Blackberry Q10: A real winner [Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)]
(Gulf News (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dubai The Q10 is the phone BlackBerry aficionados have been waiting for and it's going to help the company, which has been struggling, to turn the corner.
It has the shape of the BlackBerry Bold and weighs just 139 grams. But despite its small size the Q10 feels really solid, with the rubberised glass weave finish giving it an attractive look and feel.
And the company has again proved it is the king of the qwerty keyboard. The keys on the Q10 are 30 per cent larger than BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 and are arranged in only four straight rows that are slightly curved inwards for faster typing.
All the keys are of same size and rows are separated by a steel rim The optical trackpad and navigation keys, which had many loyal fans, has been dropped to give more space to the screen and keypad. But, this should not be an issue as the Q10 screen is touch controlled. Also, if you type "TW" you are taken directly into a tweet by the Smart Actions feature. "FA" takes you to Facebook, without any need to surf the menu.
The 3.1-inch Amoled touch screen phone is powered by 1.5GHz dual core processor with 2GB of Ram and 16GB of internal storage (of which 10.5GB is actually available for users). It can be expanded up to 32GB using microSD card. BlackBerry could have gone for a quad-core processor, like many other flagship phone models.
The power/unlock button and headphone jack are on the top of the phone, the volume rocker on the right and the micro USB and HDMI ports on the left. The icons on Q10 are optimised for a 720 x720 pixels screen. The operating system on the Q10 is BlackBerry 10.1. The Z10 runs on the BlackBerry 10 operating system.
Getting used to the new user interface takes time. To access the phone, users need to swipe the screen from the bottom up. There are five home screens, another for previously opened frames and one for BlackBerry Hub.
All BlackBerry Messenger texts, emails, social media and contacts, among others, are managed through the Hub. Blackberry Messenger has both voice and video chatting facilities but they are blocked by the telecommunications operators in the region. If the voice and video chatting facilities are opened up, then the Q10 will become the king of smartphones. The icon-heavy applications grid is similar to the iPhone. When running an app, users can slide down from the top to get other options, or slide up from bottom to mimimise the application and see emails, messages and social media notifications The Q10 is designed for multi-tasking device and the apps run in the background. You can keep eight active frames open at any time, but only four can be seen due to the size of the screen.
Balance feature To see the other four you need to scroll down. The "balance feature", which allows separate private and business areas, will appeal to corporates. You can have a set of apps in each area, each with their own screen colours.
The predictive typing was my favourite feature on the BlackBerry. It remembers the input style of a user and presents the text options on screen.
Browsing is faster than with most phones I tested with the HTML 5 browser support test html5test.com. The Q10 also appeared to be a bit faster when opening pages.
The camera specifications for the Q10 are identical to the Z10. It has a rear facing 8MP camera with LED flash and is capable of Full HD video recording. The Q10 also offers a 5x digital zoom function, HDR mode and a great 360 panorama feature. The "Time Shift" feature takes a burst of snaps and then replaces the faces with the "best" face.
Pictures taken in bright light give detail and colour, but moving the camera too fast can easily blur the images.
For video conferencing, the Q10 has a 2MP camera that can take video at 720p. It has 3 x digital zoom function. The Q10 can connect with WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G LTE and Near Field Communication.
BlackBerry has put its largest battery so far, a 2100mAh, into the Q10. Due to the smaller screen and bigger battery, power lasts longer. During my test the battery was able to play videos for more than 12 hours. With WiFi on, playing music, emailing and using the internet, the battery lasted almost a day, which is pretty decent. It is priced at Dh2,699.
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