Well, here’s something I haven’t written in a while: BlackBerry has released a new smartphone! Ever since BlackBerry began coming apart at the seams, the company has been struggling to stay afloat, dropping Thorsten Heins and nabbing James Chen as CEO of BlackBerry. Where Heins was extravagant and flashy, Chen is anything but. Since his appointment as CEO Chen has been methodically and carefully been piecing the company back together. The BlackBerry Passport is the culmination of Chen’s practicality, focusing on what made BlackBerry a hit in the first place: the physical keyboard. It’s a gamble for sure, but at this point, BlackBerry really has nothing to lose.
The Passport rocks a 4.5 inch screen and a physical keyboard, and will be available from Canadian provider Telus on October 1st for $750 off-contract or $200 with a new two-year contract. The Passport can also be purchased for $699 unlocked on ShopBlackBerry.com, and will land in 30 other countries by the end of the year. AT&T will sell the Passport in the U.S. for $250 with a two-year contract or $599 unlocked.
The Passport packs a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a microSD slot and a 13MP rear-facing camera. That puts the Passport on par with many Android handsets of 2014 such as the Galaxy S5, LG G3 and HTC One M8.
Is the Passport going to be a smash success and pull BlackBerry out of the doldrums? We’ll have to wait and see. But for now, check out Mashable’s video review of the BlackBerry Passport and tell us what you think.