Ina Fried

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BlackBerry Hopes Bigger Is Better With New Five-Inch Z30

Aiming to take advantage of the trend toward larger-screen phones, BlackBerry on Wednesday is showing off its biggest-yet smartphone, the Z30.

BlackBerry Z30

The five-inch touchscreen device also packs a larger battery and a new version of the BlackBerry operating system. BlackBerry OS 10.2 features include a new “priority hub” that learns which people and conversations are most important, while a preview of incoming BBM messages can now appear over any other running app.

On the hardware side, the Z30 includes a new antenna designed to offer improved quality in low-signal areas, while a “natural sound” feature is designed to offer better audio.

BlackBerry said that the new phone will hit the United Kingdom and Middle East next week, with availability in “all other regions going into the holiday season.”

Pricing wasn’t disclosed, nor any details on which U.S. carriers would offer the device.

However, sources told AllThingsD earlier this year that Sprint would be carrying an all-touch model that was a follow-on to the initial Z10.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry said that version 10.2 of the operating system would be made available for other BlackBerry 10 devices starting in October.

BlackBerry has been struggling to regain ground with the initial BB10-based devices that have come to market this year, losing the No. 3 position to Windows Phone. The company has said it is weighing strategic options, including a potential sale.

Update: Verizon said on Twitter that the Z30 was “coming soon” to its network.. Representatives for AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all declined to say whether they would be carrying the Z30.


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