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Hands-on with the BlackBerry Q10

BlackBerry's flagship QWERTY phone

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Introduction

The Blackberry Q10 is looks like the typical BlackBerry smartphone of yesteryear, as in it has a full QWERTY keyboard. The OS is very much the new Blackberry 10, however. It's the keyboard counterpart of the already-released touchscreen Z10. The mid- and low-range segments will also have one with and without physical keyboard. The mid-range models are expected this year still, but the entry-level ones will have to wait until next year, according to Eric Bos, Sales Director Benelux & Nordics for BlackBerry.

We had the opportunity to go hands-on with the Q10, and there were three things that stood out right away. The phone doesn't feel heavy at all, even if it looks that way. The keys on the keyboard are very large, big enough for the sausage-fingered among us. And the back side of the phone has a nice feel to it, with a flexible yet sturdy material that Blackberry calls glass weave. The frame of the phone is made in stainless steel, which is at least partially responsible for the light feel of the device. The first impression is a good one, even if some of the swipe gestures aren't quite as smooth as on the Z10. When you swipe upwards from outside the screen, you often end up nudging the top row of the keyboard.

The 3.1-inch display has a resolution of 720x720 pixels, which translates to about 330 pixels per inch. Unlike the Z10 that has an LCD IPS display, the Q10 has a Super AMOLED panel. It's still unclear which SoC is used, and the exact launch date has yet to be announced. BlackBerry says soon or very soon, and in some places it's possible to place a pre-order.


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