I often reflect on the “good old days” – you know them; the ones that were always better in memory than reality.
When I saw the early samples of the new BlackBerry Q10 I immediately had flashbacks of the various BlackBerry models I have used over the years. And the memories were good – really. BlackBerry has built the Q10 on a proven and successful platform, and delivered a great user experience.
My personal view is that you would be hard pressed to find a better keyboard on a series of mobile devices – many have tried but none have come up to the BlackBerry standard. Their QWERTY keyboard is to BlackBerry what the white corded headphones are to Apple – an iconic feature that no one else can truly claim as theirs.
Let’s take a closer look at the Q10.
Typing on a mobile phone using its physical keyboard is almost as rare and quaint as “dialling” a number on a fixed line phone. A lot of companies have tried over the years to emulate the BlackBerry keyboard – none has, in my opinion, come close. We live in a world of instant communications – browsing, texting, email and social media – are the norm today. Pew Research Centre conducted research on the Cell Phone Activities in 2012 for the American market and found that 85% of American adults own a cell phone and do much more than make a phone call:
- 80% send or receive text messages (22% growth over 5 years)
- 56% access the internet (31% growth over 3.5 years)
- 50% send or receive emails (31% growth over 5 years)
BlackBerry is well positioned to capitalise on these and other growth areas. Combining the physical keyboard experience with a 3.1” super AMOLED touch display really gives you the best of both worlds. I particularly like the fact that BlackBerry has put a thin strip of metal spacing between the rows to make typing just that little bit easier.
The Q10 features a 3.1” Super AMOLED display, 720 x 720 resolution at 330 Pixels Per Inch. Although 3.1” may seem small compared to other devices in the market today, it is in fact 30% larger than the BlackBerry Bold 9900, and 70% more pixels to enhance the view. Viewing in sunlight is not an issue, and I found the display was sharper than a lot of larger screened devices when playing back video and pics.
BBMTM with Screen Share
Long before WhatsApp, GroupMe and other OTT (Over the Top) Services were popular, BlackBerry had BBM, or BlackBerry Messenger – a way of texting your friends without using your carrier’s traditional SMS service (however, data charges may apply).
BBM has come a long way since the text chatting service I used to use. Now you can switch from a chat to a video conversation mid-chat – and even share a presentation or pics with the other party. The BlackBerry 10 platform has made adding friends to your BBM a lot easier. Simply enter their PIN number or scan a QR code.
I also like the fact that BBM has been added in to the BlackBerry Hub – giving you greater access to it outside of the application screen.
The Q10 has an 8mp rear camera and a 2mb front facing camera, allowing for both video and still pics. An easy to follow menu lets you set up the Scene (Auto (default), or Action, Whiteboard, Night, Beach or Snow), Shooting Mode (Normal, Stabilisation, Burst, HDR), Aspect Ratio (1:1, 4:3 or 16:9), Flash (Auto, On/Off).
In video mode, you have the choice of 720p or 1080p. My sample videos were comparable, if not better, to many other phones on the market.
The BlackBerry Hub is the place to find all your BBM, text, email, chat, Facebook, Twitter and more – in one place. To access the Hub, you slide your finger from left to right across the screen. To return to the standard application screen, slide your finger from right to left.
Balance allows you to manager your work and private life on the one device. With the increasing number of BYO devices in the workplace, it’s good to be able to separate your personal email, files, pics, music and more. In simple terms, BlackBerry gives your Q10 two identities without compromising either! (Requires the installation and hosting of BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 software)
BlackBerry has finally given the Q10 (and its stable mate the Z10) a web browser I am happy to use. No longer do I need to offer the very lame excuse that my BlackBerry was designed for email, not web browsing! Gone is the trackball or joystick that was needed to navigate (slowly) around a site. Navigation is now via the touch screen, and you can have multiple windows/tabs open at the same time. I found the Reader Mode useful when reading news sites – and switching between the two modes is easy. Screen size is not an issue here either, as you can zoom in or out of a screen using the traditional “pinch” method.
There is really only one thing I want to say:
Welcome back old friend – I missed you!
- Size: 119.6mm x 66.8mm x 10.35mm
- Weight: 139g
- Display: 3.1” Super AMOLED display, 720×720 resolution at 330 PPI
- Keyboard: 35-key physical QWERTY keyboard with backlight
- Software: BlackBerry 10 OS (Version 10.01)
- Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB Flash, hot swappable MicroSD slot (up to 32GB)
- Processor: Dual Core 1.5GHz
- Camera: 8MP rear facing camera Auto-Focus, 5x digital zoom, 1080p HD video recording, LED Flash, 2MP front facing camera, 3x digital zoom, 720p HD video recording
- GPS: Assisted, Autonomous and Simultaneous GPS
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy
- NFC: NFC-enabled to support mobile payments and file exchange
- HDMI: microHDMI out port
- Advanced Sensors: Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Proximity, Gyroscope, Ambient light sensor
- WiFi: Dual Band 802.11 a/b/g/n, Mobile Hotspot
BlackBerry®, BBMTM and related trademarks, names and logos are the property of Research In Motion Limited and are registered and/or used in the U.S. and countries around the world. Used under licence from Research In Motion Limited. BlackBerry 10 devices not compatible with BlackBerry Individual Solution