BlackBerry’s 2013 Smartphone Roadmap: BlackBerry Z30 (Aristo) and BlackBerry 9720

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It’s been a while since we heard about exactly what BlackBerry has in store for the rest of 2013. Thanks to multiple trusted sources, however, we not only know but we also have some exclusive photos. First up is the BlackBerry A10, code-named “Aristo.” This device is going to be positioned as the most powerful, capable BlackBerry yet with a big focus on power and gaming. For some people, it might be the BlackBerry 10 smartphone they have been waiting for.

The A10 will feature a huge 5-inch screen, which is much larger than the current crop of BlackBerry handsets, and we’re told it will also sport a much more refined fit and finish.

When we reviewed the BlackBerry Q10, its AMOLED display was terrible, colors were all out of order, and text was pixelated. This time around, we’re going to see a new Super AMOLED screen, so it should help a great deal in that department. We are also told that the BlackBerry A10 is going to feature 2GB of RAM and a dual-core processor. We were told by one source BlackBerry has not been able to make the jump to quad-core chips possibly due to concerns over battery life or possibly difficulties optimizing its BlackBerry 10 software, so it seems that the dual-core chip was necessary. We are told that the phone features the same silicon structure that the iPhone does, with separate CPU and GPU processors.

The styling of the BlackBerry A10 closely resembles a Samsung Galaxy S4. In fact, we are told it’s actually larger than the Galaxy S4, but more rounded and less aggressive-looking than the Z10. We would expect an 8-megapixel camera, but have not been able to confirm that or other details just yet. Expect a huge focus on gaming here, and let’s hope BlackBerry’s developer relations team is working overtime to herd in the biggest game developers.

Look for the BlackBerry A10 to launch sometime late this fall.

Switching over to the BlackBerry 9720, this is a rehash of BlackBerry’s ever-popular BlackBerry 9700, except it has been updated with BlackBerry’s new atrocious design language and styling. Just look at the exclusive photos we’ve posted in the gallery below — compared to the BlackBerry Bold 9900, this is a complete disaster.

Not only does BlackBerry basically ruin everything that made its phones great with the BlackBerry 10 software, but the company seems intent on destroying everything that people loved about its older devices, too. The only saving grace here is that we are told this is a replacement for the BlackBerry 9320, so look for this to be a somewhat lower cost device that should retail for around $350 off contract in many parts of the world.

We are told that these two handsets make up BlackBerry’s entire smartphone roadmap for the remainder of 2013, more or less. It’s possible there could be some market-specific variants based on these phones — you know BlackBerry just can’t pass up a good SKU soup — but we don’t expect to see any other new phones from BlackBerry this year. What about other products besides smartphones? Stay tuned as we’ll have more on that shortly.

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