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

    That's interesting. How do you actually review a map function when it hasn't even left the display room. Good try, trolls

    I own the z10, and have tested the Maps and the Camera. Both work awesome. Maps could have never been better than this.. and talking about Camera its super-awesome.. already loving the timeshift feature.. and BB camera was always better than iPhones or Android.. well thats my opinion bout it..
    now talking about ur comment which u posted on Jan 30,2013, I dont think the phone was out then.. :p go find some place else to fool ppl

    "BlackBerry 10 Phones Releasing 30 Days After Launch Event, says RIM COO Kristian Tear - N4BB"

    Lets see, end of March is much more then 30 days.

    We are so gullible.. to ever trust them again.

    I have to wonder if you know what you're talking about when it comes to displays... the iPhone 5 isn't even on par with the Lumia 920 as far as sharpness goes and the higher PPI in this device won't even be discernible by the naked eye between the two.

    Happy and will wait patiently for the verizon launch.
    Thanks Kevin.
    BTW....dont you guys think Playbook should have been like this to begin with (minus the phone and camera feature)?

    This is not a good day for me as I thought it was going to be. I am a ATT customer and I have to wait another 2 months and I may not be able to get the white Z10. Not good at all. Very upset

    At Least Feb only has 28 days!! We've waited this long we can wait the extra couple of weeks. Be Happy :)

    Hey Kevin, hope you read this - you seem to have some positive reinforcements, and I'm sure that we will too after a week or two with the devices.

    I was thinking maybe that after a couple weeks with the devices, you could start a thread or something where everyone can give 2-3 ideas on how they think the OS could be improved, and then after a certain time, pick the top 10-20 most recurring items and send that list to BlackBerry.

    Asks them to review it and get back to us with what they intend on taking from that list and implementing in a further OS update. I think this is very important because Heins said that this phone is built for us users, so our input should be important. Some things are left out but are things that we love most from the previous BBOS's or some things we learn as we "get things done".

    Thanks for the good review.

    Hi! Long time reader, though I have never posted here; more of a voyeur than a troll. Anyway, also a long time BB user (currently rocking a Verizon 9850 Torch for 1.5 years) plus I own a bunch of RIMM shares that I have so far way overpaid for.

    OK now, at first glance, aesthetically speaking, only the Z10 could make the boring iphone 5 look slylish. Heck, it makes my Torch look like a million bucks! This is one plain Jane looking brick. WTF?! I mean this is the alpha/beta (gamma) tester skin right? Did RIM (err BB) lay-off the design group? Hell, the dude with the purple shirt presenting seems to have some style with him, did he get overruled? I know beauty is only skin deep, but in the world of smart phone marketing, teens and 20-40 somethings aren't going to give this drab thing the time of day. Case makers, please come to the rescue (speaking of cases, so jealous of the hoards of nice cases available for iphones).

    As for the OS and user experience features, it seems awesome! Pulling off the Hub will be the software design of the year! The Balance capability will keep it in corporate use for another couple years but then there will be BYOD knocking on the door. The new platform's nuts and bolts will keep me with BB for now, but then I'm a 40 something cost accountant who sees real value below the surface. As far as my stock...yikes!! Silly me, don't get used to BBRY, sadly?, it'll be DELL or LNVGY sooner rather than later.

    I believe you can say you prefer BB10 over Lumia's WP8, but saying it trumps it it is totally wrong. That's your personal opinion. iPhone and Android users says WP doesn't have enough apps. BB10 has even less aplications than WP8. And most of BB apps are crap.

    I believe you can say you prefer BB10 over Lumia's WP8, but saying it trumps it it is totally wrong. That's your personal opinion. iPhone and Android users says WP doesn't have enough apps. BB10 has even less aplications than WP8. And most of BB apps are crap.

    The presentation was a bit disappointing (other than the appearance by Alica Keys), they aren't really charismatic. That being said, the phone is amazing! Everything I was hoping for and more (Skype was a really pleasant surprise). Going to my local bell store and picking it up within the week!

    I know all the Blackberry fans (of which I was one for many years) are pretty excited about having a new phone and OS to work with. The unfortunate part here is that the event today was a total bomb in the eyes of the media and business analysts. To little, way to late... and not good enough. The phone is simply not good enough to convince anyone who migrated over to Android to switch back or move off the iPhone. This is very sad indeed. I was actually thinking that if the phone showed some real advances that I would sell my Galaxy S3 and go for the new B10. But with the specs it has their is no way I am giving up the Galaxy for a phone that doesn't match up.

    Blackberry needed to not only convince its loyal base to buy into the new phone(s) but convince millions more to switch over. That simply isn't going to happen. The writing is really on the wall now and that is a very sorry thing to see.

    I have to agree with you. Lackluster reviews elsewhere are not helping the cause either. I hope there is 3rd uberBB waiting in the wings, ready to go in about 6 mths, because iphone 6 is coming....and I'm afraid it's going to show no mercy! I'm worried!

    Why would the specs need to match up if the OS runs efficiently and it's just as fast if not faster? i wonder how the Z10 compares to the Optimus G with a quad core?
    the demos showed us that BB10 is really smooth and snappy

    So why are you trolling this forum? Take your Samsung piece of **** and go back to your own blog. BB users love their phones and we frankly don't care what you think.

    Go play with your note then. This is BB time. Alicia Keys first love was bb, then another, now she is creative media director for Blackberry. Go figure.

    Mostly fantastic, look/style could have been better, I am not keen on the backing material, but the disappointment is the CAMERA!

    9900 AGAIN?!? I mean, COME ON, just freaking call "Sony", ask them for exact same iPhone back-lit sensor, and be done with it. Their camera software is good, all they needed as a good sensor, and they totally blew it.

    I am really pissed on that, I really hoped they were at least on part with S3 camera, if not as good as iPhone/Lumia!

    WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PANORAMIC CAMERA OPTION !??????? the showed that in one of the first dev alpha phone !!!... ?????? and im disappointed; I though they would make it faster phone...IMPROVING is the key...its already late!!!

    Hopefully this being a demo model the camera isn't the final one. I would hate to get shafted with a terrible camera again.

    Some people please stop bitching about no Instagram. If you really feel the need to look at photoshopped pictures of your favourites meals, just go sit in front of a McDonald's....

    Just pre-ordered on Rogers for a $139 upgrade. Pick up at local Rogers store.

    Hopefully it will be there on the 5th!! Pumped!!!

    Excellent read! Bookmarked it. So much information on there. The battery life and maybe aftermarket parts for the battery would be cool. There should be room for a 2250mah version. Is it just me but this Z10 feels weird.

    As if something isn't right. It all looks so bizarre to be a BB. Full touchscreen and all that jazz. Weird but cool feeling. Am I the only one feeling that way? How quickly do you get used to this 2013 feeling?

    That camera is just sad to look at. My Samsung blackjack from 2007 that doesn't have a flash takes better pictures with it's 2 megapixel sensor. The OS is Android's leftovers without the ecosystem and the only redeeming quality of the device as a whole is the new screen tech. This is the most underwhelming phone release I've witnessed to date.

    Looking forward to buying the phone.

    Can't help but notice some of the disappointed people on here, and I must agree if it's regarding the presentation... Not very exciting.. Although, most initial product launch presentations are pretty lame.

    That said, the phone looks awesome, and I'm going to be happy to buy and enjoy it.

    No offense, but I see a lot of people freaking out over speculations when they haven't actually used the device yet.

    I one hundred percent agree with you! The device was just announced today! Less than 24 hours ago. There is a lot of stuff that will change and get better as BB10 matures.

    As for the battery life, I'm not to overly worried, when the 9900 came out I don't think it lasted a day, within a couple of months and os upgrades RIM... excuse me BlackBerry, optimized things and the battery is fine.

    Keep Calm and Carry On

    Even though I'm a BlackBerry person, love the BB10 OS and Z10/Q10 designs, and will definitely be buying a BB10 phone eventually (no IF's or maybe's), I have to agree with some of the slightly pessimistic reviews out there.

    BlackBerry may have a fantastic product here, but they really have to get around people's bias about the old BlackBerry. They really need to explain that this is NOT the same OS as old, that this OS will NOT crash or hang like the Java BBOS, and that it's as good or better than the Android's and iPhone's. There's some major re-education needed for the market. Skimming through comments on other sites or Youtube videos, and my own chats with friends and colleagues, there's a large amount of negativity due to peoples' past experiences, and they believe BB10 is just the same old thing with a pretty skin.

    It seems as though they've gotten beyond the old issues with this new OS. But "pretty skin"? A cheap Chinese iPhone knockoff puts this design to shame! The all black generic slab with the only quasi aesthetically pleasing elements being the tapered ends? Huh? Look at that window framed glass! What is that all about? No smooth blending? This 9850 I'm holding is a work of art in comparison. Plus I read at cnet that the batt cover seems flimsy and too easily comes off. They can save the utilitarian military-esque vibe for the business oriented Q.... TO GET NEW USERS....this Z10, the new bread and butter volume leader, needed to at least keep pace in external design and feel, and dare I say...BLING! (THE EASIEST PART OF THE ENDEAVOR). Failed execution, lost/last opportunity! I'd love to drink the cool aid with most of you, but unfortunately it's evaporating before my very eyes, like this company's fortunes.

    Disappointed by the lack of sound profile options. Saying they will add feature back in future updates tells me they, although postponed it by 5 months, again rushed a product out.

    Corey

    RIM has done a great job!!!! this is a huge step for them. If you compare the specs to the top android phone as well as the IPHONE both of the Blackberrys stack up very well. Everyone compares every device to the iPhone but ask yourself this...What innovations have come from cupertino since the passing of Steve Jobs? And the best feature of android is google now. If some of you people would really take a look at every new android device that comes out they are all the same. And the UI of the iPhone has been the same since it first came out. I wish that people would just take their time and really look at the devices for them selves and not buy based on what your buddy has....Way to go RIM!!!!!

    If BB post today's activities, watch the battery on the phones they are using as the presentation goes on. It gets to 25% really really fast. Apparently we are back to back up batteries in the pocket and briefcase again. I wondered how they could keep programs active and keep battery life manageable.

    I remember when the 9900 came out we had a similar problem. Hoping they can find software management tools that will help over time.

    Kevin,

    I've been following Blackberry without stop even after I switched to an iPhone after a terrible accident took my 9930 away from me. Now that the Z10 has launched is the UK and Canada, why not launch it here in the US at the same time? I agree that loyalty gets rewarded however with the rumored Superbowl commercial, which is Feb. 3, whats the point of it if the device wont launch for over a month after that? The reason why the stock market analyst dont like it is because the device wont be in US consumers hands for over a month. The fact that the US is still the biggest market for smartphone is a huge deal when it wont debut here for some time. For it to make headway against Android and iOS, it needs to hit everybody simultaneous on all cylinders, with full force. I am very excited to switch back to blackberry. The device, and more important the software, is utterly amazing. It just needs to get here much much sooner.

    It's up to the carriers to put out the devices, not Blackberry, they just sell them the phones.
    The US carriers did not test the phones in a timely manner and therefore missed the launch date.
    The UK had their priorities together and got the phones out.
    in Canada, i can wait one week.
    so blame the carriers, not BB.

    Wow, so many trolls posting here during stock market hours. I have been on the stock thread for weeks and have not seen these SAME trolls posting there, kind of obvious what their intentions were. Zzzz

    Generally out in cyber space the reviews are good, with the exception of some nameless few who went out of their way to misrepresent some facts, no matter that will all be sorted out as truths always come to the surface. Kevin in fact has started that process with this darn good review. I'm sure in the coming days and weeks we will see more in depth reviews, compares etc.

    Kinda sucks USA has to wait few days longer than Canada but Blackberry did their best I'm sure, USA carriers need to step it up a notch! Think of that as perhaps a silver lining, if any tweeks/updates need to be made before hitting USA market all the better.

    Something really stuck out for me, that being 1/2 the pre-orders are from non-BB users, that's HUGE if that trend holds in the USA. No wonder trolls are besides themselves,lol.

    I look forward to more indepth reviews.

    What are you talking about?! It was an underwhelming presentation of a phone that looks like a beta tester...and it has the battery life of a 1st gen htc 4g! I waited all this time for this?! If BBM goes to other platforms, then another reason to bolt. Troll this... It's a public company, if you can't sell your product, you cant invest, you can't sell shares! You close your doors or you give the business away for cheap. BB F'D UP!!

    1440mAh. I'm curious how BB expects to lure iphone and android users away with this? Director of Global Creativity perhaps? Maybe she should've been hired 2 years ago?

    This is God awful.

    Release dates in March and April? WTFH!@#!@#!@

    That is BS! Good luck Blackberry. This is the beginning of the end.

    Terrible.. who is leading the charge in the US?

    Absolutely EMBARASSING for this release date...

    It's available in the UK in 9 hours.
    In Canada next week.

    It's not BlackBerrys fault. It's your carrier. The phones are there, and good to go.

    I call BS mate! This is perhaps their most important product launch ever, and you suggest they allow Verizon to completely dictate the availability timing? Really?! I think there's a bit more to it than that.

    Yes. It must to be embarrassing to live in a country where the phone carriers don't know how to test a phone so they can roll it out to the customers. The UK and Canada can do it promptly, why can't the US? Don't blame RIM, blame the carriers. I pick up my Z10 on the 5th.

    Silly, Verizon owns 55% of Vodafone, I would think their testing programs are on par if not unified. Try barking up another tree. There are many things to be embarrassed about as an American, Z10 release dates certainly wouldn't be one of them. FYI, ALWAYS PROUD AND LUCKY TO BE AN AMERICAN!! Now I would be embarrassed to wait in line in the cold of the UK or Canada to buy one of these unfinished phones.

    Why no one is mentioning that these new BlackBerry Phones do not have most important feature.. a Home button..
    :P

    It wasnt the most impressive launch, it is quickly clear the camera is weak, however, for anyone out there saying this OS is late to the table or nothing improved with what is out there simply has no clue. What Blackberry, the company, lacks is a hgh end marketing machine. It is clear they are very weak in this area and have not improved. If this OS rolled out as the new iPhone 5s or 6, or any iteration of a Samsung, it would be hailed by the masses as the next revolution of the smartphone.

    I have bought many apps for my Torch and Playbook and rarely use any of them. There is nothing I hate more than being in an app and getting a message aleart and have to close it to go check it out. The whole hub and peek aspect of the BB10 is truly revolutionary.

    The iphones are good, the samsungs are good, and now the Z10 is good. If you have anyone of them your phone is more than enough to do what ever, that being said, I am a blackberry fan, and this is a phone to be proud of...

    So for the trolls, just be human enough to say, "hey not enough for me to switch", and let the BlackBerry fans discuss the merits or faults.

    Hold-up Slim! I am a long time BB user (and patient apologist), and RIM shareholder! I want a great phone and I certainly want iphone and android users to switch to BB, to keep this ship afloat! Are you serious?!! Techy and corporate users are only half (or less than half) the mission! "Blackberry fan"? This isn't a sports team or a movie star, this a major corporation with thousands of jobs (minus 5000) at stake along with millions of shareholder dollars. Have you ever been laid off? Speaking of sports, this is the big leagues Bro! Troll realist > blind worshiper!

    Thanks Kevin was a good in depth review. Gained huge respect for you after seeing you sporting the Panerai like the Z10 (SOLID, SIMPLE AND WICKED). I think a lot of people forget that if dropped in all the features BlackBerry could have baked in at launch - done maybe at 60% perfect it would be a android phone! Better to get the core stuff in done properly and leave some good stuff for some future updates.

    I am so disappointed by their presentation. Thorsten is a great guy, but I wish they could have someone else present the phone. A dedicated PR. What they presented today is what they have presented in many of the previews they have already given. I get this feeling like they gave it their best somewhere at the start and kinda gave up halfway through.

    On their first BB10 preview video, they showed someone pushing video content from the phone to the TV. Where's that? Where's cinnamon toast? I was expecting some surprises from "RIM" showing how their phone can be very interactive with other things that it really becomes an extension of a person's arm.

    Now we need a dock with USB and HDMI out for the PlayBook, Q and Z10. I wanted to ask, do you guys know if the T-Mobile version will have UMA? I haven't heard anything about it and it's one of my favorite features on my 9900. Also, I wanted to ask Kevin, are they gonna sell that pack with all the goodies? I'd love to get one of those.

    +1 on the Playbook charging dock with and HDMI out. I cant tell you how many times I've been irritated by having to disconnect my Playbook from my HDTV because the battery was low.
    ________________________________________
    I’d rather be a Black Sheep than an iSheep any day.

    Did I miss it in the review or are the proximity sensor and custom profiles gone???

    I moved to Android a couple of years ago after being a long time BB user, and keep thinking about switching back to BB just for the convenience features of BB that I miss.

    Things like holster it and it goes to sleep and switches to vibrate, granular sound / notification profiles / options, etc. Those are things I sorely miss and keep me considering moving back. I was all excited to see if BB10 kept those features.

    Skype was the only thing I was waiting for, the only thing whose absence would have been a disappointment.

    Skype is here, I'm good.

    In all the talk about what isn't on BlackBerry 10 yet, people forget that what IS on Android and iOS is Android and iOS. It's not good enough for me.

    Now, I have the problem that my carrier (Virgin Mobile) demands a $80 per month plan in order to get the fully subsidized $149 price, so I'm going to be paying $600 for the device on my $55 per month plan.... but I've got 6 Gig of data and I have a feeling I'm going to be using every bit, literally.

    Great review. It's nice to read one by someone who actually likes Blackberrys and doesn't act like they were forced to do the review after being subjected to Chinese water torture (aka CNET)

    The 10 features look great, but to be honest, I'm not a fan of the whole "touch only" mindset (don't buy the Apple juice.) Also, I like the notification bar on 6 & 7. I love the trackpad and buttons, and I'll have a hard time switching from my Torch 9810, which I happen to think is a perfect combination of keyboard and touch. I love having the vertical slider and full screen.

    The one disappointment brought up in the review is the picture quality. I think they could have done a little better job on that.

    How many iphone or android people will switch because of this, or is it just a way to keep current BB people from defecting?

    The pricing doesn't seem to reflect any sort of discount for being an early adopter.

    It's been quite evident BlackBerry 10 is the superior platform versus the iPhone and Android. The only two things they have is 1) Market Penetration and 2) Marketing $$$ while BlackBerry has the superior OS and innovative features.

    BB needs to sell BB10 by explaining to people that BB10 can do anything iPhones and Android can do and much more.
    People that are Tech Savvy know how good BlackBerry 10 is. I believe those will be the people that will buy the BB10 phones.

    Kevin:

    While I'm disappointed that the degree of customization of the sound profiles is not as robust as that in the previous OS, it is enough for me. However, one feature I have not been able to confirm is whether or not the user will be able to set individual contacts to override whatever the Active Profile setting is-for example, setting the wife's emails, texts, and calls to ring at a particular volume of choice while the phone is on silent.

    Can you confirm as to whether or not this feature has been retained? Thanks!

    I know this is gonna sound crazy. But what if the US date for the release of BB10 is much earlier? What if the release is actually next week and it's announced on the Superbowl commercial? See if I was a marketing guy I would steal the Superbowl commercial show with that big an announcement. Just saying.

    Couple of questions:

    - One feature I loved in WebOS was that you could toss cards with a swipe of the finger when you were done with it. Can you toss a blackberry 10 active space card out instead of using the "x" to close it?
    - Does Blackberry 10 support the Dvorak keyboard?

    One disagrement with the review. They say that the designer specifically made the L10 a 4.2" screen but a blackberry blog states that the 1280x768 is just a temporary resolution and all future blackberry touch phones will have a resolution of 1280x720. That means the next blackberry phone will not have a 4.2" screen because it will be a 16x9 ratio instead of 16x10. I expect the next blackberry phone to have either a thinner screen like the iphone or a longer one like the android in order to use a 1280x720 resolution display. I'm also curious what future implications the resolution change has on software - fragmentation?

    I just found a official PDF file that says the RFK121LW/RFF9LW support 64BG SD card

    I want to know what model that y'all are testing the RRFK121LW IS QUAD BAND support AT&T and T-Mobile 1700 UMTS

    " Inside BBM, users can choose either audio calls or voice calls to contacts". Don't you mean "choose either audio calls or video calls?"

    I have bought a BB for 2 reasons: keyboard and BBM. In time, I have come to enjoy a lot two other things: trackball and smart shortcuts in the menus that make me very productive. For example, multiple selection with trackball when deleting messages. And the trackball for me is enjoyable not because of itself, but because of how it eases the navigation in the menu: it works like an arrow up/down/left/right, locking on the icon or line on the screen. This is a totally different thing from just swiping your finger over the screen and accidentally touching things you don't mean to. Call me old school, I just love it.
    The thing that I hate most about my BB is the browser experience. I hate it so much that even when I need to go online for practical purposes (not for fun) I still hesitate a lot whether to do it or not. And when I do gather the courage to go online, I abandon my task halfway through. It is that bad for me. (I have a Bold with OS 6, by the way).
    Unfortunately, with the exception of BBM, the new BB does not seem to have the other features that I like in my current BB. So it would be a major step back for me. On the other hand, it improves a lot on the one thing that I hate!
    My personal conclusion, for whatever it is worth: unless BB comes out with a slider (so both large screen and physical keyboard) that also has a trackball on the keyboard, I am afraid I will upgrade my old BB to something like a WP8 in a slider format (hope someone will get it out eventually if BB doesn't). Simply put, I am not able to use a touch screen when I hold the phone in just one hand. I need the keyboard and the trackball! ( Q10 has too small a screen for a good browsing experience, and no trackball).

    u said you have a bold and youre complaining about the size of the screen on the q10?? secondly the z10 is designed for one hand usage get over it the trackball/pad is gone new way of doing things and you're right u can always switch to wp8

    Here in the UK I've just ordered my Z10 from Vodafone. It's been a long wait and it had better be worth it! I will post my thoughts as soon as it arrives. I feel sad for US users and BB because the US market is huge and their market share is tiny now. I would have ensured that the Z10 was available now, this morning, in the USA. BB really needs the Z10 to sell in large numbers in he USA if it is to have any chance of fighting back against Apple and Android phones. What happens in the USA on Monday happens in the UK on Tuesday and the rest of the world on Wednesday.

    The presentation was poor. Sorry Blackberry, but too much waffle and not enough homing in on key features, the awesome capability of QNX/BB10 with its potential for further development, its potential for mobile computing generally outside of mere phones (eg linking in with TVs, cars etc), the future of the PalyBook, and above all the other four BB10 phones that were said to be lined up for later in 2013. This would have made people think "wow, there's a real future here!".

    Anyway, by this time next week I hope you'll have feedback from me, a pretty average albeit slightly more interested than normal four and a bit years BB user with Storm 1 and 2, plus two PlayBooks. I am trusting BB to quickly update the os OTA to fix any obvious flaws that should have had more thought out before launch (eg the ability to pin favourite apps rather than leave them to be nudged out unexpectedly by a ninth opened one).

    well, i have to admit that this is a big improvement for RIM and i'm definitely getting one of those z10. no more battery pull, no more clock rotating and you can finally install apps on the device memory but i gotta wait few months till the price drop a lil though

    hey Kev, i think you should return that phone and get a new one, that one has a broken camera, i've seen pics of other z10 and even Dev alphas looking by far a lot better than this pics.

    cheers !!

    After reading the posts, so many thoughts come to mind. Where to start???

    In general I find there are a good number of intelligent commentaries, but also a (disappointingly) large number of childish replies. Many sound like little children crying because they didn't get this or that. The reality is that NO phone will be all things to all people. There will always be give and take. If you want it all, then expect more time and more money. I personally believe that this phone will be the best for ME and the way I work with a phone. It may not be the best for my son or my wife based on what THEY need out of a phone. So please don't say the phone is garbage because it doesn't do what you want it to do. You may not be who they are targeting.

    As for the delay on shipping to the US, I suspect that blame would lie more with the US carriers than with Blackberry. I doubt Blackberry is going to alienate the US carriers by pointing the finger at them, but if you want it badly, press you carrier for delivery.

    Lastly (for now) if that app that you loved so much isn't available, I would suspect that a similar app is. Personally I can't see how not having something like HULU or Instagram available is going to affect the typical BUSINESS user of any mobile device. To me, those are like games. Nice to have, but hardly life or death.

    Now... I can't wait until Feb 6th or 7th when my Z10 arrives...

    Sorry, but Blackberry will cease to exist as an independent company if people like your wife and son are not at least considering this full touch phone as an alternative. The Z10 is supposed to be a serious, no compromise competitor to the trendy iphone5 and androids. You guys are all missing the big picture. BB already had us at hello, but our 2% of the market is not enough to sustain this company!

    Good luck BB10 and good write up Kevin...end of the day competition is good.

    in other news Evasi0n is rumored for Sunday...yaaay can't wait!

    Alright -- clearly CrackBerry and BlackBerry are under attack by self-interested paid trolls.

    Who agrees that these guys are nothing more than paid bashers (and lowly scum too):

    H_LAX
    Pete Jr
    evoga
    Dave79
    Poodwahr
    Hasen Bin Sober

    Did I miss anyone?

    Dude, nice try, get over yourself!

    I want a nice BB replacement for this dang 9850 I've been carrying for near 2 years. I want to get some of my money back on my dang shares of RIMM stock! I friggin have really taken to Blackberry and want them to succeed! Btw, who the frick would pay me to bash this phone here? Who the hell cares? Well hopefully someone at BB is "trolling" here. Seriously, the Z10 does it's own self-bashing and it's plastered all over the net in sub-par reviews and comparisons! I tell you who I am paid by: I am paid by a fortune 500 US based corporation with over 10,000 employees globally, which will in the next 2 months begin offering iphone 5's as corporate phones! Want to hazard a guess on which phone employees will soon be choosing? Why does that have to be?!!

    Kiss my ass then choke on your cool-aid Dork!

    To be completely honest I think you are being just a teeny bit too harsh. Can you provide links to websites that are talking badly about the phone? All the reviews I've seen so far have been pretty good.

    The phone isn't perfect but it surely seems like its paving a pretty darn good road for it. Don't forget the phone was just announced yesterday! People just started to purchase and get them today (just in the UK)! Give it some time to see what real customers are saying. Don't make decisions based of preliminary reviews.

    I guess being called a lowly scum troll is ok? Anyway, been called way worse...so lol.

    It's not about me! It's not about you! It's not about most for the "BB fans" here!

    Here's the deal, WE need to attract new users or at least start by bringing back the one's that left! THIS WON'T GET IT DONE! Alicia, JayZ or even Bieber won't make this thing cool! No I haven't held or used the Z10 but my eyes tell me that it's a bland generic slab that compares unfavorably to iphone1 and really any previous BB for that matter. It looks like a lackluster attempt to copy an old HTC touch! Get real, if you can't get their attention at first look, it's a very uphill battle.

    I AM looking forward to the (finally) fast 4G browser and the slick (perhaps revolutionary yet complicated) OS, but that's me. I'm a long time BB user but too many aren't. Success = regaining market share. And yes, that would include attracting the kids (15 - 29's).

    Please explain to me how this Z10 competes and then regains market share by stealing from apple and android, not just a comparison of Z10 vs 9850/60? Current market share in the US is ~1%!

    Just a few:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspence/2013/01/31/five-reviews-of-the-bl...

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2414753,00.asp

    http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/01/31/blackberry-z10-review-good-stab-a...

    Hoping for a Z10S or X10 something coming very soon! I'm getting an upgrade in May so will probably be getting the Q10.

    I have owned a blackberry continuously since the very beginning and have an grandfathered international data plan. Frankly, its the only reason to own the phone over many other options that are available in the market. I bought my Z10 on launch day at ATT store here in Tennessee. Screen has developed a slight yellow tint. The browser stutters and jerks when loading complex web pages. Bulk email deletes and read marks are clumsy and difficult to do. You cant just easily hide a web page that you are surfing as closing it still show the content in a tile. The lock button is way up at the top and not easy to reach with one hand. Unlocking it with the upward swipe that starts at the bottom edge of the screen is idiotic and takes a two hands to do without dropping the phone. Screen resolution is about average at best. Camera is noisy and pixelated in low light. The device is a clumsy munge of almost baked ideas. Save your money and get an high quality android or an iphone. Once die-hards like me quit running out and buying one to protect old data plans, RIM is sunk, IMO. What a waste of time waiting two years for this device.

    As a long time Blackberry user, I thought the two devices they showed off yesterday looked really good and full featured. Its funny to see all the bitching and complaining. Basically nothing Blackberry did or can do will satisfy everyone. I am truly surprised at the lack of commentary that the precious MUST HAVE SKYPE is going to be on the BB10 yet there is not even a mention on it. I read some of these other "reviews" at other sites. Ah yes, they dont have these stupid apps (instagram) and some other ones I've never heard of thus the phone is trash. This reminds me of another famous computer company Novell. No matter what they did or how good a product they put out everyone wanted to bash them and say how much better Microsoft servers were.
    I've played with an iPhone its a really nice device, but its pretty basic, sure there are tons of "apps" and that "ecosystem" but how many of those apps are really useful? I really wonder why is it people who hate blackberry still take the time to come over here and post their nonsense. I've used android and the whole experience seems slapped together and cumbersome and the phones are huge.

    I am looking forward to trying the Z10 and the Q10 when the are available. I've had great experience with my Blackberrys.

    I have a question about the 64gb SDXC card. Can the playbook read the data on the card from a bridged Z10. I know it should but it being a different file compression I was just wondering or do I even know what I'm talking about. More specifically I was wondering if the playbook would play a video file from the SDXC card?

    Hello All,

    Quite frankly, I am enjoying all these talks and discussions about Blackberry's new lauch and crackberry's fantastic coverage. First time in my life, I have watched a tech product uneviling live !!
    Few Observations : Of course, presentation was not as fancy (and phony) as apple products but then again, it was not in depth. They should have atleast watched some other product launches and prepared themselves well and explained all the key features which includes it's processors , dimensions, etc., just to make it look more fancier. Agree with me or not, but I believe it is a show business, thanks to Apple and Samsung.
    About the reviews, some are totally biased and they were more like how Iphone and Galaxy are better than Z/Q 10, rather than actually focussing on what and how BB10 OS is different and it's true capabilities. Reviewers are I guess little surprised by what Blackberry has done and dont wan't to look foolish.
    About on going rants on Apps availibility, I dont think we need a whole loads of junk but few basics would do. And hulu, netflix, or any other movie watching, do yourself a favor and go get a tablet :-)

    Having said that, I love my Blackberry and I am ready to wait it out till March. And I believe, Iphone was launched AFTER 6 MONTHS of it's initial announcement, just for the records.

    Hello All,

    Quite frankly, I am enjoying all these talks and discussions about Blackberry's new lauch and crackberry's fantastic coverage. First time in my life, I have watched a tech product uneviling live !!
    Few Observations : Of course, presentation was not as fancy (and phony) as apple products but then again, it was not in depth. They should have atleast watched some other product launches and prepared themselves well and explained all the key features which includes it's processors , dimensions, etc., just to make it look more fancier. Agree with me or not, but I believe it is a show business, thanks to Apple and Samsung.
    About the reviews, some are totally biased and they were more like how Iphone and Galaxy are better than Z/Q 10, rather than actually focussing on what and how BB10 OS is different and it's true capabilities. Reviewers are I guess little surprised by what Blackberry has done and dont wan't to look foolish.
    About on going rants on Apps availibility, I dont think we need a whole loads of junk but few basics would do. And hulu, netflix, or any other movie watching, do yourself a favor and go get a tablet :-)

    Having said that, I love my Blackberry and I am ready to wait it out till March. And I believe, Iphone was launched AFTER 6 MONTHS of it's initial announcement, just for the records.

    back to the toilet... RIMM 12.96 -6%

    what a pitty...it was really last chance to ressurect BB.

    underestimated presentation and PR....fail

    i only hope that in one year we will see very nice piece of hardware in sale.

    199 is the max price i can go for ulnlocked one.

    The product availability in the US is not the carriers fault. BB knows they need to test phones on their network . What all major US carriers conspired to delay availability? More likely BB was late getting the carriers the equipment to test and more than likely BB dropped the ball again and that is why BB users in the US have to wait months further for the device. This is a big flop on BB's part as they even had extra time to get the carriers ready after the last delay and still couldn't get availability even close to launch date. Meanwhile watch APPLE's next IPHONE and learn about coordinating with carriers and it will be available instantly. It's about execution and BB just doesn't do this well. They once had a geeky innovative product but they are tired and poorly run culture.

    Nice review, I am excited to take advantage of all o f these features, as I am a Blackberry Power User! I think most people will be very happy with the Z10. It is an awesome Blackberry device for productivity, connectivity and entertainment.

    In reading the comments, I noted complaints about availability of apps, hardware, and so on. We must understand the device just launched. Give it time. Maybe people over-anticipated the Z10. It's not about putting Blackberry to the front of the pack in 1 day....Seriously! It's about putting Blackberry back in the race, on the map, and keeping them relevant while the QNX OS matures and phone hardware improves.

    Personally, I think the Z10 and Q10 are awesome and will be using them from day one. However, you must remember many people have phone contracts that will renew over the next few years and so there are many opportunities for new subscribers in the coming months and years. Most people will not drop a brand new phone and get a Z10 right now if they are still in contract. They will just wait until their current contract expires or when they are available for a hardware upgrade and make a decision then.

    Why does everyone seem to think we will have people throwing their Android and iPhone handsets out the window and running tomorrow to pick up a Z10? No, they will ponder that question in a few months or years, and by then hopefully Blackberry 10 will have matured more and picked up more apps.

    Regarding the apps.... People seem to forget the politics involved. Microsoft owns Skype and they don't want to give advantage to a competing OS. They are forced to with other OS's due to the huge number of existing users, but otherwise they are playing a strategy here. Same reason why Blackberry doesn't want to give BBM out to competing platforms, because they believe BBM only on Blackberry will help keep Blackberry users with Blackberry. For now there is not enough of an established Blackberry 10 userbase and so it is a chicken-egg problem, but eventually they will be compelled to bring their app to BB10 if they want to squeeze a bit more profit out of their app.

    Facebook owns Instagram now and for a while they were trying to make a phone (although they deny it now). I am sure there was some politics going around there on how they can leverage that. Obviously Blackberry decided to put in a bunch of Instragram-like filters in their own native camera app to satisfy a basic need, that may have had something to do with it. On the other hand, there is Facebook integration built into the hub, so as long as each party feels they can mutually benefit, it will fly.

    Google is a whole other ball of wax. They are supporting Android full-steam, pulling their apps from Blackberry and we already saw the Apple-Maps fiasco due to Apple trying to reduce their dependence on Google. I use Google for many things, but they are obviously favoring Android which is their "baby" and expect no love for other systems, unless of course the numbers are there (users = eyeballs = advertising revenue = $$$ for Google).

    Fortunately, Blackberry browser is AWESOME and most Google Apps are being increasingly made into HTML5-based web-apps so you do not need a native GMail anymore to read your mail, or to Blog, or so on. Even Maps will likely integrate very well with HTML5-browser so you don't need a native app necessarily (or someone could just make a 3rd-party app that uses Google Maps through a web-app interface).

    BOTTOM LINE:

    There is a very complicated relationship between all these companies and their apps, user-base and revenue generation. Don't assume automatically that Blackberry isn't trying... In fact they could have begged and begged but some companies will NOT play with Blackberry and you will have to choose an alternative app.

    Some developers don't want to invest time/money into porting to another platform until they get some user-adoption first. So it becomes a chicken-egg problem. Some won't port an app because their arm is being twisted by another company who they are more "in bed" with and that may get upset if they do.

    Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Blackberry, Samsung, Facebook... Just a small taste of the kind of technology wars and positioning going on in the industry. Blackberry can only do so much. If you want Blackberry to succeed, you may need to consider alternative ways of doing things and not bow down to pressure from these large companies to use apps they are obviously targetting for specific phones in order to move users to their platform.

    Beautiful phone! I think I managed to sell somebody on BB10 yesterday at work, their iPhone was taking a crap! :)

    Beautiful phone! I think I managed to sell somebody on BB10 yesterday at work, their iPhone was taking a crap! :)

    I am a little surprised at the volume of criticism being leveled against Blackberry. Especially since the majority of it is absent of any sort of facts. Are we trolling here? Vested interest in Blackberry failing? Or is iPhone mania just too much to give up?
    Come on guys, until you have this phone directly in your hands; please do us all a favour and be quiet. From all appearances BB10 and both these new phones look to be revolutionary.

    Long live innovation!

    Steve

    Cant wait to get my hands on one. Watched the launch and was stoked. Looks good and can only get better with the advancements in the patches that may follow.

    I am definitely looking forward to this phone. It's going to be great. Now I don't need to go to an iphone / android. Hopefully I can get one from here.

    Didn't have time to read through the comments so maybe these have been answered already.

    1. Does the keyboard work in landscape mode, I have yet to see a demonstration of that and would like to see the difference.

    2. What does the move from the current BIS plan to a regular data plan mean for me? Is there extra security with the BIS plan? I'm guessing not. So I don't really see the need to scrap the BIS plans

    Gonna be getting the Z10 on Tues wish me luck first full touch device hopefully I don't hate it for the full 2mths

    Excellent review. This is a solid phone with what appears to be a solid and "different" UI. The fact that it throws the old way of dealing with applications and notifications is just a small part. Being able to quickly get back to the BB Hub to check messages...and there's no going in and out of applications, is perfect. The Active Frames is a great idea that I feel is well applied and differentiates BB from the competition. Not just that, but developers will love being able to add their own little touch to Active Frames. Then there's the integration...love the integration. The fact that the system adapts to you is AMAZING. Keep it coming BlackBerry!!!! :-) ~ CrackBerry Addict

    All these Blackberry Z10 advert are making me jealous and crazy. I want it bad! :) BLACKBERRY NATION!

    It's so hard to breathe in the room above (Win a free BlackBerry Z10 from CrackBerry!) so I'm heading over here for some fresh air =)

    I think other than March release of USA, everything is really fantastic. Hoping to get mine on Feb 5th, even though I will have to pay extra 199 for early upgrade. I believe this phone is going to be very competitive.

    Wow---very thorough review--one of the best on the net--great work! I believe that BlackBerry with the new BB10 OS is now well positioned to build on QNX and take us to the next level of mobile. The stock will see a bit of a roller coaster ride as the US analysts manipulate the market to short sell it and make money. Long term as the sales go through the registers in the UK, Europe and Canda, the USA might be ready for a brand new BlackBerry. I'm looking forward to the Super Boel ad(s).

    Feb 5th feels like a life time......i've waited this long stuck with my 9360 and playbook faced the hazing head on from iSheep users and android b@#ts .......Blackberry10 is here i live for it .....70,000 apps is good by me not like i dow)nload alot ....we've used the legacy os for a while bbm is distracting enuff as long as i can get work done and efficiently nothing else matters ....dnt worry kids u'll eventually get ur instagram e.t.c ,let the grown folks enjoy it first ;-)

    Feb 5th feels like a life time......i've waited this long stuck with my 9360 and playbook faced the hazing head on from iSheep and android b@#ts .......Blackberry10 is here i live for it .....70,000 apps is good by me not like i dow)nload alot ....we've used the legacy os for a while bbm is distracting enuff as long as i can get work done and efficiently nothing else matters ....dnt worry kids u'll eventually get ur instagram e.t.c ,let the grown folks enjoy it first ;-) BlackIsBack

    Kevin, the amount of effort your team put into writing the article is much appreciated! It was a good read and as a fellow Canadian, I hope RIM pulls through and gets back on their feet.

    I agree with others here, the flagship Z10 could have at least matched the specs of the latest android phones, quad core, etc.

    BlackBerry 10 is nice, but I can't point to anything about it that would make me say: "Forget those other phones: you have to buy this one."
    Thanks.

    we are a BIG international family, mostly BB, for obvious reasons. Would be nice if 1 of us got a free one! ME please !!

    Really hope Blackberry has a great Ad campaign lined up. Really get people thinking about BB again and making them want to go check out the new phones/OS at the stores.

    As a Blackberry user the last thing you want to see is another blackberry user jump ship and move to an apple or an android. Because Blackberry is struggling to stay relevant as it is. I had 3 friends left on Blackberry. I have preached to them over the last year to just hang on the new Z10 is going to be so cool just wait and see! That is why I never use BBM everyone else in my circle has jumped ship already so it was easier just to text.

    I now have no friends left on Blackberry, Your latest news of slighting the US has driven them away. My wife and I are the last 2 people I know with Berrys with the exception of my father in law and the only reason he has his bold is because he has a government job and that is what they use.

    The March release Date ticked me off because I'm impatient and Blackberry has kept pushing this back for the last year and it was the final insult that they didn't release here the same day that they did in the UK. Now that I have cooled off and resigned myself to being slighted once again by Blackberry I have a more important concern. Is this company even going to make it? And do I want to sign another 2 year contract with a phone that will already be upstaged by 2 new Androids coming out in March, and still probably sooner than the Z10?

    I was Blackberry faithful. Now I'm not so sure.

    Kevin, thank you and your team for a great review. I have reviewed other sites on their take of the Zee10. I am die hard Blackberry and will be picking up the Zee10 when it arrives on T-mobile or if I win of the free ones from Crackberry. Hint...Hint!

    This review was very through and I can't wait for other reviews and test that you and your team will do. What I do want to know since this will be my first all touchscreen phone, will there be screen protectors for the Zee10 or will that interfere with the touchscreen?

    I can't wait to receive my Zee10!!

    I just wanna say.. keep Elegant, Executive and one word like 'when I use BB' .. I think all of you know, how you feel when you chat on your bbm, open new notification, etc.. That's feel, how I tell yaa...
    i just feel, that's who make different BB and the other smartphone. So, please keep it.

    one word .. OUTSTANDING .. I LOVE IT .. watched the launched video and its amazing .. cant wait to get it ..

    Excellent and compressive article. The new OS looks great, but I wonder if the changes to it may be too much for the usual Blackberry user.. Either way, the advantage will be to be on ALL carriers. That is the big fail for Windowsphone thus far.

    I am looking forward to trading in my iPhone 4s for a new BlackBerry 10. I am a previous BlackBerry user. Can't wait to buy one but appreciate the chance to enter to win one.

    You know, ive been a Windows Phone user for some time... since before 5.0...

    I just wanted to congratulate you guys, the new BB10 is a nice OS... I had to pay my respects.

    Blackberry 10 will do well to many of you crying like children saying you are going to leave because of this and that then there's the door.

    It's nice to see woman walking rocking a blackberry because I get sick of seeing everyone around here with the same phone the iPhone which is played out , don't we all want a phone to get thing done?? A month of so isn't going to hurt you be patient and besides this allows time for any bugs in bb10 to work its self out.

    I do not blame blackberry for the delay of the the launch here in the USA I blame the carriers because all of them have drunk apples kook aide and they see no way out, so I can't blame lackberry for giving them the finger. Team lackberry for life!!! Go Canada!!!

    Looking at those camera pictures, the Lumia has an amazing camera. the purpose of my Z10 will not be as my camera for pictures, just for "oh i forgot my camera" *click* type thing. so i'm fine witih that.

    Based on reviews, I can only say its a pretty good job by RIM. Especially the hub. Since its been only a week, I'm hoping that its not so long from now when the most used apps will be availed so as to smoothen the transition. I'm really looking forward to being a part of this

    > 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.

    Looking very forward to that article, as I expect to need it in just a few days!

    Thanks!

    PERFECT!!!! I'm pleased and excited for this new era for BlackBerry. I'll sit and wait for those who jumped ship to come back with their tails between their legs.

    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.

    BB 9900

    Awsome new BB! Thanks for the great reviews etc. Just wanted to point out that you've stated 32g SD Memory yet you installed a formatted 64g card.

    The Z10 actually supports up to 64g memory! Confirmed on Blackberry's home page specs for the Z10.

    Cheers. Can't wait to get one!

    I must say, I always thought I would hate the all-touch Blackberry as it is not a true Blackberry. After seeing image leaks, I thought, it looks too odd with the extremely large space left around the edges of the actual screen (of course, as the new OS uses the touch sensitive bezel, I know that it is built that way due to functional requirements). But now, after seeing it around the internet for a while, it sort of grew on me. And now I think it is a neat looking device.

    I must admit, I just could not wait that long to get a new device and went for a Galaxy Note 2 a few months ago. I won't be switching for a while though. But I must say, if Z10 was launched a bit earlier, I am sure it would be the phone I am using now.

    malaysians are longing for this z10 models.....
    come to us....
    let us zzzzz the mouth of those who is just freakin envy on us......

    COME TO USSSSSSSSSS........A.S.A.P

    It took me a while to learn to love my BlackBerry phone but now I'm completely sold on BlackBerry and would like nothing better than to have the brilliant new Z10 to love. I'll take very good care of it if I'm lucky enough to win it.

    I WANT A Z-10 SO BAD THAT I HAVE BEEN HAVING DREAMS AND VISIONS ABOUT THIS PHONE! I HAVE BEEN TELLING EVERYONE THAT I CAN TO GET THIS PHONE IF THEY HAVE THE CHANCE! PLEASE COME TO THE USA ASAP OR EVEN JAMAICA SO I CAN GET ONE! I CANNNNNOOOOOTTTTTT WAIT ANY LONGER! LIKE JG WENTWORTH WOULD SAY ITS MY BLACKBERRY AND I NEED TO BE ABLE TO USE IT WHEN I NEED IT AND I NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Being a BB customer since the begining I really hope I get to rub this device in every Iphone users face!

    I AM POSTING ON THIS SITE EVERYDAY FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY! THIS IS HOW MUCH I AM IN NEEEEEEED OF A Z10 BLACKBERRY PHONE! PICK ME PLSSSSSS! :D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The z10 seems very smooth and fast! I thumbs are actually itching just thinking about how fast i would be able to type with the on-screen keyboard.

    Ordered one at local Rogers store on launch day for my wife, sold out until this Friday. Hope I can win one for me!!!!

    Seriously disappointed and duped.

    the new BB 10 won't sync with the calendar, contacts and tasks on the computer anymore.

    According to Blackberry tech support. 'they dropped that feature' when they switched to the new operating system.

    The Blackberry link allows you to sync photos, docs, music but not the business type items you need, like appointments.

    And how crazy is it that no reviewer flagged this in any review.

    you can sync using microsoft exchange but you're screwed if you don't

    I can't believe BB redesigned this to be a great toy but you can't sync with the business functions you need.

    Kevin, How I envy you'll right now !!! Being in the fore front during the entire BB10 launch experience, the wait surely paid off for you'll at Crackberry ! I am sure it was frustrating too when the delays were announced but you'll stuck to your guns and finally did it... Great going guys ! Please continue with the great work !!!

    I hear that the usable memory storage on the Z10 is 11.3GB....can anyone tell me how much of this is the application memory space?

    I hear that the usable internal memory storage on the Z10 is 11.3GB...how much of this is allocated to application memory space?

    I'm trying really hard to be patient. I miss a lot of the apps that I had on my 9900. I do hope that they come out soon. I also find that the volume control for the ring tone is very soft. The 9900 had a Loud setting for louder environments. I'm in construction and can't hear the phone when it's in the case.
    Other than that I love the 10 operating system.

    The Z10 sounds like it's a great device. I'm looking forward to trying one out. I am concerned that the reviews I've read so far don't talk much about the camera or maps. I'm hoping they've been improved over current BB offerings and not the same ho-hum products.

    I think the Balance feature will be attractive to many. My company is phasing out company-supplied phones in favour of BYOD. We certainly have many employees bringing two devices to work because the company BB has too many restrictions or does not have the desired apps. A one-device solution has some attraction.

    I use a Bold 9900 now and it's been an effective tool. I certainly prefer it over iOS and Android devices. I bought a PlayBook 32 GB to pair with it over BB Bridge. The Bridge works but it's not as fast or problem-free as I would like. I like the PB UI but I'm hoping there will be a BB10 port to the PB. It can be much a more useful device if it had a god supply of quality apps.

    First off, this is an exceptional review. It puts all the key areas of interest in one place, and they are all covered great. I have been following this release for some time and am dying to get my hands on the phone so that I can connect my tech world (Playbook-Z10-computer). For me amongst all the great features and future promise what stands out the most is incredible attention to detail at every level. I may speak for the minority but the app "problem" isn't a problem for me. I place functionality far above the ability to get games etc. I am a student and the tablet has changed the way I work and study, once I save up, the phone will take it to the next level. Keep it up Blackberry, you were never gone, but great to see you with the gloves on, it was worth the wait 100%!!

    Kevin, an excellent review, great, great!
    Had Mr. Thorsten Heins given you a device for testing before the launch in January, then all the weaknesses your team now identified could be resolved within three months.. ..and then in April we all would have been 100% satisfied with this new great device.

    I NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD *BREATHES* NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD THIS PHONE LIKE 10 YEARS AGO!!!!!

    I guess there comes a time in life when you just have to GIVE UP. I've been an avid blackberry user for the past 6-7 years, upgrading whenever a newer better blackberry came out there, watching the smartphone world change and not caring about 700000+ apps on other ecosystems, but the one bbm app on the blackberry. Its where whatsapp and all those other free messaging apps got their inspiration from and aren't nearly as awesome as BBM (which is getting even better as time passes). 2011 and 2012 went by waiting for the Blackberry 10 while the competitors did marvels with their operating systems. We waited, we watched, we believed. Since the announcement of Blackberry 10 being released in October, and then the date pushed to Jan, the hope diminished in the beginning but it lead to believe they were working marvels at (then) RIM and we could expect none of the issues faced by the current OSes. This surged the excitement of BB10 to new levels. With the maps app Blackberry has followed in Apple's footsteps (I'm sure they had their reasons for choosing their own map app over Google's) and here's hoping Google maps will be available as an awesome app in the BB app store over the next few months (and not just an Android port). But my concern lies here.. I use my torch 9810 everyday since it first released in September 2011. The phone, awesome, design, awesome, the operating system, RIDICULOUS. I mean, i have no apps, none, and yet my phone chooses to hang every time i open an app (and iv changed and tried a few OSes, initially they all run fine). At a concert - miss the perfect moment 'cause the camera app takes atleast 30 seconds to a minute sometimes to load from tap to open.. auto focus is mediocre at best. The phone needs to be restarted atleast twice a day and god forbid if i forget the charger, the battery never runs past 4-6 hours over HSPA+. Its not the battery's fault, its the OS using up the juice in the background because of bad coding? Now the Blackberry 10 is out. I convinced people, explained to them the benefits of BB10 over its competitors and what they are doing with QNX on their side. Sadly, in a country of 1.4bn+, they didn't even deem it fit to announce a release date or any information on BB10. I've waited a long time for this phone, but you reach a point where it all brims over and you want to shift sides, not because you want to, but because you're not left with a choice. The Samsung Galaxy S3's prices were slashed here a few days back and it costs 29k now (approx $530 usd). The blackberry z10 is available on ebay for prices ranging from 60l to 85k ($1050 to $1600) without bill and warranty. Otherwise there is no news on its launch here, and even if it does it will be 10--15k more than the s3. No complains there, but i ask you is the wait now worth it? Should I live with the super laggy torch with no info on the z10 or a quad core based android is the best option.
    PS: I have the playbook lying around for a BB10 upgrade too.. I just hope that doesn't hit before the Z10 does the shores here.. That will be Epicly sad.

    I am so stoked!!! can't wait! I was actually going to go for the Q10, but this review sold me on the Z. I hope RIM (blackberry) digs out of the hole. it will be excellent for consumers to have a 3rd platform in the mix. I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE TO MOVE ONTO AN UN-SECURE PLATFORM LIKE ANDROID OR IOS. I don't know what I'll do if I get the Z and a couple years out blackberry goes away. Nothing beats my bold for messaging, organizer tools, and the security of my data. I keep a blog online and type most of my entries (1,000 words plus per entry) on my bold keyboard. its awesome. I use the playbook for surfing around and games. anyway, GOOD LUCK RIM (blackberry)!

    Normally, I have a lot of respect for Crackberry but this review might as well been written by Blackberry.
    1. Blackberry Link sucks - only docs, pics, and videos. No contacts, tasks or calendar function.
    2. No connection to MS Outlook
    3. Could not set up a POP email account. Where is BIS?

    My Curve 9320 is a more functional communication tool and the Z10. I owned a Z10 for 24 hours and have returned it. Now I will sell my stock.
    I can't believe they would pull these features without warning.

    CUSTOMIZE PROFILE is the only reason i am still with blackberry due to my 24/7 support. They take that away, i can't see why i need to stick with BlackBerry any more. They gotta fix this ASAP.

    Good luck with this phone. I think its a little too late. They should have created this phone years ago. I have always been a blackberry fan. Still use one today, but when my contract is up. not sure if I will stick around. Samsung is kicking butt. They should have made the clarity much more cleaner like the Galaxy. Are people still creating apps for BB? Time will tell. When their stock price goes back, I might reconsider.

    09:39 AM EST, 02/20/2013 (MidnightTrader) -- Research in Motion(BBRY) shares are down after Candian-based Canaccord Genuity lowered its BB10 sales estimates for the February quarter and all of FY2014. They held their sell rating and $9 price target.

    Cannacord Genuity analysts see wider losses at BBRY this year and in 2014 on weaker consumer demand for its smartphones. Global surveys show "mixed" sales results for Z10. The U.S. launch of its BB10 model next month is likely to see the company face tough competition from market leaders Apple(AAPL) and Samsung. Cannacord sees a FY 2013 loss of $1.18 per share, wider than the previous outlook for a $1.10 loss. Loss for FY 2014 is now forecast for $0.62, from $0.48 per share.

    Price: 13.93, Change: -0.42, Percent Change: -2.96

    Pretty good but os is a little glitchy. Nothing major. Nice feel in the hand would like an option for a rubberized back on my white Z10. It's solid physically yet ergonomic .

    You glossed over File Manager. You should update your review on it. The feature is so wonderful and gives you control on your files. Unlike iPhone/iPad, this feature gives you more control and the possibility to transfer files between your computer and your phone and they can sync wirelessly on wifi too. You don't have to go to an app to open a file. You can open a file directly from File Manager, like you do on your computer.
    Also, note that I was able to port old BB ring tones to the Z10 by putting them in a music file, and by assigning a ring tone to a music file, almost the same way you did on the old phones.

    Dam! I left BB after 5 years of loyalty and I got 2 OS 7 devices. Then I got WP8. I love it...but the notifications are not as good. If Microsoft doesn't make a left swipe type of hub thing like BB10 then I'm coming back. I really think BB did a great job with this fresh OS! It's really simple and innovative.

    Well just color me impressed.

    I'm your average Joe BB user for the last 5 years. I thought I'd liked my Torch when I first got it but the keyboard is smaller than the Bold I had originally and it's soooo slow. Sometimes when that damn little clock pops up I want to hurl it across the room.

    That said, I was looking forward to the Z10 but I'm a bit put off now especially seeing the photo results. I can imagine the comments after posting crappy photos on Facebook. That's just piss poor for a brand new mobile device KNOWING FULL WELL what the competition has going.

    I'm not sure I'll do well with all the swiping either. Sounds like some things have multiple swipes that go back and forth. Maybe it just takes getting use too.

    I'm not happy that there's no Facetime-like feature that operates across platforms. I will always have to go to my iPad in order to speak with other iOS users, I guess. Or maybe Skype will be the go to app for that.

    Battery life scares me too. The Z10 doesn't seem like it will be any better. than my Torch which barely gets through a day. If I use the camera or talk just a bit too long, it dies real quick. I bought a charger for the car to keep it alive during a normal work day.

    Overall I'm disappointed and I haven't even seen the phone yet. Too bad the US is last on the launch calendar. The largest, most influential market and we have to wait.

    With all the hype and fanfare no one can tell me when I can get one in RSA. I think too little too late. iPhone here we come.

    PoweredOff
    Just to let you know you are very wrong. Not everyone thats getting the phone is a blackberry user. Yes blackberrys are behind in the technology area but blackberry lost its cust base when iphones and android got big. Now rim is going to win those users back. And if someone has a blackberry for years its because they actually last unlike iphones and android devices believe me this is coming from someone that has has 4 iphones in 2years, 2 androids in ayear and ONE blackberry thats lasted 3years and still the best phone, most reliable device i have ever had! sorry people that have lives dont need instagram and bull sh*t apps that android and apple have.

    I absolutely love my Zeddy bear. She goes wherever I go, even work, especially work. Very few problems with it in the month and a half she been with me. And it just keeps getting better with all her friends she'll be bringing round, Kendra, Wanda, and Sophia, better known as Kindle, WhatsApp and Skype :D

    One thing though, well, two things slightly related;

    Y'all remember that nifty little feature on the old BlackBerry devices you could set the phone to switch itself off and turn itself back on at a time of your choosing? Not only that but you could turn your phone off and it would turn itself on to wake you if you had the alarm set. Any of you use either or both these great features?

    I know bb10 was an overhaul but it would have been nice those 2 golden nuggets of old.

    I can totally relate to the story with respect to "...someone was going to say, it's got this cool thing, it won't break if you drop it...". After having been an iPhone user for 6 years, i decided to do the unthinkable and switched to the Blackberry Z10, its been two weeks down and the phone slipped from my hands as i took it out of my jeans pocket - it only fell a couple of feet on the floor, but guess what - its a CrackedBerry now. the screen's completely shattered.
    I do think the overall feel of the BB z10 does feel like its pretty-sturdy-not-plastic kinda comfort. Cant say the same about the screen though. Perhaps Gorilla Glass would've been a good idea too - even before it broke, I hated the smudges on the LCD!

    To whom it may concern, I have an aftermarket car audio its a Pioneer. Avic x930bt. My question. To you all is. Will the BlackBerry Z10 work with radio. Just like the Iphone. What I mean is watch movies, being able to fully use pandora, going on Facebook, twitter. Ect...... My daughter uses her iphone. And its connected to the radio via cables that were designed for the iphone. I would love to see BLACKBERRY to have the ability to fully function on car audios just like the iphone. Please advice via my email superdiesel@comcast.net thanks.

    THE Z10 LOOKS NOTHING LIKE A BLACKBERRY. IT LOOKS LIKE AN iPHONE! How can this guy say it retains its BlackBerry look! Is he crazy? That's an iPhone, not a BLACKBERRY.

    Is there any skype and viber applications already? If none yet, When will be out for bbz10? Please. Thanks

    Posted via CB10

    This is a great review and I am delighted having visited the site that there are so many who share my enthusiasm for the approach BlackBerry takes towards prioritising communication and getting things done in its device and software design philosophy. In regards to this review, I hate been holding out until the arrival of the Q10 but the Z10 appears to be a very attractive all in one solution. I can't wait to get involved with the new OS.

    The device is pure gold. There are 987 things I love about it.

    But please PLEASE next incarnation of the device put the mini usb and hdmi at the TOP of the device, away from my typing hands!!

    They have made this mistake before and corrected it but they seem to have forgot again.

    I often need to type with the charger in so hopefully they correct that next time.

    Posted via CB10

    Hope they bring back immediately the MS Outlook 2 way desktop sync

    Its holding me from buying the BB OS 10

    I have had every variation of IPhone and several of the top Android phones, including the s3. I never even imagined owning a BB beyond corporate use. THIS Z10 IS AMAZING! The OS is awesome and smooth and the integration with other apps is flawless. I am truly impressed.

    Is anyone else having tons of problems with their BB10? Phone is freezing, phone restarts randomly, voice recognition doesn't work and this morning I tried to send a text and the keyboard wouldn't come up. I'm cool with a new phone and new platform having issues... But what I'm not cool with is BB's policy on warrenty. I've had my new phone less than 30 days and they want to give me a refurb... Sorry BB, I think it's time to part ways... P.S - I was a shareholder...

    Please help me . How to Sign Out a blackberry id on BB10 ? please help me . I really need a help from you guys . Please TT_____________TT

    Personally, i think BB10 is mediocre at best. Too many missing features and functionality with lots of small bugs. I have no major issues with the phone, just a bunch of small complaints regarding missing features (ie not being able to dial a number from the browser by pressing the number... I mean C'mon, are u serious). I've tried Android via my tablet and i think it's garbage. My opinion is that iOS is by far the best OS on the market.

    Posted via CB10

    I've been a Blackberry user since 2009 and I like Blackberry but now that I saw the Samsung Galaxy S4 I like it too. Would you please give me some expert recommendation on what to choose a Blackberry Z10 or The Galaxy S4?

    I agree that BlackBerry missed in the smartphone market, much the way Sony fell asleep and let Apple crush the market at an unprecedented level with the iPod. That said, I did give the Z10 a try and think it's a great device. Not being a huge app user, I will patiently wait for developers to get on board, but the user interface and feel are so much more quality than all of the POS Android devices, and is already more interesting than my painfully boring iPhone (can I get a fist bump on that one!), and I like the document management and productivity capability of the BB10 OS.

    There are subtle things that I really like, having used the Bold 9000 back at its release in '08, and one of them is a simple, but huge to me - just being able to have a locked screen message so the phone can be returned to you.

    I miss the convenience key like crazy, but happy they kept the red indicator light. The large screen is beautiful and the keyboard is excellent. I say this, but one of the things I truly missed with my Bold 9000 as I moved on to Android and iOS was that wide qwerty keyboard - and I contemplated going with the Q10, but after playing around with the Z10, my mind was made up.

    No OS is ever going to be the end all - be all, but this is a great start and I hope BlackBerry is successful with reclaiming their marketshare.

    Hate this phone, worst blackberry ever, they really need to upgrade the apps and get Google play, it's so boring and yet they gave it such a boost saying it was going to be great and better than the I phone, definatly will never get another blackberry!!

    Posted via CB10

    Instead of making blackberry better on other phones like android and I phone? why not try making the blackberry z10 better buy getting more apps or Google play this phone is so boring worst blackberry made by far!!!

    Posted via CB10

    I m disappointed with z10 not supporting android apps
    The apps I side load comes up with the error message always

    Posted via CB10

    I seem to get an audio notification when the hub receives an update but I can't find how to either turn this off or alter the sound

    Crackberry Team this is a very detailed review, and I appreciate your efforts. Would any of you be able to redo the review now that the device is a year old and has 10.2.1.

    Love this phone!! It was a replacement for an Android based unit, so much faster and much better screen res. My only complaint is that the Home Screens should rotate as well, and this is really just a minor annoyance. Latest software update was awesome as well!!

    Hi team,
    I need a help,
    i just got to know that the official os 10.2.1 is out now. i am living in india using z10 stl100-3.which i bought from U.S. The model which launched here in India was STL100-1. Earlier i updated my device to os 10.2 by a link provided by J. Sanders using an autoloader. So now. i just wanted to know that how should i update my device to the latest os 10.2.1 as i didn't get an OTA notification about an update? i also tried updating using Blackberry Link but it says that 'u've got the latest available device software.' Please help?

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