BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha Smartphone: Tech Specs and Details
CIO.com's Al Sacco provides a partial technical specifications list and some general thoughts on RIM's BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha smartphone, the first handheld that runs RIM's brand new BlackBerry 10 mobile OS.
BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) this week distributed to developers the first smartphone that runs the company’s next-generation BlackBerry 10 mobile OS. The smartphone, called the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device, won’t ever be publicly released; instead it’s meant to help developers build and improve BlackBerry 10 applications, so their software is ready when BlackBerry 10 officially launches later this year.
I asked RIM multiple times for a full list of the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device’s technical specifications, but I never received that list. I was, however, able to piece together a partial specs list by talking to various RIM product managers and other reps, including RIM’s VP of Handheld Software Product Management, Andrew Bocking.
I’m not going to offer up many first impressions here, since this device really isn’t meant for public use. I will say that it is exactly like a mini BlackBerry PlayBook, and the experience right now is very similar. The BlackBerry 10 Alpha Dev only comes with browser, camera and setup applications installed, and RIM says even those are not the versions that will ship with BlackBerry 10 in the future.
Here’s a quick list of features and additional details, though again, these relate only to the developer device and not any upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices.
Software version: BlackBerry 10 Developer Preview V 10.0.4.197
Display: 1280×768 HD LCD (356ppi) touch screen
size: 4.2 inches in height
16GB of built-in storage
front facing camera (no flash) and rear-facing camera with flash
micro SIM slot for cellular connectivity (quad-band HSPA+, no LTE support)
fixed battery that cannot be removed or replaced by the user
mini HDMI out port
micro USB port
3.5 mm standard headset jack
front facing notification LED
Though these are only the specs for the BlackBerry 10 Alpha device, one thing in particular jumps out at me: The fixed, non-removable battery. I couldn’t get any sort of answer out of RIM as to whether or not the first official BlackBerry 10 device will have a fixed battery, but I have a feeling that it too will be stuck with a battery that’s not user-replaceable. And that’s not a good thing—here’s why.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.