BlackBerry is planning to showcase its Passport smartphone at a trio of media events this Wednesday. The phone, with its unusual 4.5-inch square display, will become available for purchase on the same day according to BlackBerry CEO John Chen.
During a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Chen revealed the Passport will debut at $599 in the US (unlocked, contract-free). That’s a good bit cheaper than most other flagship smartphones, an advantage that Chen believes will encourage user adoption.
For those not up to speed, the Passport is expected to ship with a quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC clocked at 2.2GHz alongside 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard flash storage (expandable via microSD card slot). A 13-megapixel camera is believed to be positioned around back while a 2-megapixel shooter is expected to draw the assignment on the opposite side.
A 3,450mAh battery is rumored to offer up to 19 hours of use per charge but it’s the screen that people are most curious about.
The 4.5-inch display operates at 1,440 x 1,440 and is unlike anything we’ve seen in the modern smartphone era. As BlackBerry’s Matt Young explained over the summer, the phone was inspired by an actual passport as it is considered the universal symbol of mobility.
More importantly, however, the Passport's display is said to be ideal for reading e-books, viewing documents and browsing the web as it can show more characters per line of text than the average rectangular smartphone.