The Passport's large, square shape is designed to make reading better.
Somewhere along the line, BlackBerry missed the bus. Everything was great for the Canadian company, until consumers moved away from big physical keyboards on their phone. Since the disastrous launch of BlackBerry 10 last year, the company keeps bailing water to stay afloat. Its latest attempt at relevance is the Passport, whose square design is bound to cock a few eyebrows.
Unlike the traditional long, rectangular shape, the Passport is a 4.5" square. According to BlackBerry, the wider shape allows it to fit a more optimal number of characters on a line. While most current phones can fit 40, the Passport will fit 60. As BlackBerry puts it, "the Passport is like the IMAX of productivity".
The device is perfect for architects, writers, and anyone in finance, according to BlackBerry. The Passport is also HIPAA compliant, so it can legally handle medical records. It's clear that BlackBerry's pitching this to businesses, traditionally its best customer.
You might notice that the small physical keyboard at the bottom doesn't have a shift key. This, along with a few other keys, was replaced with a swipe gesture, so "when you are looking to type stories or notes, your virtual keyboard doesn't cover most of your screen." It's an interesting idea, but I'd still like to see how this is supposed to fit in a pocket.