The Canadian smartphone manufacturer seems to be turning a corner with the new Blackberry 10 smartphone devices being launched globally since February 2013. The Z10 all-touch device was launched first, and this has been followed by their first QWERTY Blackberry 10 – the Q10.
It is a beautifully built device and the first thing you notice when you take it out the box, is how solid and rugged it feels when holding it. It weighs 139g and is well-balanced in your hand.
In terms of hardware, this Blackberry lacks nothing. It has a dual core processor with 2GB of RAM that keeps the device very smoothly.
There is 16GB of storage space which can be extended to 64GB if you add a micro SD card. The 2100 mAh battery has enough juice to last a full day, but as with modern smartphones, heavy usage will give you less.
Connectivity is fantastic and very stable, and includes LTE, which is a win – especially when you want to use your device as a hotspot.
An 8MP camera in the back shoots surprisingly good photographs, and the 2MP front-facing camera works well for video conferencing. The camera also has an LED flash, and supports face recognition, as well as time shift mode.
The 3,1 inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen initially feels small, but you quickly adjust to the size when you start using the fantastic keyboard. The two blend well together in terms of usability.
Blackberry’s unique selling point has always been their keyboard. The Q10 doesn’t disappoint. It has four rows of keys separated by a thin stainless steel band in between to keep the rigidity of the keys and give you a more accurate typing experience.
The one initial challenge users will experience is the missing trackpad. But you quickly find a work-around when you become more accustomed with the touch screen and the shortcuts in the Blackberry 10 operating system.
The unversal search functionality works really well on the Q10. Just start typing a name on the keyboard for example, and all the links like emails, SMS messages, BBM conversations, Facebook, and Twitter updates are displayed on your screen. If you type in email and aname, the email box automatically comes up. So the usability and shortcuts are really useful.
BlackBerry Balance is also another great feature which lets a user separate business and personal life by storing the data in two different profiles.
The Blackberry 10 app store is growing (they now have over 100 000 apps) but still remains the Achilles heel in the new platform. Having said that, most the key apps are available and the newly added Skype app shows the commitment to get the app store up to speed with and Android and iOS.
The Q10 is a beautiful device and the QWERTY keyboard die-hards will love this new device. As a business tool the Q10 sits right on top; it delivers what it promises, and the Blackberry security features on the device are brilliant.
It is fair to say that this is the best Blackberry ever made.