BlackBerry CEO John Chen shows off upcoming BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry Classic smartphones

By Bla1ze on 19 Jun 2014 01:06 pm EDT
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After the BlackBerry earnings report and annual meeting, the media including our very own Simon Sage, got to spend some time with BlackBerry CEO John Chen where he answered questions and took the time to show off the two latest BlackBerry 10 smartphones, now known as the BlackBerry Classic and the BlackBerry Passport. If you're looking to get a better look at both the devices flip on through our photos from the event.

Reader comments

BlackBerry CEO John Chen shows off upcoming BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry Classic smartphones

720 Comments

I agree on the classic, but seeing the Passport not in renders makes it seem a lot less ugly. I really wish they would announce the successor to the Z10/Z30 as well.. this is plenty for today as far as announcements go though. They gave us a lot.

Z10

I was thinking the same thing. The renders and pictures by itself makes it look really fat and clunky. Seeing it in someone's hand makes it look very slick and professional. I was very much taken aback since I was one of those with the opinion that it was straight-up ugly.

Nifty Foods! C003262E5

It doesn't, you're looking at the new 10.3 UI with the bigger main function button thing. Forgot the name of it...

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

I'm guessing it's a message icon that will open the Hub. Seeing as the Classic has a physical call button, the on-screen call button is redundant so I think they've replaced it(possibly optional) with a Hub button.

It does indeed.
The 4th keyboard row is virtual and only shown when typing. It's adaptive too (numbers / symbols).

That's 10.3 he has on there. The most-often-used application at the bottom eg 'compose' for emails in this case is highlighted blue.

I meant on the home screen. I think you guys are right with the HUB button. Hopefully they leave the date on the empty home screen. I hated the idea of having a blank useless page but if it has the date a la the lock screen then it's better than nothing. It can go away when you open an app or something. The best part about BB10 is the quickness you can reach the Hub. If they put an empty screen that's just another swipe your going to have to use.

Z10

@xravishx...I actually took out my passport and held it in my hand ,I checked out the dimensions compared to my Z10 and THEY MIGHT HAVE A WINNER HERE,if you like Qwerty, but I suspect many corps and their employees will have enough screen size to keep them happy and feeling EXTRA special !!

It's working. That "feeling extra special" if you have an outstanding phone that only a minority has, not like Joe Doe's Samsung or Pretty Betty's iPhone that you seen on every corner.

Hope BlackBerry can pull this stunt off!!!

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

I also like the Passport now more than the renderings. It looks less clunky and chunky and more sleek. I kinda want one now . . . not more than the Classic, though.

Both have an interesting look, but that Classic makes me think of everything I've loved about BlackBerry, and I love the Q10. The Passport could have some interesting applications in the enterprise: think of apps that could take advantage of the screen real estate and such.

When it comes to looks, Classic hands down. Love the whole Old School 9900 look. When it comes to device, its the Windermere / Passport / Q30. I just cant get used to the weird keyboard and size / looks...
I can renew my device but still not out on what device to go for...

Same old design from 2007, that too with a trackpad. Nothing exciting in looks wise. Maybe it is for the hardcore trackpad users. But I love the Passport. Looks fantastic.

In case you have missed it, the trackpad was overwhelmingly asked for by Blackberry's core user base. Blackberry is finally delivering what its customers want and have been asking for.

With you on that Windermere, ahem Passport side.

That's should send a message to all those who screamed "ugly, ugly, ugly!" The final design looks very sleek, even enviable. You must be somebody special carrying a phone like that. And did anyone say 3400mAh?

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Agree. I wish BlackBerry come up with a revolutionary spherical phone ( name it BlackBerry Grenade) .

Joking apart, I understand what you are trying to see. Being a Z30 owner, I know when it comes to balance communication and entertainment, a lot of people go for full touch screens. But I think Passport is for people who like to play games in Play-Stations and and Xboxes, watch movies in 100+ inch televisions, not on a 5 inch device.

Maybe I am wrong.

Hmm I like movies on my 120“ screen, wont watch them on my s4, play games on my wii u/ desktop computer. And i want my phone to WORK. but pass a few minutes here and there with a small game or net surfing.

... I want the passport.

Was it just me that was hoping that the curved frets would come back to the classic revamp?

Proudly posted with a Z30 via CB10

No. I was, too... And NOT for the nostalgia. I seemed to be a lot faster on that thing tapping out my messages.

Posted via CB10

You're not alone. I was hoping as well. But glad to see that the Classic will have a steel frame. Always loved that although people say it's old fashioned. But QWERTY is also old-fashioned, isn't it ;)

Haven't had a chance to pound-away messages on Q10. Just typed a line or 2 on a friend's Q10 and felt 9930 was more convenient out-right. Although, I'm sure it will get better after a day or 2, but I really doubt if it will ever be as good as 9900.

Ahh! Steel RIM! It saved my 9930 from 4-5 falls from 5 feet height until it fell flat on its face the last time and had to get the screen replaced. Cant wait to lay my hands on a Classic. I would have loved a better back cover though!! This one remind me of cheap Galaxy variant from 2-3 years ago. Leather would have been awesome! Heck, 9930 had a beautiful back! :)

Yeah, the Classic brings back fond memories, but the screen is still too small to accommodate the way I use my smartphone today. I watch video, read ebooks, and surf the web -- a lot. I never really did those things on a smaller phone with a QWERTY keyboard. I think my return to a physical keyboard may come in the form of the Passport! :)

Passport might even have first time buyers of Blackberry qwerty phone. I might be one of them. Big enough screen size with great typing experience.

@BlackberryFan777...I never thought I would go keyboard,but the Phone being so unique and comfortable in the hand ,as I am holding my ,actual Canadian Passport,BB Passport might bring me around.

I F'n love the Classic too...and will be in line to buy it...that is if AT&T offers it.
I sure hope that BlackBerry sells these direct from Shop Blackberry.

Duuude! I'm right there with you! That classic is.....mmmmm......sexy! Damn Gina!!!

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  ) new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The Thor's Hammer of phones! Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile. Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! #longestsignatureeverthatishortenedabit

I am loving the new UI with the date on the homescreen. :-D

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

Yeah that's been a complaint of mine. That should have been automatic, instead of looking at the calendar icon!

Posted via CB10

Yes the date on homescreen!! Anyone else notice the "phone" app icon on the bottom left corner of the classic looks like something else? Not sure what it is, maybe the hub? If it is customizable that would be unreal

Posted via CB10

I hope it would be customizable as well, but the one in the image appears to be a shortcut to the hub. I would change it if it could be customized.

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

Yeah hope that it's customisable. The hub is only one swipe away. A phone icon wouldn't make sense when you have a real phone key in the toolbelt - YEAH :)

Yea and now looking at it again, even the right side icon doesnt look like the camera icon. Maybe BOTH icons will be customizable: unlikely; but I wonder what BlackBerry is planning to do with them..

Posted via CB10

I going with the Passport. Looks much nicer in someone's hands than I thought it would.

GTA 5 News & Info Channel [URL="bbmc:C0042DFE0"]C0042DFE0[/URL]

CLASSIC whoop whoop love the llok of it. Nostalgia coming lol. I hope it has some good specs :) will defiantly be my next upgrade provided nothing else comes up that's better

If you extend the screen down to replace the physical keyboard with screen surface area, I believe you are in phablet territory. That would make a nice PlayBook replacement. Or, of course a straight up BB10.3 4GB Ram quad core beast PlayBook 2.0! (I know....)

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

The way the screen lights (kinda glowy even on a mostly dark screen) up makes me think LCD, and I would have preferred the AMOLED, but other than that I kinda need one. Looks pretty slick.

Posted via CB10

You can fit two z30 screens in the Passport's1440x1440 resolution.

That Passport is quickly becoming my next blackberry. :)

Posted via CB10

I will be stocking up on BB10 Classic in case of Doomsday Scenario.

This time around BlackBerry Marketing must not fail. We need real professionals, musician's, athletes, Politician, Journalists showing their BlackBerry Experience(BBM, BBM CHANNEL , collaborations etc).

Include in Ad BlackBerry compatibility with android apps. Also link to CrackBerry. So people know they have community to go to for BlackBerry tips.

I like Beats Music marketing.

BlackBerry Lead
Do Not Follow

Looper Back Make Corleone Offer for TrackPad on BB10

Screen size will likely be a factor for me but, I think both are absolutely gorgeous and something to be very excited about. Well done BlackBerry...the Rimpire Strikes Back??

Both of these phones have me drooling. The Passport for the size and the quality of the display as well as the new and innovative QWERTY keyboard, and the Classic for its' super sleek corporate look. I want BOTH!! Oh yeah, throw in 10.3 and the Amazon app store and Blackberry is suddenly starting to make real sense.

The classic is going too need to join my collection.

Brought to you by my: Z30 (STA100-1FTW) / Z10 (STL100-3) / Q5 (SQR100-1) / Q10 (SQN100-1)

Dang, how did a quick one-word reply get beat to first by a two-word reply? Gotta work on your reflexes man! Lmao!

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

Got me, I was trying to be quick too. I should have just used !

"Classic" better be called "Bold Q20" or "Bold 10" 

Just sharing impression: I dunno about capacitive keyboard, but the SPACE BAR button looks like a TRACKPAD. I don´t found marks or light. Other buttons on passport and classic have marks and light...

IF this is possible, on passport, belt keys are: track pad = space bar ; BB button = gesture; back button = virtual at botton; call in and out = virtual or sides in large space button??? !!!

... Just sharing crazy impression ...

It looks weird to me too, but Blackberry's not coming back by offering "just like an iPhone except not one". They gotta give people something different and the Passport certainly qualifies.

It's probably just me, but what's so sick about the Classic? It's a Q10 with the hardware buttons. Are these buttons really that important? Sorry, I have to ask because I don't get it.
It's certainly a bonus feature, but I don't get "sick" or "must have" or "drool"!

I love the silver bezel and it looks thinner then q10 which may not be accurate, but appears to be in the picture. The old school look appeals to me.

Posted via CB10

Personally, having a trackpad will speed up emails and any word processing. The virtual circle track button in BB10 is awful.

Posted via CB10

I'm with you! When I saw the picture I immediately said that freakin thing looks like a Bold 9000.

Moving backwards in the design and style deployment if you ask me. The Passport on the other hand does look intriguing.

Posted via CB10

As already said: Great, solid, professional look and a trackpad for easy text selection and editing (emails)

Awesome! Bring them to market quickly and a Z10 replacement.

"Classic" better be called "Bold Q20" or "Bold 10" 

Also 5inch and up is the new trend. Nobody wants a small 4inch phone anymore. Go to iPhone if you want that. You don't deserve a Blackberry.

Same here and who gives a shit if 5" displays are trendy?! I'm buying a phone for my benefit not the rest of the world's!

Need a Z10 v2 and fast!

Posted via CB10

From the rumours, even Apple is up sizing their phone this time around. I think the market has spoken, and 4.6" or larger is the new "in thing". Given that BlackBerry went 5" with the low cost Z3, I thinks it's a safe bet that they're done with the smaller devices. Otherwise, the low cost device would have been smaller, and cheaper.

Posted via CB10

The screen on the Z10 is to small for its body size, they just need to fit 4.9' inches to its frame and it will be the perfect phone.

"Classic" better be called "Bold Q20" or "Bold 10" 

Allright DORK now you're deciding who deserves to get a BlackBerry, I guess you need something to make you feel better with a face like that.

"Classic" better be called "Bold Q20" or "Bold 10" 

Not sure how to wear "girl pockets"but with a shell case on it, it is to Large for my non-XXL Jeans.

"Classic" better be called "Bold Q20" or "Bold 10" 

I have always used the belt swivel holster with my BB's (curve, Z10, etc.). Z10 is about the largest I feel I can comfortably carry that way. That is why I haven't moved up to Z30. So, I also want an upgrade to Z10, but with less bezel and more screen area. That would be ideal for me.

Posted via Z10

Agreed! Z10 is the perfect size and if I ever have issues down the road with the battery, I just change it out myself

Posted via CB10

Passport looks much better in someones hand! Leaked pics dont do it justice! That's my next work horse.

Sent from my Z10. Or was it my Q10? Either way, it was sent from an awesome phone.

The "Passport" looks like the Z3 wirh a keyboard stuck on the bottom. The "Classic" looks like a Q10 with a tool belt. What happened to "we're restarting the Bold 9900 line" ?

I agree with you on the Passport, but the Classic is a lot nicer with those silver edges just the back is disappointing...No Carbon.

"Classic" better be called "Bold Q20" or "Bold 10" 

That's literally, "we're cranking out more of the 100% the same Bold 9900". They won't show those off, since it's very literally a Bold 9900, and people have already seen that.

Posted via CB10

Totally a rehash bb10 version of 9900, I feel like people won't want to go from 9900 to classic since they look so similar, they need to look similar but classic should have more modern style.

Posted via CB10

I was thinking the same thing!! Can anyone confirm whether or not the Passport and Classic will off micro HDMI ports?? The rumours say no and I'm desperately hoping the rumours are wrong!

The Passport looks good from those pictures. I was skeptical about it's appearance up until now. The Classic, as expected, looks great. I'll be sticking with my Z30 for now though. I'm hoping the rumors of this octa-core device are true for next year.

Posted via CB10

I'm picking passport for sure!!!! Classic looks like 9900 and looks awesome!!! Love you BlackBerry!!!

Posted via CB10

Wow! I really like this new phones! The passport looks amazing, and weird haha but that's the cool part.

Posted via CB10

WOW. The Passport looks SO much sexier in these candid shots than it has in any photo. I thought it looked awful this whole time but seeing it in Chen's hand shows me how sleek and sexy it is. I love the square design. It is so different and fresh it truly looks like an enterprise flagship!

Oh and they did an excellent job with the Classic too. If it had the touch qwerty like the Passport will have id go for one.

Posted via CB10

I am in love with the passport. This Fall is going be great for smartphones lovers with the iPhone 6, note 4, BlackBerry devices, windows phone. A Phone for everybody needs. Then we can fight by saying which one is better on the mobile nation sites. I think the mobile nation team better take a vacation now because it's going be a very busy Fall.

Posted via CB10

They both look good but somehow in leaning more on the Passport... wow that thing looks really thin and classy as hell while the classic looks more thicker and maybe a tad dated

Fat Mexican with a Z10 in CB10

Love the classic. I am really liking the passport more and more. I would buy it for sure. Glad to see positive turn for blackberry!!

Posted via CB10

The Passport looks better in these pictures ; actually being able to see it in hand and with the device powered on. I still prefer the classic between the two as far as looks are concerned.

Posted via CB10

I feel like the passport may be difficult to type on with the keys so close to the lower edge.

Posted via CB10

Passport looks weird. I like weird. I think Samsung figured out that unorthodox products can become huge hits - many were skeptical of the Note but it has proved a big winner for Samsung. Passport is a step in the right direction.

Classic - I can pass on. I have no nostalgia for legacy devices, OS, or design.

Totally digging the Passport! Just woooow! But I just can't help asking myself: how does it feel to hold it in your hand? And what about typing: is the keyboard feeling good, since it is placed so close to the lower bessel?
I want to try it, nit in September but NOW! Bring it on BB!

I'm grooving on both these phones - Classic for the whole family, Passport for fun (for me! )
Really...why would you ever doubt Mr. Watsa?

#IchooseBlackBerry10

Posted via CB10

Have to say Passport isn't as bad as I initially thought, kinda looks good in hands. It also has that unique and strange attractiveness to it...a weird pull...but it's actually growing on me I think...which I didn't think.... LMFAO

CAUTION : MAJ On Z30 Now!!!!

The Passport looks amazing better than those initial pictures we've seen and the metal frame (wipes drool from lip) the classic is a Q10 with a toolbelt but it's sexy but the Passport is unique

Posted via CB10

:) It always looks better, live. Remember that the back of the phone was not shown in all the pics; now just imagine what the back finishings looks like. ;)

Howcome you didn't just use the photo gallery to show all these pictures? These 20 pages for one picture and no content on each page is terrible for the User Experience.

The phones do look excellent though.

Edit: It actually looks good on CB10 - I have been reading the articles on the computer though. Please don't destroy desktop usage, most people want to see the pics large on their computer anyway. Why not include both? One for the desktop users to easily and one for mobile CB10 users.

Nice pics though, thanks for them :)

Posted via CB10

Any pictures of how the virtual keyboard plays into the Passport? I am so curious to see how all that works!

Posted via CB10

Just sharing impression: I dunno about capacitive keyboard, but the SPACEBAR looks like a TRACKPAD. I don´t found marks or light. Other keys on passport and classic have marks and light...

IF this is possible, on passport, tool belt keys are: track pad = spacebar ; BB button key = gesture; back button key = virtual at botton; call in and out = virtual or sides in large spacebsr button??? !!!

... Just sharing crazy impression ...

I prefer Passport's uniqueness, big display and thin built . But gonna stick with my Z30 for a while. Can't spend so much money anymore after Z10 and Z30 at full launching price.

ॐ BBM channeling at C003910CB

I hear you. But, I feel like I am not going to be able to resist buying it as soon as it comes out due to the novelty factor. Good-bye $500-$600!! :)

This time around they might really ask for more, but that should be a decent launch price....

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Passport looks much better in these pictures that what I have seen before. I would still need to see in in person

Posted via CB10

The bigger task will be to get carriers to carry them...passport still looks ugly to me. and i think calling the other "classic" is a deterrent for those looking to get "the next best thing"...still have my fingers crossed for a slider type phone.

Posted via CB10

I want that passport! Looks like it'll handle apps well since the screen is so big for a keyboard phone.

Posted via CB10

I like it a lot! The Passport looks like quite the stellar device! I'm also curious how the trackpad will be implemented with BB10 gestures.

Posted via CB10

Oh man...I want that Classic! November, hurry up! I admit the Passport looks better in a live photo, in hand...but still would chose the Classic over it.

I was going to say something similar but you summed it up nicely lol!

I don't care if other people want a bb10 device I wanted one and that's all that matters.

Very smart to show these soon. Will get some investors hopeful for the future. The Classic is beautiful, now hopefully it will have a great camera (only thing missing from past devices). Also the back of the classic looks kinda cheap like the Z3. I like the glass weave of the Q10/Z30. As for the Passport, will have to wait to see it in person.

I was hoping to hear about the rumoured manitoba (successor to the z30). I love how the BlackBerry passport looks. But I was never a fan of keypads.

Posted via CB10

I'm torn! I'm going to have to test both of them in my own hands to really make a decision. I love the Classic's full keyboard and buttons. I love the Passport's screen.

Is there a reason to load a new page just to see the next photo? Page rebuild isn't an issue, as I'm on a desktop and it's fast, but the page resets to the top of the page, which requires a scroll down. Why this format over what was done before?

The more I look at Passport..the more I like it..its not that ugly...yes the initial one was damn ugly..but this finished product looks really good..

Posted via CB10

It was never ugly. People sometimes think that things that are different from what they are used to are "weird or ugly". As usual, prototypes are always polished before final production. The form factor was "Bold and Audacious" from the get go.

The classic looks really good! The Passport looks very interesting. Both phones look BlackBerry high end I'm just not sure how people will take to the passports new swiping qwerty keyboard.

Does the classic also have a gesture capable qwerty keyboard?

Posted via CB10

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