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BlackBerry 10 L-Series handset images leak ahead of launch

Research In Motion's next-generation BlackBerry handset, the L-Series, has been leaked ahead of launch, providing a preview of the device the company hopes will reverse its fortunes in years to come.

Although only of a switched-off device, and provided without any official specifications or clue as to the internal hardware, the images leaked to a Vietnamese news site reveal a device significantly different to previous BlackBerry handsets and more in-keeping with the design ethos behind Motorola's Razr i Android smartphone.

The front of the purported BlackBerry L-Series handset is dominated by a glass-covered edge-to-edge display, a significant upgrade from the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha handset on which developers are preparing for the next-generation devices' release. The handset likely keeps the 1280x768 resolution of its predecessor, along with 16GB or more of internal storage which can be upgraded using an included micro-SD card slot. The front of the device also includes a front-facing camera and the usual silvered BlackBerry logo beneath the display.

Other shots reveal a 1,800mAh battery, a rear-facing camera with flash, and a micro-USB data and charging connector. A micro-HDMI connector is also included on the handset, providing it with the ability to connect to high-resolution external displays - suggesting RIM will be bundling film rental services, as its rivals Apple and Google do with their respective operating systems.

The BlackBerry L-Series handset will run BlackBerry 10, a reboot of Research In Motion's mobile operating system based on the QNX system found on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. While keeping BlackBerry's well-known reputation for integrated messaging services, the operating system is designed to take BlackBerry handsets out of the featurephone era and into the world of the smartphone with full support for HTML5 browsing, high-resolution displays and third-party applications - including support for some Android apps.

Thus far, a firm release date for the devices has not been provided by Research In Motion, following numerous setbacks and delays

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