Hands-on with the BlackBerry 10 developer unit

Sydney Myers
Teen Lifestyle Editor from  Dallas, TX
| Published: May 1, 2012

Well, we had heard reports that there would be no new devices announced at this year's BlackBerry World and those rumors have held true (so far). We were, however, given a quick look at BlackBerry 10 and some of its new features during the opening keynote, and it looks impressive. After the keynote, RIM made a couple of BlackBerry 10 developer devices available for the press to get hands-on time with. There wasn't too much to see since the hardware itself is not final and the software is far from complete. Here's what we can gather from this device.

It's an all-touchscreen phone so there is no physical keyboard. We had heard that the first BlackBerry 10 device would not feature a physical keyboard and it appears that those rumors might be true. During the keynote, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins spoke highly of the BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard, but one of the first features of BlackBerry 10 that was shown off was its virtual keyboard. Putting all of this together, don't be surprised to see BlackBerry 10 debut on a phone without the famous BlackBerry keyboard. One more note on hardware, this developer device did not have any physical buttons for navigation. This fits with RIM's idea of being able to swipe between apps in BlackBerry 10.

Because the hardware isn't a final product, we can't say much about its internals. The demos we saw during the keynote were fluid and those who got a chance to use the developer device said it was "buttery-smooth". However, this could just be because it's not using the full OS. Either way, RIM stressed the "flow" concept throughout the BlackBerry 10 demos so I would expect them to make sure that the performance of the phone reflects that design theory. As far as the camera goes, the developer had a rear-facing camera as well as a front-facing camera. We weren't given any specs about the camera, but the interface was simple with only an on-screen button to capture a picture, a toggle to switch from still photos to video, and a zoom bar. I didn't see a physical shutter button.

Overall, it's hard to gather very much information from using the developer unit. It's not meant to give users a look at BlackBerry 10; it's simply made to run enough of the software to help developers design or update their apps for the new OS. Check out the gallery to see some shots of the device and keep it on PhoneDog as we continue to update you guys on what's going on at BlackBerry World 2012.