My initial thoughts were that sure, the launch of the new devices might be enough to prevent some existing BlackBerry business users from jumping ship, and perhaps convince others that already had, to climb back aboard but the new products would have no appeal to the general consumer market. As the result of my research, I have changed my opinion.
Unlike the release of the first iPhone, BlackBerry’s Z10 and Q10 are not revolutionary products. However, they are sufficiently compelling to convince many business users who were considering other vendors’ products to stick with BlackBerry. Additionally, the styling, performance and functionality will appeal to a segment of the consumer space that is looking for a fresh alternative.
Check out the videos below for some insight into the phones along with some positive reviews relative to the Windows Phone 8 and Android competitors.
BB10 vs. WP8
BB10 vs. WP8
Based on experience with my clients, a significant number of users are addicted to the BlackBerry because of a single feature: the physical keyboard! Unfortunately for them the Q10 won’t be available in Canada until April. After waiting this long I have no doubt that those keyboard lovers will be willing to wait for a few more months while some may decide to give the Z10 a try.
The BlackBerry Z10 has an impressive list of features and specifications
- 16GB Internal storage
- 4.2” Touch display
- 8MP Rear camera
- 1080p HD video recording
- 4G LTE Ready
- 1280 x 768 resolution, 356ppi
BlackBerry states that the battery offers up to 13 days standby time and up to 10 hours talk time. However, testers have reported 15 hours of battery life under moderate use and some have highlighted issues with battery longevity. The good news is that the battery is replaceable.
Testers have reported that the camera is not great in low light but the BlackBerry 10 does have this cool “Time Shift” feature that allows you to optimize the shot.
BlackBerry World has more than 70,000 apps. Since most of us consistently use perhaps only a dozen apps, that 70,000 number might seem to be more than adequate. However, your favourite app may not be available; for example Skype is not available. Additionally, compared to the iTunes App Store it’s harder to find free apps and many are not as functional. For example Flickr costs $1.99 and unlike the iPhone equivalent does not allow you to upload photos.
For some, the lack of a specific app could be a showstopper. If you have an app that you can’t live without you should find out if its available from BlackBerry World before switching to BlackBerry.
This feature is getting a lot of positive reviews. Essentially, it is a single mailbox that aggregates all of your messages and notifications including email,calendar events, Facebook, Twitter, etc. A left to right swipe allows you to peek to see if there are new messages and if so continue to swipe to open the hub.
Video and Screen Sharing
A cool feature of the new BlackBerrys is the ability to segue from a text chat to a video call. During the call you can elect to share your screen, which along with Office Suite, enables you to share a PowerPoint presentation or an Excel spreadsheet.
The BlackBerry Z10 has 1.5Ghz dul-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Combined with the new QNX operating system delivers snappy and fluid performance.
I am impressed with BB10, and the Z10 exceeded my expectations. The long delay in releasing the new products had a huge impact on their market share. However, releasing a product that wasn’t ready could well have been an unrecoverable error.
While only time will tell, I believe that BlackBerry 10 convincingly puts the Canadian company back in the game. However, the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 products are not revolutionary and that’s what it will take for BlackBerry to regain its leadership position in the smartphone marketplace.
BlackBerry Z10 Full specifications
- Height 130 mm / 5.12 in
- Width 65.6 mm / 2.58 in
- Depth 9 mm / 0.35 in
- 137.5g / 4.85 oz
- All-touch screen, with intuitive gesture based navigation
- On screen BlackBerry Keyboard (portrait/landscape), featuring contextual auto-correction, next-word prediction, and a personalized learning engine that gets to know the way you type
- Volume Up/Down, Mute, Lock (for Power On/Off)
- 1280 x 768 resolution, at 356 PPI
- 24-bit color depth
- 4.2″ diagonal
- 15:9 aspect ratio
OS & desktop software
- BlackBerry 10 OS
- BlackBerry® Link software for your computer to enable synchronization of data and media
- Dual Core 1.5 GHz
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB Flash
- Removable microSD memory card – slot under battery door (Up to 64 GB)
- USB 2.0 high speed port – allows charging and data synchronization of the device with a USB cable
- Micro HDMI for connection to your HDTV or projector
- 1800mAH removable battery
- Up to 10 hours talk time (3G)
- Up to 13 days standby time
- *Note: Battery life claims are for Model STL100-3
Camera & video
- 8 megapixel auto-focus camera
- Back Side Illumination for better low-light performance
- 5-element F2.2 lens
- Dedicated ISP (image signal processor) with 64MB frame buffer
- Flash, continuous and touch to focus, image stabilization
- Enhanced Super Resolution Digital Zoom (5x)
- 1080p HD video recording
- 4 DOF (Degrees of freedom) video stabilization
- Time Shift mode for pinpointing and adjusting individual elements of your picture
- 2 megapixel fixed-focus camera
- Image and video stabilization
- 3x digital zoom
- 720p HD video recording
- BMP, WBMP, JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, SGI, TGA
Audio & video formats
- 3GP, 3GP2, M4A, M4V, MOV, MP4, MKV, MPEG-4, AVI, ASF, WMV, WMA, MP3, MKA, AAC, AMR, F4V, WAV, MP2PS, MP2TS, AWB, OGG, FLAC
Audio & video encoding/decoding
- H.264, MPEG-4, H.263, AAC-LC, AAC+, eAAC, MP3, PCM, Xvid, AMR-NB, WMA 9/10, WMA10 professional, WMA-LL, VC-1, VP6, SPARK, PCM, MPEG-2, MJPEG (mov), AC-3, AMR-WB, QCELP, FLAC, VORBIS
- BlackBerry® Hub, Contacts, BlackBerry® Browser, BlackBerry®Calendar, BBM, Text Messages, BlackBerry® World, BlackBerry®Remember, Docs To Go™, Pictures, Music, Videos, Story Maker, Facebook®1, Twitter®1, LinkedIn®1, Foursquare®, BlackBerry® Maps, Games, YouTube®, BlackBerry® Newsstand, Voice Control, Weather, Clock, Calculator, Compass, File Manager, Box, BlackBerry®Connect for Dropbox, Print To Go, Smart Tags, Settings, Adobe®Reader, Phone, Camera/Video Camera/Time Shift, Setup, Help, SIM Toolkit, Search
- Password protection, screen lock, and sleep mode
- BlackBerry® Balance™ offering dedicated profiles to keep work and personal data separate and secure
Alerts & notifications
- On-screen or LED indicator
- Integrated hands-free speakerphone
- Hands-free headset capable
- Bluetooth headset capable
Network & connectivity
- Up to 4G LTE
- Quad band LTE 2, 5, 4, 17 (700/850/1700/1900 MHz)
- Tri band HSPA+ 1, 2, 5/6 (850/1900/2100 MHz)
- Quad band HSPA+ 1, 2, 4, 5/6, (850/1700/1900/2100 MHz)
- Quad band EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
- 802.11 a/b/g/n
- 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
- 4G Mobile Hotspot
- Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (LE)
- Assisted, Autonomous and Simultaneous GPS
- Preloaded with BlackBerry Maps application
- BlackBerry® Tag with NFC technology enables communication between BlackBerry smartphones and other NFC-enabled devices with a tap
- Proximity sensor
- Ambient light sensor