The BlackBerry Passport was one hell of a divisive release; people either loved it or positively hated it –– there was no in between. Here at KYM we were big fans, and praised BlackBerry for really trying something different, as you can see in our BlackBerry Passport Review.
The handset was big, oddly proportioned and designed to be the ultimate productivity companion. And in more ways than one it succeeded. BlackBerry Blend was a revelation; the ability to load pretty much and Android app a blessing; the keyboard was just awesome; the fact that NO ONE else you know had a phone like this was also appealing. But above all else it was just a very solid phone.
But now it appears there is a new sheriff in town, and he goes by the name of the BlackBerry Oslo. You can see him in all his glory below:
The handset itself borrows heavily from the Passport. It is the same shape and features a very similar QWERTY keyboard setup. The chassis itself has been smoothed down and is not quite a premium looking at the Passport, making us think this is a budget-option Passport alternative.
The Oslo is essentially a reworking of what came before; the exterior has been altered but everything else specs and hardware-wise remains the same. It’s unclear what BlackBerry plans on doing with this handset, but reports suggest it could be destined for China, EMEA and APAC regions.
BlackBerry hasn’t made any official comments on the handset just yet, but the company did take the wraps off a brand new slider phone at MWC 2015 and we’ve still yet to get any more developments on that either. Now the Oslo is out in the open though it seems logical that a release date will follow in the very near future.
“The Oslo features the same exact specs (2.2GHz MSM8974 Snapdragon processor, 13 MP Camera, 3 GB RAM, 3450 mAh battery). But, it is in obviously a different form factor, which appears to be a combination of steel frame mixed with silver plastic,” report N4BB. “The BlackBerry Oslo is currently targeted to the EMEA and APAC regions. The Oslo may be the Passport that we see offered to users in China.”
The backside of the Oslo is a rubberised material, similar to the BlackBerry Leap and Z3, again, insinuating that this handset is almost certainly a mid-range device aimed at the masses.
A very interesting turn of events, indeed!
We’ll update this story as soon as we know more. In the meantime, check out our article: 16 Reasons Why You’ll Probably Love The BlackBerry Passport.
Over on PAGE 2 you will find our previous report on the BlackBerry Oslo.
BlackBerry appears to be preparing three new smartphones for release, according to the emergence of leaked images. It seems there is a succesor to the BlackBerry Passport, along with the slide-out keyboard model we saw previewed momentarily on-stage at MWC 2015 in March. The company also has another phone which appears to be part of its Porsche Design affiliate program.
BlackBerry’s latest CEO, John Chen, has managed to bring the company back from the precipice in a very short time indeed, but the once triumphant Canadian phone-maker is still not out of the woods yet. There’s been a lot of talk about abandonment of device production in favour of software and services, but it seems the ghost is not being given up yet for BlackBerry’s handset arm, as three previously unseen BlackBerry smartphones have been caught on camera and posted on Chinese social network Weibo.
Previously we’ve seen BlackBerry briefly show-off an unnamed slide-out keyboard handset at MWC 2015, but then no more was revealed about the device. Now it’ popped up in this series of images alongside two other phones, one of which may be a follow up to the BlackBerry Passport.
The previously seen handset has a curved design (main article image) and has a couple of potential names, one nice and descriptive as “BlackBerry Slider” while the other more codename-like as “BlackBerry Venice”. Word on the grape vine says a 5.1in touch display at 2560 x 1440 pixels. Not much else is known but it’s suspected to be carrying an octa-core processor (probably Qualcomm Snapdragon), a 16MP primary camera and a sizeable 3,650mAh battery cell.
One of the other pictured phones is believed to be a successor to the BlackBerry Passport, with a squarer shape, a fixed keyboard (above), and a 1440 x 1440 pixel display. We’ve heard the codename “Oslo” for this one, as well as mention of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 13MP primary camera with OIS, and 3,450mAh battery – meaning incremental improvements over the Passport rather than leaps and bounds.
The last member of this motley crew is designated as a P9984 and has some angular features, both of which have a whiff of BlackBerry’s ongoing partnership with car company Porsche and its penchant for making sharp-looking alternatives of BlackBerry models.