BlackBerry 10 L-Series release date, price, features, news and rumours

News Richard Goodwin 16:28, 17 Dec 2012

We take a look at all the rumours surrounding RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry 10-powered L-Series handset ahead of its Q1 2013 release date

RIM’s been busy putting the finishing touches to its BlackBerry 10 platform for the best part of a year now. The platform will launch in January 2013 and the first handset, tipped to be part of the company’s upcoming L-Series of devices, should be with us by March. 

Quite a bit is already known about the operating system so far, check out our two BlackBerry 10 first looks for a more detailed overview, and we’ve heard plenty of leaks regarding hardware during the past 12 months. We also know that the first BlackBerry 10 handset will be an all-touch affair.

BlackBerry L-Series: Name

One thing no one seems sure about at the moment is what RIM’s first BlackBerry 10-powered handset will be called. Initial leaks claim the device is currently codenamed London and will launch as part of the company’s new L-Series of smartphones.

Whether RIM will keep the London moniker remains to be seen, codenames aren’t usually used at launch. But we do quite like the name. It’s simple, straightforward, and immediately recognisable. It’d also tie in nicely with the suspected family name of RIM’s first range of BlackBerry 10 devices.

For the time being, or until we hear differently, we’re going to refer to the first BlackBerry 10-powered device as the BlackBerry London.

BlackBerry L-Series: Display

Latest reports suggest the BlackBerry London will feature a 4.2-inch 1280x768 pixels resolution display. If true that means the handset will rock a pixel density of around 355ppi, which places it well above the iPhone 5, Galaxy S3, Nexus 4, and Galaxy Note 2.

RIM has yet to discuss what display technology it will use inside its upcoming BlackBerry 10-powered handsets. That said we think it’s pretty safe to assume the handsets will use LCD-based setups and no doubt feature Corning’s Gorilla Glass.

What to expect: 4.2-inch 1280x768 pixel display.

BlackBerry L-Series: Processor

We’re almost 100 per cent certain that RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 handsets will use Qualcomm chipsets.

S4 chipsets feature on-die support for an entire myriad of LTE spectrums and are based on 28-nanometer architecture making them incredibly power efficient.

During the first half of 2012 RIM’s ex-co-founders said that one of the chief reasons for the delay with BlackBerry 10 was that the company was waiting for the right chipsets to become available – we’re going to assume that Mike Lazaridis was talking about Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro, here, which launched properly in late-Q3, early Q4 2012.

RIM could, of course, launch the BlackBerry London with Qualcomm’s dual-core S4 variant – the same chipset used inside the HTC One S. Either would be good, if we’re honest. But we’d still prefer to see the S4 Pro included for obvious reasons.

What to expect: Quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro

BlackBerry L-Series: Camera

We know quite a bit about the inner workings of BlackBerry 10 after having a couple of hands-on sessions with RIM’s Dev Alpha handset. And one thing that really impressed us was Time Shift.

RIM isn’t known for its imaging prowess, particularly when compared to what Apple, HTC, and Nokia have come to the table with in recent years. But with BlackBerry 10 that could all change. Expect to see an 8-megapixel setup included on the London as well as 1080p HD video at 30fps.

BlackBerry L-Series: OS

BlackBerry 10 is a massive update for RIM. It’s a fresh start – a new beginning for the company and its BlackBerry brand, if you will. And it has to succeed in securing third place in front of Microsoft’s Windows Phone in 2013.

We like what we’ve seen so far of BlackBerry 10. It’s a robust system designed around always-on social networking, messaging, and notifications. It’s also got a new killer touchscreen keyboard.

Check out the links below for a detailed overview of what’s going on inside BlackBerry 10:

BlackBerry 10 review: first look

A second look at RIM’s BlackBerry 10 platform aboard the Dev Alpha 2 handset

BlackBerry L-Series: Apps + Games

Content is king in the mobile space. Apple, Microsoft, and Google have spent billions building up their respective marketplaces and accompanying services. And with good reason, too – this is, after all, what first attracts a consumer to a certain platform.

Here RIM has something of an uphill struggle on its hands. Not only is it launching a brand new and largely unknown platform, one that it has built for the ground up, but it’s also competing with two platforms – iOS and Android – that have been around since 2007.

Case in point: Microsoft released Windows Phone in 2010 and is still a long, long, way behind Apple and Google in terms of applications, games, and content. That’s not to say it hasn’t made developments. It has – and over a very short period of time, too.

Nonetheless this is where RIM is most likely to fall down. It needs developers to create content for the BlackBerry 10 devices, but developers only come once a platform reaches a certain size. In this sense it’s something of a catch 22 situation – you can’t have one without the other.

RIM says it will have 7000 applications in place for the launch of BlackBerry 10. We spoke with a BlackBerry developer about his thoughts on the platform and where he sees it heading in the future. 

BlackBerry L-Series: Release Date

RIM will officially unveil BlackBerry 10 and the first batch of handsets to carry it aboard them at a global event that’s scheduled to take place on January 30.

Expect to see the first BlackBerry 10-powered handset, potentially called the BlackBerry London, released inside Q1 2013. Latest reports point towards a March release, although the possibility of devices getting out sooner is also said to be on the cards.

More news as we get it…

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