A Real Person’s Review of the BlackBerry Z10


My Z10

My Z10

As previously mentioned in a blog post about smartphones annoying me, I’m not interested in phone reviews by techie people because they just don’t mean that much to me. On that basis, I’ve decided to review my new BlackBerry Z10 in a way that I hope helps real people decide whether or not they want one. I’ve been using it a week or so now so I’m still learning but here are my initial thoughts; any comments and additions are greatly appreciated!

Aesthetics

This is one good looking phone. I’ve gone for the white option and I like it. When you open it up as well, the UI (user interface) feels much fresher and more modern than BB7 was. BlackBerry have brought their phones into the league of the competition with this handset in my opinion. The only thing is that like my previous BB and my Nokia before it, the screen scratches pretty easily which is a bit of a pain if you’re like me and hate covers and are clumsy!

Battery Life

This seems about normal for any touchscreen smartphone, I’m certainly not having to charge it any more than I was my previous BB and it seems to drain less power than my iPhone 4S does when it’s just sat idle.

Applications

OK, so the applications bit has me puzzled. Clearly I did not pick a BB because I am an app. fiend, that would have been a very stupid move. What I don’t get though is why some of the apps I enjoyed most on my BB7 aren’t available for BB10. For example:

O2 Priority Moments – WTF??? That’s pretty much all I can say on that. Why has it disappeared? Surely this is a critical app. for O2 customers???

FML – I LOVE FML. It brightens my day and whilst the iPhone app is easier to use than the BB7 app is, I had no issue with the BB7 app. What I have an issue with is the complete lack of app. for BB10.

Multi-Alarm Plus – everyone with a BB will know that they stubbornly refuse to allow you to set more than one alarm via the clock. I’ve had so many instances of accidentally hitting “off” rather than “snooze” that I always set 2 alarms. I used to have a great app on my Torch called Multi-Alarm Plus which fixed this perfectly and for free. BB10 has forced me into paying for a substandard app. that I am not loving so far.

Then there’s the Kindle app. It’s great that it’s available for BB10 and has solved my problem of taking too many books on holiday with me in a few weeks but why doesn’t it work the same as for other OS’? In the UK, the BB app. only lets you read what you have purchased online via a computer, you can’t actually purchase through the app. itself. Not a huge issue for someone who spends all day at a PC but still annoying. That said, I wouldn’t want to read a book on a tiny iPhone screen so you win some, you lose some!

Notifications

The red flashing light remains. One thing I hate about my iPhone is not knowing instantly by looking at it whether anything needs my attention. I also hate the way text messages show up on your screen, where’s the privacy??? I much prefer the subtle red light of my BB 🙂

I also love choosing what pops up and what doesn’t. I like that Twitter notifications, etc. just appear in my hub without the flashing light and they don’t flash up on my screen. I’m not sure if this is customisable on the iPhone but it sure is on the BB!

Predictive Words

Previously with the BB it would suggest words and you could tap them to use them if you wanted but now, it proactively corrects obvious mistakes and tailors its suggestions to your own writing style. This is amazing! Takes a while to get the flicking motion right but saves loads of time if you use quite a few long words as I have a tendency to do and day by day it’s getting more used to what and how I write so it has stopped correcting some of the words I often use that actually aren’t words. LOVE!

The Hub

So the Hub is the real driver behind BB10 and BB flow. Basically it means you can check all messages, notifications, etc. in one place by just swiping the screen so you don’t have to leave the app. you are in. At first I was a bit overwhelmed by all my Twitter, FB, texts, etc. in one place but you can also choose to filter it to e.g. just texts. I text a lot so being able to check texts without having to close whatever else I am doing is a winner.

I also didn’t really get the BB flow idea, in principle it seemed good but in practice it was a bit weird. After about 3 days though, I suddenly found my iPhone feeling clunky with its stupid button pushing to exit an app. This is a huge change from BB7 which made the iPhone feel slick. Good work BB, you’ve definitely overtaken the competition here and I am not somebody who acclimatises to technological change easily!

Switching OS

I’m not sure how easy it would be to switch your data from a non BB OS to BB10 but I’m sure they’ve thought of that and made it as easy as possible. For me moving from BB7 to BB10, it couldn’t have been easier. I literally downloaded the BB Link software onto my PC and it guided me through step-by-step of what to click and which device I needed connected. The next thing I knew, I had all my photos, contacts, music, etc. on my new phone. Even my calendar reminders…Fantastic!

Other Stuff

Techie reviews seem to bang on about the screen colours and cameras, etc. So…the screen is colourful as they are on all other smartphones. It has a camera, as do all other smartphones but this one allows me to correct my blinking eyes in photos and format the pictures without Instagram though! (But I never use Instagram anyway…so maybe more useful for you creative bods.)

Verdict

I’m very impressed with my Z10 and that comes from the point of view of someone who also uses an iPhone 4S daily. Most people I know who have the iPhone 5 say it’s almost the same as the 4S so I think it’s a reasonably fair comparison.

It’s easy to use and feels like a modern, well thought-out device with all of its components working well together. You may notice I haven’t tested it out for email and I haven’t mentioned the dual profile capability but this isn’t a work device and I don’t use it for email. Being a BB though, I’ve no doubt its email capabilities are brilliant – let’s face it, if everyone just used mobiles to send emails, we’d all have BBs because that’s where they excel.

Yes, it could be stronger in terms of apps but I tend to use FB and Twitter the most and they are obviously on there and following those, I’m usually just browsing and the browsing experience is lovely. The screen is a perfect size in my opinion and the device feels much less flimsy than the plasticy Samsungs whilst having a larger screen than the iPhones so for me, it’s an ideal match!

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