10 Things I Love About The BlackBerry Z10

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I’ve only had the device for a short time and already I am very much appreciating it. Here is a direct feed from my brain:

1. The back case is plastic. Nice quality, but plastic. Which is good. Because my BlackBerry is a tool for getting stuff done. I want to be able to toss it on the table without fearing a scratch.

2. I really like the fact the Z10’s NFC ‘receiver/transmitter’ is BlackBerry logo on the back of the case.

3. I LOVE the fact there’s a removable battery. LOVE it.

4. The on screen keyboard is simply the best I’ve ever used, bar none. Bar none. It’s fast, it’s incredibly accurate and I really, REALLY like the fact you can more or less type whole sentences without spaces and the system will parse it for you. The amount of times I’ve written somethinglikethis and then had to do about 21 keypresses to delete the word… gah. The BB10 keyboard parses somethinglikethis into “something like this” immediately without any thinking on your part.

5. Uniformly across the UI is the facility to turn ‘on’ password display — it’s just a little eye icon at the right of any password field. I can’t tell you how nice that makes setting up accounts. I have some complicated passwords!

6. When you’re entering passwords, the keyboard automatically expands to place a numerical row on top of the standard QWERTY input. Duh. Of course. This is a slap-head-stupidly-smart touch. Of COURSE. I really don’t enjoy having to constantly swap alpha to numerical keyboards every time I enter a password. Smart thinking, RIM.

7. The device feels chunky — it’s got a nice weight to it. A nice solidity. I feel confident in it’s abilities. I don’t feel concerned about damaging it. It doesn’t feel as fragile as the iPhone or a Galaxy SIII. It feels robust. Just what I want in a communications tool.

8. I really enjoy the thumb-interface. Hold the device in one hand and you can switch on the screen and peak at your email in a single fluid movement.

9. There’s no home button. No buttons to speak off (apart from those on the shell). To activate the device you simply swipe up from the BlackBerry logo on the bottom bevel. Bang. The screen appears and as you swipe up, the last screen you were using is slowly revealed in a rather pleasing blur. Pleasing enough to show off repeatedly to everyone you meet ;-)

10. The sleep function is really nice: Plug the device in and pull down the ‘night’ option and an attractive, minimalist analog clock appears in pleasing red colours but at a very low light level so the brightness doesn’t keep you awake. That stays active the whole time unless you specifically switch off the screen with the top button.

Ok I was only going to write 10 but here are some more that I can’t help but tell you about.

11. The BlackBerry Hub is now your central inbox to rule them all. It’s really nice to see it realised in glorious “HD” quality on the Z10 screen. Indeed it feels slightly surreal looking at the familiar RIM icons in high quality.

12. The super-app concept is live and well; so apps can easily integrate into your Hub. For instance, you can accept a LinkedIn request directly from the Hub inbox listing. Just tap and it’s done. No need to actually fire up the LinkedIn app for that. Similarly with Facbeook and Twitter.

13. I was initially horrified to find that Evernote was missing from BlackBerry World (the new App World name). Until I remembered that Evernote is baked in. It’s baked into the operating system now as “Reminders”. Just put in your Evernote credentials and there you go.

14. I will be dining out on the camera timeshift function for a long time. It works exactly as the team demonstrated on stage at the keynote last year. It’s brilliant.

15. Everything’s ready for 2013. The built-in sharing is excellent and fully functional. There are no compromises as with the last versions of the OS.

16. Video calling from BBM rocks. What’s EVEN FLIPPING BETTER is the ability to share your phone screen with the other party. Yes, you read that right. “Desktop sharing” of your BlackBerry. Heh. Really useful if you’re trying to make a point or demonstrate something. Or show off a particular email.

17. The browser is fast. Very, very fast. I think I’m right in saying it’s the best HTML5 compliant browser bar none. It’s really enjoyable.

18. I was concerned about how to attach the BlackBerry to an old BES5 server. I shouldn’t have worried. BB10 now has ActiveSync support — so provided you’ve got that enabled on your Exchange server, you’ll be fine. A nice move from RIM.

19. BlackBerry World is looking good. I’m going to try out some of the TV and movies, all supplied by Rovio. (I won’t yet comment on the app selection as I want to make sure it’s all live and operational first.)

20. DropBox support also appears built-in but I’ll need to confirm that. It looks that way. I haven’t had to download an app to get it working. Box is installed by default, along with DocsToGo. Editing a PowerPoint on your BlackBerry is now a realistic proposition.

21. For the first time ever, a video sent to me from my brother’s iPhone played without any jiggerypokery on a BlackBerry. As I commented above, BB10 is 2013-ready. Small things like this were missing from the older devices. They were capable, but only if the videos were formatted in a particular manner and so on. Now it’s seamless. And the screen is wonderful.

22. I like the Inbox delete function — they’ve placed it bottom right so it’s quick to access all the time. On that point, I do miss the keyboard shortcuts but the touchscreen definitely makes up for it.

23. The touchscreen just works. No lag, no messing around, no compensation required from me. And no double swiping because the system didn’t detect your first swipe. It’s all perfect.

Ok. I’ll have more for you shortly.

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  • http://twitter.com/JPSKILLZ Joe Peters

    SUPER review! What do you think about the March release date for the US?

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    I don’t think it’s too long to wait Joe!

  • Shediac

    Wait a minute. You don’t work for RIM?

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    No I don’t work for rim.

  • Shediac

    I was kidding. Your review was awesome and I’m forward to further reviews. Good job!

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    Ah very kind of you! I will have more soon!

  • john

    This is all well and good, but if it wont sync to apple macs etc, its useless to me, and countless other mac users….. apple are a disgrace for screwing up the syncing services of blackberry, and maybe others, but without the ability to sync calenders, a new phone is pointless….. i love blackberry, i love the keyboard, and Im sure the new system will be great too, but they have to take on apple for blocking them out of its system!!!!!! Blackberry, support your last faithful users!!!!! Do something!

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    I’ve no idea if it actually syncs to an Apple mac. Do you mean an actual calendar kept on a computer? ;-) All my stuff is in the cloud.

  • john

    Apple changed the sync systems on the 2 most recent iterations of osx, which stopped calenders and contacts syncing in both directions. When apple took everything into the cloud, they changed forever the syncing systems by taking the data into a cloud supposedly, the blackberry desktop cant access this new system of data delivery and hence it cant sync to ical and contacts anymore in both directions…… if i was a conspiracy theorist, id say apple did it on purpose, seeing everyone has a smart phone because it syncs calenders etc, if that doesnt work, what choice do you have but to swap systems! Id be lying if i said i hadnt considered swapping for that reason only…. but i love the keyboard, and hate the battery life of the iphone and touch screen keyboard is a nightmare when sending long emails.

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    Time to move your calendar into another more open cloud?

  • http://twitter.com/tagonic Tagonic

    Ewan – Ref NFC could you answer the following by any chance?

    1) Is it turned on by default when you first take the phone out of the box?
    2) Can you configure whether or not you want to be prompted for every interaction?
    3) Do they include anything in-box that suggests the phone has NFC / what you can use it for?
    4) Do they put any tags in the box?
    5) How sensitive is the NFC scanner in the phone? i.e. is it responsive to tags or is it a bit sluggish like the 6230?
    6) Can it read Mifare 1K tags baked with VCards etc?

    Thanks a lot for the review – sounds like an interesting device indeed!

  • http://twitter.com/Geekonomicon Geekonomicon

    OK, this all sounds great… but what is the battery life like? Still need to charge it every night like every other touch screen smartphone in existence?

  • http://www.i2SMS.com/ Giff Gfroerer, i2SMS

    Yes, but the bigger question is to buy the first version or wait for the bugs to be fixed in the second…?

  • john

    I havent been able to work out how to do that on the Bold…. I suppose id have to sync from mac to cloud, then to bold from the cloud, but im not sure that is possible.

  • Dennis Krøger

    Instead of letting their inner fanboy judge things, Ars actually decided to test the browser speed. And no, it’s not fast. Not even close.

  • garethjames

    I waited until someone had actually started to use one before commenting, and well, with the inclusion of Rovio as well, this to me sounds like the most Finnish mobile phone ever that is not a Nokia. 1, 2, 3 and 7 could be written for the 808 just as easily, just change Blackberry to Nokia. 6 is a personal duplicate as I still use the T9 interface so numbers are always there. 10. Nokia Sleep Screen. Except that does not need the phone to be plugged in and does not need any interaction past the initial set up.

    Honestly this sounds like the closest replacement to Symbian and the 808 that I have come across in all my searching so far. Blackberry get some serious imaging hardware on there, throw a bucket of cash at Jan Ole Suhr to port Gravity over (I totally refuse to merge my phone contacts with my social media contacts and I have not yet heard of a better “all-in-one” tool for dealing with social media on a mobile), add in all the usual Blackberry goodies and make sure it has at least as good as offline navigation as a 2012 Symbian Nokia and I am there!

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    they are listening!

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