BlackBerry Explains Reasoning Behind the Square Screen of Its ‘Passport’ Smartphone

A lot of critics have questioned the stout shape and square screen of BlackBerry’s forthcoming Passport smartphone.

The Canadian company took to its blog to defend its decision, light-heartedly bashing the ubiquitous rectangle design we have all become accustomed to.

“We’ve been living in a rectangular world for quite some time,” writes Matt Young. “The rectangle has become a de facto approach to smartphone design, perhaps limiting innovations.”

Passport’s sqaure design is describes by Young as “a marriage of form and function with a rhyme and reason to it.” He notes that the device’s high-res, 4.5-inch screen “offers a similar viewing space to a 5” inch phone but offers an even better viewing experience because of the screen’s width.”

Young also points out that academic research has shown that the optimal number of characters on a line in a book is 66 characters. Most current rectangular smartphones show abut 40 characters. The BlackBerry Passport will show 60 characters.

“You don’t have to sacrifice screen real estate, vertically or horizontally,” he argues.

“For architects and mortgage brokers, imagine being able to look at full designs and schematics on the go, and still being able to handle piles of virtual paperwork with ease,” Young continues. “Writers will truly be unlocked with a navigable keyboard, while the large square screen enables faster content development and delivery. When you are looking to type stories or notes, your virtual keyboard doesn’t cover most of your screen.”


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