spreadhseets

Last month we profiled BlackBerry's upcoming Passport smartphone. The title of the article labeled the handset as an oddball considering its square display - a design decision that's went largely unexplained until now.

BlackBerry's Matt Young recently penned a blog post on the matter to offer up some answers. It's here that he bashes the rectangular design of most modern smartphones and calls for change in the form of the Passport. He said the phone was inspired by an actual passport as it is the universal symbol of mobility.

That sounds great in theory, but again, why go with a square screen?

As Young notes, academic typology claims the optimal number of characters on a line in a book is 66 characters. Most rectangular smartphones display around 40 characters but the Passport will show 60. This will make the device ideal for reading e-books, viewing documents and browsing the web, we're told.

BlackBerry offered up an analogy to help make this easier to envision. If you've ever been to watch a movie on an IMAX screen, you've no doubt seen how films typically start in the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio used for conventional movie trailers. It's only when the film goes full screen that you get the full effect.

To that end, BlackBerry is hoping the Passport will be the IMAX of productivity (their words, not mine). The idea is that you won't have to sacrifice screen real estate, both vertically or horizontally. The screen size could be ideal for a number of business professionals like architects, mortgage brokers, and those in the healthcare and finance fields but whether or not it'll be a hit in the real world remains to be seen.

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