Blackberry’s big new square smartphone goes on sale Wednesday, September 24th and the company’s CEO tells the Wall Street Journal the BlackBerry Passport will sell for $599 when you buy it without a contract.

That makes it about $50 cheaper than an unlocked iPhone 6, but about the same price as a Samsung Galaxy S5. Like those phones, the BlackBerry Passport will likely cost less (up front) if you buy it along with a 2-year contract from a US wireless carrier.

blackberry passport_02

The BlackBerry Passport features a 4.5 inch, 1440 x 1440 pixel square touchscreen display and a QWERTY keyboard below the screen. The screen is wider than most smartphone displays and provides more room for text.

The phone is said to offer up to 36 hours of battery life, and like other recent BlackBerry phones it should run not only native BlackBerry apps, but also Android apps.

Once upon a time, BlackBerry dominated the smartphone space but the company has lost much of its market share to Android, iOS, and other platforms in recent years. It’s not clear if a big, square phone with a QWERTY keyboard will change that… but if the phone holds up to its promise it could help BlackBerry hang onto existing customers, particularly in the enterprise space.

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7 replies on “BlackBerry Passport smartphone launches Sept 24th for $599 (unlocked)”

  1. looks plain and is too big. i miss the blackberry pearl, which was the perfect size! if that phone had a hotspot feature, it would be perfect!

  2. Honestly, I’d rather just have a horizontal QWERTY slider if I’m going to need 2 hands. Plus you’ll get a much better keyboard layout with more keys.

  3. I think it is really cool. It is a bit pricey for me but I am hoping the price comes down with a contract.

    1. I bought a practically new Playbook (originally retailed for $700) on ebay for $40 last year. In a couple of years I’ll pick up this Passport for $40 too.

  4. I wonder how compatible new apps written for Android L will be. Will the Android runtime get updated?

  5. Just to put the pricing further into perspective using the Galaxy S5 example.

    Current off-contract / unlocked pricing for the Galaxy S5 in Germany:
    379€ ($486) including VAT
    307€ ($394) without VAT

    Good Luck to Blackberry……i guess.

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