My first reaction when I saw the 4.5-inch square ‘revolutionary’ Padfone thing that BlackBerry called the passport was: ‘This thing is ugly’. I thought the design decisions behind the gadget was questionable. It wasn’t just me though. Many people agreed with me.

But now BlackBerry has come out to express some of its reasoning behind the Passport, in a blog post where it so obviously avoids calling it either a phone or a tablet directly. BlackBerry knows that the 4.5-inch square screened smartphone/tablet/whatever-mobile-computer, with a full hardware keyboard, is weird. It is square, meaning it’s almost as wide as two iPhones placed side-by-side.

The explanation first waxed academic, educating us about the fact that the Passport’s ‘size and aspect ratio is designed to accommodate the optimal number of characters on a line in a book, making it the ideal device for reading e-books, viewing documents and browsing the web. Likening it to the IMAX of productivity, it states: No more worrying about portrait or landscape modes, and no; you aren’t missing anything.’ Business people, Check!

BlackBerry blogger, Matt Young pointed out that the Passport was designed from the ground up with the working professional in mind, a tool for many trades, making it an ideal digital companion, for architects and real estate professionals switching between blueprints and contract docs; doctors checking X-rays and patient info forms; financiers watching the stock market bob up and down; and writers looking for the joys only a real physical keyboard can bring.

In essence, the Blackberry Passport is a model business device. Blackberry wants you to imagine the possibilities. But is this is a better or worse idea than the curved screen smartphone?

Read the full blog post by Blackberry.

Odunayo Eweniyi Author

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