As stated earlier, the device looks very similar to the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha developer device with some cosmetic enhancements to pretty it up. (Check out these images for an in-depth look at the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha smartphone.) I will say that the all-touch BlackBerry 10 phone isn't as sleek or as slim as some of the newest Android phones. But it's quite light, and it's still easy on the eyes.
Personally, I'm much more interested in the full QWERTY BlackBerry 10 device anyway, since RIM's top-of-the-line "physical" keyboard is the main reason I'm still using a BlackBerry.
Late last year, shortly after RIM made BlackBerry 10 official, it became clear that the company was strongly focusing on touch and all-touches devices in its next-generation OS. This worried me a bit, because I love RIM's hardware QWERTY keyboards, and I wrote a post urging RIM not to forget how important those keyboards are to most loyal BlackBerry customers. After spending some time with the new QWERTY BlackBerry 10 device, my concerns are completely alleviated.
RIM definitely did not let down customers who love that QWERTY hardware keyboard with this new device. The keyboard is fantastic, and even though I only spent a few minutes typing on it, I was impressed right away and plan to get a new BlackBerry 10 QWERTY smartphone as soon as possible.
BlackBerry 10 Software
One blogger I read who is relatively unbiased when it comes to RIM and BlackBerry, and technology in general, is The Verge's Joshua Topolsky. RIM gave Topolsky a BlackBerry 10 demo a couple of weeks ago, and he wrote that the software feels very much like what had already been seen in official demonstrations and on the BlackBerry Dev Alpha device. I disagree. The software is far more polished now than ever before.
The BlackBerry 10 software is smooth and snappy, though the camera app froze momentarily when I tried to access the image gallery after taking a few photos. The software is still being tweaked so some minor issues are expected.
Most importantly, the BlackBerry 10 software feels unique; it doesn't feel like iOS or Android or Windows Phone. It feels like BlackBerry 10--and maybe just a little bit like Palm's retired webOS. That uniqueness is refreshing.