BlackBerry's Passport reveal: QWERTY or just quirky?

BlackBerry's latest device, the Passport, due to be officially unveiled in September, is difficult to define

It has a an extremely high-resolution 4.5-inch display, but that screen is perfectly square, meaning that as a result, the device is 3.18-inches (8cm) wide -- that's bigger than Samsung's latest Note III phablet and that boasts an admittedly rectangular 5.7-inch screen. However, unlike Samsung's latest phablet, or any other company's phablet for that matter, it has a fixed QWERTY keyboard directly below the display.

But it's not just any old keyboard. BlackBerry says that its keys are touch sensitive and will respond to swipes and gestures as well as typing. This means that a user could control an app on the huge screen without touching the screen itself, simply by moving fingers over the keys instead.

BlackBerry is currently teasing the device ahead of an official launch in September and so is keeping the device's other specifications and features a secret. However, thanks to earlier leaks it appears that it will also have a rather hefty quad-core Qualcomm processor and 3GB of RAM and a good battery too.

The Passport's reveal came as part of the company's latest earnings report on Thursday which shows that there is still some life left in the company. It is still selling phones, with a strategy of catering to its existing customers, and even made a small profit. Thanks to a deal with Amazon, the BlackBerry faithful will soon have access to a further 200,000 Android apps.

As for the company's own titles, the BBM instant messaging app has proved a big hit with Apple and Android smartphone owners since its roll-out -- 160 million downloads and counting -- and will be coming to the Windows Phone platform too in July.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting