BlackBerry Passport gets physical keyboard that’s a touchpad, too

Image Credit: Carphone Warehouse

BlackBerry just can’t shake the physical keyboard. But since the hangers-on to the brand really enjoy that feature, this might be a good thing.

The upcoming BlackBerry Passport will still have the physical keyboard it’s famous for, but get this — that keyboard doubles as a touchpad. You can type on those pressable buttons, and the you can swipe across the keys to form gestures and complete other actions.

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A video from Carphone Warehouse, a U.K. phone retailer, shows the new device in action, and though the video is no longer on the site, you can still view it on YouTube. You can insert symbols and numbers by swiping across the letter keys. It seems like there might be a bit of a learning curve to this approach, but it is novel, and it appears to be a move that satisfies both physical keyboard and touchpad lovers.

Other features of the Passport, which should release in September, include a high-resolution display and a wider, longer body. It’s uncertain at this time if the new phone is enough to resurrect the BlackBerry from its more-than-temporary downturn. According to the IDC, BlackBerry only claimed 0.3 percent of the smartphone market share in Q4 2013.

Via: Business Insider

More information:

Research In Motion, Ltd., is a provider of wireless solutions for the mobile communications market. The company is the designer and manufacturer of the BlackBerry smartphone brand, and also creates touchscreen and mobile keyboard techn... read more »

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Michael Dodd
Michael Dodd

While the passport keyboard has new features that improve navigation and wont require an alt key to type numbers or punctuation (that'll be on top via the touch screen) this article seems unaware that on top of being the fastest typing phones on the market blackberry's qwerty keyboards have always done a lot more than type.... When using the phone to read: the space key scrolls down to the next screenfull of text, the "t" key takes users to the top, "b" takes users to the bottom. "R" activates reader mode which fits document or web page text to the screen. From messaging and emails "n" goes to the next message and "p" goes to the previous. "C" is compose an email or message "f" is forward an email or message and "l" is reply all. From the home screen or phone each key can be assigned a speed dial function.

BlackBerry qwerty navigation has always been the fastest way to navigate a smartphone, but the compromise was sacrificing screen size. The passport will deliver the best of both worlds.

Cant wait.