BlackBerry has detailed a strange new square smartphone called the Passport. Here's what you need to know about the BlackBerry Passport release date, price and specs in the UK. See also: The best smartphones: The best phones you can buy in 2014.

It wasn't too long ago when it was pretty cool to have a BlackBerry but the Canadian firm has been dominated by the iPhone and Android smartphones recently. Despite its demise, BlackBerry has shown off a new device called the Passport. Is it now so square that it's cool?

BlackBerry said "Many have thought that creativity around the design of smartphones was dead," adding that "the rectangle has become a de facto approach to smartphone design, perhaps limiting innovations."

BlackBerry Passport: Release date UK

Following the London launch of the BlackBerry Passport, the smartphone is available to buy straight away from ShopBlackBerry. It will also be available as the usual retailers such as Amazon and additionally Selfridges (the Carphone Warehouse store-in-store).

The price for this new smartphone in the UK is £529 which is £10 cheaper than the iPhone 6. However, Clove has it for £499 if you can wait until 29 September.

BlackBerry Passport: Specs

The BlackBerry Passport has a 4.5in (1440 x 1440) screen which is square – an aspect ratio of 1:1. The firm says the passport was the inspiration for the size and form factor for this new smartphone although the last time a look at my passport it wasn't square. See also: Android L vs iOS 8.

BlackBerry says it offers a similar amount of viewing space compared to a 5in phone but a better experience because of its width. Most smartphones can display 40 characters across the screen but the Passport outpaces them at 60. It's ideal for reading e-books, viewing documents and browsing the web, according to BlackBerry.

As well as coming with BlackBerry 10.3 OS installed, the Passport supports Android apps via the Amazon Appstore.

BlackBerry Passport square phone

Other than the unorthodox screen, the BlackBerry Passport has a quad-core processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 3GB of RAM and a 13Mp rear facing camera.

"Consider how IMAX movies begin with the screens set to a more traditional 16:9 aspect ratio projection for conventional movie trailers, before expanding to their true dimensions (and the audience goes, “ooh”). The Passport is like the IMAX of productivity, and you don’t have to sacrifice screen real estate, vertically or horizontally." said the firm.

OS: BlackBerry 10.3 OS
Processor: 2.2 GHz Quad-core processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
Screen: 4.5in extra wide LCD display (1440 x 1440)
Keyboard: 3 row QWERTY keyboard, use the keyboard as a touchpad
Storage: 32 GB internal storage, microSD (up to 128 GB)
Connectivity: 4G LTE connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11n Wi-Fi
Camera: 13 Mp camera with OIS (optical image stabilisation)

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