Yesterday, BlackBerry announced that a redesigned BlackBerry Passport smartphone will be available exclusively on AT&T. The phone was redesigned after the carrier made a specific request that the phone should have rounded corners.
Ergonomically speaking, sharper edges could especially be a problem for the Passport because it is unusually wide for a modern smartphone.
“We value our continued partnership with AT&T and we look forward to launching the new and uniquely designed BlackBerry Passport device for AT&T customers in the U.S. Built with security at its core, the BlackBerry Passport stands apart from the rectangular-screen, all-touch devices in the market today, offering users more than a full day of battery life and new innovations, including the industry's first touch-enabled QWERTY keyboard." — Ron Louks, President, Devices and Emerging Solutions, BlackBerry
The BlackBerry Passport has a square 4.5-inch 1440x1440 screen, which is accompanied by a wider-than-usual "portrait" keyboard. It has a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, microSD support up to 128GB, 13MP camera with OIS on the back and a 2MP camera with HD recording in front. The device also supports 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and comes with a big 3450mAh battery.
The Passport comes with BlackBerry OS 10.3.1, which is based on the secure QNX operating system that BlackBerry bought a few years back.The OS includes apps and services such as BlackBerry Blend, which lets customers securely access messages and content; BlackBerry Assistant, a Siri-like voice-controlled personal assistant; and BlackBerry Hub, where users can see all of their notifications and emails in one place.
The BlackBerry Passport will be available in the near future for $0 down with a $21.64 per month AT&T Next 24 plan, $27.09 per month AT&T Next 18 plan or $32.50 per month AT&T Next 12 plan. The phone will also be available for $200 on a two year contract, or $650 unlocked. BlackBerry will announce additional availability (possibly in other countries) for the Passport in the coming weeks.