Blackberry Z10 Gets Update Before U.S. Launch

Tickers in this article: BBRY T VZ

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Even though you may not be able to buy one just yet, Blackberry(BBRY) has updated the new smartphone's operating system.

This morning, when I went to check my email messages that came in overnight, I saw a new system message listed in the Blackberry Hub that new software was now available. So, I pressed the proper buttons and the new software release, OS version 10.0.10.85 was downloaded and installed on my test Z10 unit.

The over-the-air operation took about one half hour from start to finish. That's more than I'm used to with modern-day Android phones but well within reason - especially for their first try on a new brand new device. The update is said to improve the way the phone handles third-party applications, phone calls, calendars, contacts, Gmail, photos, videos as well improving battery life.

I'm happy to report that so far, everything seems to work just fine. I've noticed the notification panel in the Blackberry Hub (where it lists new messages of all kinds - written and voice) is more refined and easier to comprehend with a quick glance.

The update is supposed to improve battery life, and I'll let you know if that's true after a week or so of in-the-field testing. I had found that the smartphone was capable of providing a full two days of service before the upgrade so I'm hoping for even better results with this new software.

AT&T(T) , T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless(VZ) have previously said they would be selling the Z10. The carriers are currently offering interested buyers a chance to sign-up for more information on their respective Websites. Actual Z10 sales are expected to begin later this month.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.