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Print 34 comment(s) - last by Wizec.. on Jun 25 at 1:00 PM

It looks as though BlackBerry still has some gas in the tank after all

BlackBerry’s smartphone sales have been in the dumps for quite some time, and the company is quickly headed toward zero percent market share if IDC’s analysis is to be believed. However, that isn’t stopping BlackBerry from unveiling two new smartphones to appease those still clinging onto the BB10 platform (we’re looking at you, CrackBerry fanatics).
 
The first device is the pretty run-of-the-mill “Classic” which brings up memories of old, popular BlackBerry smartphones like the Bold. However, the most intriguing new offering is the new “Passport”, which features a 4.5” square display with a resolution of 1440x1440. Below the odd little screen is a keyboard with just three rows of keys.

 
And that’s all we know at this time. No other specs, no release dates, no pricing. Zip, zilch, nada!
 
You can see more shots of both the Classic and the Passport over at CrackBerry. You can also check out this image of BlackBerry CEO John Chen holding both devices:

Source: CrackBerry



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By callmeizzy on 6/20/2014 7:53:50 AM , Rating: 2
Looks like crap. Who is their product guy on this? Does he secretly work someplace else?




By retrospooty on 6/20/2014 8:22:50 AM , Rating: 3
"Who is their product guy on this? Does he secretly work someplace else?"

LOL... I can just see the status update to the company that planted him... "OMG, they actually went with the design. I cant believe it"


By bug77 on 6/20/2014 9:08:56 AM , Rating: 4
Now that's just mean. In reality, I'm pretty sure they used their own talent for this. I can't tell whether it was the janitor of the plumber, but definitely someone committed to BB.


By retrospooty on 6/20/2014 10:26:16 AM , Rating: 2
LOL... The Janitor. The pointy edge makes it easy to get the goop out of the grout in the corners.


By Reclaimer77 on 6/20/2014 10:51:39 AM , Rating: 2
What's with the physical keyboard still? I mean...I get that used to be their thing, but it's 2014...

And yes I know some people prefer having one. Key word: some.

This company just needs to go away if this is their idea of an exciting launch preview. Ugly ass phones with outdated input methods....wtf.


By bug77 on 6/20/2014 10:59:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What's with the physical keyboard still?


Typical grasping at straws trying to find a market niche? Honestly, I don't think the audience that wants a physical keyboard AND is willing to forgo a decent app store is big enough to keep BB afloat.
(And yes, I know BB10 can run Android apps, but it can only emulate JB. I also know KK had major changes to SD access, so any decent application has been updated to KK by now.)


By Reclaimer77 on 6/20/2014 11:09:42 AM , Rating: 3
I just think it's sad that someone like Amazon, with zero experience in this market, can release their first ever phone and it be LIGHT YEARS ahead of anything Blackberry. And RIM/Blackberry used to rule the market!

Hell by next year Firefox phones will blow these out of the water, and they're nobody in the mobile world either.

Just what's the problem? Is it lack of a talent pool? Idiot CEO? It seems like the entire company is made up of inept people! How f'ing hard is it to look at what consumers are buying and then make something even REMOTELY appealing to them?

Blackberry, you win the Darwin Award. Time to go extinct, because you're incredibly stupid.


By retrospooty on 6/20/2014 11:14:54 AM , Rating: 4
"Blackberry, you win the Darwin Award. Time to go extinct, because you're incredibly stupid."

LOL. True, but natural selection is already taking care of that. Just a matter of time.

On the other hand, this does fill the "I want a huge phone with a perfectly square screen and a qwerty kb" niche we have all been hearing about. /s


By Reclaimer77 on 6/20/2014 12:36:07 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah that's another thing. A square screen? A fusking square screen!!??

With square corners no less!! What the...just...it's almost like they DESIGNED this thing on purpose to destroy your pockets. Because that's what this phone will do.

I mean..what happened on the day this was decided?

"I think we should make a phone with a square screen, I hear people are buying TONS of those, eh?"

Just..seriously??


By retrospooty on 6/20/2014 12:55:34 PM , Rating: 2
I am just waiting for the lawsuits when someone inevitably “puts their eye out with that thing”

That is , if anyone buys it.


By GTVic on 6/22/2014 10:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
What is really sad is that know one has actually had one of these in hand but the trolls are out in full force proclaiming one to be the best and the other the worst.


By retrospooty on 6/20/2014 11:09:32 AM , Rating: 2
Someone should tell BB about voice recognition. When doing a lengthy email, its kind of a LOT faster than typing.


By Solandri on 6/20/2014 12:07:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What's with the physical keyboard still? I mean...I get that used to be their thing, but it's 2014...

And yes I know some people prefer having one. Key word: some.

Most of you are too young to remember. Back in the late 1970s/early 1980s, there was a tech called membrane keyboards. It pretty much flopped in the market. People hated the slow typing speed and lack of feedback when you hit a key. Its most recent incarnation was on one of the keyboard covers for the Surface, but I believe Microsoft dropped it for the current gen.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Membrane_keyboard

So it's a bit surprising that a similar pressure-based tech has supplanted the physical keyboard on phones. My guess would be the smaller size slows down typing on a physical keyboard enough that the disadvantage of pressure-based capacitive keyboards is no longer a factor. Still, I do find it easier to type on a physical keyboard on my phone. It's just not worth the convenience of the smaller form factor (actually I don't mind it if the keyboard slides out - a thicker phone doesn't bug me as current models are actually too thin to hold comfortably).


By Reclaimer77 on 6/20/2014 12:45:43 PM , Rating: 2
The next evolution of capacitive touch screens will have feedback that mimics a tactile response. They're working on them as we speak. It should increase accuracy and speed tenfold (number pulled from ass, but you get the idea). At that point the whole touch vs keyboard debate will be a thing of the past, or should be.

quote:
Still, I do find it easier to type on a physical keyboard on my phone.


And that's great, don't get me wrong. I'm glad that option is still available to you.

But at this point Blackberry REALLY needed a homerun. And this...misses the mark bad.


By Levish on 6/20/2014 4:59:23 PM , Rating: 2
I'd still prefer a slider or clamshell style to retain screen space while doing keyboard input plus the better accuracy with a good physical keyboard.

except nothing decent in that department since ye olde droid 4


By Wizec on 6/25/2014 1:00:52 PM , Rating: 2
You have GOT to be kidding.

"Capacitive touch screens that mimic a tactile response"?!

Dude, you are the most out of touch person on the tech planet.

BlackBerry introduced this technology in 2008, it's called SurePress and has been patented.

http://www.cnet.com/products/blackberry-storm-veri...


By retrospooty on 6/20/2014 12:47:15 PM , Rating: 2
"So it's a bit surprising that a similar pressure-based tech has supplanted the physical keyboard on phones"

I get your point, but the fact is on screen virtual keyboards have supplanted the physical keyboard on phones. Technically Blackberry is still making physical keyboards, but no-one is buying them.


By wolrah on 6/21/2014 10:49:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And yes I know some people prefer having one. Key word: some.


It's because they know those are the people still dragging them along. Those are the remaining Blackberry buyers. Anyone who really wanted a smartphone abandoned Blackberry years ago, the rest are people who just want the few things Blackberries are actually good at (PIM, email) and don't care to learn anything different. You can't change it too much, otherwise those people will finally go somewhere else.


By Reclaimer77 on 6/21/2014 1:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
Why would they go somewhere else if all they did was remove that ridiculous keyboard? All the "great" Blackberry stuff they want is still there. If they didn't want to learn anything different, that especially means they would stay.


By ie5x on 6/20/2014 12:21:56 PM , Rating: 2
Its almost like they are in denial.

BB, the Cretaceous is over, now please roll over and die.


They should have made it taller
By Samus on 6/20/2014 12:25:21 AM , Rating: 1
8mm taller and they could have fit the trademark Blackberry keyboard on the Passport. I doubt anyone would have noticed.

What they will notice is that the keyboard is shit. Really, no number keys? On a phone keyboard? No @ sign? On a Blackberry?

It's like they're intentionally setting their devices up to fail with annoyingly correctable flaws.




RE: They should have made it taller
By chmilz on 6/20/14, Rating: 0
RE: They should have made it taller
By Peter-B on 6/20/2014 2:32:43 AM , Rating: 2
Actually the Galaxy Note line has a number row. Also my wife's Galaxy S4 has a number row, but of this I'm not sure, I'll need to check. And with one tap you have access to the @ and many other signs on the keyboard. I wonder if that's possible on the Passport's hardware keyboard. If it is, it's a 'wow' from me.


By Solandri on 6/20/2014 12:12:41 PM , Rating: 2
Can't speak for iOS or WP, but you can install any keyboard you want on Android. Some have a number row, some don't. Some relegate @ to symbol mode, some place it on the main keyboard in context (e.g. when you're typing into an email app or website login). Heck, there's even a programmer's keyboard which gives you all the full-size keyboard keys like ctrl, alt, and arrow keys.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org....


RE: They should have made it taller
By Samus on 6/20/2014 4:43:01 AM , Rating: 2
chmilz,

quote:
No number keys. Like on iOS, Android, and WP. No @ sign. Like on iOS, Android, and WP, except when it's context specific.


Every phone with a physical keyboard has number keys, and most of the time, symbols. They're activated with an Fn key. If you look closely, the thing doesn't have any of them. So with the exception of iOS (who's devices have NEVER had a physical keyboard) every single Android (from the G1 to the Motorola XPRT to the Photon Q) had either a fourth row or a Fn keyset. The same goes for WP, such as the HTC HD7.

quote:
Have you seen how the keyboard functions? Nope. Will it likely operate in a similar fashion as the "market leaders"? Probably.


I don't see how the keyboard is going to function like any other mobile device before it without an Fn key.

quote:
It's your choice to bash BB, but at least make sure you do some research so you're not the one looking like a fool.


Everything I've stated is factual. If they ship the device as shown, it will flop faster than a Washington politician. For the record, I've owned 3 Blackberry devices, but obviously these days that's a tough consideration. Especially if they're going to neuter their keyboard.


RE: They should have made it taller
By mdbrotha on 6/20/2014 10:14:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No number keys. Like on iOS, Android, and WP. No @ sign. Like on iOS, Android, and WP, except when it's context specific.


Good thing with Android I can install Swiftkey and get a number row. My Note 3 came stock with a number row and I'm pretty sure the Galaxy S5 does too.


RE: They should have made it taller
By Samus on 6/20/2014 3:12:05 PM , Rating: 2
We're talking physical keyboards here. I'm sure there are Fn keys for the onscreen keyboard, but anybody shopping for a Blackberry is solely interested in a physical keyboard (hence the flop the Z10 has been)


By atechfan on 6/20/2014 5:40:32 AM , Rating: 3
I don't get it either. With the wider device, they could actually have improved the classic BB keyboard. But instead they cut it down? BB10 is a nice OS, but with this kind of design choice, they'll never turn the ship around.


Can't polish a turd.
By peterrushkin on 6/20/2014 12:35:13 AM , Rating: 2
Wow these look like crap.

Yeah, no thanks!




RE: Can't polish a turd.
By soccerballtux on 6/20/2014 1:25:37 AM , Rating: 2
almost worth buying for the neighbor's "wtf is that" factor
"yeah I don't know either"


Noooo what
By flyingpants1 on 6/20/2014 4:58:31 AM , Rating: 4
I don't understand what they are doing. Just make a good phone, and I will buy it :(




Ummm..
By RaistlinZ on 6/21/2014 7:59:09 AM , Rating: 2
Wow! A phone that can puncture my testicles. Finally!




they're dead
By Murloc on 6/21/2014 9:02:46 AM , Rating: 2
1. square --> can't fit into pockets
2. keyboard so wide and low height, placed at the bottom --> impossible to write when you have the phone in your hands

what are they thinking?




Sad
By DukeN on 6/23/2014 3:40:58 PM , Rating: 2
The one time they try something different/unique, it's at a point where it's too late and mediocre, at best.

They could design the best thing to exist (this is not) and they'll be jeered more than lauded.




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