BlackBerry announced the much awaited full touchscreen flaunting BlackBerry Z10 with the new BlackBerry 10 OS yesterday in Mumbai. Along with that, the company also showcased the hardware Qwerty keyboard based smartphone, BlackBerry Q10.
This smartphone features both touchscreen and physical Qwerty keyboard. The BlackBerry Q10 is expected to be launched sometime in the April this year.
At the BlackBerry Z10 launch, we spent some time with BlackBerry Q10 smartphone also. Here is our first impression about the device.
The BlackBerry Q10 feels very different compared to the BlackBerry Z10. Once you hold the Q10 in your hand, you feel it weighs (139 grams) almost as much as the BlackBerry Z10. However, the Q10 has a glass weave like construction in the back panel and it is stronger than the average level plastic used in the back panel of old BlackBerry phones. The sides of the devices are embraced by the stainless steel chassis and it holds the front panel and the back panel together without leaving any sharp edges.
BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 smartphone had the top of the line premium build amongst all other Qwerty keyboard based devices. With the new Q10, BlackBerry goes a step ahead with the premium build and raised the bar higher. The BlackBerry Q10 is perfect for the business class folks seeking a premium looking phone with durable construction. The Q10 is not very slim as it measures 10.4 mm thick.
The keyboard has been refreshed to provide an excellent tactile feel and is also made bit bigger than the one in the predecessor models. The key rows are straight with a silver strip above each row to give it Guitar’s fret-board like feeling. Best part is that the keyboard has a backlighting so that you can use it even in low light or dark places. The keys are placed together and have curves on them to give good tactile feel to your thumb tips.
The new BlackBerry Q10 certainly looks more premium, splendid to the palms and great typing experience with new Qwerty keyboard design.
BlackBerry Q10 has a 3.1-inch Super Amoled display that gives a fantastic colour and contrast production. This display has a 720×720 pixel resolution offering pixel density of 328 pixels per inch. The display is good enough to watch an HD movie or videos. The touchscreen is quite responsive but we did struggle a bit to operate on the square-ish display since we are mostly used to the full rectangular touchscreen displays.
Under the chassis, Q10 packs a dual-core 1.4 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 mobile processor with 2 GB RAM. That is some powerful hardware to run the BlackBerry 10 OS and also pack enough muscle for running several apps as well as multimedia content.
It its design q10 has said good bye to the physical BlackBerry key and several other keys because the phone is meant to be used via Qwerty keyboard and touchscreen collectively. Of course there is a pair of stainless steel buttons for volume control on the right side and the Power/sleep button on the top. The 3.5 mm audio port is also located on the top.
Back panel’s glass weave design will remind you of the Motorola RAZR smartphone but the Q10’s back panel is not made of Kevlar Plastics. At the back is a big stainless steel BlackBerry logo in the center and above it is a stainless steel strip that marks sort of a boundary. BlackBerry has used 8 megapixel camera with auto focus and LED flash at the back. This camera is quite responsive and same as the one in the BlackBerry Z10. Only difference is that there is less screen real-estate to pan and zoom on the Q10. With this camera one can record HD quality videos. There is a front facing camera for video chat and video calls via BBM.
The smartphone offers 16 GB on-board storage and a memory card slot to support up to 64 GB micro SD card. The Q10 also features HDMI input for connecting the device to a large HDTV directly. The most interesting aspect of the smartphone is the 2100 mAh battery which is by far the largest in the Qwerty keyboard bearing BlackBerry devices.
For connectivity, the BlackBerry Q10 will support Quad-Band HSPA+ networks in India and will offer dual-band WLAN support for faster mobile web experience. The speaker mesh is located at the bottom of the screen and provides loud audio output even when the phone is in the cover. The micro USB port is located on the side.
Operating System and Apps
The all new BlackBerry 10 OS refresh makes the phone look great with the Super Amoled display presenting shades of purple and black. For those who are worried about the big difference, rest assured for it will hardly take a day for anyone to get used to the new BlackBerry 10 OS.
The BlackBerry Z10 has the BlackBerry Flow and Peek features to jump between the screens, check notifications or BlackBerry Hub. But in the BlackBerry Q10, the company has added a new Type and Go function. Basically, the universal search bar is missing in the BlackBerry 10 OS but the Q10’s keyboard has been equipped with direct search function. For instance, if you want to send an email to your colleague, just type Email to Colleague (Contact’s name) on the keyboard. The display will automatically show a search box with list of results to see if you are typing correctly. From the results one can top on the correct contact and the user will be taken to the email compose window.
Similar shortcut can be tied for the BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook or Twitter apps. Just type the app name and contact name to send the message to the user. You need press through the different navigation levels for sending an email. The Type and Go is quite interesting and very similar to the functionality power users on desktops enjoy through universal search box. Another visible change is that the Active Frames appear square instead of rectangular due to smaller display.
The fleet of native apps offered are same as that in the BlackBerry Z10 and there is hardly any change in the user experience. One thing is for sure, that the Qwerty keyboard fanatics will fall in love with this device.
BlackBerry Q10 is a fantastic device and worthy enough to be said refreshed version of the BlackBerry smartphone line-up.
Lovely design and comfortable grip to the palms for prolonged usage is certainly in store for the Qwerty keyboard lovers. The new keyboard is fairly comfortable and steel strips help to keep the keyboard getting stuck anywhere in the pocket or purses. The best of both worlds – Touch and physical Qwerty is certainly well implemented in the BlackBerry Q10. Now we await its arrival so that we can use BlackBerry Q10 exhaustively to get a closer look at the improvements. We will do adetailed analysis of the new handsets and OS from BlackBerry shortly. Stay tuned to The Mobile Indian.