Last week I was one of the lucky few who received a BlackBerry Q10 review unit. My personal preference for a full keyboard had me waiting for this device since the company announced that they have acquired QNX. I have been using a BlackBerry Z10 for the past few months and I came to the belief that BB10 is made for a full touchscreen device. Then this past Thursday I un-boxed the first Qwerty BB10. It was love at first sight. Before I continue let me make it clear this is NOT a review of this device but more of my experience with it as my primary phone this past week. Our full review will be available end of this week and its one you definitely do not want to miss.
As I was setting up the Q10 i couldn’t help but wonder how will the OS behave in a much smaller screen. The “smartphone” has evolved from full keyboards to 5 inch screens and phablets. Surprisingly that has not been a major issue with me. BlackBerry did a very good job trying to make the real estate work with out compromising the experience. Let’s be honest, if you are coming from a Z10, you WILL miss that beautiful 4.2 inch display.
BlackBerry is known for their device quality and the Q10 doesn’t disappoint. I read somewhere that the device doesn’t feel like a high end model. I just want to emphasize that the device uses premium materials including the glass weave which is an exclusive material to BlackBerry. If we consider the plastic casing on the S3 a premium high end material then the Q10 is out of this planet. The keyboard is beautiful and works amazing. Typing on a Q10 resembles a lot typing on the Bold 9900. The keys are a perfect size which makes typing a paragraph a breeze. I do miss the track-pad but not because of need but more of a habit. The screen is extremely good and very precise which makes navigating through the device a very pleasant experience.
The OLED screen is beautiful but no where near the experience on the Z10. Colors look very good but not as bright or crisp when comparing the two side by side. I wanted to make this statement to be fair and honest but I have not noticed anything on this screen that would make me say its not a top notch display. We all forget that the Z10 has one of the more impressive displays available on any smartphone and we have been spoiled by it. Another favorite of mine is the dark theme. We all know that the reason behind it is the consumption of battery but hey its actually pretty cool. I absolutely love the dark BBM and when you combine it with the animated gif’s its just looks awesome.
The device I received had Skype pre-loaded. Make sure you check out our video on the app here. Playing around with the app I realized that its running a lot smoother than most of the android port apps on the Z10. Intrigued by it I side-loaded a bunch of Android apps to compare the performance. My results were crystal clear. The Android run time has been worked on and it performs admirably! Using Skype has been a pleasure and the app works and works extremely well. I never realized how much fun it would be having this app on my device and I applaud BlackBerry for working with Skype to bring us a solution.
My biggest issue with this device is the lack of apps. I don’t mean apps that are available on iOS or Android but lack of apps that are available on the Z10! To be fair this device hasn’t officially released yet and I am sure all the partners are in the process of making sure their apps are perfected for the Q10. But still no WhatsApp, no Kindle , no Espn ScoreCenter and worst of all no BlackBerry Travel. This device is a businessman’s dream and not having the BEST travel application available is an issue. Again I strongly believe that BlackBerry will make it available for Q10.
The Q10 battery life is AWESOME. Nothing much to explain or say here. This device lasted me 8 hours on frantic use. I’m talking beyond high usage. The Z10 would die after 3 and half hours of what I call “frantic” usage. On a normal day the device easily gets a full day’s worth of battery life. I hope BlackBerry improves the Z10 battery life as well because as of now its night and day.
The ear-buds sound beautiful and are designed even better. They fit excellent in your ear , something that I still struggle with when using my Beats By Dre ear-buds. I am a huge fan and can’t see myself using any other earphones as long as these work. I am not sure if they are available for sale yet but I strongly recommend picking up a pair if you can!
Last but not least I love the Active Actions feature on the Q10. I can pick up my phone start typing “Twitter ” then type my tweet and press post all with out having to access the app. It works great, it saves time and for people who are all business this is a feature you MUST have.
So after a week of using the Q10, I have decided that I will make the permanent switch. Superior battery life, a cool, yet functional dark theme, Active Actions and of course the best Qwerty keyboard make the Q10 a force to be reckon with. It is a time saver and the hardware feels right in your hand. BlackBerry got this one right.
Do you have a Q10? Are you using a Dev C? Let me know what you think in the comments
Stay tuned for our in depth review coming soon!