Look - no keyboard! The new BlackBerry Z10 is not just for business

David Phelan takes a look at the new handset that launched today

It may be more telling to describe the new BlackBerry Z10 by what is doesn't have. Namely: a keyboard. So if you think the new handset looks like an iPhone, well, it works a bit like one too.

The much-awaited launch of new handsets and software marks an exciting time for BlackBerry. At a stroke it gives the manufacturer (formerly known as RIM but now also freshened up) hardware and software that is industry-leading, not to mention excitingly different from the competition.

Where some phone operating systems offer still, unchanging icons, the Z10 has active tiles which update of their own accord. Take an app like The Independent’s – one of the very first to be launched on the platform – which shows text and visuals for the latest news stories, changing the content as the news day progresses.

Of course, there’s more to it than news, with sport, arts, travel, comment and more all easily found. And thankfully it doesn’t depend on a data connection for you to read all about it, as there’s offline storage.

The Independent app also makes it tremendously easy to share stories with Twitter, Facebook or BBM.

It couldn't be easier using the keyboard, with one model sporting a highly tactile physical Qwerty and another offering predictive text that’s so well-tuned it guesses what word you want before you start typing. Spookily accurate.

And of course, because it's a BlackBerry, security is a high priority. BB10 is so cleverly built, you can’t accidentally copy business-critical information from a work email to a personal one or, worse, to Facebook. It’s like you have two phones, one for business, one for personal use.

Though some earlier BlackBerry devices have been defiantly for business use, the range of apps (there are scores of thousands of them already) means the new OS will be powerful and secure enough for business but flexible and versatile enough for everyone.

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