BlackBerry’s next new smartphone arrives July

If you liked the look of the new new BlackBerry but still can’t picture the email-friendly smartphone without a physical keyboard, your wish is about to come true, as BlackBerry announces that its key-wielding handset arrives in a couple of weeks.

It’s the return of BlackBerry, and while we first saw a hint of that return in late January, that model – the Z10 – was a purely touchscreen phone, and that’s not the BlackBerry we know and love.

No, the BlackBerry we remember built itself upon devices sporting some of the best miniature physical button-based keyboards ever created, and with that in mind, the brand is about to unleash the Q10.

A new handset, this model will also feature a touchscreen, albeit a smaller one than the Z10’s 4.2 inch display. Rather, the Q10 will show a 3.1 inch display with a resolution like HD on one measurement but not in the other, displaying 720dpi with roughly 330 pixels per inch as the aspect ratio, higher than the iPhone 5.

The physical keyboard is here, though, as well as 16GB storage, an 8 megapixel rear camera with 1080p Full HD recording, a microSD slot, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and support for 4G LTE.

“We are excited to be working with our partners to bring the first BlackBerry 10 smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard to customers in Australia,” said BlackBerry’s Matthew Ball, Managing Director for the Australian division of the company. “The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone offers customers the power and performance of the BlackBerry 10 platform in a signature BlackBerry design.”

Telstra and Optus have signed up to be the carriers supporting this model, with Optus grabbing it on July 1, Telstra on July 2, and retailers Harvey Norman and JB HiFi adding to the mix to let you pick it up from their stores, too.

Pricing hasn’t yet been announced, but BlackBerry has said that the handset – which is available in black only – will be available on “competitive pricing plans.”