At a splashy press event in New York City, the new BlackBerry company showed off its pair of new smartphones: the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10.
CEO Thorsten Heins said the 4.2-inch touchscreen Z10 and the 3.1-inch Q10—which resembles a traditional BlackBerry with the familiar physical QWERTY keyboard—symbolize BlackBerry’s transformation.
“BlackBerry has changed,” Heins said. “We have redesigned the BlackBerry experience. We have reengineered our products. We have reinvented this company, and we want to reflect this in our brand.”
The two phones will be available in the U.S. on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon sometime in mid-March, Heins said. Verizon plans to carry a black version of the Z10, as well as an an exclusive white version of the Z10. Each will be available for $200 with a two-year contract. Sprint will offer the Q10 “later this year,” Verizon said.
Other carrier prices and release dates have yet to be announced.
New BlackBerry 10 operating system
BlackBerry has discussed BB10’s features many times over the last several months, but on Wednesday it showed the world the fresh OS in action on the company’s stylish new hardware.
BlackBerry 10 is designed for multi-taskers, Heins said. The new BlackBerry Hub stores all of your notifications in one place and lets you use BlackBerry Messenger, send tweets, and respond to Facebook and LinkedIn requests without opening the apps or navigating away from the Hub.
The new Flow feature in BB10 lets you swipe between multiple apps and the Peek feature lets you check the Hub without leaving the screen you’re using.
The new operating system offers interesting video and photo features, like BBM video calls and a screen-sharing option so you can remotely view another BBM user’s screen. The camera’s Story Maker lets you add Instagram-like filters to your photos and create slideshows complete with title cards and a soundtrack.
The company isn’t forgetting its base of business-user base, which has clung to BlackBerry when many others jumped ship. BB10 offers BlackBerry Balance, which separates your personal and professional profiles in two modes with different sets of apps.