Here in the UK, like in many countries now, we have a choice of three BlackBerry 10 smartphones - the Z10, Q10 and Q5. Which one you use is clearly down to personal preference but I thought I would take a few minutes just to share my own thoughts and preferences as to why as a die hard QWERTY keyboard lover I now favor the BlackBerry Z10 with its on-screen keyboard as opposed to the other two devices with hardware keyboard options.
I'll paint a quick picture of my time using BlackBerry: I was quite a late starter compared to the rest of the CrackBerry team. The first BlackBerry I used was the Curve 8520 so we're not talking that long ago in terms of how long BlackBerry have been producing smartphones. I soon progressed to the Bold 9700 and then the 9780 before the BlackBerry Torch 9800 came on the scene. Since then I have been lucky enough to use every BlackBerry released apart from the BlackBerry Style which didn't make its way over the pond.
As well as using a BlackBerry as my primary device I have also used dozens of Android and Windows phones as well as owning the Apple iPhone 4, so I'm more than familiar with the on-screen keyboard options out there, but I just couldn't not use my BlackBerry as my primary device. I think it was a combination of it being the best communication device as well as having the hardware keyboard. In fact, even before my time with BlackBerry I was a long term keyboard lover. I used the Palm Treo and several Samsung Windows Mobiles all with hardware QWERTY's.
But let's bring it back to BlackBerry 10. I got the Z10 in mid January 2013 and of course it was like a breath of fresh air having a new operating system along with new hardware. Switching from my BlackBerry Bold 9900 was initially a bit of a shock when it came to typing, but like most things in life you soon adjust. Going from a hardware keyboard to a on-screen one is a big step as far as I'm concerned, but within a day or two I was flying around the Z10 and with its awesome spell corrections and predictions it didn't take me too long to type faster on the Z10 than I could on the 9900.
After a few months the BlackBerry Q10 arrived with me and I was super excited to be going back to a more traditional BlackBerry. The keyboard on the Q10 is glorious and in my opinion by far the best BlackBerry have made to date. But I then found myself in that same predicament as before but in reverse. Although moving to the Q10 felt great, it once again took some adjusting after using the Z10 for some time. The same applied when the Q5 showed up. By this time I was back using my Z10 and once again made the transition to a hardware keyboard. The Q5 is a great bit of kit but the keyboard has a much different design to that on the Q10 and it's certainly not as luxurious - but it isn't meant to be due to its price point.
So as things stand now I have three BlackBerry 10 smartphones. However hard I try I just keep on going back to the Z10. For me it isn't necessarily about the screen real estate but more the typing experience. Sure, there are pro's and con's for all devices - such as typing while walking is much easier on the Q10/Q5 than it is on the Z10, but I just find the whole on-screen experience better for me. Take me back a year and I never thought I would say that, but BlackBerry have done such a superb job of the Z10 keyboard that it's my addiction. In fact, I would go as far as to say that its so much better than typing on other operating system too and I can say that from experience.
There will always (I hope) be die hard physical QWERTY users out there and in many parts of the world I'm sure that the Q10/Q5 will outsell the Z10 over the next year or so. I say this for two reasons. First up is the business users that work for big corporations. The Q10 or even the Q5 will be a natural upgrade for them, although it may just be one person in the organization that makes the decision. The same applies for the youngsters. Here in the UK the BlackBerry Curve has had phenomenal success over the past few years and once again the Q5 will be the perfect new device for them as long as they don't turn to the dark side!
Anyway, that's just my opinion and of course many of you may disagree with me but that's fine. We are all different - but I would certainly be interested to hear your thoughts if you have been lucky enough to use more than one BlackBerry 10 smartphone. One thing I will add is that I always carry two devices and although the Z10 takes the number one spot I switch between the Q10 and Q5 as my back up rather than another OS as I had done in previous years.
Sound off in the comments - but don't be too cruel to me!