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BlackBerry 10: A closer look at the Z10 and X10 handsets

With just three days left before the launch of BlackBerry 10, the anticipation for Research In Motion's forthcoming platform and accompanying handsets has reached new heights.

Over the past few months, we've wondered whether to expect physical, full-QWERTY keyboards or touchscreens, whether we'll likely see a traditional form factor, and whether we can expect RIM to follow competitors into the so-called 'phablet' market, as trends suggest consumers want larger smartphone screens.

A series of anonymous leaks and hints from RIM itself suggest we could be seeing two consumer-ready BlackBerry 10 devices, set for a wide-ranging global availability. The Waterloo, Ontario-based firm has yet to officially confirm any BlackBerry 10 handsets but, in the meantime, we’ve taken a closer look at the two devices the rumour mill is hedging its bets on.

BlackBerry Z10

The BlackBerry Z10 is hotly tipped to be RIM’s flagship handset for the forthcoming operating system. Rumoured specs point to a dual-core TI OMAP 4470 processor clocked at 1.5GHz, with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, expandable through a microSD slot. Its 4.2in screen is expected to have a 1,280 x 768 pixel resolution. The Z10 is expected to have an 8-megapixel rear camera, capable of 1080p video-recording, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera.

The Z10 has been showed off in a number of leaked images and videos, including one (below) that shows it going toe-to-toe with the iPhone 5. A recent Carphone Warehouse leak suggests that it will be available SIM-free to the tune of £479.95, making it roughly £30 cheaper than a 16GB iPhone 5, despite boasting a slightly larger display with a higher pixel-per-inch density than Apple’s smartphone. Of course, the most important comparison will come down to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, though we’ll have to wait a few more days to finally see how it measures up.

BlackBerry X10

While there’s been a lot of talk about the full-touchscreen Z10, it would be remiss of RIM to introduce BlackBerry 10 without acknowledging the seemingly significant portion of its customer base that is loyal to the full-QWERTY physical keyboard. "We know what our strengths are. And it would be plain wrong to get rid of the physical keyboard,” the company’s chief executive Thorsten Heins told CNET last year.

Accordingly, a dual touchscreen-physical keyboard device named the X10 is expected to accompany the Z10 as a secondary handset option. The X10 looks similar to previous generations of BlackBerry devices, with a large display that sits above a traditional four-row QWERTY keyboard.

Spec details are sparse, but the BlackBerry X10 is expected to be similar to the Z10 under the hood. Display-wise, it’s tipped to have a resolution of 720 x 720 pixels and a pixel density of 330 ppi. Rumours also point to NFC integration, an 8-megapixel rear camera shooting video at 1080p, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera.

For a closer look at up-to-the-minute BlackBerry 10 news and analysis this week, visit ITProPortal's dedicated BlackBerry 10 page.

Image Credit: (Z10), BlackBerry Empire (X10)