BlackBerry Q10 pops up as an unlocked pre-order, costs more than the Z10

BlackBerry-Q10Check our full review of the BlackBerry Q10 phone.

The BlackBerry Z10 goes on sale in the U.S. with AT&T on March 22, while Verizon will put its black and exclusive white model on the shelves a short while later, on March 28. As you’re no doubt aware, the Z10 is going to be joined by the BlackBerry Q10 later this year, a device differentiated by having a QWERTY keyboard. So far, other than U.S. networks confirming they will be selling the phone, information regarding its release date has been scarce.

UK retailer Clove Technology has changed this with the news the Q10 will be released there at the end of April, with pre-orders beginning now for £535, or $811, for the unlocked SIM-free version of the phone. Amazingly, this is more expensive than the Z10, which costs £515 through the company, as well as non-BlackBerry hardware such as the £510 HTC One.

Aside from the screen size and keyboard, the Q10 is almost exactly the same as the Z10 – both are powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core chip with 2GB of RAM, plus they each have an 8-megapixel camera – so the reason why it warrants a higher price escapes us for now. Perhaps it’s purely because it’s an unreleased phone, and the price will drop once it’s officially on sale. Let’s hope so.

If not, it’s not going to help the Q10’s chances of success, as a QWERTY phone doesn’t have the same cache as a touchscreen device, and a lower price point may have helped BlackBerry shift greater numbers of the potentially popular phone. Most buyers will chose to subsidize the price with a contract though, particularly in the U.S., and it has already been confirmed the on-contract cost is set to be the same as the Z10. However, we can’t help feel a $149 price tag with a contract would have made the phone more attractive. Perhaps BlackBerry, Sprint and the others will have a change of heart before putting the phone on sale.

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