BlackBerry 10 finally launches; can it save the brand?

BlackBerry 10 finally launches; can it save RIM?
It's got everything you could ever want, ever, ever, ever, apparently

In a move that's designed to safeguard RIM for the next decade, BB10 has been unveiled.

Although the Canadian firm is still relatively cash-rich, the 'brand new platform' is seen by many as the last roll of the dice for RIM, so a re-tooled OS is seen as ultra-necessary.

The main feature of the operating system is BlackBerry Balance, allowing users to have partitions between work and personal sections of the phone. The new OS is also designed to scale to other machines as well, which means it can be used in the car, home or healthcare applications, as well as tablets.

Hub of the matter

BlackBerry Hub is at the heart of the phone; with a swipe to the right from anywhere within the phone a list of all your messages, interests and notifications.

It's similar to the universal inbox of the BlackBerry of old, meaning anything that pops up in your life, be it BBM, missed calls or a simple tweet, it's only ever a gesture away.

Bringing Balance

As mentioned, BlackBerry 10 offers your IT department the chance to control at least a part of your smartphone. This means the app store can exist in two place on your phone at once, and allows your work to wipe and control the key parts of the phone.

It's a simple downward swipe to get between the two modes, meaning users always can achieve the virtual equivalent for sneaking away for a crafty cigarette when sitting at the desk. In this case it means you can just play Angry Birds on your work phone, but still, it's exciting for some.

BlackBerry Remember has also been added to the mix, with the ability to mimic Evernote (which it actually syncs with) giving you the chance to organise your life such as notes, photos, missed calls, plus Outlook Notes and Tasks also integrated in once easy to use place.

Snap up

The new camera app allows users to tap anywhere to take a photo, with mobile autofocus as well. Timeshift mode allows you to capture the moment by moving back and forward through time to get the photo you want.

Cleverly it can find your face and allow you to find the best smile or pose for the person you're looking at or stalking, and fit the head on the body you thinks sharpest.

You can then edit the photos on the phone with the inbuilt app, allowing cropping, effects and more with a few swipes. It's not groundbreaking, but it's still a massive step forward for BlackBerry.

The BlackBerry Z10 will be the first BB10 handset, and will be available in the US from March, while in the UK the BlackBerry Z10 will be available from 31 January from the likes of Vodafone and The Carphone Warehouse.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.