Ahead of the official launch of BlackBerry 10, RIM CEO, Thorsten Heins, announced that the company will be dropping the ‘Research in Motion’ branding, and simply known as BlackBerry going forward, accompanied with the new slogan ‘One brand. One promise’. Heins had this to say: “We have reinvented the company, and we want to represent this in our brand.”
After many months of speculation, the odd rumour or two, BlackBerry has officially annoucned its first BlackBerry 10 device, the Z10. Needless to say at this point, but the device in question looks familiar, as the excessive leaks posted all over the Web recently were correct. It seems that BlackBerry are slightly worse off than Apple at keeping their imminent releases under wraps, especially since they themselves teased the design with the Dev Alpha unit. Irrespective, we can now confirm that the Z10 has a 4.2” screen with 1280×768 resolution display, capacitive touchscreen, with a very decent 356ppi. For those snap-happy users, the Z10 sports an 8MP, 3264×2448 resolution imagery, autofocus and LED flash, which is supported by the Scalado-powered TimeShift camera software. Depending on the market, you will be happy to know that it also supports LTE, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC. The Z10 will also compete on the higher end spec market as it packs 16GB onboard storage, 2GB RAM, Dual-core 1.5GHz CPU in two variants (Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus and TI OMAP chipset), Adreno 225 GPU and 1800mAh battery. The Z10 will come in black and white variants, and has the familiar red notification LED, along with ports for micro-USB, micro-HDMI and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
It all, however, boils down to how the BlackBerry 10 OS is received by the public.
The second of the devices released today is the BlackBerry Q10. Not to step on the toes of all those who loyally supported BlackBerry during its rough year, the Q10 remains somewhat true to its roots, sporting a physical QWERTY keyboard. Alongside the keyboard is a 3.1” touchscreen, with a 720×720 pixel resolution AMOLED display and 328ppi pixel density. This means that the Q10 is only slightly larger than the current Bold 9930. The build includes a steel band in the middle and “glass weave” back-plate for a more premium look and feel. A few variants will also be shipped with LTE connectivity, with Dual-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU, PowerVR SGX544 GPU and 1800 mAh battery.
Somewhat strangely, BlackBerry has teamed up with a few celebrities, with Alicia Keys now the Global Creative Director. The project forms part of the ‘Keep Moving Projects’ campaign with BlackBerry 10.
Early suggestions are that the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone will be available in stores around South Africa from 1st March 2013, and the Q10 in April, which deviates by some margin with the UK release expected from tomorrow, followed by Canada next week. 8ta was one of the operators to confirm this timeline, and have also confirmed pre-orders for the Z10 and Q10, which qualifiers you to one or more BlackBerry exclusive accessories. No pricing has yet been set for the South African market. The disappointment to most BlackBerry users is the fact that BlackBerry has redesigned its architecture, which means that data traffic will now terminate on the carrier side, rather than with BlackBerry as it is currently. This means that subscription charges to BIS and BES will fall away, leaving users to purchase bundles, or opt for a more suited contract to meet the requirement.
Although we didn’t receive an invite to the event in Johannesburg today, we’re hoping to bring you a few reviews for the two smartphones and the OS itself in the coming months. Cross fingers.
FoS will feature a full rundown of what to expect from BlackBerry 10 OS over the next few days. You can watch a few YouTube clips showcasing the OS features:
BBM Video Chat and Screen Share:
BlackBerry Balance for Business: