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BlackBerry updates the Z10 with better cursor control, HDR setting, and more

Consumer Reports News

At BlackBerry Live 2013, the company announced that the latest version of the BlackBerry 10 OS, version 10.1, will be available for download on the BlackBerry Z10 as of today. BlackBerry also announced the Blackberry Q5, a QWERTY keyboard smart phone with a 3.1-inch display—but it's targeted for emerging markets.

BlackBerry 10.1, which launched with the BlackBerry Q10, improves cursor control and placement, adds an HDR (high dynamic range) setting for the camera and support for landscape and portrait views in calendar mode (with the Z10 only).

The company reinvented itself early this year with the introduction of a radically redesigned gesture-based OS, BlackBerry 10, and the two new phones that run it: the Z10 and Q10. We liked the phones, though only the Z10, a solid-scoring phone in our cell phone Ratings, is currently available in the U.S. The Q10, available in Canada, will reach U.S. carriers later this year.

Find the best model for your needs and budget: Check our cell phone buying guide and Ratings.

When it becomes available this summer, the Q5 will come in red, white, black, and pink. No other details about the product were available at this writing.

In other news, the company also announced that the Bentley Continental GT will be optimized for BlackBerry 10 phones. The car's "infortainment" system, designed by QNX, will provide support for BB10's video calling feature, though to ensure safety, it will switch off when the car is in motion.

It's important that BlackBerry continues to move aggressively, because a key consideration for consumers contemplating entering a two-year commitment on a smart phone is knowing that the phone they buy will be supported by apps, accessories, and other developments. Currently BlackBerry World, the company's app store, has only 120,000 apps, far less than what's available in either the Apple or Android ecosystem.

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