BlackBerry unveiled the Passport just last September, so it might be too soon for the company to unveil a successor this summer. However, based on pictures obtained by N4BB, it looks like BlackBerry already has a second square, QWERTY phablet lined up for later this year.
Dubbed the BlackBerry Oslo, which is likely its codename instead of final product name, the smartphone seen in the images looks a lot like the device we saw back in April. Much like then, the Oslo looks to have a metal housing, with a three-row QWERTY keyboard right below the very square 1,440 x 1,440 display. Reportedly powering the Oslo is a Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor and 3GB of RAM. There’s also a 3,450mAh battery that should keep the device chugging along for a while. Finally, a 13-megapixel camera can be found around back.
If these specifications sound familiar, that’s because the Passport packs most of the same internals, making the Oslo more of a refresh than a reimagining of its predecessor. BlackBerry could be adding a new Passport in order to keep up with the improved smartphone designs we’ve seen lately from the likes of Samsung and LG. According to previous rumors, the Oslo might make its debut later this month and be released shortly thereafter in Europe and Asia.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that BlackBerry decided to return to the Passport’s design language, since the company’s CEO John Chen revealed we would see at least one more generation of the Passport make its way to store shelves. The upcoming revival of the unusual device is thanks in part to the Passport’s awkward, yet warm, reception. In the same report, BlackBerry said it would release one unconventional device each year, so perhaps the Oslo completes the company’s yearly quota.
Then again, we could see BlackBerry’s enigmatic slider smartphone hit store shelves sometime this autumn, and that handset packs a slider design we haven’t seen on smartphones in quite some time.