First look at the BlackBerry Classic and BlackBerry Passport

Ian Hardy

June 19, 2014 11:16am

During BlackBerry’s quarterly earnings call today, CEO John Chen announced that the next device to hit the market will be the BlackBerry Passport, formerly known as Windermere.

The targeted release date for the Passport is set for September and it’ll come in both black and white. As for the overall design, Chen stated that “when you first see the phone, people said it is the world’s smallest phablet or the world largest phone… This has a phone with a very interesting aspect ratio with 1:1 aspect ratio. You can read 60 characters across the screen… this makes it a lot easier to read documents and is 453 dpi.” Previous reports indicated that the Passport would come with a 4.5-inch 1440×1440 pixel display, a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB RAM, a 13MP camera,  2MP front-facing camera, and a non-removable 3450 mAh battery.

As for the BlackBerry Classic, which is coming in November, Chen stated that this BB10 smartphone has “a little larger screen than the Bold 9900.” The BlackBerry Classic will be “crafted from premium materials and designed for reliability and durability.” It has a 3.5-inch touchscreen and brings back the iconic navigation keys (menu, back, send, end) and trackpad of the legacy BlackBerry product line.

Update: Here is a picture, courtesy of David Friend, that shows the size of the BlackBerry Passport… which looks like the actual size of a Canadian passport.

Update #2: Another picture has popped up, courtesy of Donny Halliwell, that shows the upcoming BlackBerry Classic. (above)

passport

blackberr classic passport

  • JB

    These all look very cool, very corporate which is BlackBerry’s focus right now(passport looks like a mini laptop) 10.3 is looking really gorgeous actually as well.

    • richy

      LMFAO. is chen holding a poptart in his hand?

    • Dimitri

      I could say the same exact thing to anyone holding a Note device.

    • kr_metal

      But the poptart has a keyboard this time. So, that’s new.

    • AppleBerrySandwich

      It’s either something amazing and brilliant or it’s a complete dud. The form factor is bizarre but if it’s function is decent who knows…

  • Jonathan Schmitt

    I like these phones. If they stick to offering the ‘Classic’ and really promoting it with great deals with the retailers I could see it being very popular.

  • barrist

    Classic looks nice. The other two, not elegant but I guess utilitarian.

  • cs098

    I’m still not convinced that the passport’s keyboard will be comfortable.

    • Ray

      Try it first.

    • cs098

      Meh, it looks like trying to type on your smartphone with only your fingers touching the phone, there’s a reason why the classic has so much more space for the keyboard.

    • Ray

      You won’t know if it’s comfortable for you until you try it

    • cs098

      Unfortunately it’s basic ergonomics. To use the keyboard it would have to be too front heavy, look how he’s holding the phone in the first pic, Even though you will have to hold a bit more of the phone in order to use the keyboard, not enough of your hand is use to have a strong and comfortable grip.

    • Ray

      Whatever man, being stubborn and hard headed. It’s basic knowledge that how someone else uses something doesn’t mean you will use it the same. Plus, he could be holding the phone that way just for the pic. It would make you a fool if you bash the phone before trying it and if you never even try it.

    • cs098

      Not sure how understanding basic ergonomics equals to me being hardheaded/stubborn or a basher. I’m not bashing the other blackberries am I?

      I was using the pic as an example for my point. And considering all the other comments and upvotes I have it seems I have hit right at home on why it’s not comfortable to use.

      If you think understanding basic concepts makes one dense then I feel sorry for your critical thinking skills.

    • BB winning

      GTFO already, you have no idea what the weight is of this device first of all. Think about where bb would logically put more materials in on the phone? The keyboard area, meaning that it is extremely unlikely that the device will be front heavy.

    • cs098

      Look even if the device is not front heavy, you still generally use more of your palm to type properly. The keyboard placement for the passport doesn’t allow that.

  • Comrade Yeti

    No punctuation or shift keys on the Passport. Uggghhhh

    • jojo005

      Apparently gesture based to get punctuation, numbers, symbols.

    • Jim – Rogers Rep

      they must be asleep again.

  • jellmoo

    I’m kinda digging the Passport, even if it’s a little out there. From what I understand the keyboard is touch sensitive and works in a similar manner as Fleksy, which is my preferred Android keyboard. I could see some great productivity on a device like that.

  • Michael Owttrim

    Not a BB hater, but I don’t think the passport would be for me. I’d have to try it, but I don’t think it’d be comfortable in my hand. Aesthetically, it just looks out of proportion to me…I think it could have used a 4th row in the keyboard for punctuation, etc.

  • KiwiBri

    classic looks the best. The other two came from a time warp I think from 2005..

  • Garrett Cooper

    The Passport looks silly to me. That said, the Classic could actually work pretty well for them.

  • Nick Mayer

    I do not like the “passport” me either. But should be touch sensitive keyboard for punctuation and other sym. I’ll probably have a look at the classic.

  • Guest

    With the real pic of Chen holding it,I don’t see it being comfortable to type on for many unless you have large hands. Gonna be a stretch for dem thumbs.

    • TheFloppyBeaver

      I dunno, people type with their phone at landscape and on tablets, the Passport should type just fine.

  • richy

    BB ripped off icons from apple flat design.

    • hoo dat

      And how much of iOS8 is a rip off of BB10??

    • J-Ro

      in every way

    • Theo

      And iOS 7 flat is a rip off of HTC Sense 5

    • Claude

      this post is a rip off of your post :P

    • kr_metal

      Flat design isn’t new. It’s been around since design has been around.

    • Dimitri

      Does your life revolve over bashing Blackberry?. If yes then i suggest looking around and seeing how all companies copy each other. Apple has copied Blackberry in many ways but will you say anything? No.

    • MikeOxlong

      Does your life revolve around bashing everything NOT blackberry? This is what we see you shills doing on a regular basis. Can’t take it, don’t dish it out. Don’t be such a hypocrite. Oh, and like other bb fanbois, don’t bash everything else while glorifying your dead platform like its a second coming. We don’t have time for DAT.

    • Dimitri

      Trying to use a useless sentence a black women used on TV won’t make you any better my friend.

      Second bashing who exactly? I own the the S5 and owned the Note 3. Please go look at my posts and see what devices i have bashed on.

      On another note, it seems u get pissed off and call everyone ” fanbois”. I this what ur family tough u to do?

    • Anthony Roberts

      For your info Windows had a flat UI way before windows so dont even go there…..and iOS8 rip off BB10 especially when it comes to the quick reply feature…..

    • Anthony Roberts

      way before iOS sorry typo*

    • Raj Brar

      Really? Just like everyone ripped icons from Apple or Microsoft (depends who you ask created them first). It is the industry standard now and BlackBerry is the last one to add flat type UI. I’d they came out with somehow to different (like they did at launch with BlackBerry 10) people won’t like it. You need to do what has mass appeal. I think they added a nice touch because the current UI looks dated. Plus Apple went over board with the bright colors. First I didn’t like it but now it is the style for all apps

    • Ali F.

      Wait for ios8 and count what they ripped from BB, in addition to what they already ripped from webos, android, windows, and BB. One thing they invented is the rectangular shape and the swiping gesture. Before Apple, humans did not know rectangles, and they never swiped. Duh

  • richy

    imagine holding that to your head to make a phone call – like you’re holding a brick to your head lmfao

    • hoo dat

      I remember people saying exactly the same thing about the Note when it first came out, including me, but I don’t hear anyone mumbling about it now.

    • Anthony Roberts

      Exactly!! :)

    • Ken J

      Yah, just like holding any other extremely large phone to your head, like the Note…

    • Ali F.

      No need to imagine, we see it every day with note 1,2,3,…. you got to see the gigantic phablets in south korea.

    • Root Square

      I understand what you say. I felt that way when I bought a 4″ LG Optimus 2X and used it for the first time. Then the obsession with ‘more everything’ grew and nowadays it does not bother any one holding even a 6″ phablet against their ears.

    • Corey Anderson

      Just like Samsung note, duh

    • allan

      Motorola micro tac?

  • Shane Kweens

    I’m trading a Nexus 4 to a buddy for his Q10. I miss my Bold 9900 keyboard and good battery life. Getting used to BB10 will help me decide if I want a Passport or Classic when they drop.

    • Ken J

      Give it about a week of use to really get used to everything. And remember that when OS 10.3 drops, you’ll have official support of Amazon Appstore. Although now you already can use it, but it’s not “officially” supported yet…

      Also, not sure about the Nexus 4, but just remember that the Q10 has support to expand its memory via micro-sd card. So make use of that.

    • kr_metal

      I’d wait for 10.3, bringing design and speed up to, well, speed.

    • Raj Brar

      I liked the Q10 but missed the keys to go back and the tool belt. I think they wanted to put a bigger screen with a key pad and came up with the passport

    • Ali F.

      I did it already and will not return as long as BlackBerry exists. I tried most of high end android and windows. I tried iphone 4 for a couple of days and that is it.

      Bb10 is great and with the upcoming 10.3 it should be even better.

  • deltatux

    I think most people will go for the Classic over the Passport. The Passport looks ugly to say the least and doesn’t look professional. Hope they release a successor to the Z30 soon though.

    • Ali F.

      Remember that devices look different in pictures than in reality. Wait to see it and hold it then you will know whether you like it or not.

    • Conception

      This is true. I’ve been slamming the Passport “look” myself but I just watched a video of Mr. Chen holding a functional Passport and it didn’t look as retarded as the photos I’ve seen. I can’t give it full on acceptance yet, but I have to tone down my hate because it doesn’t look so bad when I see it in action. For me the jury is still out. Personally I’d go for a classic…

    • G.I.GIO

      I think the Passport should be popular with Enterprise customers strictly for practical reasons. It’s the type of device health care workers (doctors, radiologists, home care givers etc) will find more productive to work with… from fast typing to easy editing of patient files and it has the right screen size/aspect to view MRI scans and work on documents.

  • Jim – Rogers Rep

    Ugh, I had seriously hoped that monstrosity was a joke… I guess we shall see how the market takes it.

  • TheFloppyBeaver

    I’m surprisingly atrracted to the Passport, it is way out there and super wide, but I think it’ll work really well.

    • Shane Kweens

      Me too. I will probably get one in white.

  • HelloCDN

    To be honest, I thought that picture was photoshopped…Unbelievable…

  • OgtheDim

    That picture with him holding the two is badly photoshopped.

    • Bri Bru

      The picture doesn’t look photoshopped to me.. or someone has done an amazing job lol

    • Ken J

      @shgam2:disqus
      He thinks they are photoshopped because the hands are brighter than the face. Of course I guess he’s not really into photography or he’ll realize it MIGHT have something to do with the fact that the hands are closer to the flash on the camera than his face… But what do I know? lol

    • Ken J

      Yes, there are other “photoshops” from all angles too from other people who were there taking photos… for photoshopping the exact same images of course…

    • Record photographers

      The photo isn’t photoshopped. But it is property of The Waterloo Region Record and should not be posted on this site.

    • TheSotSays

      There’s one much worse than that. It’s a King Rat troll photoshopped out as a King Penguin.

    • HD Z

      Looks like his thumbs is coming out of his shoulder…

  • Bri Bru

    I love how they lost those silly top&bottom bezels on the new Z3. Also the new OS looks quite nice. I’m impressed BlackBerry!

  • Darryl Barnes

    Passport looks cool. But I think the best one might be the Z3.

  • Jonah Emery

    I agree that when you look at Passport head on it looks ugly and awkward. But on Crackberry they have several photos from different sides. It’s got a silver ring around it and you see how thin it is. Definitely looks premium from the side.

  • Record photographers

    pls removed the John Chen photo from your site. It’s property of The Waterloo Region Record

    • hoo dat

      You’re going to have to email the site directly, they very rarely read the comments.

  • Jueceman

    That BB Classic with a 8.4 inch Galaxy Tab 4. is going to be sweet. Heck, I might even get a itouch to keep up with the Jones’

  • Omis

    How are we going to do battery pulls with a non removeable battery?

    • Yeng Ling

      Time for you to upgrade from BBOS to BB10!

  • Padmé Amidala

    Classic for me :)

  • hardy83

    Meh to the passport. Maybe if I get my hands on it. It just looks so uncomfortable.

    The Classic however looks really nice.

    Though price will be a factor, and I’m guessing neither will be on the low end. Probably 500+ no contract.
    No idea what the Z3 will cost though.

  • ammanerz

    do you think the passport is actually the size of a passport?
    it looks like its almost 4″ across. definitely a 2 handed device.
    Idk how BB10 works entirely, but i hope they optimized the newer versions for easy 1 hand gestures

  • bigshynepo

    So the “Classic” is getting BB10?
    That’s contrary to original leaks. I’m looking forward to seeing all of these phones and what they bring to the table.

    • hoo dat

      As far as I know the Windermere/Passport was always going to get BB10, BBOS just wouldn’t be able to handle the specs. In fact BlackBerry has supposedly been holding back on 10.3 so the Passport can be the first to launch with the updated OS.

    • hoo dat

      Crap! Sorry should have read your post a little closer!

  • wildspin

    Oh, dear, looks like a perfect match for sponge bob.

  • revelationman

    I do like the classic but I love my z10 it has never given any issues, BB10 is a great system,

  • Eric Parisien

    I think I will need bigger jeans’ pockets

  • Ray

    Am I the only one that doesn’t get the confusion? Maybe its because I’m not a corporate slave so I can see and think clearly.

    Z3: people who want a good phone for a low price.

    Passport: for corporate, business, etc. consumers and people who prefer a QWERTY keyboard (and touch screen) , and has a big screen and spectacular resolution, with big keys for easier, faster and more comfortable typing.

    Classic: the people who prefer the BlackBerry tool belt (and qwerty keyboard and touch screen).

  • Davyd

    Classic looks nice. It will likely be my first BB. Passport does not look very ergonomic.

  • J-Ro

    The classic looks better than I expected. The boost in camera and tool bar is all I am missing in my Q10. Blackberry has done it again.

  • TheQuickening

    Come On Classic! I’ve gone away from smart phones altogether and this is my way back!

  • tnafam

    the passport looks stupid like some one of those old nokia phones.

  • Zeroangel

    Those both look interesting, but moreso the classic than the passport (does the distinct lack of a shift, alt and number keys on the passport bother anyone else?). I’ve had fiddle around with BBOS10 when I borrowed someone’s Z10 and think it’s interesting, but not a lot more than a curiousity since the Z10 was a bland feeling phone in spite of its neat OS (maybe the ecosystem had something to do with it) and top-rate software keyboard. I own and love my Note 3, but there are times when I would gladly trade some of the extra screen real-estate for a physical keyboard and I know others who might too. For a new blackberry phone to come out with a psudo-android ecosystem (via Amazon store), a physical keyboard AND high-end smartphone specs (e.g. battery, screen resolution, 13MP camera). It sounds like a winning combination. Whether it’s well-built (e.g. solid) and software can match up in quality is another question and one which may determine the ultimate fate of Blackberry as a company. I really hope they do catch up to Android and become its competitor instead of Windows phone, as I think blackberry does some interesting things with their hardware and software. They really need to knock this one out of the park though, by offering compelling value especially to businesses who are not fully served by any of the smartphone giants.

  • Comrade Yeti

    Those are hardware silkscreened keys. Yes the keyboard is touch enabled but the keys can’t change how they look.