BlackBerry 10 L-Series gets a early hands-on teardown

BlackBerry 10 L-Series teardown
By Bla1ze on 19 Sep 2012 12:26 pm EDT

We've not yet seen the RIM's latest devices get an official announcement yet, despite that fact we're now getting a look at some of the devices internals thanks to a purported early hands-on teardown. The device being tore down, is no doubt that same as the devices we've seen in previous images and videos and to go along with it, there is some commentary from those who tore it down over at BisVN though, some of the info is a bit off from what we know already:

  • Full capacitive touch-screen, we were informed that the keyboard version would most likely come out a month after.
  • Dual core processor with an pristine IPS display
  • Two colors: white + black. The white looks awesome, way better than the iPhone 5 which I am currently testing.
  • Front camera with video chat feature like team view. Besides being able to see each other through the front camera, it can also show the screen of the person you are talking too.
  • Camera with auto-focus can take pictures at the speed of 1shot/second, then you can choose the best one.
  • Time view function. For 1 picture, it could save up to 10 facial expressions of any person, they you can scroll back and forth to view and choose the best one. 

Overall, there isn't anything surprising in the commentary of the teardown but as noted in CrackBerry forums, they'll be updating with more information shortly. For now, you can jump below to see some more images of the device toredown.

Discuss in the CrackBerry Forums

BlackBerry L-Series
BlackBerry 10 L-Series
BlackBerry 10 L-Series

Reader comments

BlackBerry 10 L-Series gets a early hands-on teardown


You don't like them? From a design perspective I feel like these work very well for the current crop.

Who knows, maybe this L series will be the only one stylised this way and the N / future slates will step away from the PlayBook'esque design.

Time will tell... But dzzzayyymmme I'm excited! (see post below)

The faulty power button was just a first run defect. I sent my PlayBook in to get something else repaired under warranty and they refurbished it with a newer, nicer power button. I'm happy with the other buttons too.

QNX doesn't need to be powered down often.

Aside from reboots done via the screen, and occasional reboots using the power button, my PB has never been off. It has run nonstop, 24/7 since 05/11.

The power button is generally overused in the PB community, imo.

Excellent device. Excellent OS.

Agree! the volume buttons on the PlayBook are good, glad to see a different power button. (If this is the real BB10)

It looks pretty thin!

Judging by what is obviously a standard size headphone jack that phone is just over half as thick as my 9900.. AWESOME!

As much as I loved my torch it WAS a tank.. that was the main reason I switched to the 9900, torch was too heavy and bulky in my pocket.. I'm happy with the thickness of my 9900, but I certainly don't mind that this new one is even thinner so long as the battery life is good!

I hope we see a much thinner slider someday though, like the blackberry blade concept! And if they can make an all touch this thin, then I see no reason they can't make a slide about the thickness of the 9900!!!

"As much as I loved my torch it WAS a tank.." and this is a good thing... i called my torch a tank because it fell from the third floor no case... still kicking strong!

While you make a good point with your observation I think everyone is getting ahead of themselves here. Looking at the pics my first thought was also that it looked very thin, but I realized it looks as though both the front and rear panels have been removed in those pics, which does remove a few mm of thickness. So using your observations and looking at my playbook at the same time I'm thinking it's about the same thickness as the playbook, maybe a mm or two thinner.

I think it would be fantastic if Blackberry/RIM make the approach of variant colors. Lets say 10 for now. Here me out.

It would be nice to see white, black, dark blue, red, hunter green and maybe a dark red? Then have 4 limited colors. Like gold, titanium silver, matte black and bronze copper like color. They don't have to be the colors i mentioned. I'm just saying Apple hasnt made that approach. limited colors make it more personal...(thinking mass media) to boost popularity and help gain back the customers we lost and the ones like me and you are wanting those limited colors yet attracting more people to other colors if they like. Its a win win IMO...i just feel to help increase sales for RIM maybe taking this approach would help. Hey Apple hasnt done anything like that. Imagine if they did. They would have alot of people going crazy for them. My Blackberry is personal to me..Id like to see other colors. besides imitating just white and black like Apple already has done. Just my 2 cents.

unless many people use skins as there colors?

Nice idea! I would definitely dig a Titanium or Gold Bold no matter what the price is!

However, It is important not to see colors like pink because it will kill the phones!(And I will kill my self! :P)
So the colors should be well controlled!

I don't usually get aroused by leaked pictures of upcomming smartphones, but when I do, it's because it's BB10!!!!!! Woooooooooooooo! #awkwardImatwork

I was wondering what ISP was...

Well, bla1ze, I think it's time to sleep.

We love you all.


With these coming hot and heavy now, I cant believe that we have to wait until Q1 of next year. Feels like it will happen sooner.

Too bad every story and photo is of the same crappy all-touch phone that's like 99% of every other smartphone out there. I don't care until I see the QWERTY physical keyboard version... It's why I have a Blackberry in the first place and not an Android...

I like this feature Front camera with video chat feature like team view. Besides being able to see each other through the front camera, it can also show the screen of the person you are talking too"

The more I see of the l series the more I hate it, too much of an iphone5 clone to me. Just bigger, looking very tired and old design. With what htc released today for win8 phones, windows will surly take over Rims spot for sure. Lookings like windows and its partners are going for the teen and young adult crowd and it going to be a success as much as I hate to admit it. I know crackberry staff signed a no disclosure but it sure looks like the cats out of the bag like with iphone5, this is pritty much the L series. Biggest turn off for me looks real cheaply made to me, real cheap.

While I can understand what you're saying, you can't judge a phone based on grainy pictures. I'm looking forward to holding this device to make up my mind about it.

Also, like almost everything in life, it's a matter of opinion. I found the HTC Win8 phones sort of mehh; but that's just me. to each his or her own.

Also, i dont believe RIM is copying iPhone 5 since iPhone 5 wasn't out when this phone was designed and assembled. I would not call this an iClone.

Yeah, you gotta remember, the first images of this phone were, what, last January?
If anybody is copying anybody, it ain't RIM...
Perhaps they should sue?

Ummmm.. I'm not saying that RIM copied apple.. all rectangular shaped touch only phone just look similar..

BUT.. saying they couldn't have copied the iPhone 5 because this phone was designed months ago is just plain not a good argument.. the iPhone 5 looks just like the iPhone 4s which looks just like the iPhone 4 which doesn't look all that different from the iPhone 3g which looked exactly like the iPhone 3 which.. you see where I'm going with this..

SO.. anything invented after about 2006 COULD have copied the iPhone 5 LOL

You said it, all of these all-touch phones are the same to me, I honestly don't give a crap about the little tiny detail that might be different from one to the other... I'll take the QWERTY physical keyboard version any day...

Yes because that argument worked so well for Samsung. The iSheep will still believe that RIM copied the iPhone.

I'm right there with you Syrous44! This phone looks cheap and old and it hasn't even been released yet... It looks like a carbon copy of the Motorola Droid X from 2 whole years ago.. WTF is RIM doing??

This is the problem of my lovely rim company..hi...they better dont show up any picture before.......any way blackberry is not a full touch smartphone company sorry...

I think your vision is a little distorted. Why do you judge a phone that has not been officially stated by RIM to be the final product? judging it and calling it an iPhone clone?... it absolutely does not resemble anything close to an iPhone.

I think it's fair to say that almost any all touch, rectangular shaped phone resembles the iPhone in some way. lets face it.. it was one of the first, and it is the most iconic of touch screen phones. But that is were the similarities end.. besides I'm much more concerned with whats on screen then the tiny bits of tin plastic around the sides and back.

I understand your point of view. After all, most phones are rectangular. I'm totally excited about all the software we'll see as things really start to ramp up :D

I love the look and the specs. I am drooling to try it out. Am happy to see the prespective of the phone in someones hand. If you dont like the design I guess your choice is the N Series. Besides if you dont want one it will make me closer to mine when i order it :)

iPhone5 clone? So you really think they started pre-production of these devices after they saw leaked iPhone5 photos?

I'm seriously assuming RIM designed it way before any information of iPhone5 was leaked. Am I the only one here thinking so?

+1 I don't know what the heck is wrong with these itrolls. As far as they know it, the universe copied apple. What a bunch of jokers.

im surprised that u are judging this as a finished product, look back, has RIM ever released a poorly built phone??? this one here is crappy yes i agree, but it rather obvious its not the final... chill

Really? I think you need glasses because this looks so not like the iphone 5... any which angle its taken from. Mind you i have a leaked picture thats saved on my drive from way back when.. before there were even leaks of the iphone 5.

Im going to be very disappointed it it has to be charged via a usb port. The Storms way of charging is hideous.

Full qwerty a month behind? Really? Hopefully they will be able to integrate a touchscreen and front facing camera into the qwerty or I won't be sold.

I don't think a QWERTY BB10 device without touch capabilities was ever an option... Also, I doubt RIM will do like HTC and not include a front facing camera on the QWERTY device.

Of course I can't confirm anything, but come on, no way you could navigate properly through BB10ui without bezel touch gestures.

Well, we already know for certain it will have a touchscreen, and I'm nearly certain we already know it will have a front-facing camera too. If we don't know, it's extremely unlikely it will not, so it's a very good bet... have no worries.

i hope to God that these new BBX phones have stereo speakers in them... b/c I'm tired of waiting for a phone with 2009 specs in 2013.

3 words:

BlackBerry Music Gateway

(but yeah, would be nice to have a decent pair of speakers on the device, not a deal breaker for me though)

I hope they catch whoever took these pictures and sue the pants off of them. As much as I like leaks just like every other blackberry fan out there, this is the stuff that makes it really hard for RIM to do a good job at marketing. Just look at the iPhone last week...everyone was expecting huge things but everyone already knew everything about it weeks before and some were even more disappointed because they thought NFC would be included...this can only hurt RIM

Well hold on there, there's a difference between leaks of the physical device and leaks showing the UI, the OS features, built in apps and all. While I agree that it would be best to keep most of it under wraps, a few leaks can't hurt either. You also have to wonder, these leaks came to us on the HTC announcement day... hmmmmm?

Let's not start talking conspiracy theories now haha...
But there is no difference and they did leak OS/UI features like the camera with "team view" which is awesome I admit but it's taking away thunder from RIM who would likely love to announce that on their own terms...Not to mention colour scheme and display design (from what I've read IPS displays are top notch)...luckily for us these leaks likely wont reach far the regions of the tech-sphere and probably wont until RIM makes their official announcement

you nailed it with your last sentence. These barely take anything away from RIM since most people (other than tech junkies and Crackberry folk) wont hear a peep from it.

In a couple of the photos, there seems to be a sign on the floor tiles which resemble some sort of Asian characters. I bet a couple of devices were snagged out of the factory where they are manufactured.

Can't wait for BB10

The leaks are from Vietnam...check the source...All prototype devices for development (including those sent to carriers which I assume this is one of them) are all manufactured in Waterloo, Canada. I doubt they've reached production ramp yet with a release 4 months down the road

Not Waterloo. Perhaps Mexico since there is NAFTA in Canada, US and least for the North American units. I know the PlayBook was manufactured in Taiwan for the most part. With more and more chips, semiconductors, screens, etc coming from Asia I wouldn't be surprised if a company like Foxconn (but not foxconn) is used.

I want to know if the processor is made by Qualcomm or TI and what model it is. I wish I could by this thing now!

What I mean is:

Apple only let's this stuff leak closer to launch time.. to build the hype.

It's no hype when it's 3-4mths away.


You're letting the competition get some fresh ideas.


I love leaks, plus the gen public doesn't pay attention to this stuff. Just because we all jump on cb 12 time a day praying to see something awesome. RIM capturing the public or not will have nothing to do with the amount of leaks.

So it is a rectangle with round corners? Don't worry folks, this stuff would just come out next week anyway.

All I ask is that this is in my hands before February 14 when I leave for a one month trip to New Zealand and Australia. As much as I love it, I don't want to take my Torch 9850...and I heard they actually like BlackBerrys in Australia.

If the scale is close to true, the screen size will be about 4.5" diagonal. The width to length ratio seems to be closer to the iPhone rather than the Galaxy phones, meaning, like iPhone, it will fit the hand well as a phone. Also, the long profile means a wide virtual keyboard.

I like the thin profile, but I have concern about the capacity of the thin battery.

Concerning the later delivery of the hard KB, I don't think this is a problem since the initial target will be current iPhone and Android users, rather than business users. The BB10 phone is a companion to the PB: where virtual KB is a plus.

It's been very clear for quite a while now that the screen on the L series will be the same as that on the Dev Alpha unit.

4.2", 1280x768 resolution, 356 PPI.

The place where the battery goes looks pretty long. Amost half of the phone. Certianly much longer than the 9900

Let us remember : it is still just a test device. Objects in the picture may not be exactly as depicted...

front facing camera to watch yourself on the screen :) sorry guys but useless without skype or bbm video!

This is the quote from the write-up:

"Front camera with video chat feature like team view. Besides being able to see each other through the front camera, it can also show the screen of the person you are talking too"...

Where did you get your quote from?

why do you assume it doesn't have HDMI out? you can only see 2 of the 4 sides in these pics.. which means two sides of mystery.. you can't see the USB port either, did you think it wasn't going to charge either?

Even the dev aplha has the hdmi out doesn't it? I remember seeing some video recently where the phone was clearly plugged into HDMI..

Suddenly I am not as turned on like many of you. Yes, I register that they are leaks on a pre-release, but there are 4 months to go so the majority of this device I think we can all agree on is pretty final. The PlayBook buttons are great...on the PlayBook. I want to see something new and fresh and no PlayBook resemblance aside from the gesturing technology. BlackBerry 10 altogether is suppose to give RIM that much needed reboot and the fact that it looks like parts from the past will be carried forward strikes me. Even to the final details, this device needs to have it all properly done from the size and shape of the power button to the volume to the the placement of the cameras to how the backing will be removed which it looks like the whole backing will be exposed. I dislike the fact that I'm seeing an audio part at the top. I have always wished for it on the bottom so it could be docked without the mess of wires. I'll agree that the front of what we are seeing does indeed look like the back of the iPhone 5. I think RIM seriously needs to tear a page on design aesthetics from Apple. Call it as you may "iThing", "iCrap", but you can't seriously knock the design of the iPhone 5 as every bit of detail and attention has been attended to. This is what I want to see from RIM. Stop hiring engineers to design your phones. Get designers and engineers to collaborate together. This will make for a brighter future for RIM. Despite my comment above, rest assured I'm still a BlackBerry fanboy.

Okay, I'll contact some people, but you have to publish your design to CrackBerry first. If the time comes and you get hired, I'll give you my name and all for the BB10 phone.

So I can referrence it to them.

Got any timeline established on your masterpiece?

It's coming very very soon. This one is a design I have fallen in love with more than anything and I rarely love my own work (we are our own worst critic).

@Theme, I decided I'll send you a picture with BruvvaPete and his new device. You sound rather too demanding, lol.

I agree with everything that you're saying, but you're missing the point. They are doing EXACTLY what you're suggesting. Industrial Designers work directly with Engineers during the design phase.

You make a valid complaint about the headphone jack being at the top of the phone... That's your preference, which is fine.

But think of it this way, lets say a person wants to use their phone as an mp3 player on the go. Let's say that person also uses their computer for primary home listening. I'll make the argument that more people listen to music on the go than people that own docks. In this case, the headphone jack at the top of the phone makes a lot more sense than it does on the bottom because you generally keep your phone in your pocket while listening to music.

I don't mean to discredit your response, but you have to think about sleeper pouches/cases, headphone cable wear, and how cumbersome it would be to sit your phone upside down in your pocket to avoid this cable wear. I think it's a fantastic idea to put it on the top. I think it will be more beneficial to a broader audience.

Not referring directly to you, but IMO there are a lot of people on here that should be careful not to criticize prematurely. These aren't even good pictures! It happens waaay too often!

<<< Engineering student. I got bored with homework! ;)

Bla1ze: " The white looks awesome, way better than the iPhone 5 which I am currently testing."

That thing looks like an Iphone.

A few weeks ago, Kevin posted that one of his big concerns was a RIM phone being confused for anything else, and worse yet an Iphone. If crackberry users think it looks like an Iphone, and the real Iphone 5 gets released on Friday, that’s at least 3 months (and during holiday season no less) for the general public to become convinced that anything thin, two tone black or two tone white is an Iphone or a cheap knockoff. Throw in all the glowing reviews and RIM has some design re-work ahead of it.

At this point it’s a mute point whether RIM released a photo of a phone last Jan, Apple is selling a real product in 2 days, first mover advantage.

Hopefully we’ll see more releases of a finished product that stands alone.

I don't think the marketing for the BB10 will be as a direct competitor of iPhone or Android. There are many features on the RIM product that make it unique: security, BBM, bridge to the PB tablet, 'made in Canada' :)

It matters not that the BB10 delivery is delayed further than the Holiday selling season. RIM has it's whole fate at stake on BB10 and can not afford ANY mistakes.

Lol how can anyone say that that looks like an iPhone. The damn thing is torn apart in all of these pictures, you're looking at internal parts FFS.

Based on what we can see in these images, you must be a tad thick to draw a similarity to the iPhone. There's no volume rocker on the iPhone 5, there's buttons, the lock button is not centered on the iPhone,

At the end of the day these pictures don't show anything in terms of what it will look like when you know, the screen is on it, the battery is in, the battery door is on....the phone is put together etc.

Troll away people. BB10 full touchscreen is going to be nice, you can count on that. RIM knows it has to be.

Why is everyone so obsessed with "super thin"? I want my phone to have a little heft, a little meat...I just ditched my SGS II becasue I grew weary of how thin/light it was (among other things). To me, it feels awkward to hold a super light, super thin slab up to your ear as a phone...

If this phone is to be used away from the desk we need a grip. When I am climbing a silo or tower I want to check lightning report with 1 hand while climbing with the other :)
Make mine a black machine with the pretty keys
Think QWERTY , think BOLD

There are a handful of pictures of the new blackberry (dev) phone. Additionally the top and lower portion of the first photo above looks similar to the Iphone 5. I didn’t say they were identical, they look similar. Again to Kevin’s post a few weeks back, confusion is quite easy. If you think about the recent ruling for Apple against Samsung (where I think the devices look less like Iphone); this phone looks like a 5.

Why is someone a troll if one thinks one thing looks like the other?

A couple comparisons:

Interesting that folks are saying it looks like . Since most manufacturers are striving to get as much screen area as possible on all touch devices, it would seem that, at a certain point, all phones will pretty much look alike. Go to your nearest electronics store and look at all the flat screen tvs. Now imagine if they stripped the manufacturers labels off. It would be hard to tell the difference. Especially when you have just a screen and barely a frame for the tvs. It now boils down to substance. Will be no different for the phones. Imo ;-)

Although the evolution into full touch screen phones is the future, I honestly prefer my BB Curve 9360 or at least the BB Bold 9930. As others have stated, one can't say that the BB10 L-series is a clone of the iphone5, but you can surely see the similarity. As a die hard blackberry fan, I love the blackberry phones (my phone curve 9360) for its uniqueness in not resembling any iphone. I do have a playbook so I have experienced a device which is fully touch screen. Of course my opinion is just my opinion and I'm sure the BB10 is going to be a knock out.

Remember! The LG prada phone came out before the iphone. Althought it was horrible, I had one for about 2 weeks, it was almost all touch with no stylus. So apple copied that! Haha! -_-


Its an Iphone clone..standard slab candy bar style that they bashed for years, now its 2012 and RIM is still behind.

Please give a valid reason why you still have a CB account. If you can't, maybe look up the definition of the word "bully". Your face, amongst other trolls, is right before the definition.

Wait a minute........I thought BB10 were going to have AMOLED displays?

Did they change their minds and are going with IPS, or is AMOLED going to be used for the higher end models?


Where you read AMOLED was from a leaked document. IPS...comes from another leak on a pre-release device. Nothing is official! I do hope that a Corning Gorilla Glass 2 with a ClearBlack AMOLED screen makes it to the final design as IPS according to its Wiki gives it a wide viewing angle (loss of privacy), fast response speed and a simple pixel structure (I don't want simple, I want hardcore complex HD kick-ass super-duper resolution).

they could place the front camera above the screen, at the rare camera level, to increase screen display area.....

RIM will definately rise like a phoenix!!! BB10 is going to change everything we had come to know as a smartphone. I have all my faith in RIM. RIM is the only company who's taking a big leap by making a complete new OS from the ground up. And that will definately have its rewards. I love the way my blackberry handles my email and makes everything so easy, and knowing that that is only going to get better, makes me want to own a BB10 phone even more. We only need patience, and that patience will be rewarded with one of the most amazing phones we'll ever see in a long time. It's not only about the hardware specs, the most valuable thing is what we get to experience when we use our phone. It's without any doubt, that satisfaction that makes the difference. Until then i will keep loyal to my Bold 9900. And remember, PATIENCE ;)

Only Dual Core? Unless its above 1.5GHz and an ultra efficient OS, then RIM will be behind the Quad Core onslaught given we are looking at a Q1 launch.

I think you might be mistaken.... I think the processor will be a Qualcomm DualCore S4 pro SOC. But it doesn't matter, look at iOs for instance, it's very efficient and capable and it doesn't require more than dual core because the software is optimized specifically for the hardware. I highly doubt most of those quad core processors out there are really utilizing the power of four cores. Also do not underestimate dual cores, we have seen it slaughter quadcore on benchmark time and time again, and look at the iPhone 5, dual core processor (clocked at 1ghz) already topping the likes of SGSIII quad.The dualcore S4pro is going to be a beast, much like it's predecessor the S4.

I'm a past BB user that visits CB to see what's new with BB. I sure hope that BB10 rocks. I understand that the BB faithful will find these leaks revolutionary but IMO the pictures remind me of android phones out there now. How does RIM expect to draw back past BB users with designs like this. I'm not trolling. I'm looking for a new distinguished BB look and experience so I can leave my Samsung android phone.

I like that this one has more rounded corners than the earlier leaks and renders. At least it'll feel better in the hand even if it's not that attractive.

Hope/Faith, the last thing we should be rooting for.

RIM, get a grip, if you want to strive out there then make something new, something that people haven't seen yet. Basically giving people a valid reason to switch(back).

A for effort.

inb4 people start saying that I'm bashing RIM rather then noticing I'm just throwing pure logic and facts out there.