Research in Motion today announced its next-generation smartphone, the Z10. All four U.S. carriers are expected to carry the Z10, shipping in March and starting at $199 with a two-year contract. Walt Mossberg created a review of the Z10 and notes that a physical keyboard-equipped Q10 model is due in April and that the battery didn’t last as long as the iPhone 5, but he did have some praise for the device.
The Z10 keyboard is the best and fastest out-of-the-box virtual keyboard I’ve used. Master BlackBerry thumb typists might not find it as fast as the traditional physical keyboard, but, for a one-finger typist like me, it was faster and more accurate than either the native keyboards on the iPhone or Android. This is partly because it features predictive typing. It displays words that are likely to come next right above the rows of letters, and lets you flick these words upward into the text you’re composing. It learns what mistakes you typically make in hitting letters, and adjusts. And it learns words and abbreviations you frequently use, even proper names.
The Z10 comes with a 4.2-inch 1,280 x 768 display (356 dpi) and measures in at 5.13 (130mm) x 2.6 (66mm) x 0.37 (9.3mm) inches. It also includes a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus buffered by 2GB RAM, a removable 1,800mAh battery, 16GB RAM, an 8 megapixel rear camera, slots for microSD (up to 32GB supported) and micro SIM, as well as radios for Bluetooth 4.0, NFC (integrated into the backplate), LTE support and WiFi a/b/g/n.