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BlackBerry Q10: Hands on with the elusive keyboard-equipped handset

BlackBerry has announced its Qwerty-equipped Q10 handset but there were precious few of them in the launch. ZDNet managed to track one down and get a quick hands-on demo.
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By Ben Woods on
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1 of 5 Ben Woods/ZDNet

BlackBerry may have announced the Qwerty-equipped Q10 handset at its BlackBerry 10 launch, but there were precious few of them in the building at the UK event. 

The company unveiled the handset at the official launch of BlackBerry 10 alongside the full-touchscreen Z10 device. ZDNet managed to grab five minutes with the Qwerty-equipped device, set to arrive later in the year (most likely by April, according to the Wall Street Journal).

While the Q10 keeps the trademark keyboard, the presence of a touchscreen means the removal of the trackpad. Instead, you get a 3.1-inch touchscreen.

The handset shares many of the features as the keyboard-less Z10, including the Hub, Flow and Peek concept of navigating the handset.

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2 of 5 Ben Woods/ZDNet

The Q10 greets you with the same home and app screen as the Z10 when you fire it up, but uses a 720 x 720 pixel resolution for its display.

However, a RIM spokesman told ZDNet that developers would not have to build apps differently for the lower resolution screen as they would automatically adapt, depending on which BlackBerry 10 device was being used.

In order to bring greater precision to the typing experience, BlackBerry has frets between the layers of keys.

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3 of 5 Ben Woods/ZDNet

Specific measurements and the weight of the device have not been announced by BlackBerry yet, but the handset did seem a little thicker and a little heavier than the Z10.

It also shares most of the same hardware traits as the Z10, meaning it has the same controls (volume rocker, power button etc) on the edge of the chassis.

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4 of 5 Ben Woods/ZDNet

The rear of the device features a "glass-weave" effect cover, which BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said is "thinner, lighter and stronger" than regular plastic.

Again, like the Z10 it features an 8-megapixel camera capable of 1080p video recording and a user-removable rear cover and battery.

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5 of 5 Ben Woods/ZDNet

The Q10 also has a forward-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for stills and video calling. In addition to revealing the two new devices BlackBerry also announced the introduction of video calling across its BlackBerry Messenger service (BBM).

In order to use video calling on BBM, two BlackBerry 10-based devices or PlayBooks must be used. However, voice calling in BBM is still possible between BlackBerry 10 and older BlackBerry handsets.

All images Ben Woods/ZDNet

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