First BlackBerry 10 phones leak, includes QWERTY model after all

RIM BlackBerry 10 RoadmapJust a few days after we got our hands on RIM’s Dev Alpha handset, with which its demonstrating the BlackBerry 10 operating system, early details on the first production hardware has been leaked.

New hardware leaks occur frequently, but what makes this one standout is that it contradicts various reports that RIM would not be releasing a device with a QWERTY keyboard featuring the new OS.

If this all plays out, then a physical keyboard equipped phone with BB10 will launch shortly after a full touchscreen model after all.

The information comes from n4bb.com, and shows a slide picturing the L-Series and N-Series handsets. The L-Series refers to the previously leaked London, which has long been tipped to be the first BlackBerry 10 phone, while the N-Series (as if RIM wasn’t compared to Nokia enough already) is represented by the Nevada.

Screen details leaked

Like the Dev Alpha phone, the London will have a 1280 x 768 pixel resolution screen, with a pixel density of 356ppi, beating the iPhone 4S’s Retina Display. The screen size hasn’t been given, but a width of 55mm/2.16 inches has, and that’s around the same as the iPhone 4S.

The N-Series’ screen is a tiny bit smaller at 52 or 53mm wide, and has a very unusual 720 x 720 pixel resolution. The pictured phone certainly looks like it has a square screen. The pixel density also drops down to a still-respectable 330ppi.

You’ll also notice that OLED screens will be used, but the asterisk leads to a comment saying that the first N-Series phone will indeed be equipped with an OLED display, but subsequent phones could have an LCD instead. Expect these OLED models to be quite sought after if the run is particularly short.

Are they the winners RIM needs?

While many will appreciate the news RIM hasn’t abandoned its past completely, the wait for a BlackBerry 10 QWERTY phone is going to be longer than that of the touchscreen model. September 2012 is being suggested as the London’s release window, while the N-Series may not arrive until sometime during the first three months of 2013.

Worryingly, after playing with the software on the Dev Alpha unit, we anticipate yet more delays as all the bugs are resolved and the user experience perfected. Also, a September or October announcement would potentially put the London up against the iPhone 5, and that doesn’t sound like a good plan at all.

Will these be the devices to save RIM from splitting the company in two?

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