Canadians used to have so much to be proud of: poutine, Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, beavers, and Research in Motion. The company behind the once storied Blackberry line of smartphones, RIM has been laying low the past couple of years trying to find an answer to their iPhone and Android competition. Now they’re back under a new name (Blackberry) and with a new flagship device: the Blackberry Z10.
The Blackberry Z10 sports an iPhone 5-like design that features a mix of materials like aluminum and textured plastic. It’s got a 4.2-inch 1,280 x 768 display and measures in at 5.13 (130mm) x 2.6 (66mm) x 0.37 (9.3mm) inches. Under the hood lies a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus buffered by 2GB RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and WiFi a/b/g/n radios, and a removable 1,800mAh battery. There are also slots for an upgradable microSD card and a micro SIM chip, ports for micro-USB, micro-HDMI and a 3.5mm headphone jack. In front there’s a 2 megapixel camera capable of shooting 720p video. In back there’s an 8 megapixel one capable of 1080p.
The real centerpiece of the Z10, though, is the Blackberry 10 OS. Ditching the chiclet-style keyboard and myriad of tiny icons from previous versions, Blackberry 10 instead features a layout, virtual keyboard, and touch screen gestures that should be familiar to Android and iPhone users who may have left the Blackberry flock years ago. Swipe to bring up familiar apps like email, Twitter, and a web-browser (with Flash!). Swipe to bring up universal search. Swipe to bring up voice recognition. There’s plenty of things you can do using various gestures, and while most of it has been seen on other devices, there’s still Blackberry specific features that people love like Blackberry Messenger and that familiar red, blinking light when you’ve got notifications.
The Blackberry Z10 will be available on every carrier in the US in March, with Verizon pimping an exclusive white version to go along with the black one.
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