After months of speculations, rumors, and eerily accurate renders, BlackBerry Z10 - the first handset to run the BlackBerry 10 operating system - was finally announced by Thorsten Heins, CEO of BlackBerry (formerly Research in Motion) in a media event in New York, which happened at around 11 o'clock last night, Manila Time.

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Priced at $599 without contract in the United States, full touchscreen and LTE-capable BlackBerry Z10 comes replete with a 4.2 inch 768 x 1280 pixels display, an 8 MegaPixel autofocus camera with LED flash, another 2MP shooter in front, a Full HD video recorder, 16GB of internal storage that users can expand via microSD card slot, and a removable 1800 mAh battery pack delivering up to 10 hours of talk time. As for the innards, the sleek handset runs BlackBerry 10 operating system with a 1.5 GHz Dual Core Krait processor and handles multi-tasking with its 2 GB of random access memory.

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Design-wise, BlackBerry's newest smartphone looks kind of similar to the Apple iPhone 5 albeit lacking a full metal frame. Both handsets flaunt a very industrial look swapping tapered sides and all too concave back panels for a 'structured' design identity highlighted by sleek, straight lines.

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BlackBerry Z10 looks hot and all but the main selling point of this handset would have to be its all-new BlackBerry 10 operating system. While it has yet to prove itself as a worthy competitor to iOS, Android and even Windows Phone, the QNX-based platform nonetheless comes with unique features that can surely charm a lot of consumers. For one, it supports true multitasking, which other mobile operating system can only dream of having. And, of course, BB10 offers a gamut of cool enhancements, which include BlackBerry Balance for managing multiple profiles in one unit, BlackBerry Hub for keeping all messages, emails, and social networking accounts in one neat location, the all-new Camera App that can take time-lapse shots helping you get the best shot possible, and the new Flow user interface, which is not only smooth but also lets you get more things done by allowing apps to work actively in the background.

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BlackBerry Philippines has yet to disclose the phone's availability and pricing details in the country. But off hand, I'm expecting BlackBerry Z10 to land here within Q1 of this year with price tag of around Php 30,000 to Php 31,000 Php 24,000 to Php 25,000 sans contract. We can also expect network carriers Globe Telecom and Smart Communications to eventually offer the handset as a bundled device with their postpaid plans.

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TP Thoughts: All things considered, I think BlackBerry Z10 is an amazing new release; The design looks great and the specs are quite competitive for a first flagship device running on a fresh platform. A lot lies on the shoulders of this smartphone and I'm sincerely wishing it all the best. Hopefully, Z10 can herald the arrival of far brighter days for RIM in this age of super smartphones. I'm greatly looking forward to playing with the handset and navigating its BB10 UI soon.

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Alright, that's it for now! I'll let you know once I hear any update about BlackBerry Z10's availability locally. In the meantime, you might want to check out and carefully study the smartphone's complete technical specifications:

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name BlackBerry Z10
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)
Price Category High-End
Dimensions130 x 65.6 x 9 mm
Weight 135 grams
Available Colors White, Black
Operating System BlackBerry 10
Display 4.2 inches (~355 ppi pixel density), 768 x 1280 pixels, IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Processor Dual-core 1.5 GHz Krait Adreno 225 GPU Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon chipset
RAM 2 GB RAM
Internal Storage 16 GB, expandable via microSD, supports up to 32GB
Camera 8 MegaPixels, 3264x2448 pixels, autofocus and LED flash, 2 MegaPixels front camera
Video Capture Full HD 1080p 30 frames per second, front: 720p 30fps
Audio and Video Playback MP3/WMA/WAV/eAAC+/FlAC/DivX/XviD/MP4/WMV/H.263/H.264 player
Ports HDMI, microUSB v2.0, 3.5 mm audio jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, EDR, 3G HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps, LTE
Network 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G Network HSDPA 800 / 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100, 4G Network LTE 700 / 850 / 1700 / 1900
Sensors Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity, Gyroscope
Battery Li-Ion 1800 mAh
Uptime TBD, Talk time of up to 10 hours
Value-Added Features First BB10 Full Touchscreen Smartphone, BlackBerry 10 slew of new features highlighted by true multi-tasking
Announcement January 30, 2013
Availability US and UK: January 31, 2012, Philippines: TBA
Price Official SRP: $599 without contract, Philippines: TP Guesstimate - Php 30,000 to Php 31,000 Php 24,000 to Php 25,000