Officially, Research In Motion isn’t taking the wraps off of any new BlackBerry smartphones until next month. Unofficially, and somewhat typically these days, you can get an early look at the reported new BlackBerry L-series phone and operating system. A hands-on video from a Vietnamese site appeared Wednesday on YouTube, showing off a thin phone that takes design cues from Apple’s iPhone.
From what we can see — and assuming the video is not fake, which I don’t believe it is — the phone dismisses any hardware buttons on the front of the device. Some navigation gestures appear to start from off of the phone screen, much like the gestures used on RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook tablet.
The video also shows the new platform’s ability to multitask and seamlessly find all communications for any particular contact, something that RIM is likely to point out as a key strength compared to other platforms. Additionally, there’s a glimpse of the apps that may first appear on the operating system: Foursquare, FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn all make an appearance.
One aspect that surprises me are the two ports on the side of this alleged BlackBerry phone. These would be used for charging the device and connecting it to any external data or video source: think computer or monitor. Any dock for this design would require the phone to be in landscape mode, which isn’t a problem, but is generally different than other handsets. We’ll find out more about those, and other aspects of the new handset line, in January when RIM reveals all.