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CNET Update: BlackBerry's last stand: Z10 unveiled

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CNET Update: BlackBerry's last stand: Z10 unveiled

2:55 /

CNET's Bridget Carey breaks down the features and availability of BlackBerry's new Z10 and Q10 smartphones.

-It's BlackBerry's last stand. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. It's the start of a new chapter for BlackBerry as the company rebranded itself and unveiled two sleek-looking smartphones that run the innovative BlackBerry 10 operating system. -And there you go. -First off, the company is no longer called Research in Motion or RIM. Its name is BlackBerry now which is just a marketing move since most of us call it the BlackBerry anyway. As for the new phones, here is what you need to know. There's an all-touch screen phone called the Z10. It kind of looks likes an iPhone, but there are no navigation buttons. You navigate entirely with the swipe of a thumb. Spec wise, it could stand alongside with the latest handsets with an 8 megapixel back camera, HDMI port, memory card slot and NFC technology. There's also a version with a physical keyboard because you can't ignore the CrackBerry addicts that want that tactile feeling. It's called the Q10. But let's get to the software and what makes it different from Apple and Android. Gestures are the key to navigating around BlackBerry. One swipe of a thumb can switch between tasks like viewing email and the calendar. BlackBerry is pushing that idea that it's very easy to multitask. There's no need to jump in and out of an app menu to get things done. A text chat can instantly change to a video call, and that video caller can share their screen. In contacts, users can see real-time updates of a person's latest social activity and the most recent conversations. Typing is another major focus for BlackBerry. The autocorrect is advanced plus it also tries to project the next word you might type and you can flick that word up onto the screen. Also, swiping left on the clear key deletes entire words. BlackBerry wants to balance your personal and business life by putting work-approved apps in their own secure profile which can co-exist with your personal apps and games. Winning back the love of business and IT departments will be a challenge since most employees just use their personal iPhones and Androids for work. Apps are another challenge. There are 70,000 apps including a few big name ones like Skype and Angry Birds, but it still doesn't have every popular app. For example, there's no Pandora. The Z10 will be sold by Horizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, but only Horizon has announced the prize at $200 with a two-year contract and it's the only carrier that will get it in white. It won't be in the U.S. until March, but it's on sale this week in the U.K. and next week in Canada. The Q10 with the keyboard is coming out even later in April in the U.S. and will be sold by Horizon, AT&T and Sprint. If there is any group that was holding out for a new BlackBerry, it's people who like physical keyboards and they now have to wait the longest. So do you think BlackBerry can stay alive? E-mail me at update@cnet.com <mailto:update@cnet.com> or post a comment on the blog CNET.com/update. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.
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