BlackBerry debuts $549 Passport Silver Edition phone with free accessories

BlackBerry's square-screened phone gets an update to make it more durable, easier to hold and nicer to look at. Early buyers can nab free cases and charging stands.

Yes, BlackBerry has a new phone for sale and no, it doesn't run Android, although I suspect we'll see such a beast before the year is up.

Instead, the company on Tuesday debuted the BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition, a revamped model of the original Passport, for $549 unlocked and off-contract. For a limited time, BlackBerry is including $130 worth of accessories with the new phone, including a Flex Shell, Flip Case and Sync Pod.


So what's new with the Silver Edition of the Passport? Not much at all on the inside but the hardware has been slightly tweaked and redesigned.

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The frame of the phone now uses reinforced stainless steel with more rounded corners and a diamond weave pattern on the back to improve grip. The edges around the front camera are beveled for protection while a new border keeps the rear camera from getting scuffed. Perhaps most important is a slightly improved keyboard design, which makes a good input method even better.

Like its predecessor, the BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition runs on a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor paired with 3 GB of memory and has a 1440 x 1440 resolution 4.5-inch screen.

Are the external changes worth it?

I'm highly doubtful if you already own the original Passport. Those that were on the fence to buy their first Passport, however, would be well served by considering this slightly updated model. Aside from the design improvements, the free accessories are a nice incentive.