RIM’s long-awaited BlackBerry 10 event just finished up, and the company had quite a lot to talk about. On top of announcing that it’s rebranded itself to BlackBerry (no more Research in Motion), it unveiled its first two BB10 handsets.
I won’t get into the dramatics here. Everyone knows what’s on the line for the struggling smartphone-maker. And it has essentially bet its entire future on this new mobile OS and these new devices. So without further ado, let’s take a look…
Real quick, about this rebranding. Here’s what CEO Thorsten Heins had to say about the name change: “We have reinvented the company, and we want to represent this in our brand. One brand. One promise. Our customers use a BlackBerry, our employees work for BlackBerry, and our shareholders are owners of BlackBerry.”
Now, onto the OS. We’ve shown you BB10 in action before.
RIM BlackBerry first showed off a demo of it at its BlackBerry World Conference last year, and we recently posted a video of an iPhone 5 and a prototype BlackBerry Z10 going head-to-head. But to help refresh your memory, here is a full video walkthrough from the folks at CrackBerry.
But BlackBerry didn’t just redesign its operating system. It’s also redesigned and rebranded its App World to ‘BlackBerry World,’ and at launch time, it says it will have in upwards of 70,000 apps. This will also be the home of music, movie and TV show downloads. So it sounds like the platform is finally going to have a full-circle ecosystem.
As for the hardware, BlackBerry announced the Z10 and the Q10—its first two BB10 devices. The Z10 is a full touchscreen phone with a 4.2-inch display. And the Q10 is a hybrid touchscreen/QWERTY keyboard phone with a 3.1-inch display. We’ll go over each handset individually, starting with the Z10.
The BlackBerry Z10 has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage—which can be expanded to 48GB using microSD. Its rear-facing camera has an 8 megapixel sensor, capable of 1080p video capture. And on the front it has a 2MP camera, capable of 720p video. Oh, and its 4.2-inch display has a resolution of 1280×768, giving it a PPI of 356 (which is better than the iPhone 5).
Here’s a clip of the Z10 in action, showing off its ‘Time Shift Mode’ camera feature.
The Z10 will launch tomorrow in the UK, February 5th in Canada, and US carriers will announce release plans in the coming weeks. So far, only Verizon has confirmed pricing though, which is $199 with a two-year agreement.
The Q10 is, obviously, a much different device, as it’s all about the QWERTY keyboard. But for those interested in specs, the handset features a 3.1-inch 710×710 display (good enough for 330ppi), a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, 2GB RAM and an 8MP rear camera. So all in all, its specs compare pretty well to its all-touchscreen sibling.
Unfortunately, release information on the Q10 is far more scarce. It sounds like we won’t see the handset until April of this year, and no one really has any idea what the thing is going to cost.
So that’s about it for today’s BlackBerry announcements—well, notable announcements anyway. The company also said that it has made R&B singer Alicia Keys its ‘Global Creative Director,’ and that it will be releasing BlackBerry 10 to PlayBooks at some point (which is nice).
The main focuses here, though, are the company’s two new devices, and its new operating system. Has BlackBerry done enough to put itself back in the conversation of top mobile platforms? Only time will tell. But I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with some of this stuff.
What do you think of BB10 and the new Z10 and Q10 handsets?