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BlackBerry Q10 review

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Blackberry Q10 final

The BlackBerry 10 is a great phone for those looking for a smartphone with a physical keyboard, especially corporate users trading up from older BlackBerry devices. However, the BlackBerry 10 platform still has only a limited range of applications available.

Pros:

Great keyboard, vibrant screen, excellent battery life, host of business features

Cons:

Limited app ecosystem at present, BES 10 required for BlackBerry Balance, small screen size may irk some

Overall Rating:

4 Star Rating: Recommended

Price: £579.95 (SIM-free)

Manufacturer: BlackBerry

BlackBerry's Q10 smartphone is the first Qwerty handset from the firm to run its new BlackBerry 10 operating system, so quite a lot is riding on the success or otherwise of this device.

If some reports are to be believed, the company's first BlackBerry 10 OS smartphone, the BlackBerry Z10, hasn't sold as well as expected since it was released earlier this year. However, other sources have contradicted this, saying that sales have been respectable in markets such as the UK.

That's where the Blackberry Q10 comes in, as it looks to win over long-term BlackBerry loyalists who favour existing devices because of their excellent keyboard. Such users are no doubt overdue an upgrade to a more modern, keyboard-wielding BlackBerry device.

BlackBerry is also looking to win back those key corporate accounts with a slew  of onboard of business-focused features.

Design
The BlackBerry Q10 is one of the most attractive looking smartphones we've tested recently, offering a robust yet sophisticated feel, something that is somewhat rare on the smartphone market today.

Another thing that isn't widely available is a high-spec handset with a full Qwertykeypad, which might explain why we have been impressed by the BlackBerry Q10's design.

The Blackberry Q10 has a glass weave design

Unlike the BlackBerry Z10, which features a flimsy plastic back cover, the Q10 boasts a quirky glass-weave battery cover.

As well as lending some premium gloss to the device, this has proved itself to protect the handset against the elements. We accidentally spilt coffee on our desk covering the rear of the BlackBerry Q10, for example, but after wiping it off, we encountered no issues.

Long-time BlackBerry users may be pleased to find that the design of the Q10 isn't a huge departure from BlackBerry's now-ageing Bold 9900 handset. In fact, friends and colleagues remarked that the phone looks very similar to Blackberry's last generation smartphones at first glance.

Keyboard
The keyboard is the killer feature of the BlackBerry Q10, according to BlackBerry. And so it is - for those who are after a phone with physical Qwerty keys.

The 35-button keypad isn't too dissimilar to the keyboard on the BlackBerry Bold 9900, although the firm has removed the curved shape of the keys for a straighter, cleaner approach. 

Blackberry Q10 QWERTY keyboard

Thankfully, BlackBerry's new button shape works, aided by the larger gap between rows of keys. It may be a depature from the onscreen keyboards we've all come to know, but we soon got the grip with the physical keys.

BlackBerry has retained the predictive text feature found on its Z10 smartphone, which for those not too speedy at typing on physical keys, may just prove a godsend. 

We found the keyboard took a while to get used to, and after a good few hours with the phone we still struggled to find some symbols and numbers when tapping in passwords and email addresses. However, this is no doubt something most users will pick up quite quickly. 

The main problem we think BlackBerry might encounter is that physical Qwerty keyboards feel somewhat of an outdated concept, with the majority of smartphone users now adept at tapping on a touchscreen for speedy messaging. But for those who have been using one of the the firm's older BlackBerry devices, the improvements made on the Q10's keyboard are very welcome indeed. 

Next: Screen, performance

Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core
Display: 3.1in 720x720 Super AMOLED display
Storage: 16GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
Camera: 8MP autofocus rear camera with LED flash, 2MP HD 720p front camera
Connectivity: 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - all versions
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 - STL100-1 HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100 - STL100-2 4G Network LTE 800 / 900 / 1800 / 2600 - STL100-2, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0
Operating system: BlackBerry 10 OS
Dimensions: 119.6x66.8x10.4mm
Weight: 139g

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Carly Page
About

Carly Page joined The INQUIRER as News Editor in April 2012. Before becoming a full-time geek, Carly studied Journalism at the University of Lincoln, and dabbled in the music journalism industry. Carly's main coverage areas include mobile devices, mobile software, telecoms, mobile operators, social networks and anything Breaking Bad related.

View Carly's Google+ profile

 

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