BlackBerry today officially took the wraps off the Passport, its new smartphone rocking a square display.
The Passport’s 4.5-inch Gorilla Glass 3 screen has a 1:1 aspect ratio and a 1440×1440 pixel (453 dpi) resolution. Inside its packing a big 3450 mAh battery and a huge 4GB of RAM. It also features 32GB of internal storage, a 13-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization, and a quad-core 2.2 GHz processor.
The Passport’s keyboard doubles as a responsive touch surface allowing for functions like scrolling and moving a cursor. BlackBerry has also taken steps to improve call quality with the Passport, building in something called Natural Sound that will adjust call sound and volume automatically based on phone placement and background noise.
The Passport is also one of the first smartphones running BlackBerry 10.3. The new OS features BlackBerry Assistant, which responds to voice commands and text. It responds audibly to voice commands, silently to text commands, and with added context for commands received via a Bluetooth-connected accessory.
BB 10.3 also introduced BlackBerry Blend, allowing content and messaging to sync and share across all devices regardless of operating system. BB 10.3 devices will also get access to both the BlackBerry World and Amazon app storefronts.
Early reviews have praised the battery life and display quality but have been critical of the square design.
As previously announced, the Passport costs $599. It’s on sale today online at BlackBerry and Amazon as well as through “local carriers around the world.” AT&T will be selling the phone at a reported $249 on contract.