Yesterday was BlackBerry’s big day, the day they finally unveiled BlackBerry 10 and the two new phones that it will run on, the all touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 and keyboard packing Q10. So what’s new here? Read on for everything you need to know about all the latest BlackBerrys.
The New Phones
The BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 weren’t really big surprises, seeing as they have been leaked for months (with the then rumored X10 now being the Q10). The specs on both phones also haven’t changed much from the rumors. The Z10 has a 4.2 inch 720p HD screen, a dual-core 1.5 GHZ processor with 2 GB of RAM (so things run quickly and without lagging or freezing), 16 GB of built-in storage (with a microSD card slot adding more), an 8 megapixel back camera and 2 megapixel front camera for HD video chat, NFC (so you can do things like share files or use your phone as a credit card just by tapping it), and 4G LTE support.
The Q10 has much of the same specs, instead switching to a 3.1 inch 720p HD screen so it could better fit that full physical QWERTY keyboard that BlackBerry’s are famous for.
Software and Apps
Both the Z10 and Q10 of course run on the new BlackBerry 10 OS. The new OS packs many cool new features like a much improved web browser (one that rivals the iPhone’s and an insane improvement over older BlackBerrys), the TimeShift camera (which takes the milliseconds before and after you take a picture and allows you to adjust the photo after you actually take it to get the perfect shot), a revamped BBM that now lets you video chat with other BBM users as well as share your screen with them (which is actually really cool), the BlackBerry Hub which is a place on your phone where you can view all your latest emails, BBM, texts as well as updates from Twitter and Facebook.The Z10 also has a great software keyboard that actually rivals the ones on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
As with any OS, it’s really only as good as the apps you can get on it. New phone OSes have generally taken a while to get a large number of apps and an even longer time to get many of the apps people actually know of and want to use. While nowhere as packed as the iPhone’s App Store or Android’s Google Play, BlackBerry 10’s App World will launch with over 70,000 apps, including many “big name” apps like Skype, ooVoo, Evernote, Slacker, Rdio, Dropbox, ESPN ScoreCenter, WhatsApp, Kindle, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare. In terms of games, Angry Birds Star Wars, Fruit Ninja, Jetpack Joyride, Where’s My Water? and Plants vs Zombies all will be available, with more games promised from big game studios like Disney, EA, Gameloft, Halfbrick and Sega.
Of course, BlackBerry 10 is still missing several big apps as well, including Snapchat, Instagram, iHeartRadio, Pandora, Spotify, Fandango, Temple Run, Shazam, Netflix and YouTube (though you can get YouTube by just going to YouTube.com in the browser). Some of these apps will be coming to BlackBerry 10 but as we’ve seen with Windows Phone 8, many of the most popular apps will still be find only on Android or iOS.
Pricing and Release Date
With this there is good news and bad news. First the good: BlackBerry 10 phones will be coming to all four major US carriers. That means whether you are on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon you will be able to pick up a new BlackBerry 10 phone and all will have support for 4G LTE (including T-Mobile which is launching its 4G LTE network this year).
Now the bad news. In the US, BlackBerry 10 phones won’t be going on sale until March at AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, which will offer the Z10 when it comes to the US. The Q10 won’t be available in the US until April, though once it does get to the US it should be available on Sprint, AT&T and Verizon. Yes, Sprint will for now only offer the Q10 while T-Mobile has only announced that they will get the Z10. AT&T and Verizon have announced they will get both and the Z10 and Q10, with Verizon so far being the only carrier to announce any pricing for any of the new BlackBerrys– $199 with a new 2 year contract for the Z10 when its available in March.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about BlackBerry 10 and the new Z10 and Q10. We’ll have more on the new BlackBerrys soon, but if you want to sign up for more information, check out the pre-order pages from the carriers here: Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile.