BlackBerry's long-awaited Rio handset may not be the high-end flagship previous rumors have been promising, but rather a Z3 successor with better specifications instead. The device, which is expected to launch next February, could deliver a better processor, LTE connectivity, and more for under $300.

"The Rio is an evolution of the canceled Manitoba project, which was the Z3 LTE," explains N4BB, citing its own sources. "The specs will be upgraded, but instead will position the Rio as a mid-range all-touch. You could think of this device as the 'Z20' instead of 'Z50'."

In addition to a 5-inch 720p display, the Rio is expected to bring a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and penta-band 4G LTE. It's also expected to have an 8-megapixel camera on its back, a 2-megapixel camera on its front, a microSD card slot, and a 2,800mAh non-removable battery — all of which could be packed into a shell measuring 9.5mm thick.

In comparison, the original BlackBerry Z3 has a 5-inch display with a 960×540 resolution, a dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.2GHz, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera. It also has a smaller battery, and only 3G connectivity.

Perhaps the Rio won't be as exciting as BlackBerry fans had hoped, then, but those looking for a budget, all-touch BlackBerry device could well be pleased with it — particularly if it costs under $300 off contract, as N4BB reports it will.