Reports: BlackBerry’s next phone is the A10, already in testing, out in November

BlackBerry(s bbry) plans to continue its smartphone resurgence effort with a new phone in time for the holidays. On Wednesday, CNET reported the BlackBerry A10 will be positioned as a step up from the current pair of new smartphones, the Z10 and Q10. Like the Z10 (shown), the next phone will be a full touchscreen device. Sprint(s s) will reportedly launch the flagship phone in November in the U.S.

The timing of this news actually coincides with some reports I’ve read lately at Crackberry, one of the largest (if not the largest) BlackBerry enthusiast blogs. Last weekend, a forum member claims to have seen and held the A10, which is codenamed the Aristo. The prototype was being used by a BlackBerry employee and while no photos of the phone were shared, some details leaked out and where shared by the forum member:

— Looks: looks like a samsung S4. Not as square looking as the Z10; more curvy. It also had the same backing plate as the Q10.
— OS: Running 10.2
— Hardware: I accessed the setting/about page and it has 2GB of ram and was using 800MB with no apps open
— There was a new menu in the settings menu: Backup. I went into this submenu and it looks like you can initiate a backup of your phone to a paired computer wirelessly. Pretty cool.

From the sounds of it, BlackBerry will get away from the boxy design found on the Z10, which could attract buyers new to the BlackBerry brand. Personally, I don’t mind the look of the Z10, but others are more fashion conscious than I am.

The bigger upgrades are likely in the internals, however. The current Z10 uses a dual-core processor and while the BlackBerry OS runs fine on it, there are better quad-core options now available that will improve overall performance, both for BlackBerry apps as well as Android(s goog) apps running on the handset. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the phone use a full HD screen, which is becoming the expected norm for many flagship handsets.