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HolidayBuyer's Guide

The BlackBerry Passport is different. Pairing a compact keyboard with a square 4.5-inch-by-4.5-inch display (11.4 cmx11.4 cm), it looks a bit like a square phablet, though easily wider than most.

Caption by / Photo by Roger Cheng/CNET

Sidled alongside a phone with more traditional proportions, the Passport looks a bit chunky. BlackBerry's head of global enterprise services said the design will find a home in industries like healthcare and finance, or anywhere that will involve a lot of communicating by email.

Caption by / Photo by Roger Cheng/CNET

The Passport is roughly twice as wide as an iPhone 5, and that's going to take some getting used to. If you've got large hands and were aching for something to wrap your mitts around, this could be the phone for you.

Caption by / Photo by Roger Cheng/CNET

The Passport does seem to offer a decent compromise between large display and a physical keyboard. Here it is alongside the BlackBerry Z30.

Caption by / Photo by Roger Cheng/CNET

The Passport runs the upcoming BlackBerry 10.3 software, and while there aren't any dramatic, apparent changes, applications and the like chugged along smoothly.

Caption by / Photo by Roger Cheng/CNET

The Passport's keyboard does double duty as a sort of touchpad. While you're typing, swiping in the direction one of the predictive text dictionary's suggestions will automatically insert that word for you.

Caption by / Photo by Roger Cheng/CNET

BlackBerry didn't cut corners on design: the Passport feels rock solid, and has a metallic sheen.

Caption by / Photo by Roger Cheng/CNET

While the phone is a bit unwieldy, it can fit into a jeans pocket -- just expect a bit of a bulge.

Caption by / Photo by Roger Cheng/CNET

The rear of the phone felt smooth, but the texture may not be the same as the final production model.

Caption by / Photo by Roger Cheng/CNET
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