The BlackBerry A10 is making headlines lately as photos and videos emerge of the next flagship BlackBerry smartphone. I was fortunate enough to be at a local grocery store in Waterloo, when I caught the person in front of me of the checkout line using the A10. I took a double-take, but knew for certain it was was mystical 5-inch BlackBerry.

The A10 looked like a Z10 in shape, but the back plate was of course the glass weave. I immediately asked the guy once he finished his call if the phone was indeed the “rumoured” A10. He laughed and said yes. Much to my surprise, still in the checkout line, he offered to let me try out the device and get a feel for it.

The A10 was exactly like in the photos we have seen surface lately. He was unable to give me specs on the phone itself, but I got fairly good feel of the phone.

My first impressions of the A10 are positive in all areas. The body of the phone is robust, and has a sturdy weight that makes you feel like you are holding a gold brick. The A10 certainly looked professional, sleek, sharp, and felt like it was wearing a classy suit. Deep black with a fine layer of silver aluminum around the bottom and sides.

The bezel of the A10 was not intrusive at all. The larger display created the illusion that the bezel was even thinner than it was in reality. The glass of the display covered the entire remainder of the front of the phone, curving at the edges slightly.┬áThe A10’s 5-inch AMOLED display rendered BlackBerry 10 very much like the Q10 (i.e. PenTile).

The back of the phone was a single piece of glass weave material, it felt similar to the Q10’s back, just obviously larger. However, the battery is not removable. Overall, the A10 felt very nice, not plasticky, and definitely not made of cheap materials.

Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to explore the full range of features of the OS loaded on the A10. Nor was I allowed to take any quick snapshots of the device. However it worked seamlessly, and to full capacity taking full advantage of the increased screen real estate.

I was certainly impressed by BlackBerry’s first-ever “phablet” and those starring at the phone with me in the checkout line seemed equally intrigued.