BlackBerry Q10 Review

The BlackBerry Q10 is the first BlackBerry 10 phone with a physical keyboard. It stays true to the BlackBerry of years past and will...




The BlackBerry Q10 is the first BlackBerry 10 phone with a physical keyboard. It stays true to the BlackBerry of years past and will attract BlackBerry fans all over who refuse to give up their real, physical keyboard. The Q10 combines the iconic form factor of older BlackBerry phones with a new, sleek design that is powered by the all-new BlackBerry 10 operating system.


 
The BlackBerry Z10 set the foundation for the BlackBerry software strategy for years to come, and the Q10 builds on it slightly with BlackBerry 10’s first significant update, OS 10.1. This operating system update features a number of enhancements specific to the physical keyboard design, including support for keyboard shortcuts. In addition to many of the legacy keyboard shortcuts being present, BlackBerry has also introduced Instant Action shortcuts to the homescreen experience, which compliment Universal Search results by allowing you to jump deeply into an application. Many of the native apps on the Q10 also take advantage of the new dark theme, which in addition to adding an extra touch of sex appeal to BlackBerry 10 also help maximize the Q10's battery life given its AMOLED display. A number of other updates further refine BlackBerry 10, including HDR mode in the camera and improvements to notifications.
On the enterprise front, 10.1 offers additional IT policies and controls for customers connected to BlackBerry Enterprise Server. This restores much of the utility of legacy BlackBerry handsets to businesses that need to have full control over their employees’ devices. This primarily means disabling features and tracking user activity, which is a requirement of big enterprise and government installations. This is an important milestone for the new BlackBerry 10 OS - it's the feature set the corporate world was waiting for before they could begin upgrading their fleets.
The Q10 will roll out globally, launching first in the UK before the end of April. In the U.S. market, the Q10 is priced to be available from carriers at a suggested price of $249 on contract and be available by the end of May. Keep it locked to CrackBerry for more info as carriers lock in pricing and release dates.

BlackBerry Q10 Features and Specs

The Q10 is sporting a 3.1-inch 720 x 720 display at 330 pixels per inch. For comparison's sake, the Z10 display is 4.2 inches and 1280 x 768, which works out to 355 PPI, while the iPhone 5 is 4 inches and 326 PPI at 1136 x 640. While the display sharpness on the Q10 is right up there with the best of them, you will be taking a bit of a knock in size for the sake of a physical keyboard, especially if you're putting it against massive 5-inch screens you're seeing in the Android world.



The Q10 is riding high above any previous BlackBerry OS devices when it comes to specs however. Packed inside is a dual-core 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 2 GB of RAM with 16 GB of internal storage. There is an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with auto-focus (yes, no more EDOF) and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera. LTE, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC - they're all here as well. Of course the highlights are the 3.1-inch 720 x 720 SuperAMOLED display and the full QWERTY physical keyboard.
One of the big things that sticks out here for us is the size of the Q10 battery. Coming in at 2100 mAh, this guy is far bigger than any battery we’ve seen in a BlackBerry to date. When you figure that the battery on the Bold 9900 is only 1230 mAh and the Z10 battery is 1800 mAh, you know that you'll be getting some amazing battery life on the Q10.

It’s obvious looking at the Q10 that it’s more closely related in design to the Bold 9900 than the Z10, and that was a conscious decision on BlackBerry’s part to maintain a sense of familiarity. The biggest physical difference is the missing trackpad and navigation keys (menu, back, send, and end buttons) which consequently made it unnecessary to have a curved keyboard to accommodate them. Still, the layout is largely familiar, and that’s a testament to the staying power of a design that was established as far back as the BlackBerry 8800 in 2007 (though it was realistically nailed down with the Bold 9000 in 2008). The last major flagship device from BlackBerry along this vein was the Bold 9900, launched in 2011, which still looks great today.
The Q10 definitely feels like a BlackBerry. It has the classic design and solid build quality. The edge-to-edge glass on the front display fits really tightly within the frame. The frets between the rows of keys, the way each key has an arc to catch thumbs, and the overall shape are all hallmarks of BlackBerry design. It’s a little bit longer than the Bold 9900, and only 9 grams heavier - enough to give that solid tool-like feel in the hand. The outer metal band hearkens back to the Bold 9900, and feels decidedly different compared to the composite, steel-reinforced frame of the Z10. You will find eye-catching metal bands through the keyboard frets which are a bit wider than before and angle downwards at the outside edges of the device.
The Q10 definitely feels like a BlackBerry. It has the classic design and solid build quality
There’s also a new band around the rear below the camera. The rear fret actually raises the device slightly, so that it stays stable when laying flat and makes sure the camera and rear surface don't get scratched up. The domed, unified rear has an altogether new feel, while (in the black model, at least) still incorporating the same glass weave material that BlackBerry's been using for awhile now. The white BlackBerry Q10 sticks with the divot style of rear that was employed with the BlackBerry Z10, though it’s slightly harder than the Z10 to ensure blue jean dye doesn’t rub off on it. In terms of construction, the BlackBerry Q10 is as tightly built as anything BlackBerry has made in the past, and feels like it could weather a long life of steady usage




The layout of the keys stays true to BlackBerry styling - a full set of QWERTY keys as well as both right and left shift buttons, an ALT key and a symbol key. The keys feel great and are very responsive. After typing on the Q10 for a while we fell right back into our old ways. The only real functional addition to the keyboard is the voice activation shortcut from the 0 key. Aside from that, the keyboard doesn't really bring anything new to the table, but that's okay with us. After all, the Bold 9900 keyboard was definitely our favorite to date and the Q10 looks to be right up there, if not better thanks to the increased size per key.
We’re also happy to see that keyboard shortcuts play a big role on the Q10 (as they should). Instant Action is a big part of the Q10 experience - it allows you to perform tasks much more quickly than tapping around to find what you need. Want to send a BBM? Start typing “BBM Kevin” and the Q10 shows the option to compose a new BBM to Kevin. So, rather than going to the BBM app or jumping into BBM via the Hub, you can quickly type out what you want to do and you’re off.
There are over 200 keyboard shortcuts scattered throughout BlackBerry 10.1, many of which you can see referenced directly in the system menus. This is huge, because many of the handiest keyboard shortcuts were never discovered by more casual users. These can help you get around much more quickly, such as hitting the N key in the Hub to hop down to the next message, or the Delete key to trash a message (rather than digging through a context menu). Saving these few seconds on common tasks every day will quickly add up to minutes saved, and help turn you into a productivity machine.
It goes without saying that the BlackBerry Q10 has the most comfortable physical keyboard you will find on the smartphone market. Sure, the stereotypical businessperson will appreciate the ease with which they can shoot out an e-mail, but women with longer nails have long had issues with touchscreens, and will be just as happy to get their thumbs on some real buttons again.
Let's put it this way: if you’re a physical keyboard person, you’re going to love the Q10. Period.

What about buttons and trackpad?

Of course there is no getting around the fact that the Q10 has no trackpad or navigation buttons. We’ve all been big fans of the trackpad since it first popped up on the Curve 8530 and it’s been a huge part BlackBerry devices since. Honestly, not having it does seem a bit odd at first. I found myself constantly reaching for the back button more times than I’d like to admit and there were plenty of “oh shit” moments when I aimed for the trackpad only to tap the screen instead. In short, it’s a learning process. If you’ve been a long-time BlackBerry user you’ll want the buttons and trackpad to be there, but they aren’t. As we found however, after you use the device for any length of time you should be able to adjust to the lack of buttons and trackpad. It’s definitely worth the couple of days it takes to get used to the new layout. Keep in mind that BlackBerry 10.1 introduces new cursor tools to make it easier to select text without a trackpad.
Another part of this situation is using the device one-handed. The trackpad made it very easy to get around, but don’t worry! The Q10 works perfectly fine in one hand, though those with smaller hands might have some issues.

BlackBerry Q10 Photo Samples

We also snapped a few random shots to get a feel for just how photos look when taken on the Q10. Overall we were very impressed with the results. Check out a few sample images below.




Q10 Memory

The Q10 has 2 GB of built-in RAM to keep things going. There is nothing holding back and moving around in apps, playing games and flowing through the homescreen and Hub are all super smooth.
With 16 GB of internal storage there is plenty of space for apps and games as well as a good amount of room for your media files. If you want to load up on photos or video you’ll want to throw in a microSD card for added storage. The Q10 supports cards up to 64 GB so you should have plenty of room for your extra media. If you go this route you’ll want to grab something Class 4 or higher

BlackBerry Q10 Summary

The Good
  • Classic BlackBerry design updated for BlackBerry 10
  • Physical keyboard is still awesome
  • Battery life is the best ever on a BlackBerry
  • Dark theme adds a welcome touch of sex appeal to the BlackBerry OS
The Bad
  • Smaller display may not be for everyone
  • Some users may miss the trackpad and buttons
Bottom Line
If you love your physical keyboard BlackBerry then the Q10 is for you - no question. If you're a BlackBerry fan but want to step things up, you may opt for the BlackBerry Z10 or even hold out to see what new devices come down the road. Overall we couldn't be more pleased with the BlackBerry Q10.
so you can use it for 1080p videos as well.

Q10 Connectivity

The Q10 has Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, NFC and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n with mobile hotspot. You can connect up to eight devices with the hotspot feature, so long as it’s enabled on your carrier plan. We ran a few tests on the Q10 and devices connected without a hitch and ran great on LTE.
Don’t forget DLNA support either. It’s an underrated feature that allows you to easily connect to other DLNA-supported devices to stream music and video out to TVs, stereo systems, and other supported outlets. For something more straightforward, you can plug the microHDMI plug right into your TV for flawless mirroring of exactly what’s on your screen.

source : crackberry



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