The final countdown has begun.
In exactly a week, Research in Motion (RIM) will launch the new Blackberry 10 operating system along with the most anticipated Z10 device.
Dubai will be one of the few cities where RIM will hold the launch event on January 30.
BlackBerry fans have been eagerly awaiting the launch of the new phone and it is expected that RIM could make the new device available for sale as early as February.
Some stores in Canada have already started taking preorders for the new device expected to be priced between Dh2,500 to Dh2,999.
Emirates 24|7 had the chance to ‘live’ preview the BB 10 Alpha device, thanks to a developer.
The first question I asked myself is whether this device was good enough to match the feature-rich iPhone5 and the Samsung Galaxy S.
The phone is designed like a smaller version of the BlackBerry Playbook.
The Z10 with a 4.2 inch screen is perfectly balanced between the iPhone5’s 4-inch and the 4.8 inch screen of the Samsung S3.
With 356 ppi the display is far better than the iPhone5’s 326ppi and Samsung S3’s 306ppi.
Both Samsung (2100mAH) and the Blackberry Z10 (1800mAH) have removable batteries in contrast to the inbuilt feature in the iPhone5 (1440mAH).
Like the Samsung S3, the phone also features a micro SD card slot which the iPhone lacks.
It takes a while to get used to the new operating system with new revamped user interface with features such as the ‘flow’ ‘hub’ and ‘peek’.
The Z10 comes has simplified the use of BlackBerry Balance - a technology designed to separate and secure work and personal information.
With a couple of strikes on the screen, users can log off from sensitive information such as email, calendar, tasks and menu.
BB10 has also introduced “the flow” that allows easy navigation between apps and enables multi-tasking.
One can keep working on an app, slide over to a different one, and return to the previous app to resume from the previous point.
A BlackBerry video posted on YouTube demonstrates how easy it is to use the devise with one hand.
The hub is another new feature in the BB10 OS that enables easy access to all email accounts and messages.
With a single swipe users will be able to access the hub that will show all their email accounts and incoming messages such as SMS and BBM, all emails and messages from social networking sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
While similar feature exists in the iOS - you swipe down from the top of a home screen - you will have to leave an app that you are working on in order to access it.
However, the hub in the BB10 can be accessed with a swipe from any point within the system.
The device also has an 8mp camera and comes with an inbuilt photo editing software that enables the user to crop, rotate and create different filters similar to what Instagram lets you do on the iPhone.
A new added feature called the Timelapse enables a user to go back frame by frame to choose the perfect image.
With face detection on, the possibilities are immense.