BlackBerry 10: RIM teases newest smartphones

Research in Motion's new BlackBerry 10 smartphone, which has not been named yet, will be released...

Research in Motion's new BlackBerry 10 smartphone, which has not been named yet, will be released in Jan. 30, 2013.

Mark Daniell, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:51 PM ET

TORONTO - After watching its slice of the smartphone market dwindle, Waterloo-based Research In Motion is putting the finishing touches on a new line of BlackBerry 10 devices it hopes will put their brand back on top.

And this week, QMI Agency got a sneak peek at a test model that app developers have been using since earlier this year.

In what comes as no surprise, the entire front of the phone is now a touch screen, mirroring Apple's iPhone and the Google Android devices that have stolen most of RIM's market share over the past several years.

But unlike the iPhone, RIM's BB10 operating system is adaptive. The keyboard, which has fret lines, even picks up on your own phraseology. Have nicknames for certain people, places or things? No problem. It'll even hone in on your own unique slang.

You can even switch languages (up to three).

In terms of navigating between apps, browsing the Internet and checking Facebook and Twitter, you can have up to eight active frames open at once. And a new feature - Peek - allows you to glance at incoming e-mail by swiping from left to right.

Speaking of e-mail, the new BlackBerry Hub allows users to view their calendar, e-mail, BBM’s, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn updates in the same browser.

Another new feature, BlackBerry Balance, lets users separate the phone’s personal and business functions. Customers can change from their work profile to their personal account with a simple swipe.

And users can switch from their work profile to their personal account with a simple swipe.

The most promising development is the HD camera, much like the one found on Apple's iPhone. But a new feature - Time Shift - lets you adjust your shot by a few seconds so if you have two people in a shot, say, you can use before or after images of each of them separately to gain your perfect image.

BlackBerry also has upped its game in its web browsing.

"We knew we needed to do some work," public relations manager Sarah Burt tells QMI Agency.

The new operating system uses HTML 5 and a "reader mode," which allows users to view text-only articles, and can be used on any website.

BlackBerry App World also gets a total makeover, offering customers gaming, music, television and movie downloads, allowing users to stream movies and television shows directly to their TV.

Sensing the popularity of games that have been created for the iPhone and Google's Android smartphones, BlackBerry reached out to developers. Industry giant Electronic Arts is the company's biggest gaming partner.

For spec geeks, the device will have 1280x768 resolution. And following the touchscreen model, which is due Jan. 30, RIM will bring BB10 to its traditional QWERTY keyboard models (720x720 resolution) later next year.

Twitter: @markhdaniell


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