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BlackBerry's Innovation: Square-Screened Smartphones

Soulskill posted about two weeks ago | from the bet-you-didn't-know-you-needed-that dept.

Blackberry 139

EthanV2 sends word that BlackBerry, having finally caught up to a world dominated by smartphones, is now trying to push the envelope by developing a smartphone with a square screen. The BlackBerry Passport has a 4.5-inch screen with a resolution of 1440x1440. The phone has a physical keyboard as well. In a blog post about the new phone, they show a picture with it side-by-side with an iPhone and a Galaxy S5 — the Passport is slightly taller than the iPhone, and significantly wider, as you'd expect. The Passport is a play for BlackBerry's "traditional" work-oriented user base, where the earlier BlackBerry Z10 and Z30 were efforts to break into the post-iPhone consumer smartphone space. Though the Passport may well be preferable for spreadsheets and word processing, that square screen will be much less useful for widescreen movies, and its wide, blocky design will entirely prohibit one-handed use. The Passport is expected to appear later this year, and it will launch with BlackBerry 10.3 (at least, according to early hands-on previews).

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139 comments

Well that does solve the vertical video problem :) (2)

Obscene_CNN (3652201) | about two weeks ago | (#47410769)

Well that does solve the whole vertical video problem doesn't it :)

Re:Well that does solve the vertical video problem (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about two weeks ago | (#47410967)

How do I say it? In just one word? How do I proclaim the way you won me over, once again?

Shall I try to give voice to these feelings? Listen as I whisper in your ear: "QWERTYUIOP"

Re:Well that does solve the vertical video problem (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about two weeks ago | (#47411779)

Listen as I whisper in your ear: "QWERTYUIOP"

Listen to the words of the serpent I shall not!

For in my visions I have seen The Answer... and it is spelt thus:

',.PYFGCRL

Re:Well that does solve the vertical video problem (1)

Mal-2 (675116) | about two weeks ago | (#47412681)

Listen to the words of the serpent I shall not!

For in my visions I have seen The Answer... and it is spelt thus:

',.PYFGCRL

As much as I swear by Dvorak, it's not particularly well suited for thumb-boarding. (Also, not related to Blackberry style keyboards, but it's MUCH worse than QWERTY when it comes to trying to type with one hand on a temporary basis.)

Re:Well that does solve the vertical video problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47411161)

Square screens: because FUCK your pockets!

Re:Well that does solve the vertical video problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47412129)

at least it's not shaped like a bar of Toblerone

Re:Well that does solve the vertical video problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47412171)

Not all of us wear skinny jeans, some of us wear cargo pants or a suit-and-tie ensemble, both of which can hold airline boarding passes and/or a passport-wallet sized item, which seems to be about what they're targeting here size-wise.

So honestly? BRING IT!

Re:Well that does solve the vertical video problem (1)

davester666 (731373) | about two weeks ago | (#47413173)

did you look at a boarding pass, the envelop of crap they ram it into and your passport?

guess what you see? rectangles.

rectangles that are a LOT narrower than this thing.

I believe Stephen Colbert has a custom-made jacket with a pocket that can hold this...

Re:Well that does solve the vertical video problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47412987)

Nonsensical comment is nonsensical -- and incorrect, as the Passport fits perfectly in pockets, just like, I don't know -- a passport.

hexagonal? (2)

goombah99 (560566) | about two weeks ago | (#47412173)

A hexagonal screen would not only solve the vertical screen problem but also the 60 degree angle screen.

Re:hexagonal? (1)

Enfixed (2423494) | about two weeks ago | (#47413171)

I'm glad to see Blackberry blackberry innovating a square screen phone with keyboard [pdamu.com] . Oops, that's Microsoft's failed phone... my bad.

Re:Well that does solve the vertical video problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47412729)

There are still a few improvements that I can think of:

A circular screen will work in *any* orientation. I think I should patent that.

A triangular screen will be ideal for GCHQ and NSA spooks, so that they can display the 'all seeing eye' logo.

Bad mashup between a tablet and phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47410779)

Looks like they tried to come off as something that works as a smartphone and a tablet, and it looks like it will do both poorly. It's smaller than an user would get with a tablet, and too large to fit in anyone's pocket comfortably.

Re:Bad mashup between a tablet and phone (1)

Maxwell (13985) | about two weeks ago | (#47410829)

There was a time when BB didn't fit in pockets either, they were worn in little holders attached to your belt. Back to the future, man.

Bad mashup between a tablet and phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47410871)

I'd like to see the HAND of the creator that would use the PHONE.

Obi Wans opinion on the Blackberry (2, Funny)

maroberts (15852) | about two weeks ago | (#47410783)

I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

It's like we've learned nothing in 5000 years (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about two weeks ago | (#47410791)

1.25-1.5:1 How hard is that? We've got centuries of experience in making page sizes for reading and viewing, and most of them fall into that range. Unless you're Hasselblad, ditch the square. If you're not a television, please don't use 16:9.

#getoffmylawn

Re:It's like we've learned nothing in 5000 years (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about two weeks ago | (#47410827)

Have you seen some of the recent "Hasseblad" cameras, i.e. Sonys in wood? Expect to see a Hasselblad cell phone in wood. With a square display. A rebranded Blackberry, of course!

Re:It's like we've learned nothing in 5000 years (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about two weeks ago | (#47410903)

The limiting factor on a phone is what you can wrap your hand around. This thing looks so wide it couldn't be operated in a single hand. I notice that a lot of BB users are two-handers though, perhaps because of the keyboard, so maybe it isn't a problem in their target market.

Re:It's like we've learned nothing in 5000 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47411199)

The limiting factor on a phone is what you can wrap your hand around.

This also applies to countless existing phones. I'm looking at you 4.7" and greater displays!

Re:It's like we've learned nothing in 5000 years (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about two weeks ago | (#47412071)

The limiting factor for me is what I can see and that's nothing smaller than a 5" screen. My wife got a Note3 and it's perfect for her because it resides in her purse which hold about 380 pounds of various things but a nearly 6 inch phone is too big for my pocket. The Samsung S4 does fit in my pocket just fine so that's the perfect size for ME. You can use a tiny phone if you like but I am done with eye strain.

Re:It's like we've learned nothing in 5000 years (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about two weeks ago | (#47412425)

I though the big limiting factor was being able to jam it into a shirt pocket. Although it seems shirt pockets already need to do a bit of catching up definitely needing to become a bit deeper.

Re:It's like we've learned nothing in 5000 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47411057)

1.618. So, no. Poor Blackberry. Poor us. At least we deserve it. Blackberry didn't do anything. Nothing.

Name That Show! (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | about two weeks ago | (#47411129)

"1, 1, 2, 3, 5, eureka!"

It's like we've learned nothing in 5000 years (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47411067)

> If you're not a television, please don't use 16:9.

Unless you watch videos. Then only 16:9.

Re:It's like we've learned nothing in 5000 years (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about two weeks ago | (#47412085)

I watch videos on a phone seldom. Even my 5" screen is too small for that to be fun. I do try to web surf but at 16:9 or 9:16 that's just awkward and painful as well. Some of the sites designed for mobile phones aren't too bad but I've given up on /. It truly sucks on the small screen.

Re:It's like we've learned nothing in 5000 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47412269)

Are you legally blind or something?

Re:It's like we've learned nothing in 5000 years (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about two weeks ago | (#47412455)

Don't be ignorant. If I was legally blind I'd have to carry a 55" monitor. Peering into a tiny screen for long periods of time causes eye strain. I see enough people around me holding their phones up to their faces and squinting to know I'm not the only one.

Re:It's like we've learned nothing in 5000 years (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about two weeks ago | (#47411715)

If you're not a television, please don't use 16:9.

The iPhone seems to be doing pretty well with 16:9. Although given their marketing around how its current ratio and dimensions are perfect the rumors of a size bump in the next iteration are likely to make them look a bit stupid.

Re:It's like we've learned nothing in 5000 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47411821)

given their marketing around how its current ratio and dimensions are perfect the rumors of a size bump in the next iteration are likely to make them look a bit stupid.

and their legions of fans who perpetuated that silliness because apple told them it was so and will now tell them something different that they will then proclaim as gospel. this happened when manufacturers bumped screen sizes while the iphone sat at 3.5", ifans pontificated that any bigger was unwieldy and that 3.5" was perfect, then came 4" and it was claimed that 3.5" actually wasn't perfect but that a taller 4" screen was now perfect because the human hand (which as we all know is one size and does not vary) can reach from one corner to the opposite one. soon, if rumors turn out to be true, they will tell us how 4.7" *and* 5.5" are the perfect sizes.

Re:It's like we've learned nothing in 5000 years (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about two weeks ago | (#47412111)

The 3:2 version was better. As is the 4:3 iPad. I currently have a 16:9 windows tablet and iPhone, and they'd be much more useful as either of those two ratios. I rarely use my iPad anymore because it's so hobbled by the OS as to be utterly inefficient at anything productive, but it kicks the windows tablet's ass when it comes to reading/browsing anything. Jobs had it right, but the son of a bitch died and left a bunch of 12 year old girls running the company.

Re:It's like we've learned nothing in 5000 years (1)

kylemonger (686302) | about two weeks ago | (#47412361)

That's never bothered Apple before. Jobs touted how great the PPC architecture was right up until they switched to Intel. They also touted how great the ergonomics of the desklamp iMacs were until suddenly cramming all the computer components behind the screen was more perfect in the new iMacs. Tablet computers were a joke until Apple decided they weren't. (Well, OK, they were right about that.)

A phone you can't fit in your pocket. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47410797)

Genius.

Re:A phone you can't fit in your pocket. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47411933)

Like almost every touchscreen now sold.

"Welcome to the Blackberry video rental site! ..." (1)

tlambert (566799) | about two weeks ago | (#47410803)

"Welcome to the Blackberry video rental site! ... where everyone is tall and thin, because we don't believe in 4:5 or 16:9 aspect ratios!"

Re:"Welcome to the Blackberry video rental site! . (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | about two weeks ago | (#47411135)

Yeah - Blackberry is doing a great job of emulating video rental stores.

1440 wide vs 1080 wide (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about two weeks ago | (#47410805)

The picture next to the Samsung S5 is not very fair. They show the 1080 pixel wide S5 only fitting two and a half spread sheet columns on the screen.
The 1440 pixel wide BB has 11 columns.

The biggest difference there is the spread sheet viewing app, not the screen (both have the same number of pixels too).

Re:1440 wide vs 1080 wide (5, Funny)

Defenestrar (1773808) | about two weeks ago | (#47411155)

No no no - the pixels aren't the same because the Blackberry has true square pixels - which is the best, and the Samsung has the narrow rectangular pixels which aren't very good for spreadsheets or other business applications.

Re:1440 wide vs 1080 wide (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about two weeks ago | (#47411951)

I suppose the rounded corners on the iPhone pixels makes it bad for spreadsheets too

Re:1440 wide vs 1080 wide (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | about two weeks ago | (#47413217)

Agreed, plus spreadsheets and some web pages are best viewed in landscape mode.

It looks like the Blackberry habit of using hard keyboards has stymied their designers. Perhaps Blackberry could learn from the good old dopod [smh.com.au] .

Que the outrage (3, Insightful)

Maxwell (13985) | about two weeks ago | (#47410807)

Complaints of "no one is innovating anymore" followed closely by "look at BB, stupids, phones HAVE to be one handed and pocketable! No innovation allowed!"

Me? I kind of like it. I use two hands anyway so why not make a true two handed device?

Re:Que the outrage (3)

Maxwell (13985) | about two weeks ago | (#47410821)

And BB were always fat and square before the Bold models got slimmer. This is like the true successor to the click wheel line.

Re:Que the outrage (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about two weeks ago | (#47410885)

Complaints of "no one is innovating anymore" followed closely by "look at BB, stupids, phones HAVE to be one handed and pocketable! No innovation allowed!"

To be fair, "let's make our smartphone bigger!" isn't exactly groundbreaking innovation. It's exactly what everybody else has been doing for a few years now.

Re:Que the outrage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47411077)

To be fair, allowing gestures on a keyboard is

Re:Que the outrage (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47411221)

They're actually behind the curve a bit on that. Some of us know better than to further wreck our vision watching movies on phones so we're not interested in 6" 2K HD displays. Yet we still want a fast CPUs with adequate storage, battery life, up-to-date radios and the latest OS software. Manufacturers have begun to respond; Xperia Z1 Compact, S4 mini and a few others have appeared. These are powerful phones that are "normal" sized circa 2010 before phones morphed into "phablets."

Sadly the next Nexus 6 grows huger with a 5.5" display..... women can barely operate these stupid things without both hands and a bench. WTF are they thinking?

Please stop buying this silly crap. What sort of homebody, office drone life must people lead such that these monster smartphones are acceptable? Go outside once a year. The instant you do you're going to discover that 18" sq. inches of costly electronics and 3000mah batteries are TOO DAMN MUCH to carry around.

Re:Que the outrage (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about two weeks ago | (#47412119)

Choice is good. You get to have your itty bitty little phone with it's itty bitty screen and I get to have my 5" phone with a beautiful screen I can actually see. You're happy with yours and I'm good with mine. I can carry it in my pocket just fine and it's not really all that heavy. My wife's pursed weighed a ton before she got her Note3 and it's not noticeably heavier now. Next to half the makeup counter at Macy's the phone weighs almost nothing.

Re:Que the outrage (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about two weeks ago | (#47412949)

Choice is good. You get to have your itty bitty little phone with it's itty bitty screen and I get to have my 5" phone with a beautiful screen I can actually see

Only if there was a choice.

I mean, the only GOOD android phones have huge screens, lots of RAM and powerful CPUs. The small screen android phones have shitty screens, shitty RAM, shitty CPUs, or all three.

And Apple is following this lead. It means I want a smaller screened phone I can use single-handedly, but I have to compromise something.

Be it iPhone, Android, or whatever, if you want something smaller, you give up a lot.

That's not a lot of choice there. Either I go your route and get a nice phone with nice everything, or I get a shitty phone with a shitty things. That's not choice.

Re:Que the outrage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47412179)

Of course choice is bad because there is a perfect size for everybody, but what is it?

The instant you do you're going to discover that 18" sq. inches of costly electronics and 3000mah batteries are TOO DAMN MUCH to carry around.

If you have little girl arms and youre confined to skinny jeans then yes but most of us arent.

Re:Que the outrage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47411185)

Que the outrage

I would, but I have to go Q up to learn Spanish to finish this joke.

Re:Que the outrage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47411437)

Que the outrage

I would, but I have to go queue up to learn Spanish to finish this joke.

FTFY

Re:Que the outrage (1)

BancBoy (578080) | about two weeks ago | (#47412469)

Failed That For You, I can only assume...

Re:Que the outrage (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about two weeks ago | (#47412125)

I would, but I have to go Q up to learn Spanish to finish this joke.

John de Lancie will come teach you Spanish?

Re:Que the outrage (3, Interesting)

taxman_10m (41083) | about two weeks ago | (#47411305)

Blackberry should make a killer android phone with qwerty slider.

Re:Que the outrage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47412145)

This phone will ship with the next release of BB10 (10.3), which, as it so-happens, can natively install and execute Android apps, and is fully compatible up to v4.3 ...

So what is it that you're asking for exactly?

-AC

Re:Que the outrage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47412991)

BB10.0 could run Android apps, although "natively" is completely wrong, since an emulator/subsystem is, by definition, not native.

Re:Que the outrage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47412973)

Thanks. Best post yet.

Not just the 'two hand' thing you mention but elimination of "flip" as a variable. I'm always flipping when editing something large and complex because the keyboard goes from 1/3rd to 2/3rds of the screen and "flip" is the only command to 'see more text while still having a keyboard'.

Yeah I understand my problem could be aided by an app, but I'm the likely target for BB: I have zero paid apps and very few free ones. I mostly use the device as envisioned (OK the free text editor ap I couldn't live without, but Christ it's just a text editor).

Some programmers got to get giggly at eliminating the flip variable.

Except it's not BlackBerry's innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47410813)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_Treo

Re:Except it's not BlackBerry's innovation (0)

sysopd (617656) | about two weeks ago | (#47410889)

When the last Palm Treo came out the resolution was 320 × 320 and The Dark Knight was in theaters. That is hardly recent memory. Go back to the 2003 era of blackberries and you have square screen resolutions as well. Go back further to their pagers and they had the same. Lots of early displays had square screens. The point is all high resolution modern smartphones do not.

the better to display... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47410847)

all those naughty (and square resolution) instagram selfies.

Also has a touch sensitive keyboard (1)

sysopd (617656) | about two weeks ago | (#47410853)

The square screen isn't the only innovation, the keyboard is also touch sensitive (ie, you pass your fingers over the keys without pressing down), allowing the use of gestures and scrolling through content without touching the screen and getting it dirty or obscuring the display with your fingers.

Re:Also has a touch sensitive keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47411355)

We have touch-sensitive keyboards that support gestures. They're on our screens.

Why have a touch-sensitive area that only displays a keyboard?

Re:Also has a touch sensitive keyboard (1)

sysopd (617656) | about two weeks ago | (#47411453)

Well, if you are going to have a physical keyboard then why not have it be touch sensitive? Some people prefer physical buttons that can be felt and provide individual haptic feedback when pressed, so they get a physical keyboard which they can also use for gestures. Seems like a pretty good idea.

Re:Also has a touch sensitive keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47412161)

This keyboard isn't "displayed", it's an actual, physical keyboard such that you can actually FEEL the keys, and have tactile feedback as you depress them. They also don't consume 30% of your viewing space, so you can type AND see a full screen of information at the same time!, AND they support swipes and gestures LIKE a touchscreen...

-AC

uhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47410857)

My passport seems to be stuck in a landscape mode...

Widescreen movies (1)

Apostata (390629) | about two weeks ago | (#47410869)

How would it be "less useful" for widescreen movies? You'll have some letterbox matting to compensate for the aspect ratio difference...that's about it. It will play movies. It will play widescreen movies. It just won't play them edge-to-edge on the screen.

Re:Widescreen movies (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about two weeks ago | (#47411721)

I'm amazed at how much people seem to need to watch fullscreen video on their phones. Don't get me wrong; there are times I'm stuck somewhere with just my phone, but unless you're commuting on a train - where do you find yourself for long periods of time where you have nothing better to do than watch tv/movies and only have your phone with you?

(yes, I know: work. ha ha.)

Re:Widescreen movies (1)

kylemonger (686302) | about two weeks ago | (#47412431)

There are lots of IT people on Slashdot and we all carry laptops because a phone just doesn't cut it to get any real work done. But there are many other people who would glady stop carrying a laptop if they could. That's who phones like this are aimed at. I'm like that myself sometimes; I just get tired of carrying a bunch of crap around. I watched a whole season of a TV on a video iPod once just because it was more convenient than a laptop.

Changing the shape is meaningless (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about two weeks ago | (#47410897)

no one is switching to BB for square... its a different look and gives them branding but that's it.

The attractiveness of the choice is also debatable...

But the real issue here is why go BB?

Now, BB is a company that traditionally focused on business especially enterprise.

Okay... what would be a winner in business?

I'm thinking running linux on the phone might be pretty awesome. Another idea might be putting all the firmware on a removable SD card so the phones can be rapidly flashed to a new firmware very quickly.

Things useful in an enterprise setting.

I'm just stabbing around for something that might be a deal maker. Square though?... who gives a shit.

Re:Changing the shape is meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47411267)

And your current phone product portfolio is to be found where? - BB have had a reasonable success in the business compared to the Karmashockphone.

Jesus, some people think that if a product does not fit 100% their own use-case it is shit and nobody else could possibly prefer/like/need/require/wish it. Personally i think it is great to have a choice of different sized screens with different ratios. because not everyone is you.

Why not buy BB if it fits my needs? or do you also believe there should be only one phonebrand on the market?

Re:Changing the shape is meaningless (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about two weeks ago | (#47412637)

You're right... no one has a right to opinion about anything that they haven't personally done.

For example, have you ever cut your dick off? Then how do you know?

Your argument is a logical fallacy. Don't annoy people logical errors that were determined and labeled over 2000 years ago. Its ignorant.

Re:Changing the shape is meaningless (0)

narcc (412956) | about two weeks ago | (#47413057)

Your argument is a logical fallacy

It is? Can you demonstrate that for us?

Just kidding -- I know you can't. I just hope a bit of embarrassment will stop you from using terms you clearly don't understand.

Re:Changing the shape is meaningless (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about two weeks ago | (#47413291)

Sure... its probably ad verecundiam... the appeal to authority... aka "group A1 says proposition B2 is correct, therefore it is correct."...

Your whole argument was so fucking stupid though that I'd be surprised if it weren't at least two or more fallacies at once...

Your argument was roughly on a level with the that argument you hear from creationists when you talk to them about evolution... and they say "were you there!?"...

Of course I wasn't there... no one alive was there... but that doesn't mean your premise is valid or that my premise is invalid. Its irrelevant. Sure, if I were there, I could use that as an additional proof... it would be handy. No one in that argument can make that case and in the case of the smartphone industry how many can meet your standard? Pretty much no one. Which means by your moronic logic, no one's opinion is valid and everything done by BB must be f'ing genius.

Which is a very common fallacy. If Einstein said that pi equals 3... it still wouldn't equal 3.

What is more, in your example, we're talking about the makers of the BB who are doing terribly in the market.

Their customers are not renewing their contracts. They're losing business and market share.

So it isn't even Einstein. Sadly they're a bit of a wash out company at this point.

I don't wish them any ill by the way. I'd love for them to come out with something that did well. But making a square phone has to be labeled what it is... meaningless at best and counter productive at worst because as you can see from the rest of the thread... people like like the idea of a square phone.

Now you could argue that these are not their customer's... but I'd disagree with you there because they could very well be their customers IF they were making a real effort to get enterprise accounts.

They're not though. I'm familiar with their products and its not encouraging.

Re:Changing the shape is meaningless (2)

Karmashock (2415832) | about two weeks ago | (#47413301)

I looked it up a bit and it turns out what you were doing was a subset of the appeal to authority, known as the appeal to accomplishment:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

Examples:
""
        "How dare you criticize the prime minister? What do you know about running an entire country?"

        "I'll take your opinions on music seriously when you've released a record that went platinum."

        "Get back to me when you've built up a multi-billion dollar empire of your own. Until then, shut up."
""

So there you go... eat a dick.

This is the third Blackberry with a square screen. (1)

Dzimas (547818) | about two weeks ago | (#47410961)

Both the Q5 and Q10 phones already have square screens, although they're extremely small because both units have kept the physical keyboard and traditional rectangular shape.

Re:This is the third Blackberry with a square scre (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47412331)

Yeah, as I was reading this on my Q10 with a perfectly square screen, I was thinking the exact same thing.

Two Ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47410965)

1. Make it curved so that it fits against your thigh like a flask. Takes up less horizontal space and looks better in dress pants
2. Release a low-power, low-profile companion device(really a full phone) with a backlit e-ink screen for people who don't want to BYOD their main phone.

Re:Two Ideas (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about two weeks ago | (#47411737)

I think you were on to something with #1. What if it were hollow and came with a small funnel. It'd be a sight more useful in some meetings I've been to if filled with liquor rather than silicon and battery.

One hand? (1)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about two weeks ago | (#47410983)

How easily will it be to hold that in one hand for, you know, making phone calls? I'm jsut not seeing the innovation here. Now if this was a tablet being marketed with that ratio, then maybe I could see an argument. Just not a phone.

Wider vs Thicker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47411019)

Why all this wider and taller but no thicker?
Why are people so against thickness?
Something with the same width and height, but thicker, allows for far more in regards to the tech behind it.

Shit like Air and the crappy thin tablet generation are just plain awful.
Give me a big fat tablet again. I want features, not stupid thin pointless wasteful crap. If you are going to make something, make it bloody right, give me features.
Instead, we are coming up with more and more stupid specs for compact versions of things and trying to force every protocol down "not USB but USB" ports.
It'd be fine if maybe they allowed that USB port to connect to a hub for said tablet, which allowed you to connect a bunch of peripherals and such to it, but nope, gotta have muh super proprietary USB ports.
If you could do that, then it might actually replace desktops for a good bunch of people that wouldn't have otherwise ditched it for the tablet generation.
Lack of peripheral access and general IO is a terrible thing. It has become a massive gimp on technology in recent years.

Re:Wider vs Thicker (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about two weeks ago | (#47411239)

Why all this wider and taller but no thicker?

Because there were no women on the design team.

Looks cool (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about two weeks ago | (#47411151)

Rather than spreadsheet they should have shown the same website rendered on each device.

Whenever on screen keyboard is enabled in landscape mode on my phone it consumes most of the screen leaving painfully very little space remaining to view content while tying. Portrait mode is better in this regard yet often difficult to manage panning around.

I still prefer physical keyboards as they tend to take up less space than on screen when activated and those with big hands can actually use them with some degree of accuracy.

So in a way while it might look lame/stupid/odd and suck for passive dinking/gaming/watching videos I could see it being quite useful for those who spend most of their time working the keyboard and getting shit done.

The iphone is so tiny and it appears to be about the same width as the s5 ..I don't see a problem with comfortably pocketing this thing.

Re:Looks cool (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about two weeks ago | (#47412513)

having spent the last ~5 years on BB, first a bold 9700 now a Q10, it absolutely is a phone for writing.

Physical design (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about two weeks ago | (#47411181)

Two things stand out:

How do you fit it into your front pocket? Maybe if you were overalls it'll fit into that massive chest pocket, but for regular jeans/slacks/pants, I doubt it.

Sharp corners... if it already barely fits in your pocket sharp corners are going to make it even harder to get out.

Gasp! (0)

aXis100 (690904) | about two weeks ago | (#47411435)

When I read the summary I though "It cant be that bad...."

Man was I wrong, that is a shocking size and form factor. I literally gasped.

Re:Gasp! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47411561)

Drama queen?

Catchy jingle, though (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about two weeks ago | (#47411489)

"Sponge Bob Square Screen..."

No way! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47411517)

Are they out of their minds? There's no way people would want a phone shaped like that.

Hip to be Square (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47411767)

In other news, BlackBerry might be funding a come-back tour of Huey Lewis and the News.

Wait... (0)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | about two weeks ago | (#47411771)

Wait...Blackberry? These guys are still in business?

Blackberry? Yeah, I remember them (1)

ipstas (3573381) | about two weeks ago | (#47411815)

But do they still manufacture phones? and somebody still buys them? wow!

first impression fail (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about two weeks ago | (#47412023)

saw the picture and they show a spreadsheet where the columns are typically more important than the rows and a lot of dead white space doing nothing

forget the fact it looks like a junky kids toy

Dibs on circular screen (1)

advantis (622471) | about two weeks ago | (#47412207)

Just because developers don't have enough headaches to deal with, I'll go patent a circular screen with a polar coordinate system to access the pixels. :) And I'll find a way to stick 26 letter keys and 10 digit keys around it, and give it a shape that will make it fly as well as a frisbee too. Still not sure if to go overboard by making it squishy too so since it can fly when thrown your dog should be able to bring it back and have it still work.

You heard it here first folks! :D

A Clever and Innovative Design (1)

my2iu (998070) | about two weeks ago | (#47412209)

Actually, I find the design of new Passport to be really clever. It's for people who want to use a 7inch tablet as a phone, but who don't want to look like idiots holding a giant book against their face. By chopping off the bottom of a 7inch tablet, Blackberry created a device that has most of the benefits of a 7inch tablet while not sticking out awkwardly when you hold it to your ear. It's better than a 5inch phablet for browsing because it's wider. It's better than a 7inch tablet for phone calls because the microphone lines up nicely with your mouth.

could be interesting (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about two weeks ago | (#47412227)

I'm not sure if 4.5"x4.5" would feel right but I could see a square phone that you hold at a point (ie speaker/receiver on the diagonal): since the majority of the time phones are used for something other than as a phone having symmetry and not even having to think which way you grab the device would be nice.

Bad idea to me (1)

JasoninKS (1783390) | about two weeks ago | (#47412439)

Oh Blackberry...what ever were you thinking? It looks like a phone and a tablet had a child. Too big for a phone, but too small for a functional tablet. Looks too big to comfortably fit in a pocket too. The screen will be full of wasted space. Apps have been designed to fit vertically or horizontally on a widescreen type device. Is anything designed for a square screen?

There just seem to be so many misfires on this one. I applaud their effort for trying something different, but they don't rule the roost anymore. People have moved on to Android and iOS devices. People (to my knowledge) aren't objected to having two different sized devices, smaller for phone and larger for regular use.

Bring back the lab coats too? (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | about two weeks ago | (#47412471)

How do you fit one of these things in your pocket? Looks too heavy for a lanyard.

Do you just strap it to the back of your hand or something?

I still don't understand their keyboards (1)

Casandro (751346) | about two weeks ago | (#47412803)

I mean those devices are sold as "business mobiles". Yet the keyboard lacks all important keys. For example there are no modifier keys and not even an "Escape" key.

How are you supposed to use, for example Microsoft Word, on such a thing.

Old news is old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47413015)

Of course, the real news here is that submitter was able to broadcast this news forward in time from his location in the months'-old past from whence he learned this then-current information.

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