Blackberry_Z10

On Wednesday, Blackberry launched their much anticipated new smartphones - the Z10 and the Q10 - along with the new operating system they'd designed to drive them, Blackberry 10.

The Z10 is a pure touchscreen phone which is designed to go head to head with rivals like the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3. The Q10 - which we'll be reviewing separately soon - is a hybrid device with a smaller touchscreen and the physical QWERTY keyboard so beloved by Blackberry devotees.

But before we get too excited about the Z10, let's talk about the new - and exciting - new operating system that makes them tick.

BB10

Do you still have a Blackberry for work and another phone for personal use?  Well, BB10 is designed to do away with this help you move on from a life of phone juggling.

Although the system provides useful hubs that combine information from both sides of your life - BB10 combines all emails, social networks, messages and other communications into a single inbox, and there's a single calendar view too - your work and personal personas are kept completely separate.  So should you ever leave your company, the work related stuff can be easily deleted by your employer whilst your personal stuff remains completely intact.

The virtual keyboard in BlackBerry 10 is also something you'll find impressive - perhaps even impressive enough to wean you off the traditional physical keyboard of a Blackberry. It has a predictive test mechanism built into it that anticipates what you’re trying to type and it's drawn rave reviews from pundits, some hailing it as the best touchscreen keyboard on the market.

Add that to some neat camera software and the new video chatting functionality added into BlackBerry Messenger, and you've got a rather impressive package that really does set BB10 apart from its rivals.

The Z10 

As we mentioned, the Z10 is Blackberry's new entirely touchscreen device.

The Z10's 1280 x 768 resolution screen is, at a 4.2 inches, a smidge bigger than the iPhone but quite a bit smaller than a Samsung Galaxy S3. However, for those of you that find the bigger smartphones a little too much to handle, it finds a happy balance between offering visual real estate and fitting snugly into the palm of your hand.

It's certainly responsive and zippy (the Z10 packs an impressive 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor) and it needs to be because other than on/off and volume controls, the Z10's clean looks are polluted by no other buttons. That does mean you have to get used to more gesture controls than you might be used to for other touchscreen devices, but these soon become intuitive.

Those of you who love your smartphone cameras won't be disappointed as the Z10 plays host to an 8-megapixel rear-mounted camera with 5x digital zoom, an integrated LED flash and full HD video recording capabilities. There's even a handy feature for people shots which allows you to skip back from your captured shot to the perfect moment - avoiding shots with blinking eyes or motion blurring.

Marrying a sleek design, uncluttered design with some really nice software features, we think the Z10s going to be popular - and it might even tempt some of you Blackberry diehards off your keyboards.

And the good news - it's available now. You can order your Z10 handset here.

The Q10 isn't available yet and may not be in store for a couple of months.  We'll be writing a review of that closer to its release date.