Most smartphone buyers opt for an iPhone or a device running Google's Android operating system, but BlackBerry -- remember them? -- is still cranking out devices. Last year, it launched the Passport, a heavy, chunky handset with a beautiful physical keyboard and an unusually square-shaped screen. Its sequel, the Oslo, which was officially announced in January, seems to be more of the same.

BlackBerry fan blog N4BB appears to have gotten its hands on some leaked pictures of the upcoming Oslo. According to the post, the Oslo sports identical specifications to the original Passport, but it's in a new body composed of silver plastic. It's not surprising that spy shots are starting to trickle out; BlackBerry Central reported in April that the device was slated for a June 30th launch, which means the first devices from the factory should be starting to find its way into stores' back rooms right about now.  

IMG_1486 Blackberry's Oslo handset appears to be a slight update to last year's Passport. Photo:

There seems to be a bit of confusion about whether the Oslo will simply be the version of the Passport for the Chinese market, although BlackBerry Central thinks it's headed for a worldwide release. According to the report, under the Oslo's hood is the same Qualcomm Snapdragon processor used in the Passport, a 13 MP Camera, 3 GB RAM, and a 3450 mAh battery. Like other BlackBerry 10 devices, the Oslo should be able to run Android apps purchased through the Amazon Appstore.

When I tested the Passport last year, my primary complaint was that it seemed too heavy. If the Oslo's new plastic body makes the phone even a little bit lighter, that could go a long way to making the handset more usable. 

More pictures of the reported Oslo are available on N4BB

blackberry-oslo-front-640x842 A leaked photo of Blackberry's new device, which could be in stores as early as June 30 Photo: N4BB