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BlackBerry Announces Z30 Smartphone

Stocks in this article: BBRY

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- BlackBerry's (BBRY) board of directors may be exploring the possibility of selling the company, but the company is still announcing and creating new phones. Early this morning, Blackberry announced what could be its final smartphone - the Z30.

The Z30 is the first BlackBerry approaching "phablet" size, as it boasts a 5-inch Super AMOLED display (1280 by 720 pixels).  The new phone also sports a "1.7 GHz processor (dual-core Qualcomm (QCOM) Snapdragon S4) with quad- core graphics", 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage and stereo speakers.

BlackBerry's latest offering includes the company's newly improved antenna technology. BlackBerry has always been in the forefront of cellular antenna design. The cameras are similar to what has been offered in the BlackBerry Z10 - 8 MP on the back and 2 MP up front.

Also new in the Z30 is the operating system. It's the first BlackBerry device to come with OS 10.2. The company says 10.2 "includes hundreds of refinements plus many new features that help you be more productive". Slightly less vague is the claim that the new operating software in combination with a (non-removable) 2880 mAh battery pack will be able to provide as much as 25 hours of "mixed use".

OS 10.2 improves upon the BlackBerry Hub system which now includes a "Priority Hub". The new software still gathers all of your calls, email, messages and social networking into one location and now adds a listing for priority messages.

BlackBerry has released a video promoting the Z30 and its best features. You can watch it here.

While BlackBerry says the new phone will become available beginning next week, it means available in the UK and Middle East markets. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said the rest of the world should expect "pre-holiday season" release dates. No official carriers were named and no actual prices were announced in the corporate press release.

BlackBerry shares were higher on back of the news, gaining 1% to $10.66.

Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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