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BlackBerry Dakota pictures leaked

That's a touchscreen, that is
That's a touchscreen, that is

The BlackBerry Dakota has surfaced bringing with it hope that the wait for a BlackBerry handset with a capacitive touchscreen sitting above that wonderful QWERTY keypad is over.

Sure, the BlackBerry Torch had a touchscreen and a keyboard, but what with the tedious sliding and the reduced-sized QWERTY it was less than ideal.

In terms of design, we're essentially looking at a BlackBerry Bold with a touchscreen, but when it comes to the spec things start to hot up.

Too late?

There's HD video recording using the 5-megapixel camera, NFC, 3G mobile hotspot technology, a 2.8-inch screen and BlackBerry OS 6.1.

What's more, there are all manner of –ometers including an accelerometer and magnetometer (aka compass) as well as a proximity sensor. Dual core? No chance.

Looks great. Good job, RIM. The only thing is that we'd have liked it a lot more a couple of years ago, now it might be time for something a little bit different.

With no official word from the company about the BlackBerry Dakota, there's no sniff of a UK release date yet. Could we see the handset surfacing at Mobile World Congress 2011? Here's hoping.