BlackBerry Q10 release date announced

BlackBerry will release its new Q10 smartphone in Australia next month, it has announced

BlackBerry will release its new Q10 smartphone in Australia next month, it has announced.

The Q10 will be available on a range of contract plans through Optus and Telstra from Monday, July 1, and Tuesday, July 2, respectively.

The device will also be sold through bricks and mortar retailers Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi.

The Q10 is the first smartphone with a physical, QWERTY keyboard that runs the new BlackBerry 10 operating system.

It's just the second BlackBerry 10 device to launch in Australia, following the release of the touchscreen-only Z10 earlier this year.

"We are excited to be working with our partners to bring the first BlackBerry 10 smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard to customers in Australia," said BlackBerry Australia's managing director, Matthew Ball.

"The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone offers customers the power and performance of the BlackBerry 10 platform in a signature BlackBerry design."

The Q10's 3.1in touchscreen is the largest ever on a BlackBerry QWERTY smartphone. However, the presence of the physical keypad cuts into the size of the touchscreen, making it significantly smaller than most competing smartphones.

The screen has a resolution of 720x720, giving it a pixel density of 330ppi.

The Q10 is powered by a 1.5GHz dual core Snapdragon processor, has 2GB of RAM and comes with 16GB of internal memory. A microSD card slot allows for memory expansion.

Other features include a micro-HDMI port for connecting the phone to a TV, 4G capabilities, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2-megapixel front camera.

The BlackBerry 10 operating system powering the Q10 uses a gesture-based interface, which is a departure from previous BlackBerry products.

The software utilises a central "BlackBerry Hub" to manage all messages and notifications and has an advanced multitasking feature called "BlackBerry Flow".

Telstra and Optus are yet to announce specific pricing plans for the BlackBerry Q10.

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