The Passport is BlackBerry's newest, oddest-looking smartphone

Turns out BlackBerry's stronger-than-expected financial performance wasn't the only surprise the company had for us today. CEO John Chen took a few moments during this morning's earnings call to mention its newest phone: it's called the BlackBerry Passport and it's, well... just look at it. Bizarre.

BlackBerry teased the existence of a new device with a square, high-resolution screen before, but the Passport's design isn't exactly what we were expecting. Unlike other BlackBerrys with squared-off displays, the folks in Waterloo didn't feel the need to craft a more traditional (some would say more hand-friendly) chassis. Nope, the Passport seems to bask in its angular tendencies, and that 4.5-inch display running at 1,440 x 1,440 -- which works out to a pixel density of 452 pixels per inch -- is clearly the star of the show. If reports hold true, you'll also be able to trace out gestures directly on the (now cramped) keyboard, though why you'd do that instead of paw at a touchscreen is still unclear.

The company implored us all to "be bold" a few years back, and it's definitely taking its own advice this time. Then again, squarish phones don't have a particularly stellar track record. Remember the Pantech Pocket? The Motorola Flipout? LG's Optimus Vu? We didn't think so. The Passport is expected to make its official debut at a September launch event in London, so we'll soon see if there's something special lurking in within the Passport's kooky frame.