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BlackBerry Passport unveiled in Malaysia, price at RM2399

Blackberry unveiled their new Passport smartphone in Malaysia last Thursday. The BlackBerry Passport is priced at RM2399, available exclusive from mobile operator Celcom Axiata for about one month starting October 10, 2014.

BlackBerry-Passport-Malaysia-launch

(L-R: Ben Quirin, Managing Director of Indochina at BlackBerry, Ms. Noora Mat Rifin, Head of Device Marketing and Product Development, Celcom Axiata Berhad and Koay Seng Tian, Product Manager at BlackBerry Malaysia)

After a number of teasers for the past few months, the BlackBerry Password was only made official on September 24. Inspired by the size of actual passports, the new BlackBerry OS 10.3 smartphone is mainly targeted to enterprise users.

BlackBerry-Passport-Specification

The BlackBerry Passport includes the industry’s first touch-enabled keyboard with gestures that make typing, editing and navigating more efficient and accurate, it said. According to a BlackBerry user study, BlackBerry Passport’s new QWERTY keyboard is almost four times more accurate than BlackBerry 10 virtual keyboards – the error rate is on average 74% lower – so there are fewer typos to get in the way of what you’re trying to say.

The BlackBerry Passport also comes with BlackBerry Blend and BlackBerry Assistant, as well as the BlackBerry World storefront and Amazon Appstore (Android Apps).

Highlight features of the BlackBerry Passport according to Blackberry:

  • Large High-Resolution Square Screen – The BlackBerry Passport includes a 4.5” square screen with a 1:1 aspect ratio, 1440×1440 pixel (453 dpi) HD display and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for added strength.
  • Innovative BlackBerry Keyboard – The BlackBerry Passport’s revolutionary new keyboard brings innovation to input with a responsive touch surface like a trackpad that lets you perform many touch functions directly on the keyboard. You can scroll web pages, flick to type or slide along the keys to move the cursor, leaving the full screen space for viewing.
  • BlackBerry 10 OS 10.3 – The BlackBerry Passport comes preloaded with the new BlackBerry 10.3 operating system, including new features such as BlackBerry Assistant, BlackBerry Blend and Amazon Appstore. It has a fresh look that incorporates updated icons and an instant action bar so that each users’ most commonly accessed functions are in the center of their screen.
  • Best-in-Class Battery Life – The 3450 mAh battery is the largest battery for any smartphone or phablet in the market today, and when tested against a very active user, provides up to 30 hours of mixed use. It’s our best battery power to date.
  • Dual App Storefronts for a Wealth of Professional and Popular Apps:
    • BlackBerry World – BlackBerry World showcases essential productivity apps for business professionals looking to drive efficient communications and collaboration.
    • Amazon Appstore – Preloaded on BlackBerry Passport, users can access popular consumer apps through the Amazon Appstore, including the latest Android games and apps, such as Minecraft – Pocket Edition, Candy Crush Saga, Pinterest, Temple Run 2 and Cut the Rope 2.
  • BlackBerry Assistant – The BlackBerry Assistant is BlackBerry’s first digital assistant and can be used with voice and text commands to help users manage work and personal email, contacts, calendar and other native BlackBerry 10 applications. BlackBerry Assistant intelligently determines how to respond to you based on how you interact with it – if you type, it responds silently; if you speak, it speaks back; and if you activate over Bluetooth, it speaks back with additional context because it assumes you might not have access to the screen.
  • Premium Components – The device is built for the most demanding user using durable materials mixed with top-of-the-line technology, including a Quad Core 2.2 GHZ Processor, 3 GB RAM, 13 MP  optical image stabilization (OIS) rear camera and 32 GB memory.
  • BlackBerry Natural Sound – BlackBerry Passport comes with powerful speakers and a quad microphone system that delivers a high-quality listening experience. BlackBerry Natural Sound Technology is built in to adapt Wi-Fi and cellular call sound depending upon phone position and background noise, automatically adjusting volume so you don’t have to.

The BlackBerry Passport will first be available from Celcom Axiata (contract pricing from RM638) from October 10 until 1st November 2014. After that it will also be available from BlackBerry authorised partners.

Ben Quirin, Managing Director of Indochina at BlackBerry said, “We are excited to mark a new milestone here at BlackBerry by introducing the first square screen design and touch-enabled keyboard smartphone – the BlackBerry Passport. Aimed at the mobile professionals, this ground breaking device equipped with the new BlackBerry 10.3 OS, will allow users to elevate their productivity and collaborate more effectively. The BlackBerry Passport will definitely be the talk of the town, breaking through the sea of rectangular-screen, all-touch devices.”

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy