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Summary:

BlackBerry has supersized its all-screen smartphone with a 5-inch version called the Z30. The new handset has a faster processor, stereo speakers and the latest BlackBerry software: Version 10.2. This could be the last major phone launch for the company.

Z30

BlackBerry made its Z30 handset official on Wednesday, touting the 720p 5-inch Super AMOLED display, faster processor and latest version of BlackBerry 10 software. The phone also includes the largest battery yet in a BlackBerry: a 2880 mAh battery that the company claims can get up to 25 hours of mixed use on a single charge.

Although I didn’t find the prior model, the Z10, to be a sluggish phone, this new handset should be much quicker: It has a 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon chip inside and 2 GB of internal memory. The phone also has stereo speakers for what BlackBerry calls Natural Sound that makes “conversations sound like you’re in the same room.”

Carriers will announce availability and pricing starting next week in the U.K. and Middle East, with all other regions to follow. The phone will launch with BlackBerry 10 OS v 10.2, which will also be made for the Z10, Q10 and Q5 smartphones starting in October.

Given BlackBerry’s struggles to compete — and because the company is looking at options to sell itself — I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last major BlackBerry handset to launch — pending a miraculous positive turn of events, that is. Sadly, the story has been one of timing. If BlackBerry 10 and the supporting handsets had arrived at least 12 to 18 months sooner, things might have gone differently.

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  1. 10.2 is giant leap in the right direction.

  2. I have been using a leaked version on the 10.2 OS on my Z10 and don’t under estimate how big of a leap it is for the platform. Priority HUB, colour coded inbox accounts, Toast Notifications with reply capability (think Android and iOS notification bars but with ability to reply directly from the notification), lock screen notifications, a slew of new APIs for developers to unlock features, wifi-direct/miracast support, new BBM Channels, camera enhancements and new Major apps are on the way. Coupled with super fast operation and high reliability, the platform has really matured with 10.2. I encourage all to check out a 10.2 enabled device if you can get your hands on one. It’s really slick. Bonus: It comes loaded with the Android 4.2 runtime (upgraded from 2.2) so it can run many Android apps. I run Netflix, Google Maps and others and they work great.

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