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First Look: BlackBerry Z10: Not your father's BlackBerry

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First Look: BlackBerry Z10: Not your father's BlackBerry

3:41 /

RIM gets cookin' with the good-lookin' Z10, but runs into a few lumps along the way.

This is a new air for RIM and the BlackBerry Z10 here is the first device to determine if the company lives to see another batch of smartphones and tablets. I'm Jessica Dolcourt with CNET, taking a look at the good and bad in the BlackBerry Z10. Now, the Z10 is a beautiful looking device but it's also a very familiar looking one. That would be hard to distinguish from a black iPhone 5. If it weren't for those BlackBerry logos on the front and on the back. If you're picky about build quality, the Z10 isn't as finely tooled as the iPhone. But in my opinion, it feels a little bit better in hand and in my test so far, it has been durable. There's a 4.2-inch HD LCD screen on all black Z10 and subtly textured soft-touch finish on the back. The edges are straight in the corners around it. You won't find any buttons on the phone's face and that's because the Z10 uses only a series of gestures to navigate around. For more on those, be sure to check out my full video and review of the Blackberry 10 OS. You'll find the usual light and proximity sensors on the front and a 2-megapixel camera lens there as well. There are also two microphones, one each, at the top and the bottom. The phone has a micro HDMI port right next to the micro USB charging port. So you'll be able to easily connect the phone to your TV. The power buttons of talk and the volume buttons are on the side. They do triple duty to also take screen shots and to trigger the camera shutter. The button in between these two, launches voice control. On the back of the phone, you have an 8 megapixel camera lens and flash plus the NFC module. Below the back panel you'll find the micro SD card slot, which comes with 8 gigabytes pre-installed and takes up to 32 gigabytes of your own memory. The Z10 runs on a 1.5 GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 plus processor and support 4G LTE and HSPA+. There's also support for global roaming. Now that we've got all the important specs out of the way, let's talk about what you really want to know. How well this phone works and if you should switch. Let's start with the camera. The 8-megapixel shooter was able to take some nice crisp photos through the standard and time shift modes. Although there is auto focus with this, you can't move the focal point from the center. So, you have to get tricky if you wanna focus on something little off the side. I do love the extensive photo editing tools though. You can take 1080p and 720p HD video on here and 720p HD video from the front camera. Blackberry messenger is classic RIM and in this version you get video chats and screen sharing as well as the usual free Blackberry to Blackberry messaging. It's a good feature. Apps will be sticking point with the Z10 and all other BlackBerry devices going for it. At launch you'll find Twitter or Facebook, LinkedIn and Foursquare. Angry Birds Star Wars is the most fun pre-installed by far. And don't be fooled by this YouTube app. It's just a bookmark to the mobile site. So, should you get the BlackBerry Z10? Let me just say that if you've been patiently waiting for RIM's next touchscreen smartphone, then I think you're really gonna love this phone. It's got a grownup looking feel and it keeps all the security and business features, the smart keyboard tracks and Blackberry messenger app that RIM is really known for. However, if you're not specially enamored of BlackBerry to begin with and you're happy where you are, I recommend staying put for at least another software iteration so that RIM can further build up its app base and iron out these first generation OS keys. For CNET, I'm Jessica Dolcourt. You can read the full BlackBerry Z10 review and BlackBerry 10 OS review on cnet.com.

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