BlackBerry 10: Everything you should know

BlackBerry 10 is set to launch next week. The new operating system is the most significant reboot of RIM's software line-up in a long time and should bring with it a slew of new desirable handsets.

Hoping to return to the fore and edge in on Windows Phone's market share with BB10, all bets are on this being big for RIM. So what should you know about the new operating system? Read on to find out.

BB10 release date

BB10 is due to launch in London on 30 January and we will naturally be there to cover things. There is no word yet on whether hardware will also make an appearance, but we expect so.

Unfortunately availability still remains a bit of a misnomer, on handsets at least. What we do have is confirmation of which shops will be stocking BB10 after its release. Carphone Warehouse, EE, Orange, T-Mobile, Phones 4 U, O2, Vodafone and Three have all confirmed.

BB10 devices

BlackBerry 10 has had plenty of hardware leaks, relating in the most part to the Z10, which from the look of it will be the flagship launch touchscreen phone from RIM. There are another five BB10 phones due out in 2013, of which the X10 is the only one for which we have a name.

BlackBerry Z10

The Z10 has been given the full review treatment by German tech website Telekom Presse. The review shows a touchscreen phone with a 4.2-inch screen at a resolution of 1280 x 768.

The Z10, formerly known as the BlackBerry London, also features a dual-core 1.5GHz OMAP 4470 processor with 2GB of RAM. That isn't Galaxy S3 standards of speed, but then we can't be sure what sort of a processor hog BB10 is. Chances are, this phone will be fast. That 2GB of RAM will also be excellent for multi-tasking.

As for the rest of the hardware, the Z10 is rumoured to ship with 16GB of internal memory, expandable with a microSD card. Then there is a 2100 mAh battery inside which keeps things ticking over and should, given its size and the processor's power, last longer than a day.

The phone will weigh around 125g and be 129 x 65 x 8mm in size. Fairly pocketable then. On the back there will be an 8-megapixel camera and on the front a 1.9-megapixel offering.

The phone will also ship in white.

BlackBerry X10

It wouldn't be RIM if there wasn't some sort of BlackBerry 10 device with a Qwerty keyboard. The N-Series X10 looks to be just that.

The specs and details are a lot more thin on the ground in the case of the X10. What we know is, that it will be running on BB10 and that it has a Qwerty keyboard. Design, if leaked pictures are to be believed, is in keeping with some of BlackBerry's other Qwerty handsets, keyboard keys being separated by four silver bars.

BB10 pricing

Amazingly pricing for the Z10 has already materialised. If rumours are correct, BGR is pointing to the handset being priced in at below the US's usual $199 flagship phone. The Droid DNA or iPhone 5 both retail for that sort of price on most US networks.

Switch that to UK pricing and we imagine the phone will cost say around £50 on a £40 a month contract. The 4G connectivity might bump prices up a bit on EE. Until things are announced, we really can't be sure.

BB10 Software

As we mentioned earlier, BB10 is a big departure from RIM's conventional way of doing things. The software has already been released to some developers in alpha form. You can check out the details of it here.

The whole operating system runs on gestures related to where you touch the screen. Think of it slightly like a PlayBook. Tap the top of the screen in an app, for example, and slide down and you will open up options for the OS, such as phone and messages. Slide up from the bottom and you can leave the application. Notifications are bottom to right and swapping to the home screen is from centre to left or right.

The other talked-about features come in the form of the BlackBerry Hub, video chat, the camera app and even screen sharing.

If you are interested in learning more about BB10 then read our preview of what we have so far here.

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