Blackberry Q10 Review – part 2

As a follow up to the first half of the review in this article,  I will look at interface usability, battery life, charging via USB, built in apps and blackberry world.

Touchscreen, keyboard, touchscreen arrghh.

I am not sure what it is, but I actually find the combination of a touch interface with a physical keyboard strange.  To be fair to Blackberry I had the same issue with my iPad and Logitech keyboard (which coincidently is an excellent addition to the iPad if you need to type some content rather than just watch movies) . The problem I have is this…

There you are happily tying away and getting into the swing of things and you notice an error a couple of sentences back that you want to correct.  I like to keep my fingers on the keyboard and navigate my way back to the error (using the cursor keys and sometimes other keyboard shortcuts to speed things along) … this is practically impossible on the Q10 and requires navigating to the touch screen and then back to the keyboard and then back to the touch screen. Hopeless ! Perhaps some kind sole will point out my technical inabilities and point out some soft keys for cursor based navigation, or perhaps I’m just not cool enough to live my whole life in less that 160 characters and littered with poor spelling or grammar.

The basic navigation is OK, but I also find the user interface design to be inconsistent.  An example is go to the applications on the phone and lauch the text messages application, swipe from the top of the screen down and the expected settings screen appears showing the settings … just what you would expect. The same goes for swipping from the left of the application , where the Blackberry Hub appear as expected.

Swiping from left to right should launch Blackberry Hub.

Swiping from left to right should launch Blackberry Hub.

Now launch an application such as Games (that requires some configuration and setup), so OK I get the fact that because the application is asking me a question I might want to stay on that page – but what if I don’t? I want to read that urgent email and the quickest way to access it would be via Blackberry Hub (left swipe) – but I can’t it doesn’t work.  This just leaves me confused at which navigation technique they want me to use. It’s the same story with maps btw – even when it’s running normally you get a different navigation when you swipe down.

There are some nice touches and features on the Q10 and hats off to Blackberry for trying something a bit different. I really like the overlay swipe look at feel.  The screen shot shows what I mean, the old screen fades slowly into the background as the new one appears.

When transitioning from one screen to another an overlay appears.

When transitioning from one screen to another an overlay appears.

Battery life

I’ve always found the battery life relatively good on a Blackberry but alway found the charging fussy. You have to use the right charge (not just any mini USB one) and the charging from a USB port on a PC (or Mac) is practically useless. In fact a colleague has a Z10 and it has the same problem. All in All – not a great story here but then again, what Smartphone does have  great battery story.

Built-in Apps

The normal selection of applications were on my device when it was delivered. Facebook, linkedIn, Twitter, Maps etc were all present and in general the blackberry interface works well with these services.

Some of the features I like are the contact application that attempts to integration all of your contacts in other places as well (e.g. social networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter).

Contact app integrated with Twitter and LinkedIn

Contact app integrated with Twitter and LinkedIn

Blackberry Link

Blackberry Link is the piece of software you need to download and install to connect your device to a PC or MAC.  Blackberry have made it really simple to install (at least on a MAC anyway), although the 56Mb download did take 3 attempts. Uncompressed the installation takes 122Mb , annoyingly the install insisted I restart my computer. Come on guys! really ! why?

Blackberry World

I am afraid I decided not to sign up for Blackberry world and therefore I cannot tell you much about this.

Blackberry Balance

I really really like the idea of Blackberry balance. However as I wrote this article our Blackberry admin had not switched on that functionality. It promised much.

Balance promises...

Balance promises…

Balance promises more..

Balance promises more..

As I write this review I feel oblidged to keep going because this really is Blackberries future and I feel like all the good ideas are hidden away from prying eyes. Some of the things I’ve missed so far, Camera quality Build Quality, Performance .. and more I’m sure.

Time permitting, there will be a part 3 🙂



Blog Site for Jason Boud and Beyond Mobile Ltd.
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