Spec Shootout: Dev Alpha A vs Dev Alpha B

Dev Alpha B
By Adam Zeis on 29 Oct 2012 01:54 pm EDT

The BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha B was recently given out to some developers during BlackBerry Jam Americas in San Jose. The developer device looks mighty different from that of the Dev Alpha A on the outside, and it left us wondering just what was different on the inside as well. As it turns out, much of the hardware is still the same. The processor on the Dev Alpha B is bit faster and among other things, the B has a larger removable battery and also a microSD slot. If you're curious at all just how the specs for each break down, here's your chance to find out. Keep reading for the full specs from both devices, but keep in mind that these are not the final BB10 hardware - so anything can (and will) change.

BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha A Specifications 

Dev Alpha A specs


BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha B Specifications 

Dev Alpha B specs 

Source: Inside BlackBerry 

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

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Spec Shootout: Dev Alpha A vs Dev Alpha B


Now we know the leaked slides for L-series are old and outdated...if the Dev Alpha B has BT 4.0 I can't see L-series launching with anything less.

100% absolutely not. L-series, N-series, curve model and then Aristo (which if I had to guess would be a direct iPhone 5 competitor for Sept/Oct launch in 2013 with an emphasis on holiday sales in Nov/Dec)

Give it up. I know it will be hard :) I really like the trackpad on the 9860 but I will trust that the cursor management is MUCH improved over the PlayBook. I despise the way it currently works but I've learned to accept it. I certainly hope BB10 is different. Even BB7 does it better!!!!!

I'm wondering why, if there is a reasonable reason, they left out the rear flash on the DevAlpha B


I'm pretty sure they did NOT leave the rear flash off the DevAlphaB. Mine has a flash next to the rear camera. When taking pictures, the three vertical dots on the bottom right will give me flash options as the fourth option down. I don't think they would have just handed out a non-standard one to me at random...

Edit to add: maybe they just forgot to list it on the sheet.

Video chat wont be at anywhere near 2MP. Also, most, if not all pictures taken using the FFC of myself will go to social networks or sent via MMS (and not to be HQ 11x14's). So lowering the cam in exchange to lower cost, or to increase the specs of something else makes sense to me. MHO

The purpose of using 2MP front camera is NOT for blogging, Tweets or for FB'ing ... but for real video conferencing. Cisco, Skype, etc will be launching in a big way. Cisco Jabbar for VC with Tanberg equipment in the office XC90's etc would be HUGE for RIM! Secure connections with BES10; no new firewall holes or Change Management requests to have these holes implemented.

Think of LG's Optimus Black with a 2MP camera just 2yrs ago still amongst highest resolution front cameras in the mobile space today ... its focus was for Skype video calls.

If you look back at the "Hands on with BB10" blog there's a photo comparison of the two devices; there is clearly an LED flash next to the camera on the back of both devices.

Listen DEV ALPHA B IS FINAL HARDWARE IN A CASE. Go look at the pictures with the back off of the dev alpha b in
"Hands-on with BlackBerry 10 running on Dev Alpha B Hardware!" Here on crackberry. First of all there is clearly led flash secondly you can clearly see a case wrapped around a phone. RIM ran out of dev alphas and they had to give devs something so they hid final hardware behind an ugly case and called it a day. Thanks. (: EDIT: and I will be buying it day one. I'm in this for the experience not for the spec race. If that was the case I would have dithced blackberry ages ago. #BB10FTW

DEV ALPHA B IS NOT FINAL HARDWARE (oh look I can use caps too haha)
The case is there because it's the cheapest option to manufacture and is no indication of anything.
I think that the specs will probably be similar to what's in the Dev Alpha B but neither dev alpha has LTE so you can't say it's final hardware.

BlackBerry 10 phones will have LTE antennas. Neither dev alphas have LTE so it's not final hardware.

BlackBerry by Choice.
Torch 9860, Playbook 64g

I am no insider and I am not stating facts. This is my opinion that the dev alpha b is final hardware. I'm collecting all the information I can find and basing my judgement off that. I believe there will be no changes to the spec sheet the day we see bb10 released and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. What's wrong with a 1.5ghz processor and what's wrong with an 8mp AF camera with led flash or 356 ppi screen or an 1800mah battery. Unless I'm mistaken every spec I just listed is better than the iphone 5 except the camera. Its no galaxy note II when it comes to specs but it is something brand new. A completely new way to imagine mobile computing and for that I'm stickin with it.

If you are stating opinion and not confirmed fact, you should not be typing something in all caps as if it were absolute. It will only lead to confusion.

The Dev Alpha B sounds good, but if it had flash and the 3MP front camera it would be even better.

I would like to see 2GB ram, 32GB internal storage, and, depending upon whether the performance would improve enough, one of those Snap Dragon Pro chips or something to that effect.

Either way, that's a nice device.

I highly doubt RIM would build Dev-Alpha devices with 'final hardware'. That would be rediculous. First of all, cost....these devices are to allow developers to create and test their apps. The OS is not final on these devices either, so why would they put high end hardware for a device that doesn't even carry the full OS and is strictly for app testing purposes. Secondly, RIM has said that they have only revealed some of what the OS does, not all. They want to keep surprises for the release date. I'm sure the same goes with the hardware. Why would they put out final hardware, and make release date not as big of a buzz by showing off even better hardware! If this was the final hardware, RIM would have no problem in announcing that. And like one other user said, why would the downgrade the quality of the camera on the Dev Alpha B? Because they can! Because it's not final hardware. Why put out a more expensive camera on a Dev Alpha device when its not necessarry. I'm just as excited about the new devices as anyone else, but I think people need to not read into so many things and make so many assumptions. The device will be what it is when it's released, and THAT is when you'll know what it will be. Until then, nobody really knows. Just bugs me how people are saying "if that's what it is, then I'm not buying it!" Holy smokes...just chill! If the processor is not as strong as another phone, but it still allows for a killer experience, then there's no point in wasting money on a higher end processor if a slower one will do the job just fine. That's why apple never use to talk about what processor they use, because it didn't matter, cause the phone was smooth and worked great. BB10 will Rock, regardless of what is or isn't in it.

Unfortunately you fail to realize the existing costs of RIM deploying not just 1 but 2 versions of beta devices along with promising a special edition to these developers with NO extra sales revenue (or costs to the developers).

Producing limited production hardware (4470 is NOT cheap even by 1000 chip volumes vs Qualcomm S4 or OMAP 4430; 3MP then 2MP front facing 720P camera, 1280x768 IPH LCD~its not AMOLED) and giving it out for free for what 4-6mths only to be returned ... again with no sales revenue is NOT cheap!

A LOT of these specs will be in the final hardware design:
Screen resolution & size
Radio bands for Ad-Hoc connections (WLAN/BT 4LE)
HSPA will have another chipset for LTE
ports in the manufacturing process: Motorola is the only other manufacturer now that makes new hardware with MicroSD + MicroHDMI ports separately (thank goodness RIM); Sony stopped this practice going forward.

You're right though ... nobody really knows but its so exciting just salivating over it.

I don't want a TI OMAP processor.. I want an S4 Pro. I really hope that change happens with the L-Series

I see Qualcomm as a better chipset, but I wouldn't be disappointed by the TI OMAP 5 chipset either. Obviously this isn't final hardware, but I think it's important to at least have a top notch processor in the final device.

If the extra horsepower of an s4 pro is not needed over a normal s4 or the omap 4470 then it would be stupid of rim to include one just for the sake of those people who were too insecure that they had to chase specs rather than judge things based on how they actually perform.

Apple don't fall into this trap and go with the performance that they need rather than throwing specs at a device just for the sake of it and it works just fine for them, it is only in the Android market where there is no real way to distinguish yourself other than on specs or price where the hardware makers have to take this approach.

So essentially the same processor and ram as playbook 4g. Better rear camera then playbook with auto focus. Not as good of front camera. Specs look fine to me, other then front camera. Please give us 3mp RIM. I am willing to shell out as much as you want to charge. As far as the 16gb goes that is fine because it has micro sd. This stat sheet however does not confirm what I do believe to be true, that it supports sdxc. Can someone with a dev B please advise if the sdxc works.

No LTE on these dev units. That is due to the lack of carrier certification at the time of build.

The Playbook 4G (LTE) only just came out, and we know for sure the BB10 devices are LTE (As Verizon won't accept any non-LTE phone now).

It was just probably done to quickly get them out the door and working.

There is actually a more logical reason for no LTE on these dev units and that is that Rim intends to release a hspa+ model for carriers that have no interest in covering the cost for a radio that will be of no use to them such as a lot of carriers globally and tmo-us.

I expect we will see as many as the following variants:

Sprint LTE

Obviously for simplicity, most of the above would use a qc chipset since it is the easiest way to get LTE.

LTE makes no difference if your provider's network cannot sustain those speeds over time. Tethering to a PlayBook or Win7/OSX over a 15mins time interval will not get you LTE 25Mbps or higher ... even for a stream ... when that video gets closer to being 60% cached you'll drop to HSPA+ speeds (even HSPA-DC if capable) to conserve battery life and to a devices that demands a new LTE connection on the same tower - and deemed by IMEI/S# or coding algo to the providers gateway to have priority over your smartphone.

Again we'll not know for sure how this will play out in RIM's favor but we'll see.

RIM has said that BB10 will in fact be LTE. Again, Dev Alpha's are not gona have everything the final hand set will have. It's not necessarry on a dev alpha device. And as another user wrote, to be LTE, it needs carrier approval, and they are still in the process of doing this. No need to worry. BB10 phones will in fact be LTE.

Wow! If these are the specs of the soon to be announced/released BB10 devices,...then RIM may as well sell to the highest bidder. Though they are new BBs all around, these lack luster specs fail!

RIM,...with all due respect, folks do actually read about the specs when making a decision on what to buy. Also, carrier sales personnel will easily sway folks to buy other than a BB,....just because the other brand smartphone having a V8 under the hood.

I know these are "developement" mules used to tease the public with the capabilities of BB 10 OS. But really, I'm telling you,...these lack luster,...subpar numbers are not going to keep RIM afloat. If they were enough, this would be an entirely different post.

You want us to stand by Blackberry,....of which many are,...but please don't fail us!


PS: I have a Playbook,...and a 9810,...and I've had a taste of both Win8,...and Android 4.1 flow and they are not bad at all. I know I will be upgrading my 9810 to something else real soon,...the question is will the device have a BB logo on it!

i get specs comparisons on a final product. For someone to say im not buying it cause the "free" developer device that was "given" to me is totally spec'd out is just dumb at this point..

what other companies are giving away devices that will ultimately be returned and destroyed. How intelligent would they be to invest money in a highend specs for that purpose.

We already know that the specs of the final device will be very similar to the Dev Alpha, so to draw conclusions based on these specs isn't "just dumb" IMHO.

Compared to other phones coming in Q1/13 or even compared to some others in 2012 the specs aren't that great. And people do compare things like resolution and processors before buying.

I'll still be buying one as soon as it pops out, but then again I've been dumb enough to stick with RIM for years, so I'm obviously biased ;-)

Anyway, still don't get why they didn't go with the Aristo as their launch device.

Do people avoid iphones because they are not a quadcore?

People only chase specs when there are no other differentiation between products, which is why it is a huge deal for android handsets and less important for others

As far as lacklustre specs, which ones are substandard, would it be that display with a ppi that breezes past the levels deemed to be retina or are you blindly buying into the hype that says you need quadcore on a phone regardless of whether the os is so badly coded as to need that or not?

The screen size listed is 4.2, I like the idea of not going too big, 4.3 was always my sweet spot for screen size. Also noticed that the T-Mobile radio was listed in the A version but not the B version. To save money on building certain phones for Carriers they should put all the radios in one chip set much like the I-Phone 5 did so that same phone could be used on all Carriers. From what I can see the hardware looks great, very interested in this new phone, I am a phone junkie and will have to have it. Good Luck Blackberry.

I hope they put an absolutely killer camera in it. If the camera unit is better than anyone else's out there it will cover a multitude of sins.

Would this be what some of you spec hounds want?

Rear Facing: 2x Rebel EOS 18 Quality, Megapixel Camera with Dual Flash
Front Facing: 12 Megapixel Autofocus Camera
3.1Ghz Intel i7 Processor with Nvidia GeForce GT Graphics Card
3D Screen
6GB DDR3 Ram
2TB Internal Memory with Hot-Swapable Micro SD up to 132GB
5500Mah Battery
Fiber Optic Data Speeds
Full Qwerty Keyboard
1900x1080 HD 4.8" Screen
Charging Contact
Wireless Charging
Micro USB
Nano-SIM Card

They see me trollin', they hatin'

you forgot lasers and spinning 24" rims...

BlackBerry by choice!
BlackBerry 9860 v7.1.0.267
Playbook 64Gb
Bell mobility unlimited BlackBerry data plan

Stop speculating nerds.

Just wait till 2013 when we get the final information given to us regarding the BB10 devices.

Dev Alpha B is missing the best feature of the OG Dev Alpha. The barcode. People see that barcode and they can instantly tell the Dev Alpha is something special. The B is just plain ugly in comparison.

I don't understand why we downgrade as well as upgrade, we always loose a better feature, in this case they went from 3MP - 2MP front cam, Why downgrade. we need to keep everything and jus make it better

Just look at the mp levels for ffc, the odds are that they changed suppliers and this one offered a 2mp rather than 3mp which they have taken since either size is a non-issue.

holly crap!!! did anyone notice the 356ppi??? damn!! even the new nexus has only 300 ppi. GO RIM!!!! and of course this isn't final hardware, i don't see DLNA support on neither of the dev alpha's. Cant wait for Q1 of 2013!!

Actually, if you go to the original BlackBerry dev blog story, which the article here on CrackBerry does link to, then you'll see that the DevAlpha B does support DNLA ;)


which by extension the dev alpha A supports it because DNLA is a software based protocol not a hardware based one ...

I think that the specifications of the smartphones matter. It is like buying a computer. The negotiations would be better if they choose the one manufacturer for their smartphones.

- Rezaur Rahman

boom!! "Qualcomm's and Samsung VPs, and the IHS iSuppli analyst I spoke with all echoed Sullivan's main sentiment that the way the operating system manages threads of code and processes in general impacts the phone's overall performance, no matter the number of cores."

core this core that...give me octocore on my RIM DEVICE NOOOOWWW!!

Nice, bluetooth 4.0. How about bringing Wifi ac to the spec sheets, which will be the new standard next year. There's always room for improvement.

Still waiting patiently for my first ever smartphone.

Adding wifi ac would probably add too much cost for the amount of people who would actually use it, if you check the numbers the majority still use g for reliability/compatibility reasons even now.

OMG!!! don't you guys know what is a dev phone???? everybody whining about the specs and this is NOT the final specs. The only thing that would make sense is to watch these specs as the lowest possible specs for the final phone, but its a dev phone and so the final version will always have higher specs.

those specs for me, represent the roadmap of how RIM now cares about the high performance chipset, which is one of the things lacking from BB nowadays. From Dev A to Dev B, we can see that the processor speed has jumped, more features are added including the hot swappable microSD slot (ah.. finally!) and a marginally higher battery capacity, those actually mean something, that RIM has listened and I believe, Dev B is NO WAY nearer to the actual L-Series BB10 AT ALL. Yes, the L-series will be using a roughly same dimension (considering it is a 4.2" touchscreen phone) however, I'm sure the leaked specs posted few weeks ago stating that the L-Series will be using the Snapdragon S4 pro chipset with LTE capability will be the one we'll see on the BB10 L-series, not this one.

However, good job RIM, looking forward to seeing you BB10 L-series, I'll hold you & take you into my pocket in 2013!!

Given how long the devices have been in development it is very unlikely that they will have switched to an s4 pro chipset, bb10 as an os simply doesn't need a quadcore so why would they increase costs and potentially reduce reliability (newer chipset having more bugs) just for the sake of it.

I would expect their LTE models to use the s4 chipset as it is the easiest way to get LTE on a phone, but not the s4 pro chipset this time round.

For Rim to succeed they have to have specs that are high enough in the right areas to be competitive without getting into the spec arms race where they have no chance of winning since there will be always be something with a higher spec out next with the Android market, just look at how HTC's revenues have gone down since that is the only way they can compete against Samsung who have pretty much become the Android market these days.

Looool, that's funny!.............Although it would be pretty bad ass if the BB10 hardware was put in a blender and doesn't blend to pieces like the S3 and iPhone 5 B-) :D