Has BlackBerry kicked off a revolution with its BlackBerry 10? Well, I think that is what stalwarts have been looking for. The much-awaited BlackBerry 10 range of phones were expected to come with something magical to reignite the opulence of RIM (the BlackBerry maker), which lost ground to Android, iOS and Windows smartphones. And, there have been talks that BB10 will be a make-or-break device for RIM. Let’s take a look.
Although it was not officially released in United States but it is already being sold in United States which is probably the unlocked version of the BBZ10. And it is also available on a good deal.
There has been much hype about RIM’s new operating system and BlackBerry Z10, the first full touchscreen BlackBerry smartphone that has just been launched. But, if you want to stick to the classic QWERTY keyboard of BlackBerry, you have BlackBerry Q10.
Overall, Z10 has a simple profile that resembles iPhone 5, especially with its straight edges and rounded corners. The noticeable difference is that the rear features a plastic cover with rubbery texture for better grip. Measuring 66 x 130mm and weighing 135g, the 9.2mm device sports a smart look. But, the plastic chassis may not impress you as it detracts from the premium feel you would expect from a flagship device. The Z10 comes in black or white and will cost you about £36 for a monthly contract.
The power button is placed on the top, while the volume and mute buttons are placed on the right side. You will be surprised to know that there are no physical or touch sensitive buttons on the front, meaning that you are left with only touchscreen gestures for navigation. This is something different from other smartphones in the market.
- BlackBerry Balance feature
- BlackBerry Hub
- Ergonomic keyboard
Not so positives
- Steep learning curve
- Not-so-impressive apps
The 4.5-inch screen has a resolution of 768 x 1280 and gives a pixel density of 355ppi, which is rather high compared to other phones. So, you will see clear and crisp texts or images with good contrast and brightness.
The homescreens, app lists, widgets and inbox are presented in one interface, meaning that navigation is rendered easy. The homescreen is made of “Active Frames” or mini-apps that present an overview of each app, and you just need to tap on them to launch the full version. And, there is no back button to exit from an app. It requires a touch screen gesture, i.e., run your finger up from the bottom of your screen. Now, this is something you will have to get used to, as it is a total deviation from other smartphones.
The 8MP/1080p rear camera is something powerful. It features a “Time Shift” feature that lets you select the best smile of your subject after snapping. The 2 MP front camera can record in 720p.
The classic QWERTY keyboard is designed with better ergonomics to increase your typing speed and accuracy. Silver frets and extra spacing between lines are some nice improvements. BlackBerry’s onscreen keyboard is also designed to be as good as the physical version.
There is a completely new interface that resembles those of iOS and Android based devices. And, it is smooth sans any lag. The BlackBerry Hub is an innovative solution to create a universal inbox.
The BlackBerry 10’s QNX core is supposed to provide efficient power management. You can expect about 11 hours of talktime.
RIM has been touting about its new BlackBerry operating system, which has been built from scratch unlike other platforms that have been given upgrades. The new OS features BlackBerry Balance, a feature that makes it distinct from other phones. It lets you keep corporate data and personal details separate. Your company can set up a work profile using BlackBerry Enterprise Service without intervening with your personal data.
Z10 is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 2GB RAM. That makes me think of the quad-core processors and 8-core chips that are just round the corner.
When it comes to connectivity, Z10 features a Micro HDMI port in addition to the microUSB slot and headphone port present in most smartphones. So, you can connect your phone to a bigger display. You also get Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band Wi-Fi, GPS and NFC. And, Z10 supports 4G LTE mobile networks as well.
The browser is fast and features a Reader Mode that lifts text and images from web pages to display in an easy-to-read format. The BlackBerry World apps store has over 70,000 apps.
Z10 comes with an internal storage capacity of 16 GB, of which 4 GB is already used by the OS. And yes, there’s a microSD card slot that will let you use up to 64 GB cards.
BlackBerry 10 has some really interesting features, such as the BlackBerry Balance and Hub. It is indeed designed to compete with existing high-end phones, including the iPhone. However, app selection is not appealing and the learning curve is likely to put off some.