BlackBerry Z10 Review

CrackBerry dives into the highly-anticipated BlackBerry Z10 in the most extensive review you'll find anywhere! 

By Kevin Michaluk on 30 Jan 2013 11:00 am EST
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The BlackBerry Z10, the first phone with the all new BlackBerry 10 operating system, is finally in our hands. We're excited to have a new BlackBerry, but does it live up to the demands of CrackBerry Nation? The BlackBerry Z10 is more than just a new BlackBerry. It's the first BlackBerry that runs on the all-new BlackBerry 10 mobile computing platform. Not one line of code from the old BlackBerry operating system is present in BlackBerry 10. It truly is the BlackBerry experience re-designed, re-engineered and re-invented.

Thanks to this fresh start...It catches up to the competition in areas where BlackBerry fell behind...

Thanks to this fresh start, BlackBerry finally has a modern mobile platform that retains the best features of the traditional BlackBerry experience while eliminating long-standing legacy issues. It catches up to the competition in areas where BlackBerry fell behind, and with a gesture-based user interface and innovations such as the always-accessible BlackBerry Hub, is pushing the smartphone experience further ahead.

The first BlackBerry 10 phone is full touchscreen, which may seem odd to some considering the majority of today's 78 million communication-hungry BlackBerry subscribers are using models with a physical keyboard. For those who can't let go, the full qwerty BlackBerry Q10 will also be available in the coming weeks. Now that we have logged some mileage on the BlackBerry Z10, we're getting it. BlackBerry 10 has built a full touchscreen experience that even physical keyboard diehards will love.

Introduction to BlackBerry 10 and the BlackBerry Z10

Building a new mobile platform is not an easy undertaking, but it was something BlackBerry wisely decided it needed to do. While the legacy OS present on current BlackBerry phones remains best in class for communication and security, BlackBerry has been unable to keep up on the sexier side of mobile. The touchscreen and app experience on BlackBerry phones has sorely lagged the competition from iOS and Android. Ideally work on this revamp should have begun as soon as the original iPhone was announced in 2007, but BlackBerry continued to release new devices on the same platform without any dramatic changes for years to follow.

BLACKBERRY IS BACK

Once management finally realized that BlackBerry needed a kick in the pants, they began making key corporate acquisitions including QNXThe Astonishing TribeGistScoreloop, and plenty of others. It was from these companies that BlackBerry began building their vision for BlackBerry 10.

the blackberry z10 phone

BlackBerry could have taken the opportunity to make the wholesale switch to Android as many smartphone manufacturers have, but decided there's more long term value in owning and building their own platform. They chose the longer, harder road, but the better one. By building their own end to end solution, BlackBerry is in control of its own destiny. BlackBerry can differentiate from the competition. They can build services they simply would not be able to do without full ownership of the code. Though that decision has hurt BlackBerry for the last couple of years -- they likely could have brought new high-end Android handsets to the market sooner -- it's clearly looking like they chose the right path. Samsung, the shining success story of Android adoption, is already trying to put some distance between them and Google so they have more control. And smaller manufacturers in the Android space such as HTC are not succeeding due to slim hardware margins.

Without a doubt the BlackBerry Z10 is more than a bare-bones 1.0 product

That said, BlackBerry fully realized there's a thriving app ecosystem on Android, and took strategic advantage of its open nature to provide a seamless track for developers to bring their app creations to BlackBerry 10. While this strategy allows for easy onboarding of Android apps onto the platform, BlackBerry's Content Acquisition and Developer Relations teams have been working hard to grow the catalog of Built for BlackBerry apps and to ensure there is no shortage of apps on BlackBerry 10. These teams have spent the last two years going after the big name app titles and also building a loyal following of independent developers through regional Jam events around the globe.

Released in April 2011, the BlackBerry PlayBook was the first device built on BlackBerry's newly-acquired QNX platform. The PlayBook was a solid foundation in a lot of ways: it had multitasking power, it was stable, it had lots of processing power, but it lacked critical features such as a native e-mail client and a matured app ecosystem. To be fair, it takes time to fill out a new platform. Remember how the original iPhone lacked apps, and copy and paste? Likewise, it took years for Android to become what it is today.

While BlackBerry 10 is all-new in the phone, it's gaining the benefit of the development and "filling out" that went into the PlayBook since they share a common platform. Beyond that foundation, BlackBerry 10 has evolved dramatically in all directions since we first started seeing it over the summer. Without a doubt the BlackBerry Z10 is more than a bare-bones 1.0 product.

FOR PEOPLE WHO DO

So where does BlackBerry 10 fit into the competitive landscape? Building a mobile computing platform means making a lot of hard decisions, particularly when it comes to meeting user expectations based on previous experience and creating something new and forward-thinking.

Hub and Flow - for people who are always doing a million things at once!

First, there's Apple. From the get-go, they've aimed to create a highly usable operating system, that's generally good at everything. The need to keep things simplified stops iOS from excelling in any particular area. Then there's Android, which has aimed to become as widely adopted as possible by being flexible and developer-friendly. Of course, that flexibility translates into a lot of inconsistency in performance, both from the device and the app side. Then there's Windows Phone, if you can even consider it as viable competition. Aside from the clean interface, there's no solid stance for Microsoft's mobile platform - most consumers don't understand its value proposition and why they would buy it over the competition. BlackBerry provided a big window of opportunity these past two years to allow Windows Phone to gain traction and seize third position in the smartphone platform race, and Windows Phone has failed at every attempt. BlackBerry still retains the lead, and now that BlackBerry 10 is here we should see BlackBerry continue to build momentum once again.

It excels at being a triple-A communication and productivity tool

Coming back to BlackBerry, we can see that there's room for a platform that puts a priority on communication first. High-performance individuals with a hardcore "time is money" attitude need a phone that's always on and always connected. BlackBerry is positioning itself to be that phone making it as easy as possible to dive into action at every spare moment. This is done by making common tasks as readily available as possible, often by predictive, central placement. Also, optimizations for one-handed use helps users be productive when they otherwise couldn't be.

BlackBerry is building an OS experience that might not appeal to absolutely everybody, but ultimately, they aren't trying to beat Android or Apple at their own respective games - at least not quite yet. The gestures required to use BlackBerry 10 have a slightly higher initial learning curve compared iOS, but they're easy enough to learn and once you do it excels at being a triple-A communication and productivity tool. The BlackBerry Z10 is still good at everything else, such as gaming and media and web browsing, and it's even a device that's fun to pick up and use, but ultimately it's a phone that's actually GREAT at something.

THE BEST OF BLACKBERRY

There are a bunch of ways in which the established BlackBerry values are manifested in the brand new BlackBerry 10 experience. BlackBerry has ditched the trackpad and moved to an entirely touched-based user interface. Swiping brings user to the homescreen, to the all-important Hub, and gets users between apps. The Hub, previously Messages, takes front and center stage. It's accessible from anywhere with a fluid gesture, and ensures users can get to their communications from every channel and act upon them quickly. The Z10's word swiping keyboard, the Peek gesture originating from the bottom of the screen, and the new placement of the browser's address bar are just some of the ways that BlackBerry 10 is optimized for one-handed use.

 

The BlackBerry Z10 follows a long line of previous BlackBerry devices

In staying true to the BlackBerry DNA and translating that into a modern full touchscreen experience, RIM had to make a lot of hard decisions. Some of those decisions everybody will agree with. Some will take some getting used to. Others may disagree with other decisions -- especially depending on which platform you've been using prior to BB10. BlackBerry 10 has a set path that you need to buy into, but once you do then BlackBerry 10 begins adapting to you. We like what they've done, but I will be expecting to read some reviews where people don't like it - people who are completely set in their ways may not find the flexibility they want.

BlackBerry Z10 Hardware Impressions

Before we finally jump into the BlackBerry Z10 review, we should make note of a few caveats. As of writing, we've had the device for little over a week. Since we've been hammering the BlackBerry Z10 with tests, we haven't been able to get a particularly clear idea of how it fares under calmer everyday usage, but it should do just fine. There's a lot that's bound to change after launch, particularly BlackBerry World app selection and a few squashed bugs. We're going to be writing a LOT about the Z10 and BB10 over the weeks ahead - keep it locked to CrackBerry.  

BlackBerry Z10 Review - Hardware Impressions

Take note - we're writing this review for our CrackBerry audience - primarily for people who know BlackBerry and have been looking forward to "The Ten" as much as we have. It's a new platform. We know there are still going to be some gaps. The bottom line is you want this phone and we're helping you to better understand what you're getting into. For a deep dive into the software side, be sure to check out our BlackBerry 10 walkthrough.

The BlackBerry Z10 is a full touchscreen phone with a 1280 x 768 4.2-inch display. It's the first BlackBerry smartphone with LTE, and is launching globally with carriers around the world. The BlackBerry Z10 will be available in both black and white. As the official pricing and carrier rollouts gets announced, we'll update this post.

BLACKBERRY Z10 PODCAST REVIEW

 

The CrackBerry crew ready to podcast!

While you're reading, you can listen to the CrackBerry review team give their verbal review of the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry 10.

BLACKBERRY Z10 REVIEW UNIT UNBOXING

We've received a lot of BlackBerry 10 review units over the years, but none have been packaged up quite like the BlackBerry Z10. This isn't retail packaging, but we just had to show it to you.

BLACKBERRY Z10 FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS

When it comes to specs of the BlackBerry Z10, they're respectable on all fronts. In the Android race you see a lot of competition among manufacturers to constantly up the horsepower and display. With BlackBerry, it's about the overall experience. What matters most is the performance to the user. We're seeing much higher-end specs in BB10 devices than previous BlackBerry devices. If you think about the old platform, BlackBerry was always way behind in the specs race. Even when the specs got bumped up in OS 7, it didn't feel like the device could take full advantage of the power due to the limitations of the OS.

With the BlackBerry Z10, you're seeing a solid spec sheet and (more importantly) great performance from those components working together. You need to look at the total package and how the specs all work when combined together, which is a function of the OS, and then judge it. The Z10 hardware isn't pushing the envelope in the specs race, but they're definitely more than good enough to deliver a compelling experience.

BlackBerry Z10 Features and Specs

While it's not exactly a technical specification, the name of a phone is a spec that will get referred to a lot, and with the Z10 BlackBerry has set a new naming convention. In recent years BlackBerry Smartphones have always fallen into a device family -- Bold, Torch, Curve -- but the Z10 goes by just the device model, without a family sub-brand. Also gone are the four number device models - 9900, 9860, 9360, etc. The Z10 name has that classy upscale feel of a BMW.

As for how to pronounce the Z? Officially it's pronounced the BlackBerry Zed 10, except in the United States, where it's the BlackBerry Zee 10. Expect me to say both Zed and Zee interchangeably.

BLACKBERRY Z10 APPEARANCE AND BUILD QUALITY

BlackBerry has an iconic design, but that iconic design has always included a physical keyboard taking up the front half of the phone and a few rows of navigation buttons and a keyboard. In a world of touchscreen flat slab phones, it's tough to make one stand out, but we think BlackBerry's design team has succeeded in producing an all touchscreen device that still exudes BlackBerry.  

 

BlackBerry Z10 diagram

 

Examining the Z10, it's apparent that both the PlayBook tablet and Porsche Design P'9981 influenced the BlackBerry Z10's design. Like the P'9981, the Z10's display is covered by a sheet of edge-to-edge glass and set into a solid, single frame that extends the length of the phone. The chassis isn't made entirely out of stainless steel like the P'9981. Satin finished and functional, the outer housing of the frame is made of plastic combined with an internal stainless steel metal frame to protect the display and increase structural rigidity while allowing the 4G antennas to function at their best. Like the PlayBook, rounded corners and soft-touch rubber back make the Z10 feel great in the hand. The volume keys aren't identical to the PlayBook, but have a similar look. 

BlackBerry went from having the most buttons on a phone to the absolute least. There's not even a home button (physical or on-screen) since users swipe up to get home. Obviously the 4.2-inch display dominates most of what's going on the on the front of the Z10. The LED indicator is there at the top of the phone, which is becoming a more and more rare sight in competing platforms. We're thankful it's there though - it's what makes a BlackBerry a CrackBerry. The Z10 is the first BlackBerry with a forward-facing camera, which goes hand-in-hand with the new BBM video chat function. Ambient light and proximity sensors are nestled into the same array below the earpiece. The primary microphone is tucked subtly beneath the display, which is backed up by a secondary noise-cancelling microphone on top.

It's nice to see BlackBerry stick to supporting standards like micro USB and micro HDMI and not going into doing their own proprietary stuff

Notice how the top and bottom lips of the phone are tapered. This is a fairly unique design feature in the mobile space. This slight dip from either side at the edges make the Z10 feel as comfortable as a game controller in the hand in landscape. The top of the phone is pretty straightforward. The standby/power button is in the center, and next to it is the 3.5 mm headphone jack, and the aforementioned pinhole microphone for noise cancellation.  

The left side of the phone is home to the micro HDMI port and micro USB port. The micro HDMI is ideally positioned in the center, which lends well to landscape usage when a cable is attached - such as playing a game while plugged into your television. The micro USB port is immediately below the micro HDMI port. This is kind of annoying in that if you're trying to plug in your phone to charge in a dark room, you might be futzing around a bit accidentally trying to put it in the wrong hole. Remember, micro USB is the bottom one. It's nice to see BlackBerry stick to supporting standards like micro USB and micro HDMI and not going into doing their own proprietary stuff. 

The playback controls on the side of the device are made of stainless steel. Not only does the middle button with raised indentation handle pausing, playing, and muting, it also actives the new BlackBerry 10 Voice Control.At the bottom of the BlackBerry Z10, you'll find the speaker out port, which conveniently acts as the place where you press in a fingernail to then gently peel the battery door off. 

If you're moving from the iPhone 5 to the Z10 and need to insert a nano SIM with an adapter, you're going to have to do some fancy tilting

The battery door on the black Z10 has a nice soft touch rubber finish that looks and feels even better than the PlayBook in hand. On the white version, the door has a slightly harder feel, but still comfortable. The BlackBerry logo is big and proud in the middle, surrounded by a divot-marked texture. The battery door has a cutout for the 8 megapixel camera with flash (yes there's autofocus, but more on that later). The design here is pretty basic - there's no jewellery-like integration of camera into the design, which we appreciate. While not visible from the outside of the phone, the inner-back of the battery door has an NFC antenna integrated into it. This implementation is the same as we have seen on recent BlackBerry 7 Smartphones

Under the hood you'll find a battery slot that fits a 1800mAh LS1 battery. The battery needs to be removed to access the micro SIM card slot. On that note, it's worth mentioning that this is the first BlackBerry phone with a micro SIM. Keep in mind that if you're moving from the iPhone 5 to the Z10 and need to insert a nano SIM with an adapter, you're going to have to do some fancy tilting, but it's doable. There's also a hot-swappable micro SD memory card slot back there with clear color coding and diagrams so people don't mess up and put their SIM in by accident. 

BLACKBERRY Z10 DESIGN PHILOSOPHY

When we received our BlackBerry Z10 review unit, we had the opportunity to sit with BlackBerry's Senior Industrial Designer Joseph Hofer to talk about the thinking that went into the BlackBerry Z10's design. Joseph has also worked on other iconic BlackBerry designs including the Bold 9000 and 9900. Talking to him about the design of the Z10, it's clear just how much painstaking thought and effort goes into the design of a BlackBerry. No decision is made haphazardly. Everything you see is done for a specific reason.

BlackBerry's Joseph Hofer (right), talks about the BlackBerry Z10's design

The 4.2-inch display was specifically chosen to offer the best balance between one-handed and two-handed use. They could have gone bigger or smaller if they wanted, but 4.2 inches hit the sweet spot. At that size, most people can still use the phone with one hand comfortably, but any bigger than that and reaching the far side of the keyboard with one thumb becomes difficult. As is, it's roomy enough to allow two thumb typing that feels comparable to typing on a classical physical BlackBerry keyboard.

BlackBerry Z10

The primary design goal for the BlackBerry Z10 was to achieve a simple, understated, timeless elegance. The hardware is strictly there to set the stage for BlackBerry 10 to shine, which means cutting down on distracting design elements. This includes the removal of convenience keys from the sides of the phone and the charging contacts from the bottom. The convenience keys are built into software now, which helps reduce number of parts, the price, and increases durability. Elsewhere on the software side, things like delete confirmations are placed just a little bit out of way so that you don't accidentally tap them. Subtle touches like that are very intentional. The way the ends of the phone slope down on the front and bottom of the device feels comfortable in the hand in landscape, natural pressed against your ear while talking, and slides into your jean pocket easily without catching. It's designed for utility, but it also looks good too.

BlackBerry Z10

In terms of weight and shape and materials used, the design goal for the BlackBerry Z10 is to instill confidence. It was meant to feel durable, comfortable and secure in the hand, and it succeeds on these fronts. BlackBerry used durable materials on high wear items like the the volume and standby keys, plus they're easily identified in the dark.

In-hand, the Z10 feels better than the iPhone 5, Galaxy S3, HTC One X, Nexus 4 and Lumia 920

The soft-touch textured back of the device focuses on comfort. Though designers hate part lines by nature, that of the battery door is done on the Z10 in such a way that it feels great in the hand. Internally, BlackBerry debated back and forth on even having a battery door (as opposed to sealing the battery internally. While the current design does introduce a parting edge, it also allows BlackBerry to hide things away like the SIM and micro SD slots, which would have otherwise been relocated to the side frame. So, having the removable door serves a benefit, and of course allows users to put in a new battery should the need arise. 

Picking the BlackBerry Z10 up, the phone feels pretty much perfect in hand. It really does hit a sweet spot on every metric of measurement. At 135 grams on the CrackBerry scale, the Z10 just feels right. It's not too heavy, not too light, not too wide, not too skinny. The battery door make it really comfortable to hold. It's not the thinnest smartphone on the market, but it's not thick either - it's just about perfect in terms of creating a comfortable grip. The BlackBerry Z10 has a quality feel to it through and through - nothing feels cheap. The BlackBerry Z10 can take a fall too. Over the course of our week with the Z10, I managed to accidentally knock it off a counter and it fell hard to the floor. The Z10 survived 100% intact. 

Having used Android and iOS devices extensively the last six months while on my Mobile Nations World Tour, the Z10 trumps the competition hands-down when it comes to feel. In-hand, the Z10 feels better than the iPhone 5, Galaxy S3, HTC One X, Nexus 4 and Lumia 920. Thinner and lighter doesn't always translate into better - at the end of the day it's about how it feels and I think BlackBerry's team nailed both the look and feel of the Z10.

BLACKBERRY Z10 TOUCHSCREEN DISPLAY

The BlackBerry Z10's 4.2-inch display sports a resolution of 768x1280, clocking in at 356 pixels per inch. The iPhone 5 in comparison has a 4-inch display with 326 PPI. The hardened display glass features a new technology called Touch On Lens, where the touch technology is applied to the back side of the cover glass to eliminate the need for a separate touch panel. This allows BlackBerry to achieve a thin design. Under the finger, the display was always extremely responsive. 

The BlackBerry Z10

 

The BlackBerry Z10's display was very sharp. When viewing tiny fonts in the web browser in our comparisons, the Z10's display more than held its own. It killed the Galaxy S3 and Lumia 920. Only the iPhone 5's display was on par. On the color and brightness front, we discovered our particular Z10 unit had a bit of an issue with its display. When comparing our Z10 unit directly to some of the competition we found the display temperature to be a little on the warm side. Putting the display under a jeweller's loupe, we found some whites rendered on the Z10 with just a tinge of yellow. Also, when all devices were set to their brightest, our Z10's display didn't feel quite bright enough. We reached out to BlackBerry on this, and after comparing it to other newer production units found it was an issue with our particular review unit. We'll keep our eye on this - hopefully there's no bigger issue there. Looking at other units, on the brightness and color spectrum the Z10's display looked great. 

The BlackBerry Z10's display has excellent sharpness and clarity for reading small fonts
 

Oh yeah... one more thing to say about the Z10's touchscreen. Smudges happen.

TYPING ON THE BLACKBERRY Z10

Normally we put keyboards into the hardware section, though on Z10 it's technically software. Old habits die hard though.

BlackBerry aims to have to the best-in-class keyboard experience, be it on touchscreen or physical keys. They've always had the best physical keyboards, and now with BlackBerry 10 they have the best software keyboard too. The BlackBerry 10 typing experience aims to be good enough to appeal to traditional two-thumb BlackBerry typists and in practice, I have quickly come to the love the BB10 keyboard. Most of us are thinking the Z10 will be the BB10 phone to have even when the physical keyboard counterpart device comes out. That says a lot.

The swiping of words becomes more compelling when typing one-handed

From a design standpoint, you'll see the familiar frets between each row of keys, but those are there for more than just ergonomic spacing. Instead of showing suggested predicted words above the virtual keyboard as in previous touchscreen BlackBerry devices, suggested words float on those frets above the next letter in the word. To insert the word, you just swipe up from the key.

Each user will figure out their own fastest way of typing on the Z10. For myself, I've found when typing with two hands, I avoid the flicking of words unless it's a hard, long word, or it's a word I don't really know how to spell (but the keyboard magically does). The word-flicking looks cool, but for two-handed typing it's not that helpful if you're already a fast typist. Your fingers are going faster than your brain can register the suggestions, plus your hands are covering up most of the suggestions anyways. At least that's the case for me - I'm sure we'll see a lot of fast-swiping users emerge. That said, the most popular word suggestions show up on the spacebar and more often than are correct - getting in the habit of looking for that word and tapping the spacebar will speed you up.

"Super amazing keyboard, fastest browser, fantastic true multitasking. How can you not love it...unless of course you are one of the Isheep." pididipop, CB member

The swiping of words becomes more compelling when typing one-handed as you're typing more slowly anyway, so can see the suggestions and your second thumb is out of the way. Flicking words will make a slow typist faster, and give you more control in adverse typing situations, but a fast two-thumb typist will most likely find themselves ignoring prediction suggestions on the frets. That's not a bad thing. Flexibility and options are good. You can also remove the flicking keywords and put them in three columns above the keyboard, or just turn off predictions altogether.  

In general, the size of the keyboard and response rate of the typing is good enough to allow you to just fly with two thumbs blazing. Auto-correction is working really well and can save you from a lot of spelling mistakes. I pretty much type as fast as I can, not worrying too much about accuracy, and let auto-correction do it's thing. On that note, it's nice to see that you can still program keyboard word substitutions into BB10. The traditional defaults are still there - "BB" and hitting the spacebar will give you "BlackBerry", "mypin" will give your PIN number, and "myver" your software version.

Protip: Turning on keyboard pop-ups in the settings is helpful. It's easier to see what you've tapped than the default visual feedback.

 

For the last six months I have spent a lot of time typing on touchscreens, and can now type pretty well on all of them. You just have to learn the way they want to be typed on. iPhone 5 seems to work best if you only type with one thumb since autocorrect seems to fall apart when you start making mistakes with a second input on the keyboard. The Windows Phone 8 keyboard was alright, but not as forgiving. On a device like the Lumia 920, the keyboard was always closing accidentally due to the location of the back button, so I had to learn to hold the phone in an uncomfortable way. On Android the best keyboard I got used to was SwiftKey on the One X, which was nicer hardware to hold than the Samsung Galaxy S3, and typed pretty well after a few tweaks. Swype on Android was interesting to try, but I found I always had to be on the ball while typing - there's never that feel of a natural typing rhythm. Overall, I've liked the BB10 keyboard the best as it's the most flexible and the feel of the Z10 hardware just works with it.

Comparing keyboards: BlackBerry Z10, iPhone 5, Galaxy 3, Lumia 920
 

Flicking words works well with one hand and in bumpy environments, plus punctuation works well. A Single flick down on the keyboard gives you one alternate character before returning to main keyboard, but hitting the dedicated symbol button, you can pound out several exclamation points before tapping again to return to normal keyboard. A long press on a letter inserts the capital for the letter (no shift required), or alternate characters can be selected. To delete words, you can swipe left on the keyboard too - definitely a handy gesture.

Multilanguage support isn't one I'll use that much, but I know a lot of people who are looking forward to that tremendously. The BlackBerry 10 keyboard will support three languages at once. And in total over 30 languages are supported and more are on the way. To the people on Twitter who keep bugging me about support for Ukrainian, I'm not seeing it yet. Hopefully it'll be there soon. :)

BlackBerry Z10

If you're typing in a password field the numbers show above the letters so you don't have to swap between the two, which makes the process quick and easy.

Overall, I really am happy with the touchscreen keyboard on the BlackBerry Z10. It's fairly well-known that RIM is working with SwiftKey on the predictive engine, but the work that BlackBerry has done to really make this their own keyboard has paid off. It's evolved a long way since we first started typing on it back at BlackBerry World in May. The tuning and tweaking has turned the keyboard into a seriously efficient typing machine. I'm sure people's experiences on it are going to vary based on how naturally gifted they are as a typist and what they've used before, but as a BlackBerry user I'm super-impressed.

BLACKBERRY Z10 FOR PHOTOS AND VIDEO

The BlackBerry Z10 has an 8 megapixel camera on the back with autofocus and LED flash capable of shooting 1080p video, while there's a 2 megapixel camera on the front that shoots video at 720p. Let's take a look at how the rear shooter stacks up against the competition.

Time Shift Camera on BlackBerry 10

The snazziest feature in the BlackBerry Z10's camera app is TimeShift. BlackBerry has been showing it off for a while, and it basically lets users dial back the time on certain pictures so that people aren't making less-than-ideal faces in it (like blinking mid-shot). TimeShift has its own shooting mode, and though it's useful under the right circumstances, not being able to use flash limits functionality.

BlackBerry Z10 Camera Comparison

"BBM video chat = facetime, will be equally useless because it's on WiFi only..." iridium7777, CB member

Under normal shooting mode, the camera is very quick, allowing users to shoot pictures in rapid succession. There's no panorama mode just yet, but no doubt we'll see a bunch of third-party apps coming out of the woodwork to fill in any functionality gaps.

Low light shots aren't particularly impressive on the Z10, but there are very few smartphone cameras that do well under those conditions (the Lumia 920 was basically the only one that did OK in our tests). That said, the BlackBerry Z10 will do a decent job meeting the photographic needs of most everyday users.

BLACKBERRY Z10 AS A PHONE

Using the BlackBerry Z10 to place a call

The phone call quality is good. I always call the same people on the same carrier in the same area when I get a new phone, and calls came through crystal clear. The speakerphone performed with the quality we have come to expect from BlackBerry over the years. No complaints here.

 

As for music, use the excellent headphones packaged with the device or take advantage of Bluetooth; music played back through the device speaker starts to get tinny and blow out a bit as you crank the volume.

HELLO 4G LTE SPEEDS

The Z10 is the first BlackBerry Smartphone to support LTE, though not in all markets. There are two different chipset models of BlackBerry Z10. The LTE variants use a different variant than the HSPA+ variant.

Kevin is Blown Away by the LTE speeds on the BlackBerry Z10.

Blown Away by the 4G LTE Speeds 

LTE really is the bomb. It's awesome to finally download apps and files at uber fast speeds. I accessed a 300 MB video file via the Dropbox app and it started streaming immediately. Just awesome. We ported the Android Speedtest app over to BB10 and sideloaded it onto Z10, getting 15 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up over Rogers LTE in Toronto.

With a device like this, don't expect it to be conserving data like you did on old BlackBerry devices. You'll end up chewing through a lot more data. Don't expect to be seeing too many unlimited data plans offered by carriers for BlackBerry 10 phones.

OTHER BLACKBERRY Z10 ESSENTIALS

BlackBerry Z10 Battery

The BlackBerry Z10 has an 1800mAh battery, dubbed the LS1. I've been using the BlackBerry Z10 so much that it's been hard to do a proper battery test, but under normal use it looks like it should *hopefully* / maybe be able to get through the day, especially if you're around WiFi or in areas with strong coverage. Around the CrackBerry HQ we managed to pick one day to try and use the phone in a more "normal" manner, and we made it through the day. That said, flying into New York for the BlackBerry 10 Launch Event, we found once roaming and up on the 20th floor, the Z10 ate through battery life pretty fast. 

 

The BlackBerry Z10 battery

In any case, we'll be keeping our eyes on battery life and do more battery tests soon. The good news is the battery door is removable, and power CrackBerry users will always keep a spare battery handy. The new BlackBerry Z10 Battery Charger Bundle also makes it really easy to both charge your phone and a spare battery at the same time.

BlackBerry Z10 Memory 

The BlackBerry Z10 ships with 2GB of RAM. You can tell the extra GB over what was in the Dev Alpha B helps to smooth performance, and there's 16 GB of built-in storage. Unlike the legacy BlackBerry operating system, apps don't get installed onto device ram and compete with system resources; they're installed on the media memory. Memory is expandable to up to 32 GB through micro SD, though we formatted a 64 GB card in the Z10 and it was working fine.

Connectivity 

Bluetooth 4.0 Low Power, GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n are all there as you'd expect in the BlackBerry Z10. Mobile Hotspot functionality supports up to 8 devices and is easy to setup. We connected a Nexus 4 which showed over 5 MB/S down and up via Rogers via SpeedTest. DLNA works flawlessly on the BlackBerry Z10 too, allowing the streaming of music and movies to and from the phone to other devices that support the standard.

BLACKBERRY Z10 ACCESSORIES

What comes with your Z10 in the retail package will likely vary based on your carrier. If you don't get what you need, don't worry - there are lots of accessories coming to the Z10, both from BlackBerry and third parties. Keep it locked to ShopCrackBerry.com for everything as it comes in!

BlackBerry Z10 Accessories

You can pre-order BlackBerry Z10 casesBlackBery Z10 batteriesBlackBerry Z10 chargers and more, and stock is already beginning to arrive for some accessories. Our review unit came with a new set of headphones and a new wireless BlackBerry mini speaker. We've been passing the new BlackBerry headphones around the CrackBerry HQ all week, and everybody loves them. They're light in weight, comfortable and the sound is very natural.

BLACKBERRY Z10 PERFORMANCE

Overall, BlackBerry 10 feels super, super responsive. The 1.5 Ghz dual core processor matched with 2 GB of RAM tied to BB10 OS delivers a very fast and fluid response. There's no lag whatsoever as you flow through the OS. There's really no comparison to be made to BlackBerry 7 and older devices. The Z10 kicks things up to a whole new level of performance. Older BlackBerry smartphones would just see a bump up in specs, but somehow always felt limited by the architecture of the OS. It feels like BlackBerry 10 fully leverages the hardware available.

The Z10 kicks things up to a whole new level of performance

Like all BlackBerry devices, the Z10 feels great and has great build quality. After waiting so long for BlackBerry 10, it would have been nice to see a device that was at the leading edge of the specs race. Z10 comes up with good specs, and delivers great performance, but there are areas where we could be wowed a bit more. The display has the pixel density, but doesn't seem as good as it could be. The camera is good, but given how much people take pictures these days it would be great to see a camera that was outstanding.

We always want to leave something on the list for the next device, and we would love to see wireless charging, a glove-friendly touchscreen come into the mix (like the Lumia 920 - some of the Crack team is from Canada, remember), though we'd hate to see the Z10 get bulky like that 920. A waterproof berry would be nice too (like the Xperia Z), though we'd probably have to sacrifice the removable battery door to get there, and we like having that.

Overall, the BlackBerry Z10 is a great piece of kit, and it really sets the stage for the all new BlackBerry 10 operating system.

BlackBerry 10 OS Impressions

BlackBerry 10 is all-new, and with it comes an entirely new touchscreen-optimized user interface along with some compelling new innovations. The gesture-based flow experience of BlackBerry 10 always keeps you moving, and the always-accessible BlackBerry Hub is a polished solution to efficiently managing the influx of messages we have coming at us from every direction, be it e-mail, phone, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else.

A NEW OS FOR THE NEXT 10 YEARS OF BLACKBERRY

BlackBerry desperately needed a new operating system to build on for the next ten years. While today's BlackBerry 7 smartphones are still the best in class for communications and security, they fell behind on the sexier side of mobile. Namely, the touchscreen and app experiences were lacking. Remember, the core of the current operating system that powers in-market BlackBerry devices is over 10 years old, and at the heart of it is still the two-way email pager that put BlackBerry on the map. When that OS was originally built, it was never intended to do the things that it is doing today. BlackBerry continually built up on top of that operating system over the years, adding new features -- and occasionally breaking things along the way -- as they kept adding to it. The BlackBerry user interface was never designed for touchscreen input from the beginning. BlackBerry fought with the OS to adapt it to accept touchscreen input - but most longtime BlackBerry users preferred to ignore the touchscreen and use the trackpad for navigation, as that's what felt more natural on that OS. Eventually legacy issues persist to the point where you can do no more with a platform. In hindsight, it's actually amazing to think just how much mileage BlackBerry got out of that operating system.

BlackBerry 10 OS!   

A new mobile platform gave BlackBerry the chance to fix all of their historical issues, and that's exactly what they did. All of the things we have complained about for years as BlackBerry users are 100% eliminated in BlackBerry 10. No more battery pulls. No more hourglass showing up. You now have plenty of room to install apps on the device since they don't get installed into RAM and compete with system resources. Operating system updates are over the air and install with a couple taps. It also gave BlackBerry the chance to re-think the user interface and design it from the ground up for touchscreen use. Arguably, they've come up with the most built-for-touch interface in the mobile market. There's no homescreen button or physical navigation/menu buttons anywhere on the device.

Building a new platform has its challenges too. It takes time to really fill out all of the features on an operating system. After using BlackBerry 10 for a week, it definitely feels like a complete OS. It's not launching incomplete or feeling like a beta. BlackBerry 10 is coming out of the gate with more than any other new platform has managed to launch with. That's competitively vital as it has to jump into the market against established platforms like iOS and Android. Using the phone day to day, we've found ourselves doing the things we want to do, and thanks to BB10, getting them done fast. That said, there's always room for improvement. As we've used BB10 we've discovered a handful of nitpicks and the occasional minor bug. We've talked to RIM about them, and those hiccups are either already on the roadmap to be fixed for an upcoming release, or are relatively easy to patch and will. The BlackBerry Z10 is coming out of the box with a strong OS that will only continue to get better.

BLACKBERRY 10 IN 10 MINUTES

BLACKBERRY 10 UI, HOMESCREEN AND FLOW

Like any good OS, the best way to understand BlackBerry 10 is to pick it up and use it. The sexy part of BB10 is really in the experience. It's actually touching the device and feeling the speed as you flow seamlessly in and out of apps. If you look at other mobile operating systems on the market, can see the influence of some of the best qualities everywhere (the best bits), but adapted uniquely for BlackBerry.

BlackBerry 10 Homescreens

Getting around BlackBerry 10 is an extremely fresh experience with a handful of familiar paradigms, but there are a few gestures that you'll need to learn (especially if you never owned a PlayBook before). It's easy to visualize the home screens as a strip laid out from left to right in the following order: Hub, Active Frames, then the classic icon grid. Apps are minimized by swiping upwards from the bottom frame when open. This will shunt the app into the Active Frames screen where a snippet of information about the app will be visible in a thumbnail next to other recently minimized apps. Active frames vary in their usefulness. Developers can dictate what they want to show in the Active Frame. If nothing is dictated, you get a minimized version of the running app, which isn't particularly useful. Well-designed Active Frames feel have much more of a widget feel, akin to Android.

If you slow down an upward swipe and keep your finger on the screen, a pane will drift in from the left to provide an overview of current notifications - e-mail, calls, BBM, etc. From there, if you swipe to the right, BB10 moves you to the Hub, where you can interact with those notifications more significantly. Head on over to our BlackBerry 10 review for a full tour of the OS.

Unlocking the display with a swipe

I wouldn't call the BlackBerry 10 UI complicated, but there's definitely more of a learning curve associated with picking up the BlackBerry Z10 phone compared to the iPhone, for example, but it's well worth learning. After a day or two on the BlackBerry Z10, if you go back and try and pick up an older BlackBerry, an iPhone, or anything else for that matter, the experience just seems antiquated. The flow is where it's at.

In terms of visuals of the user interface, there is continuity between the older BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10. We think this is both a good and bad thing. For existing BlackBerry users it's good - they can pick up where they left off with relative ease. If you've ever owned a BlackBerry device before, picking up BB10 will feel familiar even though it's all new. It's also bad, because we sort of wish BlackBerry had taken some bigger risks to absolutely knock our socks off with the homescreen visuals.

Active Frames on the BlackBerry Z10

We've seen incredible creativity come from the folks at The Astonishing Tribe, the Swedish design company that BlackBerry purchased in December, 2010, yet we can't help but feel they were held back a little bit in their creativity while aiming for consistency in the OS. BlackBerry 10 is hot when you see it in motion, but if you look at any given static screen, it doesn't blow your mind. While all of the menus throughout BlackBerry 10 maintain a very lightweight and clean look and feel, the app icons on the homescreen feel a little "heavier" in contrast. BlackBerry already made improvements here, recently downsizing icons and making them feel less clunky, but the drop shadow behind each icon just makes it feel a little dated. They did this as it adds some continuity as you flow between app icon screens into the Active Frames pane. That said, there is also a lot of sexiness in BlackBerry 10's UI and native apps. We love the phone dialer. Pulling down on calls is hot. The clock app is hot - dragging around the clock to set the alarm time on the analog clock is clever.

Overall, I'm really digging the BlackBerry 10 flow user experience. It takes a little bit getting used to, but becomes second nature very quickly and it's actually a fun device to use.

BLACKBERRY HUB, CONTACTS AND CALENDAR

BlackBerry 10 Hub  

The always-accessible BlackBerry Hub is one of the biggest innovations in BlackBerry 10, and conceptually is something every smartphone owner would appreciate and benefit from.

The BLackBerry Z10 Hub

In a nutshell, the Hub is where every type of communication is amalgamated and logged in a big, constantly-updated list. You can edit which kinds notifications show up in the Hub on a per-app basis, or simply filter active views from the left-side menu. Every item in the Hub can be acted upon by long-pressing it, and tapping on the actions that show up on the right side.

Over the last six months I've been using all of the competition (iOS, Windows Phone 8, Android), and one of my biggest gripes is that I somehow miss a lot of messages and I'm always jumping back and forth between a bunch of apps to reply. Even with the notification drop downs or toast messages, depending what you're doing, you just miss stuff. BlackBerry always had a unified messages inbox on the old operating system, but on BlackBerry 10 it's been injected with steroids. It's much more than a unified inbox. If you're a heavy communicator, you're going to find yourself living in the Hub. It can bring in all your emails and notifications to one spot where you can interact with them. The Hub is more than an app - it's a baked-in, hyper-connected communications supertool. It's a big integral part of the BlackBerry 10 OS, so we're going to take some time talking about it.

THINGS WERE LOVING ABOUT THE HUB:

1. Everything in one place - Having all communications in one place is extremely handy. It helps to never miss a message, and maintain maximum efficiency. When things like tweets and Facebook notifications are in separate apps, I tend to ignore them. By bringing them into the hub, I'm getting all of them and replying right there because it's so fast and easy to do.

2. I love being able to access the Hub no matter where I am - If i want to reply immediately, I can do so.

3. Deep integration - It's not just about previewing messages; you can reply to tweets, Facebook messages, and plenty more right within the Hub.

4. I love that even upcoming Calendar appointments are within the Hub - When you tap into them can see connected contacts, etc. You never really come to a dead end. BB10 is always pulling in the data you need.

5. Support for third party apps in the Hub - Currently apps are just in the notifications view which is good when done well, but we can't wait to see first level support so other apps can have dedicated filter views, like Facebook and Twitter currently do. I can wait to see new CrackBerry blog posts show up in the Hub.

THINGS WE'RE STILL GETTING USED TO IN THE HUB

1. You need to get used to what's missing - You don't even have app icons on the homescreen for your e-mail like you did on BBOS. Not even a messages icon, nevermind a different icon for each inbox. You need to always head to the Hub.

2. When you leave the Hub, it stays where you left it - Sometimes this is great. Sometimes it's really annoying, as when you come back to the Hub you have to backtrack. We would like to have an option to always have the Hub default back to the main hub view after you leave it for a certain period of time, like a minute. That way when you're multitasking back and forth out of the Hub you're not losing what you're working on, but once you're out of it for a while it's always on the default Hub view where you see everything.

3. Notifications showing up in the hub that you don't really need to see there and you can't turn off - For example, Songza songs that have been played shows up in notifications since it's originally an Android app and it does that by default. There are no settings within Hub or Songza app to shut those down. Apps properly built for BB10 should give control to the user.

4. When you leave the Hub, you default back to Active Frames - When you're in an app and gesture into the Hub, then leave the Hub, you go back to the Active Frames view rather than the app you were in - Not a huge deal as the app you were in is the first Active Frame, so it just takes a tap and you're back, but at first it takes some getting used to.

5. You can be in an app twice - We only noticed this happen with BlackBerry Messenger, as it's both an app and lives in the Hub. But if you're in the Hub replying to messages, then are in the BBM app, and Peek back into the Hub, you'll see BBM twice. #WEIRD 

THINGS WE'D LIKE TO SEE EVOLVE IN THE HUB

1. Sometimes it takes too long to get to the Hub - Take this scenario for example. You put your Z10 down on the table while you were browsing a web page. You opened that webpage by clicking in a link that a friend emailed you. Now the Z10 is sitting on the table, and you see the LED blink red. You swipe upward on the display and see you by the nofication that you received a Facebook message, and you decide you want to see what the message is. When you swipe all the way up on the display, the screen unlocks and you're back on the webpage where you left it. From there, you Peek gesture all the way into the hub, but you're brought back to the email where you were sent the link. From there you swipe left to go back into your email inbox. From there you swipe back left again and can either jump to the default Hub view or to the Facebook filter to then finally see the message you just received. That's a lot of swiping. The solution we'd like to see? From the lock screen, you should be able to swipe from left to right or right to left and jump straight into the default view of the Hub. That would save a LOT of steps.

2. Some of the onscreen controls for messages don't feel optimized just yet - For example, deleting messages from your inbox is a bit too slow. You need to tap and hold, wait for the context menu to appear, then drag the message down to the delete icon at the bottom. Everything on BB10 is so fast with the flow, so having to tap and hold feels little un-flow like. In this case the faster flow-like gesture would actually be to do it the way iOS or Android does it, where swiping on the message in the inbox deletes or archives it. Of course this motion wouldn't work on BlackBerry 10 as that gesture moves you around the OS, but it just feels like there's an opportunity to speed up the flow here. Note: Delete confirmations are on by default, which are annoying and can be disabled in Hub settings. Also note: deleted Gmail messages are just archived, not trashed, and that's a good thing.

3. Within a message in the Hub, there's no easy way to go to your next message - You need to swipe back, then tap to the next message. We talked to BlackBerry, and apparently the solution for this is coming in a future OS update soon. Whether it's a gesture or tappable icon, we're not sure.

Folders within the Hub
 

4. Not all of the features are easily discoverable - For example, Mark Prior Messages is there, but it took us a few days to figure it out. We discovered you could tap and hold on the date within the Hub, then you'd get the action item for Mark Prior as Read. The date line in the Hub is so thin we didn't even think it was tappable. It also took us a while to figure out where to find our email folders and Gmail labels - all you need to do is tap on the name of the main folder name at the top of the display (to be fair, there is a little down arrow there).

5. - Text Messages are treated strangely - While there are no e-mail folder icons on the BlackBerry 10 homescreen, there is an application icon for Text Messages. When tapped it doesn't open text messages as an application, but rather shoots you back into the Hub which is where text messages live. That's fine, but there is a slight issue here. Normally, if you're in the first level of a Hub activity (such viewing the list emails in an e-mail or Facebook inbox), when you tap the Test Messages icon you'll go straight to the Text Messages inbox, which is what you want. However, if you're actually in a message within the Hub -- reading an individual e-mail, or reading a Facebook message -- and then tap the Text Messages icon from the homescreen, it takes you back into the Hub to that message. You need to swipe back into the Hub to then be taken to your text messages inbox. This is bad. When you tap the SMS icon, you always need to end up straight in the inbox. We talked to BlackBerry and this should be fixed up soon (they just need to clear the Cascades layer to shortcut back to Text Messages). This is the kind of thing a user should never have to deal with; If Mrs. CrackBerry received a Text Message on her Z10, hit the Text Message icon, and ended up on an email instead of the Text Message inbox, she'd probably throw the Z10 the phone at me (or out the window).

That's a lot of talk about the BlackBerry Hub. But it's needed. The BlackBerry Hub really is a beast and a big part of the BlackBerry 10 experience. Overall, we're really loving the Hub. You need to adapt to it a bit and buy into it conceptually. Once you do, it's really powerful and you'll find yourself living in it. That said, there are definitely some areas where we think it can be further improved and it's likely BlackBerry already knows this too and is working on the improvements for an upcoming release. Bottomline, once you live with the Hub you'll never want to use a smartphone without it again.

BlackBerry 10 Email

Gmail, Windows Live Mail, Yahoo!, IMAP, POP, CalDAV, and CardDAV are all supported in BlackBerry 10 e-mail. Setup is fairly automated thanks to the connection with BlackBerry Internet Service, which does some of the heavy lifting on setup. Most of on the CrackBerry team are Gmail users (and have Google Apps accounts). When you setup Gmail through the Hub, it'll be an IMAP connection by default (so sync time is 15 minutes at its fastest). To fix that, you need to go to Setup > Accounts > Advanced Setup to kick ActiveSync into gear. That worked well and will continue to work for paid Google Apps account subscribers, but it's getting phased out for new free Gmail user accounts (which is an unfortunate Google decision).

BlackBerry is now using ActiveSync for the transport conduct for push email. We've found overall the e-mail performance to be pretty good on ActiveSync (and two-way syncing to Gmail is definitely better than in the past on BlackBerry devices, which used a proprietary service that never worked quite right for consumers).

Google 2-Step Authentication isn't officially supported, which I use regularly. When I set up my Gmail through the hub, it was successful (third party passwords are accepted), but then found the calendar wasn't syncing since the password didn't go through. I had to add it individually through advanced setup.

BlackBerry 10 Contacts 

Contacts are pulled in from all of your social connections - Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, and elsewhere. In Contact settings, you turn off any networks you don't want included. One cool feature is that it pulls in all of the photos for a contact from all sources, so when viewing a contact you can tap on their avatar and see all the connected photos, and choose which you want to display. Contact linking for the most part works pretty well automatically, though if you see any wrongly-connected contacts you can fix it up. Contacts also pulls in updates from social networks and your recent activities with an individual. More than just being a contact look up, it's really a people hub of sorts - if you want to check up on a person without digging through multiple social networking apps, looking for them in contacts is ideal.

BlackBerry 10 Contacts

BlackBerry 10 Calendar

The Calendar is pretty basic and easy to use as you'd expect. It has some cool features like when you have an appointment with attendees, it will start to pull in related social content and activities. So, when you're heading into a meeting you have a convenient way to get up to speed with what a person is up to.

BlackBerry 10 Calendar

The biggest issue we came across is that shared Google calendars are not yet natively supported. We checked with BlackBerry and this is on the roadmap. This NEEDS to be supported, like yesterday. We did have some success by setting up calendars with ActiveSync and downloading Calendar Sync from BlackBerry World (for $1.99), which shows us the solution for this may not be too difficult.

3rd Party App Hub Integration

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all baked into the Hub on top of standalone native apps. The LinkedIn app is pretty solid, Facebook is on par with iOS and Android, but Twitter on our review build was really bare bones (it should getting updated very shortly).

3rd Party App Integration

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all baked into the Hub on top of standalone native apps. The LinkedIn app is pretty solid, Facebook is on par with iOS and Android, but Twitter on our review build was really bare bones (it should getting updated very shortly).

The Foursquare app is really dope and a stand-up example of what makes a great BB10 app. It's fast, looks good and works great. Probably our favorite social app so far.

Other apps are there as well like Google Talk (again, the build we used was pretty basic but we're told a new version is coming soon). We'll see how things play out, but hopefully we'll see fully-integrated apps for Google+, SkypeInstagram, and other major players become available soon after launch.

On the whole, BlackBerry has always been best in class when it comes to being a communication device for power users. With BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry has further asserted this focus on communication. An always-accessible communication Hub is really a brilliant move. Right now apps can tap into the Hub for notifications but not much else -- deeper Hub integration for third party apps is coming soon. We see some ways to further improve it, but even after a week we can't imagine living without it.

BLACKBERRY 10 SETTINGS

BlackBerry OS was always known for having a lot of settings. Too many settings, one might say. Settings all over the place. For the casual user it was overkill, but for the power user it was welcome since it offered deep customization of a device. With BlackBerry 10, the team took a samurai sword to settings to simplify and clarify operation. Many of those overkill options are gone, while some are new. Some users are going to welcome all the changes while other diehard BlackBerry users may find themselves cursing in more than a few spots.

 

BlackBerry Z10 settings

Settings are still in multiple places in BlackBerry 10. The main settings menu has the majority of options, but within apps you need to think about swiping down to bring up app-specific settings. For example, options related to the phone are within Phone app, BBM options are inside BBM. You can swipe down from the top on homescreen to get into settings and for toggles of common features like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Tapping the icon turns these settings on and off, while tapping the actual word takes you into the detailed settings. Getting airplane mode on and off is a bit tedious however. You have to swipe down, then go to Settings > Network Connections > Airplane Mode.

BlackBerry 10 Settings

Some notable settings are gone in BlackBerry 10. Crazy advanced options that looked scary to users like Host Routing Tables, Service Books and other similar "technical" settings are all gone. Most of the settings you come across in BlackBerry 10 now are all understandable by normal people (exception: Cell Broadcast within Hub Settings still looks scary and the average person won't have any idea what it means!).

New settings added have been added as well. Parental Control features have been carried over from BlackBerry 7 and improved. Voice Control is now there. For those with poor vision, enabling the Magnification setting in allows you to pinch to zoom in anywhere throughout the OS.

BlackBerry Protect is now baked into settings instead of being a standalone app. Protect lets you track down your phone if you lose it, remote lock, remote wipe, and send a message/sound if you lose it between the couch cushions. We put it to use and it worked as advertised.

When it comes to the personalization side of mobile, BlackBerry 10 takes a bit of a step backwards. There are no themes on BlackBerry 10. This was expected since the PlayBook never received the theme treatment and BlackBerry previously announced themes would not be coming to BlackBerry 10. For those theme lovers on BlackBerry phones today you'll be stuck with just changing your wallpaper on BB10 if you want to customize it. With the way Active Frames and icons work though, you don't actually see too much of your wallpaper on the device itself. The lock screen provides the best view of the wallpaper, but it would be nice if you had the option to show a different wallpaper on the lock screen than on the main desktop. As of posting, it's one wallpaper for both screens. Overall there are pretty positive changes on the settings side of things in BlackBerry 10.

BLACKBERRY 10 NOTIFICATIONS

Notifications on BlackBerry 10 have changed both a little, and a lot. It's a mix of old and new -- some features are gone from BlackBerry 7 and other new features have come in. Of course the good ‘ole red blinking LED is still present on the BlackBerry Z10 - the red light that puts the Crack in CrackBerry and compels you to pick up your phone no matter where you are and what you're doing. It's attention-getting, but not obtrusive.

BlackBerry 10 Notifications

For notifications, you can easily view them from anywhere on the device. You simply swipe up from within any app and can easily peek at the notifications and jump into Hub. By contrast, pop-up notifications can screw up your activity flow; there's nothing worse than getting really far in Jetpack Joyride on an iPhone only to get a popup notification, causing you to crash a split second after dismissing it. That said, we're always power users who like options, so it would be nice to have the ability to enable popup or other more intrusive notifications, especially when the phone screen is turned off.

notifications are way more simple in BlackBerry 10

There actually are some new popup notifications within BlackBerry 10 (toast notifications), but they're not used for inbound communications, but are instead action based notifications. For example, if you attach a file in BBM, then delete the attachment, you'll get a popup notification confirming that the attachment was removed, and also providing the chance to undo. You also get some cool system notifications like alerts for when you have a limited Wi-Fi connection.

Sound profiles have been changed up in BlackBerry 10 from what you're used to. You cannot create custom sound profiles anymore, and the volume settings for a profile apply to all of the apps in that profile. In the old BB OS you had Normal, Loud, Medium, Phone Calls Only etc. Now in BB10 they've been cut down to Normal, Phone Calls Only, Vibrate and Silent. It's easier to set up for the average user, but it sort of sucks for power users. For example, on BB OS with my normal profile, I'd always have the phone calls volume maxed out, text messages at a middle volume and BBM messages extremely quiet. This worked great for me - I never want to miss a phone call, and I get so many BBMs that I don't want them to be loud and distracting, yet I still want them audible. 

With BB10, if I have sounds turned on for an application, they're all coming through at the same volume. All loud, or all quiet. No separate volumes, and I'll admit that kind of sucks. Likewise, BlackBerry made an all or nothing change to Bedside mode. Instead of being able to choose which profile you want to be active during Bedside mode, currently the only option is to either have notifications enabled or fully disabled. Turning off notifications in Bedside mode currently includes disabling the phone from ringing, which negates the whole premise of bedside mode - you want to be disable everything except phone calls. We've talked to BlackBerry about this and more settings will be coming back to Bedside mode in a future maintenance release.

Overall, notifications are way more simple in BlackBerry 10, which is a good thing for regular users - they're more likely to customize the device. Power users, you're losing some of the granular control you had before on BBOS. We wouldn't mind seeing BlackBerry build some of those more advanced features back in again down the road. 

BLACKBERRY 10 WEB BROWSER

Leading up to the launch of BlackBerry 10, we had heard a lot about just how good BlackBerry's new web browser was. It leads the way in terms of benchmark scores for HTML5 compliance compared to other current devices. Even crazier is that the browser was built in HTML5. It's like a browser in a browser. A mind blowing Inception-style example of how good HTML5 can be.

The BlackBerry Z10 web browser

Putting all the scores and coding languages aside, what really matters is actual performance. Overall, the web browser on BlackBerry 10 is really good. It's especially great when you're taking advantage of LTE speeds (it's crazy fast). No longer can BlackBerry users complain about how poor the browser is because this bad boy is top notch. We'll be doing up a full out scientific web browser shootout soon to compare it with other devices, but in our tests so far the BlackBerry browser is as good as any other browser out there right now. It's fast, it renders well and is very responsive. The BB10 browser also supports Flash which is turned off by default.

It's interesting to note that the UI changes a bit in here. Standard mobile browsers sport the nav bar and tabs on top, while in BB10 the nav bar moves to the bottom within easy reach of thumbs, and tabs are on the left and you have to tap to get into them. The settings are on the right menu instead of the usual spot in the top menu.

Protip: If you want to request the desktop version of a site to avoid mobile redirects, you can easily get there by going to Settings > Developer Tools and turning on Desktop Mode. Full sites, mobile sites - it doesn't matter because the BlackBerry 10 browser is awesome.

BBM W/ VIDEO CHAT AND SCREEN SHARING

BlackBerry Messenger has been given a huge overhaul for BlackBerry 10. It's a standalone app and also has big integration in the Hub. Within the app, groups has been given more prominence, which is good. BBM groups are the best thing ever. You can share pictures, calendars, lists and participate in group chats. On the old BBOS, groups were cool but they killed your battery and really ate up resources. Now groups gets a thumbs up from us.

In addition to Voice calls over Wi-Fi, the really new cool features in BBM are Video Chat and Screen Sharing. We were expecting video chat to be there since it was on the PlayBook as a standalone app, and it just made sense to include the video chat functionality in BBM on BlackBerry 10. Inside BBM, users can choose either audio calls or voice calls to contacts. If you're on the phone with a person who has video chat, you can switch to video chat from within the phone app really easily.

Screen sharing is also built into BBM. Once you have a video chat connected you can switch to a screen share and show off what's running on your device. It works really well and is a great way to get troubleshooting help, share work presentations and much more. It's sort of surprising just how useful screen sharing is. In the past week we've used it a bunch of times; we had a few questions for BlackBerry as we worked on our review, and found BBM screen share to be amazing for showing them exactly what we were talking about and get immediate feedback. It was also great for Marcus (who's building our CrackBerry BB10 app) to give us walk-throughs of the actual app from his Dev Alpha device. BBM is by far still the best mobile messaging platform on the planet. If only it would go cross-platform, then it would kill WhatsApp in a week.

BLACKBERRY CONTENT ECOSYSTEM

BlackBerry World

BlackBerry App World has been re-branded to BlackBerry World to reflect that it's no longer just about apps. Finally BlackBerry has a complete content ecosystem for users. With BlackBerry World and BB10, you can now not only buy apps and game in the store, but also music, movies and TV shows. Everything is tied to your BlackBerry ID and you can make payment via credit card, PayPal or carrier billing (where available). On the backend, music is by 7digital and movies/TV shows are powered by Rovi. The partners don't really matter though; it just works and the catalogs are pretty good thus far.

BlackBerry World on the Z10

In the past it was a mess of a content ecosystem. You could buy apps and games through BlackBerry App World, but then there was a separate music app for 7digital (with separate login and billing) and the Video Store on PlayBook through Rovi. It just wasn't clean and not the type of content ecosystem my mom could use on her BlackBerry. Now it's super-easy. Just make sure to put those parental controls to use if you're letting your parents play with your device, or they'll accidentally find a way to spend some serious cash.

Movies in BlackBerry World arrive at the same time as they do on retail DVD. For movie rentals, you have 48 hours from once you begin watching it until it expires (and you get it for 30 days before you have to start it). Movies can be transferred to up to five different devices as well. Pricing ranges from about $3.99 USD for rentals up to $19.99 USD to purchase newer titles.

BlackBerry Newstand

Another new app on BlackBerry 10 that is related to getting content to consume on your BlackBerry is BlackBerry Newstand, which allows you to buy and read magazines. Pixelmags is the partner for this one and it's pretty awesome. Purchases are once again integrated with BlackBerry ID and the app itself is really solid. There's a great catalog of magazines to purchase already, and the viewing experience on the Z10 is great.  

Browsing Newsstand on the BlackBerry Z10

OTHER BLACKBERRY SERVICES AND APPS

While third party apps, games and content infinitely expand what you can do with your smartphone, BlackBerry has put together a strong out of the box experience for BlackBerry 10. There are lot of services and apps that let you get things done. And the multimedia side is strong as well. The only thing we're missing here is BrickBreaker - maybe they could bring it back as a lock screen game. :)  

Productivity and Utility

BlackBerry Balance: BlackBerry Balance is one of the best features of BlackBerry 10. That being said, not everyone will get to use it. Balance is an enterprise feature for those who are using their devices in a corporate environment. The devices will have to be setup through the IT department for Balance to even become active.

BlackBerry Balance

BlackBerry Balance essentially combines two devices into one. Where you used to carry one device as your personal phone and one for work, with Balance you now combine the two into one. You'll get a personal space and work space and everything remains separated -- e-mails, calendar, apps, games -- you name it. You can't even copy data from one to the other in order to protect sensitive information. Although Balance will be key in getting corporations to adopt BlackBerry 10, many consumers will never get to use it.

Docs To Go: Docs To Go is included for FREE on BlackBerry 10 for viewing and editing your Word, Excel, PowerPoint and text documents. Docs To Go has been around BlackBerry for years but these apps are better than ever now thanks to the power of the BlackBerry 10 platform and Z10's hardware. BlackBerry 10 really is a mobile computing platform and with these apps you can get even more done on BB10.

Docs To Go

Adobe Reader: Adobe Reader is also included and does a great job viewing PDFs on BB10. Reader has beautiful integration with e-mail in the Hub. PDFs open from e-mail right into the Reader app, and you can swipe left to peak back to your email at any time.

File Manager: File Manager is on board which allows you to organize all the files on your BlackBerry 10 device. What's really special here is that third party apps like Box and Dropbox tie right into the file system now as well. So, within the File Manager you can choose to view files on your device, SD card, Box or Dropbox without having to go into any individual apps. We should note that as of writing the native Box app has automatic uploading of files enabled, but the Dropbox app does not. BlackBerry said an update to Dropbox is coming soon that will include the feature (there were some API changes coming shortly that had to be taken into account).

BlackBerry 10 File Manager

BlackBerry Remember: BlackBerry Remember is a new app for BlackBerry 10 that will help you remember everything. It takes the place of the old Tasks and Memo app. You can use it as a standalone app or, if you're an Evernote user (which I use religiously) you can tie your cloud-stored notes to Remember. You can put text notes, voice notes, photos and other attachments into your reminders and everything syncs up both ways. The caveat here is that fancy Evernote formatting doesn't transfer over well at the moment, but it works.

Print To Go: Print To Go is there too. We've seen it before on the PlayBook and unfortunately it doesn't actually let you print from your phone to a printer. Instead, you can install a driver on your computer which allows you to print files (like travel itineraries, work documents etc.) out to your phone so they're always on you. It's a handy little app but still has a slightly misleading name.

BlackBerry Travel: BlackBerry Travel wasn't on our review unit, but we're thinking it should be spectacular when it arrives (which should be soon). It's definitely on the way.

Smart Tags: Smart Tags allows users to encode tappable tags with all sorts of information which can be shared as soon as another NFC-enabled device comes into contact with it. This can be a website, initiating a call, an SMS, or other actions.

Voice Dictation: Voice dictation is working and it's kind of there to be there; if it wasn't, it would get called out as lacking. Even if it was completely full-featured I personally wouldn't use it that much but I can still see it being useful to some.

BlackBerry Maps: Maps are working with TomTom. We haven't had a chance to test too much yet as far as turn-by-turn, but BlackBerry Maps seem OK-ish for now.

BlackBerry Maps

Overall the productivity story on BlackBerry 10 out of the box is quite complete for consumers, and for business users on BlackBerry Balance, it's the ultimate. 

Media

The pictures app has a really good photo editor built in (pictured above) that includes different filters. Not only can you view files on your device, you can also edit them (crop, rotate etc) and apply some awesome filters to them as well. Storymaker allows you to take your media (photos, videos and music) and turn them into a movie right on the device. BlackBerry bought Jaycut a while back and it paid off with Storymaker -- it's a handy app.

Making movie magic with the BlackBerry Story Maker

The Music and Video apps are pretty standard, but really well designed. For example, when you're in the music app listening to a song, you don't have to go back to access playlists and music. You can just swipe down to access them right where you are.  

THIRD PARTY APPS AND GAMES

BlackBerry's goal has been for this to be the best app selection for any new app platform launch and they're going to succeed that by a long shot. Yes, there will be some gaps compared to iOS and Android and we'll get a better picture of the full app story, but overall, it's feeling good enough. In the past, the lack of apps and games has prevented people from buying a BlackBerry. With BB10, it's feeling like the app story should be there in enough of a way that it won't prevent people from migrating towards BlackBerry anymore.

Angry Birds on the BlackBerry Z10

The word is that there will be over 70,000 app titles available at launch for BlackBerry 10 and momentum is building beyond that. And yes, Skype will be on the platform, and BlackBerry is engaged in talks with Instagram and it will be coming to the platform in the months ahead. BlackBerry has been working extremely hard the past year and a half to get developers on board and engaged for building on BlackBerry 10. While they've been working hard to get big name apps on the platform, they also built up a loyal network of independent developers in the process. Considering at the time of writing this preview ZERO BlackBerry 10 devices have been sold to customers, it's actually amazing to see just how much support BlackBerry has been able achieve.

BlackBerry 10 is a great platform for games and the Z10 is a great gaming device

There are also amazing developers tools for BlackBerry 10 which gives developers plenty of options to work with. There are various SDKs and tools so developers have plenty of choices for making their apps and games. From Cascades to HTML5 to WebWorks - giving more options for devs to make even better apps for BB10. While there are some amazing apps and games available in BlackBerry World, there will also be a ton of "crapps" as well. We'll be sure to weed out the good from the bad, so just check CrackBerry to stay in the loop.

Unlike the old BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10 is a great platform for games and the Z10 is a great gaming device. The Games app brings together your friends so you can view scores, see what others are playing, and discover you games you may not know about.

The Android App Player has evolved on BlackBerry 10 as well. It's not that you have Google Play Store or Android Apps on your device, but Android developers can convert their Android apps to BlackBerry apps for download from BlackBerry World, and they run in an Android app player that's pretty seamless on the device experience. A lot of times we've been running Android apps not even realizing at all they were actually made for Android. Normal consumers probably won't even notice at all - an app is an app is an app, regardless of how it got on the device. CrackBerry readers might notice, but if the apps work on BB10 and users want them then that's fine with us.

With momentum and marketing about to ramp up for BlackBerry 10, now is the time that we'll probably see a lot of developers start to express their interest in supporting BB10 and getting to work, and we're ok with that.

BLACKBERRY LINK

BlackBerry Link is the evolution of Desktop Manager. It has a fresh coat of UI paint, but remains at its core the PC counterpart to a BlackBerry 10 mobile device. Multimedia syncing now takes front and centre, and has little to do with e-mail anymore. You can still back-up and restore, update the OS, check storage levels, drag and drop files, and set up wireless syncing over Wi-Fi, though. iTunes and Windows Media Player are both supported, so you should be covered however you organize your media.

BlackBerry Link will connect your Z10 to your computer effortlessly

 

Part of the mission of BlackBerry Link is to help owners switch to BlackBerry 10, whether from an older BlackBerry or iOS or Android device. We'll be following up soon with in-depth articles on how to switch to BlackBerry 10.

BlackBerry Link is tied to you BlackBerry ID, ensuring the various settings and history can seamlessly drift to where it needs to go.

BLACKBERRY 10 SOFTWARE WRAP UP

When writing a detailed review, it's easy to fixate on the little things things that aren't perfect and forget about the things that are working flawlessly. That's a little bit how it has gone in our week with BlackBerry 10. We've been putting it under the CrackBerry microscope, looking for any flaw and bug we can find -- and we have found some little things here and there that need fixing or can be improved. Overall, all of the BIG picture stuff that really matters has been executed on really well. There are no deal breakers. You can't even compare BlackBerry 10 to BlackBerry Smartphones of the past in terms of overall performance. The UI experience is buttery smooth and built for touch. The OS is rock solid stable. There's no crashing, no choking, and no slow downs. The BlackBerry Z10 can yank down data fast. Thinking back to something like downloading apps on the BlackBerry OS, it's almost laughable in comparison. Now it's fast and smooth, and a restart is never required. Upgrading the OS and restoring a nuked Berry will no longer be the most viewed pages on CrackBerry.com, as now it's dead simple.

We're big fans of the Flow and Hub experience of BlackBerry 10 - and in CrackBerry fashion we'll keep dreaming up ways to make it even better. Where we think things need to be tweaked up still we'll be vocal on that to make sure it happens quick. One thing is crystal clear - the wait for BlackBerry 10 was worth it!

Bottom line: BlackBerry Z10

If you're fan of the BlackBerry experience, when the Z10 becomes available on your carrier RUN, don't walk, and pick it up. It's a whole new era for BlackBerry and the performance delivered is night and day compared to current BlackBerry phones. 

The BlackBerry Z10

For many years I've said that if you want an uncompromised mobile experience -- the best of everything -- that you need to carry two devices in your pocket. A BlackBerry smartphone for best in class communication, and a second device like an iPod or iPhone for the app, games and multimedia experience.

BlackBerry is definitely back and here to stay!

With the BlackBerry Z10, I can finally start walking around with just one device in my pocket without feeling like I'm missing out. BlackBerry 10 retains the best features of the BlackBerry of old, plays catch up in the OS and apps department to the competition, and with features like Hub and Flow actually push the smartphone experience further. It's a BlackBerry that is equally good at getting work done and having fun too.

While I the Z10 is meeting my mobile needs in my first week with it, the bigger question is whether or not it will meet the demands of CrackBerry Nation? I'm confident it will. We've been waiting for BlackBerry 10 for a long time. The BlackBerry Z10 had to come out of the gates as a solid first device, and it is. It's the BlackBerry experience we love, taken to a whole new level. Is it perfect? Not yet. But BlackBerry 10 in a not-quite-yet-perfect state is still light years ahead of the BlackBerry devices we have been using and loving for years. It's a new phone and a new platform for us all to be excited about once again. BlackBerry is definitely back and here to stay!

BlackBerry Z10 Summary

PROS

  • BlackBerry Z10 looks great, feels great, performs great
  • BlackBerry 10 OS addresses basically every nagging issue we've ever had with the legacy BlackBerry OS
  • BlackBerry 10 touchscreen keyboard is so good, even diehard physical keyboard users will grow to love it
  • Always-accessible BlackBerry Hub is a brilliant concept
  • Completely gesture-based user interface makes using other operating systems feel dated in comparison
  • App, Game and Content ecosystem is MUCH improved on BlackBerry 10
  • LTE speeds on a BlackBerry Smartphone is AWESOME

HO HUMS

  • While using BlackBerry 10 is sexy, we wish BlackBerry would have pushed the envelope a bit further on some of the visuals
  • Power users will miss some of the granularity they had over settings and notifications in the legacy BlackBerry OS
  • You need to fully buy into the BlackBerry 10 way of doing things - that's mainly ok, but for some people the way BlackBerry does it may not be the way they like
  • While the Z10's specs are solid all around, we'd like to see BlackBerry push the envelope a little more and give us some amazing specs on a hero device that are leading the pack

    THINGS WERE WATCHING

    • Battery life - we **hope** it can get us through a day
    • The App Story - it's a good start, let's hope the momentum continues
    • The Maintenance Release and Feature Release Roadmap - while BB10 is good out of the box, we see a lot of little refinements which could be made to make it great. Let's hope these come sooner rather than later. 
    • Support for services - further improving Google apps integration, more cloud-based connectivity services, etc.

    RELATED LINKS

    Reader comments

    BlackBerry Z10 Review

    510 Comments

    Does anyone know if we can buy the phone directly from RIMM....ooopps I mean BlackBerry?
    Like maybe from their website?
    Apple allows you too... I am wondering if we can instead of waiting until March if we are willing to pay full price for it.

    Just looked at Blackberry website and their accessories page and it does say that they will have accessories available soon including the Z10

    Try calling Rogers directly at 1-888-764-3771 and ask if they will ship to the US. The cost would be $589 Canadian and an extra $50 to have the phone unlocked. Lastly, you should not have to pay the sales tax because it would be exempt for tax purposes ( phone not for use in Canada). Please note that the sales agent may be unaware of the tax rules as they have not come across this situation before. If you cannot access the 1-888 number from the US, try calling using the app "dell voice". Good luck!

    What a biased review. Look at the photo comparisons and the phone is terrible yet it is glossed over.

    Pity i was expecting something new and innovative from rim but its just an average phone.

    Truth is...it's half baked still!

    The real disaster is that I really bought into BB!) being a great sully baked experience and I didnt sell my rimm stocks...

    Everything evolves. This is a great first step to a fantastic platform. It is complete but not perfect, but then what is? There is a lot that isn't perfect about Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. The question is which platform will scale best? That's where RIM has a big edge. The power of QNX offers immense scalability, flexibility, and performance like non other. Don't take my word on that, check it out yourself at qnx.com and see what power is housed inside every BlackBerry 10 device.

    Everything evolves. This is a great first step to a fantastic platform. It is complete but not perfect, but then what is? There is a lot that isn't perfect about Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. The question is which platform will scale best? That's where RIM has a big edge. The power of QNX offers immense scalability, flexibility, and performance like non other. Don't take my word on that, check it out yourself at qnx.com and see what power is housed inside every BlackBerry 10 device.

    Everything evolves. This is a great first step to a fantastic platform. It is complete but not perfect, but then what is? There is a lot that isn't perfect about Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. The question is which platform will scale best? That's where RIM has a big edge. The power of QNX offers immense scalability, flexibility, and performance like non other. Don't take my word on that, check it out yourself at qnx.com and see what power is housed inside every BlackBerry 10 device.

    Everything evolves. This is a great first step to a fantastic platform. It is complete but not perfect, but then what is? There is a lot that isn't perfect about Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. The question is which platform will scale best? That's where RIM has a big edge. The power of QNX offers immense scalability, flexibility, and performance like non other. Don't take my word on that, check it out yourself at qnx.com and see what power is housed inside every BlackBerry 10 device.

    What a biased review. Look at the photo comparisons and the phone is terrible yet it is glossed over.

    Pity i was expecting something new and innovative from rim but its just an average phone.

    Not sure I agree about bias, as they did include the photo comparison which, in my view, paints a poor picture of the Z10. A truly biased review (which I would expect on a fan site) would have left such incriminating evidence out. I was really anticipating a great camera on this thing, but looking at the comparison chart, I'd say the Z10 photos were easily the worst (and you're right...this was glossed over to some extent). Perhaps that was just the unit tested, though again, I would have expected a reshoot with a different unit if that was the case...again, this is a fan site.

    He had an evaluation unit - i don't believe his is the final hardware or software revision for z10 purchasers.

    The market has spoken ... too little too late ... shares plunge ... management shocked by rejection of BB10 ... sigh

    You're pretty ignorant. RIMM shares were always going to go down soon after the announcement. You clearly know nothing about the stock market

    Maybe its Largely due to the fact that almost 30% of RIMM shareholders were shorting the stock and now decided to sell asap before they loose a ton more $$$ ???

    Yeah, the stock market rises and falls aren't always as easy as if the company is selling a good product or not.

    Although I'll agree that the rise or fall of a stock can have many influences, I disagree with you insofar as I believe much can be read into the depth and rapidity of a drop. As well, your 30% figure is dubious, at best...how could you, or anyone, possibly know this or back it up. Further, it's not shareholders who are shorting the stock...by definition, one shorts what one does not own.

    Shirley you're kidding?! Share value increases by 150% in expectation of a great new ground-breaking product roll-out and you expected them to go down after? Really?!! So BB was expecting post presentation (or mid actually) and review reaction to result in a drop in share value?!! That's nuts! A great presentation of a great product results in a bump, not a 5-10% slide. Especially after they've delayed said roll-out by over 6 months because they wanted to make sure it's ready, or as Thorsten put it, "provide a ground-breaking next generation smartphone user experience". That doesn't sound like he expected the stock to tank or the expert (objective) reviews to be mixed.

    You keep reposting the same useless comment ... so I'll repost my useless comment

    Maybe its Largely due to the fact that almost 30% of RIMM shareholders were shorting the stock and now decided to sell asap before they loose a ton more $$$ ???

    Yeah, the stock market rises and falls aren't always as easy as if the company is selling a good product or not.

    Good, maybe I can pick up another 100 shares now! People are still profit-taking from an $18 pre-launch high, among other factors.

    Ford is down too, almost as much, but I don't think they launched anything today. Maybe I should just get out of the stock market altogether.

    Apple, still down $100 from a month ago. What gives there?

    Okay Isheep...markets dropped because of the delay in U.S. rollout because of slow U.S. Carriers. Read New York Times rave reviews of the phone. Luckily here in Canada and in Britain we get the phones first. Super amazing keyboard, fastest browser, fantastic true multitasking. How can you not love it...unless of course you are one of the Isheep.

    Does anyone know if we can buy the phone directly from RIMM....ooopps I mean BlackBerry?
    Like maybe from their website?
    Apple allows you too... I am wondering if we can instead of waiting until March if we are willing to pay full price for it.

    Try calling Rogers directly at 1-888-764-3771 and ask if they will ship to the US. The cost would be $589 Canadian and an extra $50 to have the phone unlocked. Lastly, you should not have to pay the sales tax because it would be exempt for tax purposes ( phone not for use in Canada). Please note that the sales agent may be unaware of the tax rules as they have not come across this situation before. If you cannot access the 1-888 number from the US, try calling using the app "dell voice". Good luck!

    Reply Edit

    BLACKBERRY Z10 IS OUT OF STOCK AT CARPHONE WAREHOUSE IN THE UK. I AM REFERRING TO THE SIMFREE VERSION HOWEVER. THE ONES WITH MONTHLY CONTRACTS ARE STILL AVAILABLE.

    Me too. Placed my order for the Z10 today at amazon.de. Don`t know when it will be delivered but the early bird catches the worm :-) Next device will be the BB Q10. I prefer a physical keyboard to a touch screen but I can`t wait that long.

    I spoke to RIM on this. They couldn't announce it yet, but Instagram IS coming. Just working out the details. Will be here sooner than later.

    Thanks for the info. I was wondering. I don't use it, but I want BB10 to succeed, and so many people just have to have it.

    Thanks for the info. I was wondering. I don't use it, but I want BB10 to succeed, and so many people just have to have it.

    Based on the webcast, Box is integrated, but there was no mention of Dropbox. I think it would be a safe assumption but I also assumed many things today and you know what they say happens when you assume...

    If you watch it again (or read this blog post), you will find it. Dropbox is there =)

    File Manager: File Manager is on board which allows you to organize all the files on your BlackBerry 10 device. What's really special here is that third party apps like Box and Dropbox tie right into the file system now as well. So, within the File Manager you can choose to view files on your device, SD card, Box or Dropbox without having to go into any individual apps. We should note that as of writing the native Box app has automatic uploading of files enabled, but the Dropbox app does not. BlackBerry said an update to Dropbox is coming soon that will include the feature (there were some API changes coming shortly that had to be taken into account).

    click search on this page and look for dropbox, it has been mentioned several times in this review. There is even screenshot showing it...

    Oh my Ghosh . . .my fav app sdfsdfsdfsdfsfdsfsdfdfdsf is not on BB10, I am not gonna buy this phone:( How i am going to breath without sdfsdfsfdsdfsdfsdfsdfsdfsdf :(
    What a Silly approach, give me a break. Sick and tired of this attitude.

    heh...now you know how the WP community has been for some time:) It is a pain to get over, and most review sites are not happy unless you are close to 500k or more.

    The way I see it is as long as there is either the specific app or one from a 3rd party that does what is needed it is all good.

    i believe you still owe someone a car - it is not here on launch.
    - sorry bud! (I once lost $100 over the spelling of a restaurant)

    kevin you have to say "i spoke to Blackberry" no more rim anymore lol

    great job and glad you got a bb10 haircut during the event.

    bb for life

    Hi Kevin
    we met at Joeys Restaurant and you were kind enough to show me the BB10, you gave me an email address where I can send reasons why I deserve to get a BB10 for free; I lost your address and finally have found this way to contact you, Is it possible that BB10 are still up for the grabbing

    Thanks

    Should have been as loyal as the UK market and not just swallowed the Cupertino Kool-aid. Seriously, what do you expect? People in the UK have been holding off replacing phones for months, and the UK is a very important market for RIMxxx Blackberry.

    BlackBerry thanks Canada with a smack upside the head making us wait until February 5. I know it is only a week but if UK customers can buy the BlackBerry Z10 today, why the delay in RIM's home country?

    its the carriers doing there "testing" Uk carriers are on there A-game. Canadians are slacking. The US carriers strait up dropped the ball, didnt take BB10 very seriously.

    They can't force carriers to do anything. Just like they can't force developers to make apps.
    At the end of the day, it all relies on consumer demand.

    You're right I know people upgrading PAYG and waiting on their contracts for this, me and my best friend will be getting it saturday at the earliest. Can't wait for this.

    Blame the US carriers, not RIM. RIM has done all it can to create a great product, but the only one who wants it now is Vodafone. Press your carrier when BB10 will be available.

    @sgt50. RIM is a Canadian company and Canadian/UK carriers look after their own first which is Canada and the UK. Additionally US carriers are to buzy sucking on Androids and Apples humps to know any better. Blame inept greedy US carriers...that's ''WTF''
    ________________________________________
    I’d rather be a Black Sheep than an iSheep any day.

    No Instagram, Netflix, Hulu, Temple Run, HBO Go, Pandora, Uber, or Dropbox??? Those are some pretty big gaps and this comes from a long time blackberry user with a 9900...

    REally ??? You're probably one of the people who has said for last year "Skype is a must"

    Some people are never happy. Remember.... its that company that owns and makes the app that needs to make a BB10 version. Also, just because RIM (Sorry. ... BLACKBERRY) didnt specifically state an app doesnt mean it wont be available. They cant announce all 70,000 !!!

    BB may not know yet what the status of the app is (maybe the developer hasn't told them) or maybe they want to use that as another media stunt down the road.

    I don't know about those other apps but I definitely saw the Dropbox icon when they showed the apps. It was 2 rows under the Box icon.

    Out of those, I use Dropbox and according to Kevin's review above, it IS integrated into the right into the file system. There is also a PlayBook Dropbox app so I'm sure there is one for BB10 as well. The others will come when the users start flocking to BB10.

    lol, click control-F and type dropbox and see it mentioned on this very page several times, in Kevin's review. There is even screenshot showing it...

    who needs instagram when you have photo editing built in and social networks to share on. Netflix and Hulu will probably be coming soon when they see how many people are on board with bb10, but who needs them anyways?

    go to your browser on your phone and go to project free tv and you can watch any tv show (usually the day a new episode airs) and lots of new movies... oh wait, if you don't have bb10, you don't have flash so you have to rely on limited movie and tv show apps.... HBOGO can be played on the browser. Songza>pandora and they probably have Apollo anyways which has NO ADs. dont know what uber is and like everyone else said dropbox is there....

    get creative instead of being a netflix and hulu follower, they aren't that great anyways. Did the first iPhone have all the apps you wanted when it came out? dont think so... give it time, they will update. Blackberry is just getting started.

    So why do you need instagram, when you have photoediting aspects baked into BB10. I guess you like to spend money on a third party apps and then deal with all those extra steps. You must be unemployed but the rest of us have to get stuff done.

    As to dropbox, it is integrated into the hub. But go ahead and buy the app, working that same old in-and-out paradigm that is now officially dead on BB10. I surprised you did mention that lack of a home button.

    And as a final note, I couldn't think of anything so mindlessly dull as streaming TV to a smartphone. I simply feel sorry for you.

    to commemorate & celebrate while waiting for the devices to come to Malaysia, i've placed a bid for a 8700g..... :D.. hard to find here...

    Talk about a long read and a wonderful non bias review. Good Job.. Can't wait to get a Z10 in my hands.

    Guys...long time BB user, it's all I ever owned. I must say it was an ok presentation and launch...just ok. Actually I am a little let down, was expecting more from the BB10. I will probably upgrade to a new BB10 phone but overall wasn't impressed at all...Just my opinion!

    +1.

    I am only disappointed on Battery of Z10, rest is fine. Now i will see how Q10 does on Battery. Did't they know how natorious 9900 was for battery? they should have learnt a lesson. Unbelievable

    Yeah, probably not a good sign when one of the first accessories that gets marketed is a charger cable that charges a spare battery at the same time as the phone . . great accessory but prob not a sign of long battery life

    I know some time ago it was announced that it would be launched in the UK and other places first before coming to the USA. But I feel this is a big mistake. I was watching the ticker tape on the stock and once it was posted on Dow Jones News that it will not be coming till March the stock started dropping like a lead balloon. The delay for a month will be not be good news for the stock. I feel like BLACKBERRY made a major mistake in delaying the launch here. I know they never promised us that it would be coming now but to wait a month is beyond belief. I feel like it is the old RIM letting us down once again.

    I want the phone now and not have to wait 30 plus days for it.

    Yep. This announcement should have been held in March not January. Don't know what he purpose to have it now and the phone won't be available for 2 more months.

    By the time March/April comes around, people would have all but forgotten BB has a new phone. People won't wait another 2 months. They'll get what hey need now.

    BB 10 should have been available within 2 weeks, not 2 months.

    Blame the US carrier. Seems like other carriers actually know how to test phone. I pick mine up on the 5th. Just in time to visit the US. ;)

    So you're saying, they should have waited for US carriers to catch up to the rest of the world, THEN announce BB10? Is that what you're saying? BB is huge in Canada, Europe, Asia and latin america. i.e, the rest of the world. Why would they delay everyone else, because the US carriers could not get their testing done quick enough? All the other carriers were able to do it! This has absolutely nothing to do with Blackberry. They built their phones, they are ready to sell, but the US carriers just couldn't keep up. Blackberry did the right thing. If you have a problem with this, you need to take it up with your US carrier, not Blackberry. And in regards to your last statement about BB10 should have been available within 2 weeks, not 2 months....guess what? It is. I'm picking mine up in 6 days....friends of mine are picking theirs up in the UK tomorrow morning.

    Since phones are launching in UK, you can't assume/say that it is a delay because of BlackBerry, phones are even shipping in Canada earlier than US, it is most likely the carriers in US that forced this timeline.

    Like you said why would BlackBerry want to announce today but not sell the phone? Why would BlackBerry start marketing now to sell only to UK/Canada to buy but tell US to wait, instead of launching global marketing. They did what they had under their control, which is build the phone (make it available) and conduct a simultaneous launch event across US, Canada, UK etc etc. The price and availability dates are set by the carriers.

    Yawn.

    BB 10 is a non starter for me. I will never use the corporate part of Balance and I don't use social media so the Hub is useless to me also and so is the phone.

    Besides, my Droid is plenty fast and it's a slider so I got the best of both worlds.

    Skype is great and all (I don't use it much but like the option) but what about Netflix (also don't use but like the option)? I could understand not announcing that at a global launch as Netflix isn't global but did anyone actually NOT expect Skype? I was hoping the surprise would be US availability today and an option for Netflix. Or at least some sort of way of directly installing Android apps instead of having to basically pirate them.

    Problem is that you have to buy or rent each video, where as Netflix is an "all you can eat" streaming service for one flat fee. Also, the videos in the BlackBerry World can't be streamed, you have to download everything to the device first which is a problem if you are away from WiFi.

    This actually is not accurate. When you rent or buy a movie from BB, it will start the movie while it continues to download. I do this all the time with my playbook. The movie starts within minutes of the download, even while the download is still occuring. With that said, I definitely understand the netflix thing as "all you can eat for 1 low price". I'd much rather have that, however, I would expect much more content available in blackberry world, then what Netflix has in their catalogue. I have nothing to back that up, just my assumption. The problem is....Netflix is competition to the BB world movies/Tv shows. Not sure if BB wants to loose on money because everyone is using netflix. Then again, netflix is on iphone, and they have movies on itunes. If i was a betting man....I'd be on Netflix coming to BB10. Just like how instagram was not mentioned today, Kevin confirmed from RIM that it is coming, but couldn't announce. Netflix is coming. That's my feeling.

    If by "trashed" you mean "gave it a negative review", then I guess you don't read BGR much because that is what they almost ALWAYS do in regards to Blackberry products.

    Reading or skimming other sites' reviews and they aren't exactly enamored with the phone or the operating system.

    man that keynote was dissapointing. no one applauded to that app guy(don't remember his name) which was a bit sad. was hoping to see more top apps and to see some performance tests....nothing really new in that keynote. guess my upgrade will go to the xperia z. sorry blackberry. your curve 9300 was my first smart phone and even though it has its problems i've enjoyed my time with it. thanks for the free replacement even when my warranty expired.

    Hi,

    I thought I would partly reply to your comment and then add in my opinion. So, I feel almost teh same way as you do. I have had a blacberry torch 9800 for over two years now and the physical keyboard stopped working when I dropped it in water. Ever since, I have kept the Blackberry, holding on to it because I think it's a good phone but I need an upgrade (the phone was damaged about 10 months ago). I was thrilled about the new arrival of the BB10 phones because I had researched other brands such as Samsung, HTC, Nokia and others but I never really quite liked them. I tried a Lumia 900 but that phone turned out to be a flop for me, battery life and reception issues killed it. I kept using my Blackberry and now today arrived. Man the phone operating system is nice, no doubt. I mean I like it very much. It's not 'revolutionary' but it can stand against the other smart phones operating systems.

    During the presentation, there was nothing about the hardware inside of it. I did not even hear what chip is inside only that's it's a 1.5ghz chip, nohting about a cool camara, screen which is glare resistant, gorilla glass, water resistant. I mean it's like, I don't even know what's under the hood. The battery has stood the most to me in the reviews the Z10 has received. I thought that after Thorsten and the darker skin guy talked about the features of the OS, someone was going to say, it's got this cool thing, it won't break if you drop it, things like that. The only thing that I heard about the hardware that was unique from all other phone was the material the phone case is made out of, which "is not plastic," said Thorsten. I like that this material is better than other phones; and this is one of the reasons I chose a blackberry device previously because of its strong and durable feel.

    I have always loved the UI of the Blackbery. I feel like, if this OS is so flexible and maybe portable, maybe I could get a Droid phone and install the OS on it. Possibly, get the Lumia 920, although bulky it packs some heat and this would make a better phone.

    As far as the applauses, it was true that sometimes people did not clap and that was a little sad. I am not sure how many people were there (not many?) because the camera did not really show the audience. I feel like Thorsten lacked the enthusiasm, let's go get them american charisma that we are used to here in the USA. The guy who presented with him has a more personable demeanor. I felt like someone other than Thor should have done the presentation, just because Thor is not as 'hip' or has that full fore exhilaration on stage. Maybe the guy who presented with him should have done the opening?

    Of course a presentation or debut is not going to say everything about a phone, we got to give it a shot in order to know. However, they say first impressions count and my impression of the phone itself is not so confident any more. Before I was thrilled and now I ambivalent about this phone.

    (Reply 'like,' if you like my post, LOL, I did not know I could write an essay on a thread)

    Wait, we can't customize notifications as we can on the legacy OS?! (LED behavior, sounds for contact email/phone/text, different email boxes, etc.)

    This is a HUGE issue for me. I need to specify different ring tones for different email accounts. I'm on call 24/7 and need to have a profile that only rings when emails come in from that specific account (especially overnight)

    This was the only thing keeping me from moving from BB to Android/iOS since their notifications SUCK. This is really really bad news for me.

    Kevin, you need to tell RIM that they need to bring custom profiles back and all the granular settings back. I NEED THIS. As it stand no mobile OS does notifications well. I may have to stay with OS7 :(

    Hmm, the early reviews aren't that great. What concerns me is battery life. From what I'm reading its going to be pretty bad. I will still most likely pick one up, but I'm sort of underwhelmed.

    Screen and camera, for one. I can't blame BB for the lack of apps, but after reading Kevin's review I can see why people would be underwhelmed. There really isn't a comparison with the iPhone 5's screen and the Z10's. As much as I like BB, they dropped the ball on that.

    Did you even bother to look at the comparison picture with the Z10's screen and the iPhone 5's screen? The bigger screen and higher resolution isn't making it look any better than an old Gateway computer running Windows 95. Seriously, the screen looks like trash. How can you invest so much money with your company on-the-line and have a YELLOW screen?

    I agree with you. will probably wait a few more months until the bug fixes are sorted... but i am a little underwhelmed by it too..

    I'm with you on that. If I had to choose a phone, I'd get the BB10. It's nothing spectacular and its like everything I have been saying though. They showed things that they showed during the first Blackberry Jam.

    10 hrs talk time isn't enough? When you break that down into data/phone usage it is still an impressive battery.

    May just have switched from BB. All I've owned for over ten years and 10 devices but the long wait here in the US has me thinking about switching

    Looks like I'm buying a Q10 as soon as it hits the U.S. I got all the real estate I need on my PLAYBOOK.

    I am a die-hard Android fan. Been one since the G1 was released. But I gotta say..... I'm converted (although I will still use Android tablets).

    I HATED Blackberrys (use one for work). But this... my mind was literally blown. 70,000 app at launch?! To show how impressive that is, Windows Phone only had 10,000 apps at launch (which is why I think they're struggling now) and it took MONTHS to get to 100,000. I added 2 apps myself back during the Playbook Port-a-Thon. So I guess that means I've been a Crackberry citizen for a little bit now.

    But now I'm officially a citizen of Crackberry Nation!

    BlackBerry Link now only syncs media? Any sign of the ability to sync with Outlook (contacts, calendar, memos or TASKS) or has this gone by the wayside just like with Android?

    if i am to be honest, that presentation seemed rushed, and gave no reason to potential customers why they should choose BB10 over the competition...there was no BELIEVABLE excitement in the presentation

    they never discussed:

    - camera capabilities
    - battery life
    - 4G/LTE availability
    - in-depth look into blackberry reminder
    - media playback
    - etc

    As a blackberry faithful i will surely get the phone, but i don't think they did enough to sway those who aren't blackberry faithfuls or those who left.

    this is a bit concerning...i hope Kevin can shed some light on this

    Even on Ashley ??? LOL

    Sorry ... couldn't resist. I've been awake 25 hrs straight now, to watch the release, and now cant sleep.

    edit: Spelling

    thanks Kevin

    I actually wanted to know if this was a strategic move by RIM/Blackberry not to be more detailed in the presentation or was it a missed opportunity.

    Non-techies were all fixed to their screens to see what RIM was revealing today. It was all my friends (techy and non-techy) could speak about today. I just think RIM could have done more with the opportunity.

    I hope people like yourself can help getting the word out on how awesome the BB10 platform is and why a regular consumer might consider it over the competition.

    Kevin...have you spoken to RIMM of your detail review of the phone and address the shortcomings that you brought up in your review. What was their response and when do they plan to address these issues?

    Kevin...have you spoken to RIMM of your detail review of the phone and address the shortcomings that you brought up in your review. What was their response and when do they plan to address these issues?

    I'm with you on that. It seemed like they didn't know how to do their launch presentation that they probably just said "let's just do the same thing we did on the first Blackberry Jam". Because that is what it was. They replayed the same thing.

    On they keyboard, I haven't seen where the letters aren't in lowercase. Are they always in uppercase when typing? If so, annoying. Second, our company has gotten rid of all blackberries and no plans to allow them again. That being said, can you connect to exchange without BES?

    Looks quite nice! But where are the great APPS? Netflix, Instagram, Spotify, CNN, Pulse, Flipboard... ? It's not enough just to have Skype and Angry Birds!
    Fanboys will buy, ordinary people will not ! Sorry ! Playbook deja vu ! :(

    Wow. Does this mean I'll finally be able to use my Blackberry to go on the Internet? I'll have to change my way of thinking completely. Too bad they made the same mistake Palm did and left out the most important feature: a time machine to go back to when this could have made a difference. But at least I'll be less embarrassed if I upgrade to this instead from my 9700. I can go on dates and not feel like I'm the girl's father.

    Solid comment. Very accurate and provides the lulz.

    Did people actually expect something they had not seen before? Don't tell me you thought the delays would mean a better product that lived up to expectations? You didn't learn anything from the Playbook OS2 delays? It took a year for the Playbook to get an email app. Last time I used it I had to side load Kindle (not sure if that is still the case, but I imagine it is). So if BB gives a date for something, add 3-12 months to that. If they say 'coming soon', or some other general term, then lol, you will be in your cold cold grave before that statement changes.

    I had a Bold 9700 and a Playbook. After I switched to an iPad and then an iPhone 5 I was embarrassed I stuck with BB so long. Night and day between the two. It didn't take 20 mins for the phone to reboot and I could actually surf the web without wanting to throw the device through a window. And I know the 9700 is older than the iPhone 5 and obviously an unfair direct comparison, but be real, these are general issues with BB.

    All those people hating on the people asking about specific apps, such as netflix and instagram, or why there is a delayed release in the states, and saying don't blame BB, blame the app developers and carriers....No, blame BB. The long delays should account for these things. If Netflix and Instagram and Skype have been the top discussions amongst BB message boards the last few years then why the hell wouldn't you make sure they are there...at launch, especially an extremely delayed launch.

    I hope BB10 is a success and BB regains some of what it lost in the smartphone community. I, probably like many others, bailed once BB10 was delayed, I learned my lesson from the PB OS2 delays, and I have no regrets so far.

    Kevin, looks like yours is the Special Edition Z10 ?
    Would explain the box styling and the 'extras' inside.

    Is a long review !!!! But worth the read. Very very thorough :)

    Now, One more week.

    Well I watched the whole thing. I am VERY impressed with new BBM and Blackberrys take on Bring Your Own Device. The OS itself looks good, and I defiantly want to get my hands on it. Productivity on it looks like it will be as good as ever. Most specs are good to very good. Only couple things I wish there was in order to justify the switch from my Lumia920, one is a better camera. Compared to the L920 or Iphone its um lackluster. Two is Im skeptical about the battery. Granted my L920 isn't amazing on Battery life either, but I mentally let the wireless charging and great camera out weigh that. All in all Good job Blackberry, but I think I'll have to wait for second round of devices before I can justify a switch.

    Damn device will be outdated before us US comsumers see it. Sorry BB I've been a longtime user and supporter but you"ve just lost me.

    Even Apple takes a month to get products in store and on shelves. Get over yourself. It's only 1 month.

    You have a screw up calendar you must have bought at the dollar store that shows end of March to be a month

    Ya these comments really are laughable, and sound like children griping. Is it not a question of whether the device is WORTH IT more than if its COMING OUT THIS MONTH or NEXT MONTH? To say, "you lost me" over this means it never meant anything to you anyways.

    That being said, I'm thankful I'm from Canada and can understand the frustration.

    Looks good the only thing that concerns me is the handling of emails and text messages. Why didn't RIM put mailboxes on the home screen???

    What’s the news regarding the personal assistant? Is it going to as powerful as iPhone siri?

    Kevin, thank you for your in depth review. There are some pros and cons and future updates I hope will correct some of the issues. The camera is not very impressive in taking photos to back up the amazing time shift app. Makes us want to use the built in filters a la Instagram. Cannot wait until the end of March to pick it up and by then, some of the kinks will be worked out.

    Interesting. Look who Apple has to catch up to! I'm not so sure they can without a NEW OS. ;-) The iSmirk could be a thing of the past.

    Great review, Kevin.....a lot of work went into that. My contract still has 1 year left, but I want to see the QWERTY, the Q10 before I decide. Go RIM....ooops Go Blackberry.

    IT BETTER HAVE 'INSTAGRAM' !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! INSTA INSTA INSTA !
    I went to instagrams website tried sending them an email for a bb app..couldn't find any email though to contact them.

    IT BETTER HAS 'INSTAGRAM' !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! INSTA INSTA INSTA !
    I went to instagrams website tried sending them an email for a bb app..couldn't find any email though to contact them.

    As someone who sends well over 4000 text messages a month, this whole "text messages are handed strangely" is rather disconcerting. I'd actually like to see a video of what was being described to better understand what the issue is.

    Same here. It looks like it takes more steps to send a text message than with BBOS7.

    All the writer was explaining is that you have a separate app icon for text messages, while you also have them in the hub. It's the only part of PIM that has it's own icon except maybe BBM. Also, he explained that if you have an e-mail open, then swipe to that text icon in the app tray and tap on it, it will take you back to that open e-mail which you will then have to swipe close before it takes you to that text message. They just haven't programmed it yet to go past already open items in the hub. Not a big deal but might be a little annoying for some irritable people. A simple maintenance update can fix that, but not really a big thing to me. I'm sure there are larger issues like the maps app or creating media folders that deserve more ink than that.

    Will crackberry post the release dates for each countries anytime soon? i live in bahrain (Middle east) which was on the live stream country list but no one really talked about the release dates in details except for Dubai, Canda, UK & US please if anyone has any information please let me know.

    #TeamBlackberry

    #BlackberryZ10

    Wow, can you imagine about the video chat it is mind boggling! If I am the CEO of the big corporation, I am going to give one to each marketing team and one to each research team. The marketing team can give a presentation to their teams or clients(if they have BB10) on a new projects without getting together in one room to present their Power Point presentation. The research team can show their projects of what they are working on to their clients or their co-workers from anywhere anyplace. I can be on a business trip in new York and still can help my son doing his homework in California if we both have BB10. Wow, wow! This is just one feature...

    "if they have BB10"

    There's the wrinkle. My management and bean counters don't want to hear about Blackberry and don't want me spending any time or money on it. They moved on past their stone age devices a long time ago, and as they go, so goes the rest of us. No way am I alone in this situation. So, yes, it is a very cool feature, but if you are the only person in the room with BB10, have fun.

    Welcome to the year 2000!

    Distributed meeting technology has been available for years and while I don't know about your PPT decks but I have not seen any that could look good on a mobile phone.

    Long live BlackBerry! One up the competition and we can have Android, iOS and BB10 as the three successful ecosystems. Go BlackBerry 10 and Z10! Kudos to BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins for balls of steel and sticking with his company - you and your company deserve to succeed!

    What are they going to do with the crappy maps? I find this unacceptable and it may be the breaking point. Navigation on this device thus far is terrible.

    i sold my Rimm ( Sorry Blackberry) stock half way into the launch . This seems biased I've texted with a friend who is at launch indicating the performance is just so so compared to other high end phones out there. Also, 15 min sync for gmail in this day and age? And how can you take a review seriously that says "idea of how it fares under calmer everyday usage, but it should do just fine.". This screams we hope hope hope but don't really know or think it will. Blackberry was a revolution and loved it but time marches forward this is not the savior. Sorry and I hoped it was.

    Gmail can do push email with BB10 via the provided ActiveSync capability. Read the review.

    [Website is having issues so this may be a duplicate post.]

    Also , how do you do a launch and not have it available immediately. It's not really a launch then is it? It shows me the thinking at RIMM is insane marketing. Its great really you can have in a month or in the case of the Q in 3 months. I don't think they get it still and gives me no confidence in the company.

    It is available immediately: in the UK. And a few days later in Canada.

    Obviously if the devices weren't ready they wouldn't be selling them today in the UK. Blame the US carriers.

    Same way Apple, Microsoft, and Google do it. Launch is basically the same as an announcement these days,including the corresponding dates of availability. This is nothing new.

    Great to see Blackberry finally get here, but honesty, "here" has been around on other phones for years.

    BBM video chat = facetime, will be equally useless because it's on WiFi only where as you can use Skype on 3g/lte. and honestly, do you really see people sitting around in a 12-person conference room all hudled around someone's phone and looking at a presentation? no, the mainstream will still stick to the videprojector conference setups.

    Yes, BBM is still probably better than anything out there, but all it's doing is sustaining the user base that's already there, I can't see myself nor anyone i know jumping ship for that feature alone.

    The blackberry hub, as unique as it is, makes me really wonder. Where is the benefit beyond the unfied inbox? Actually, when I used to have the old BB Tour, I personally, turned off the unified inbox, i didn't want everything getting mashed in there. Now it seems like every little thing possible is getting thrown into the unified box and you can't even turn it off.

    unless you're a blogger, a teenage or HR person, do you really give a shit and want your linked-in, facebook, twitter all blasting the crap out of your "email" box? The Blackberry people that actually DO, do they have time for all this social media crap? Wouldn't you be busy doing shit? and actually most professions that i could think of can be done without social media -- so who is the target audience?

    the balance is a great idea though and it looks amazing how it's integrated into the phone.

    But otherwise, this is just catch-up to what's been around for years on other platforms, i don't see people jumping in masses for a platform switch.

    This is pretty much exactly where I am. Was hoping and wanting to be blown away. Instead, I left with a sort of "meh" reaction. It's not bad looking, but it's not 'wow I have to have one material."

    Best news in my opinion was that the Q10 will be coming (albeit lagging nearly three months behind) and adoption of ActiveSync was confirmed, meaning Exchange connectivity will finally be via the same standards everyone else adopted nearly ten years ago.

    So, my Yahoo account can no longer be push.

    And the LED only flashes in RED.

    Sigh. I'll stick with BB7.

    Regardless of the name, people have to understand that this is really a 1.0 release of the OS. It's going to (a) be buggy, (b) require improvements, and (c) evolve over the next 6-18 months.

    With luck, they'll address some of the more pressing concerns that come clear after general availability of the Z10. My hope is they do so in time for the Q10, which is my most likely target of acquisition.

    I'm a nerd, and was happier to hear that Kindle was going to be there than I was about Skype.

    Now, they just need to let me customise the LED colors for notifications (and fix the bedside mode ASAP)....

    RIM underestimated another thing.

    The show! To all respect to Mr. T.Heins, indeed smart man on the right place, but he lacked the right way to exagarate and to show off the product. Instead it was presentation of old known facts. Steve Ballmer or Steve Jobs would sell this product even better.

    Another missing part was GPS. Why he didnt mention such a important feature in nowadays smartphones ?

    Announcing Skype was smart step. But any new progrees is useless if they are not ready to sell it right away. Morover North American market has to still wait to get just the phone..huh.. fail !.

    If I am here to introduce some new product, it has to be BIG BENG! with all support and logistic ready to ship it next day over. With all advertisments to force it into the public.

    Honestly, I am glad RIM is back, but please, speed up your work, it takes forever to do some imrpovements, while competitors are gone miles ahead.

    Will see in 6 months, where RIM is. Sorry i mean BB. :)

    Good luck.

    I hope you're wrong about where apps are installed, Kevin. Apps should not be installed in media memory. It is too dangerous to do so. Apps should be installed in device memory (not RAM but the 16 GB device memory) to prevent someone else from running apps off their microSD card on YOUR BlackBerry. In *nix, the mount command is typically reserved for administrators for that reason. Ubuntu takes a more "liberal" approach.

    Hey Kevin, where can I buy this in the UK unlocked? I can only see it on contract on phones4u and Carphone Warehouse!!!!

    going to get it ASAP!!!

    IqWaN

    BB 9780 white os 6
    pin:236154FD

    BB Playbook 32gb os 2.1.0.1032

    What do you mean "if you even consider windows phone viable competition"?!?
    are you crazy, I was wondering if bb10 is viable competition for ANY of the current OS's. Im afraid if you could see through your blind cloud of fanboyism you would realize that it doesn't bring anything new to the table besides a gimmicky keyboard and a cluttered place to find all of your messages that requires an awkward gesture. And when you start to look at the negatives its clear this is a half baked effort:

    -fewest apps of any platform(including windows phone that you so readily mocked)
    -most apps are complete crap
    -virtually no ecosystem compared with apple and MS(computer, tablet, games console)
    -absolutely no unique feature that makes it stand out
    -ripoff UI copied from ios, android and wp
    -worst maps app ever (even worse than apples infamous imaps)
    -horrible battery life
    - completely bland design

    Go drink some androids kool-aid you moron. Clearly don't know about anything. Someone is probably hacking into your weak android phone right now lol.

    Nice comeback, I see you countered my arguments highly effectively, I will continue drinking my "android Kool aid".

    I also spend all my free time on forums devoted to all the platforms I hate and don't use, just so I can rag on them.

    "What do you mean "if you even consider windows phone viable competition"?!?
    are you crazy, I was wondering if bb10 is viable competition for ANY of the current OS's."

    You're using WP of all things to criticize BB10?

    BUH???

    you're discredited right there on that alone.

    "A NEW OS FOR THE NEXT 10 YEARS OF BLACKBERRY"

    Yeah right. Maybe 5 years with the way technology goes these days.

    Can anyone please tell me if BB 10 has UMA/UMALite? I have a 9900 that I rely soley on wifi calling at home because I'm in a Rogers deadzone. Without wifi calling (UMA Lite on the 9900) I would not be able send/receive text message or voice calls. I cannot find any information on this. If they dropped this on the BB10, how will any Rogers customers like me in deadzones (main floor apartment in Toronto, not in the country) communicate?

    there some one selling one on eBay for £510!!!!!! and its unlocked they got it today the place is in london where its from :O

    More disappointing than I had expected. I wanted something new and revolutionary and it seems we got an android rehash without the ecosystem and lacking some basic functions. It almost seems like a downgraded version of MeeGo.

    I'm sorry guys but this presentation was a big fail. I know you guys are fans and want Blackberry to succeed but straight honest criticism is also needed when RIM does such a poor job and does not seem to realize that this is do-or-die.

    Sure, the Z10 will be great for hardcore Blackberry fans, but RIM isn't going to survive as an ongoing entity by selling only to Blackberry fans. I've seen nothing in the presentation today that has made me want to wait until March for a Z10 or April and beyond for a Q10. The hardware specs are underwhelming, the design and build looks cheap and too thick, and the confusing UI is going to turn off everyone except the hardcore fans.

    Basically I don't see anything here that will make anyone give up their Galaxy S3 or iPhone 5 or not wait for the Galaxy S4 or iPhone 5s. Am I wrong? Am I being too unfair?

    I think Blackberry did a good job. Nothing personal but I have a Galaxy 3 and it blows chucks. The productivity function just stink, it sort of has a love/hate relationship with email and I'm just happy if the texting works in a reasonably timely manner. Your living a dream if you think this compares to a blackberry.

    You're not being unfair as far as I am concerned. I see nothing in BB10 to make me give up my Galaxy S3. At all. I am looking forward to seeing the Galaxy S4. And I was a Blackberry user until last July. Surprisingly underwhelming.

    BTW I was a RIM investor as well and wanted to have faith in RIM and against my better judgement refused to sell my stock until at least after the presentation. I've sold everything now and took a loss, but at least I gave RIM a chance and really wanted it to succeed, but I guess it was just not to be.

    Troll. Not only don't you understand the product, you don't understand investing. You took a loss when you didn't need to.

    Sure you are and tomorrow you will be a budget conscious shopper from the midwest. Try to keep your story lines straight next time.

    Am I the only one that's fairly disappointed with the new BB10?

    The share screen is the only cool factor and new "innovative" aspect of the phone.

    Where are all of the key apps? Skype, Netflix, Instagram, eBay, Pandora, YouTube, UrbanSpoon, etc... You know, things that I would LOVE to use.

    Come on Blackberry! I was REALLY cheering for you to come out of the gates guns blazing for BB10, instead you give me a mash up of all the latest OS garbled into one. Oh well, c'est la vie.

    My poor 9900 won't be replaced by BB10. Time to look at the competitors and do the switch. Thanks for the good 10 years though. It was a good run but I believe that Blackberry is now fairly out of the race.

    That's my point. "Some are enroute". No Skype and Netflix on release date! That's a joke. Those are probably the most used apps in North America if not the planet.

    I'm fed up with their lack of listening to what the consumers want. I LOVE my 9900 but I really need Skype on the go as my family is all over the world.

    I'm in IT and I called our MDM provider to see if they had any plans to work with BB10 devices so that I don't need to get a whole new server for BB10 devices. Their response "We had looked at it and now it's scrapped. It's not even on our paper." Do you have any idea what that means? An MDM provider giving up on BB10 and concentrating on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Not a good look.

    I'm fairly disappointed with Blackberry as a whole. I waited 2 years for this! Come on.

    It is time for me to check out the other OSes that are out there. DAMN YOU BLACKBERRY!!! WHY!!!

    Then be fed up with the program developer. No company can FORCE someone else to create a program for their device. The developer needs to WANT to. And if enough BB customers ask for it the developer will build it ... Usually ;)

    I know there's such a thing as a too long presentation. As I watched the presentation I kept thinking to myself they're not demonstrating a lot of things that will show people more unique things. A lot of the things that Kevin has covered in this blog SHOULD HAVE been covered in the broadcast. I frankly don't think we needed to know that people will take their phones around the world and create stuff. That amount of time could have been dedicated to covering some of the things Kevin has covered.

    With regard to availability dates, the U.S. date should have been left until the end. The stock is taking a pounding right now.

    As I'm watching Global News commenting on the new phones, some tech guy is clearly uninformed with what he's talking about.

    If people saw this blog review they would get a better idea of what the phone is about, but I sorely feel a better job could have been done with the Blackberry presentation.

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