A marketing video showing what’s believed to be the BlackBerry N Series and L Series phones was discovered yesterday, giving us our first, good look at the devices that are charged with bringing RIM back from obscurity next year.
Originally posted to Vimeo, the video has subsequently been removed, a move that more often than not proves its legitimacy. Crackberry.com managed to grab some interesting screenshots prior to this point, as did Pocket-Lint.com.
The touchscreen L Series phone, codename London, has been spotted several times before, and is similar to the Dev Alpha phones currently doing the rounds with developers. Previous leaks have pointed to the phone having a dual-core processor and a 1280 x 768 pixel resolution, 4-inch screen.
Far more interesting is the N Series, or Nevada, as it’s our first proper look at the BB10 QWERTY keyboard phone. Phones with keyboards are a BlackBerry trademark, and this one looks, well, it looks like all the others. Except that is, for one big difference — the disappearance of the optical trackpad.
The N Series will have a touchscreen of course — possibly with a 720 x 720 pixel resolution — but previous BlackBerry phones with touchscreens kept the handy optical trackpad too. It made single-handed use surprisingly easy, particularly when navigating the endless menus. The call send and end buttons have gone too, presumably to be replaced by touchscreen buttons.
The image you see above puts the pair together, giving us a preview of the early 2013 BlackBerry range, and it’s a little uninspired. Yes, there are BlackBerry fans who want keyboards, yes it’s harder to make phones standout these days, and no, the answer to BlackBerry’s problems isn’t flashing lights and a 3D display. But is a Palm Pixi-alike and yet another monolithic touchscreen handset the best it can do?
Research in Motion is certainly focusing on BlackBerry 10 software rather than the hardware, with CEO Thorsten Heins enthusiastically talking it up during BlackBerry 10 Jam Americas earlier this week, and perhaps this is why; it’s business as usual in the BlackBerry design studios.
But, we’ll reserve judgment until the L Series and N Series are firmly in our hands, as like the iPhone, high-end BlackBerrys often feel better than they picture. When will this be? We’re still waiting for an exact date, with RIM only committing to the first quarter of 2013, although some are taking the January 21, 2013 deadline for entries into RIM’s developer contest as a distinct possibility.