The BlackBerry Q10 is the phone BlackBerry lovers have been waiting for. Original Blackberry owners who held on to their old Bold 9750 or 9900 waiting for it will not be disappointed. By the way my white unit is currently exclusive to Rogers in Canada.
There is no denying the Q10’s heritage. The design keeps the familiar BlackBerry silhouette, with a shape reminiscent of the Bold — curved edges and a four-row keyboard. The back has a textured feel that makes it easier to grip. In short, you won’t mistake the Q10 for anything other than a BlackBerry but, the rubbery rear panel feels good in the hand, and it is removable, revealing a replaceable 2,100mAh battery and a microSDXC slot, allowing the addition of up to 64GB to the Q10’s onboard 16GB. Next to the micro-USB socket on the left, there’s a micro-HDMI output, for piping movies to your TV, and, of course, there’s that hardware keyboard.
It is the reason you will likely choose the Q10 over the Z10, the once curved keyboard has now been straightened out and the metallic frets separating the rows of characters are now slightly raised for improved tactile feedback.The keyboard in a word is superb. Each key is shaped slightly, with the inward-facing upper corners raised. This makes them easier to locate with the thumbs, and the strip of spacing between each of the four rows also helps to avoid mis-presses. The click of each key is soft yet firm with a nice bit of travel, leaving you in no doubt as to whether you’ve pressed one, and there are no annoying lips or ridges to get in the way. BlackBerry got it right here, this keyboard is a joy to type on.
The screen above the keyboard while small is pretty impressive. As with the Z10, there’s no way to turn off the auto-brightness feature but, it’s one of the better phones at adapting to lighting conditions. It uses . BlackBerry’s Garber light optimization (GLO) algorithm to adjust the backlight, so it looks the same whatever the ambient illumination, and the AMOLED delivers bright, deeply saturated colours. But because of the AMOLED panel it doesn’t handle bright sunlight as well as the Z10. But the size and shape of the screen is another story. The 3.1-inch display is about 10 percent larger than the 2.8-inch LCD on the Bold 9900, and upping the resolution to 720 x 720 from VGA definitely helps too, but the panel here certainly looks and feels tiny compared to the huge displays found on other smartphones.
Don’t count on using this screen for a lot of surfing, gaming or watching videos..this is a business phone and it is all about the keyboard. There Q10 is in its element texting and answering emails. Because of that it is likely to attract former BB users who switched to Android or iPhone. A new poll from TechRepublic indicates that 64% of former BlackBerry fans who have converted to iPhone or Android in recent years are tempted by the Q10 to make the switch back.
TechRepublic ran the poll last week at BlackBerry live 2013 so the numbers may skew a bit high but with over 1,300 participants among TechRepublic’s audience of IT professionals and business managers, this poll had plenty of responses to make it statistically significant. at the same time Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt reported that while BlackBerry’s market share was just 6 percent in Canada in the fourth quarter of 2012, it jumped to 13.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013.
This is a nice phone, a true BlackBerry that performs well. Voice and data performance on Rogers LTE network was excellent and despite the relatively puny 1.5GHz dual-core processor under the hood running BB 10.1 scrolling on the touch screen was as smooth as silk, apps opened quickly and multi-tasking was flawless.
The 8 megapixel rear facing camera features the same the same no frills app as the Z10 that takes decent pictures indoors but under some lighting conditions outdoor pictures were washed out and lifeless. You will not be able to leave your point and shoot at home.
Bottom line this is the phone BlackBerry lovers have been waiting for. If you want a serious business phone that is at home texting or replying to emails then this is the one for you. The Q10 is available from the big three and their budget brands as well as the usual retail outlets. The price is $199 with a three year contract.