BlackBerry has updated its latest Passport enterprise smartphone—dubbed the BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition—with a striking silver finish, an improved back gripping surface and keyboard improvements aimed at making typing even easier.
The Passport Silver Edition also differs from standard Passport models through a reinforced stainless steel frame that offers extra strength and durability, rounded corners and beveled edges around the front-facing camera, and a protective border around the rear camera to protect them from wear and tear, according to the company. The improved gripping surface comes from a new diamond-weave material that's featured on the rear of the device.
The $549 smartphone, which is available immediately at ShopBlackBerry.com in North America, is built around the features already found in the existing Passport models, including a 4.5-inch square HD display that is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for strength, a traditional BlackBerry physical keyboard, the BlackBerry 10 OS 10.3.2 operating system and a long-life 3,450mAh battery. Also included is a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor, a 13-megapixel main camera and 32GB of onboard storage.
"We strive to deliver products that combine cutting-edge technology with purposeful, globally recognized design, and the BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition is the latest manifestation of this vision," Scott Wenger, global head of design at BlackBerry, said in a statement. "It brings together BlackBerry's latest OS platform, enhanced productivity features, and a refined industrial design based on customer and user feedback to deliver an unmatched experience for professionals who value precision and focus."
The BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition will be available in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands in the coming weeks through ShopBlackBerry.com, the company said. Amazon.com, Carphone Warehouse and Selfridges are also expected to begin selling the phones in the next few weeks.
For a limited time, buyers who obtain their Passport Silver Edition smartphones through BlackBerry can get up to $130 in accessories for free, including a Flex Shell, a Flip Case, a Sync Pod and more.
In March, BlackBerry launched a surprise smartphone, the Leap, which replaces the traditional BlackBerry physical keypad with a modern touch screen aimed at getting the company's devices into the hands of younger mobile professionals. This device can now possibly be viewed as a bridge to an Android device as the company continues to tweak its product line to draw in more customers.
The original BlackBerry Passport was launched in September 2014.
In December 2014, BlackBerry unveiled its Classic smartphone, which includes the company's well-known QWERTY keyboard, trackpad and navigation keys, as well as a 3.5-inch square touch-screen HD display that is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for strength. The Classic also includes a 2MP front- and an 8MP rear-facing camera, a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 16GB of internal storage, which is expandable up to 128GB using a microSD card.