So I have been using the Blackberry Q10 for about 2 months now and I have not blogged about it. I decided to take the plunge to get the Blackberry Q10 because of using the Typo Keyboard for the iPhone. It reminded me how much I had missed using a QWERTY keyboard and the build quality on the Typo just didn’t feel as good as the build quality on the Blackberry Q10 keyboard. Considering one is built in by Blackberry and the other is a 3rd party add-on for the iPhone. I wasn’t entirely surprise to feel the difference in quality.
Spec wise it runs on pretty much the same hardware as the Blackberry Z10. Both sporting a Qualcomm Snapdragon Dual-Core clocked at 1.5 GHz. The Z10 has a 4.2″ LCD with a resolution of 720×1280 display as oppose to the 3.5″ Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 720×720 on the Q10. The Z10 was the first Blackberry 10 smartphone to come out featuring an all touch concept whereas the Q10 would be the first QWERTY Blackberry 10 smartphone.
When Blackberry OS 10 first came out, it was considered a pretty incomplete smartphone OS, at least in my opinion. Most of the basic features were there and working, but a lot of the promised features such as background apps, Android runtime support were absent in the original release. With the release of 10.1, that issue was not really resolved. Blackberry did add a working Android runtime environment to the release of BBOS 10.1. However, in order to run Android apps you would have to manually convert the .apk file you either created yourself or downloaded from sources outside of the Google Play Store and even then the runtime only support apps compatible with Gingerbread 2.3
Blackberry OS 10.2 resolved most of those issues as well as finally including headless apps option where you can have your application running without having the active tab running. 10.2.1 Included a proper Android runtime allowing you to download and convert apk files from within the phone and run on the phone without side loading. They also bumped up support on their runtime to Jelly Bean runtime.
Back to the phone…
The phone does have a built resemblance to the legacy Blackberry Bold 9900 in terms of design. However, they removed the famous toolbar as the BBOS 10 relied more on touchscreen menu. With the new CEO running Blackberry now, they have promised to bring back the classic toolbar in their future Q20 Blackberry device. I am interested to see how they will reincorporate that in toe BBOS 10 system. The phone isn’t slated to come out till later this year or early next year.
The Q10 uses a 2100 mAh battery which is considered the largest removable battery from Blackberry ever. Pit that with such a small and energy efficient display, you can expect to have some pretty impressive battery life on the device. I have read people complaining about battery life and how it dies with little use. Personally, I have not run into this issue. I tether for work on a daily basis for 3-4 hours at a time and by the time I’m finished the battery life is generally sitting at around 60-70%. By the time I go to sleep it would still be hovering around the 40-50% mark. I generally make it a habit to recharge my phones at night anyway. But the fact it lasted that long is still pretty impressive. Blackberry offers the option to buy their battery pack which you can either use the battery to swap with the one in the Blackberry or use it as a portable battery charger to quickly plug it into your Blackberry while you’re in an important call without interrupting it. The accessory does not come with the Q10 unfortunately.
The main reason why I am using a Blackberry despite what people say about the company itself and the lack of apps in Blackberry App World is the messaging system such as BBM and its email management is still considered the best. Though I am not connected to a Blackberry Enterprise System to benefit from the security. BBOS 10 is still considered a very secure system. Plus, I also use an Android phone on the second line, so if I need my app fix, I just use that. Which I don’t use a whole lot. Though with the Android runtime being improved further on a daily basis, People have the option to load up Android apps on their BBOS10 device. No official Play Store support, but you can download and install 3rd party stores and get the app. A Crackberry developer created a BB10 native app that unofficially ties to the Play Store so you can technically get apps directly from there. But user beware, not all apps are compatible on the Blackberry and be careful of the Android apps you download as Android has been known to host a few many malware apps disguised as legit apps.
Comparing the Z10 to the Q10, both phones were very good. The virtual keyboard on the Z10 is actually pretty good. I find out to be much better than the one found on the iPhone. But nothing compares to the Q10 physical keyboard. Though at the sacrifice of screen real estate. The Z10 would make a better phone if you watch a lot of videos. The Q10 would be great for people that type a lot of messages and are used to the traditional Blackberry keyboard.
Some recommended accessories to go with the Blackberry Q10 would be the Blackberry Leather Swivel Holster for the Q10. They used to come with the holster back in the Bold 9000 days. But since decided to scrap it to make more money off as accessories. Nonetheless, still worth the price tag. The Blackberry Battery Charger Bundle is also recommended in case your Blackberry does die and you’re not close to a charging outlet. I find this accessory pretty useful. Last but not least, a GOOD screen protector for your Blackberry. A screen protector for any Smartphone is a pretty much a requirement anyway. Even if it is a Gorilla Glass 3 protector, it still can’t protect it against sand and is still susceptible to cracking. I use tempered glass protector, though more expensive than plastic film based, it offers better protection without sacrificing screen quality. I used the Clarivue XT-Glass Screen Protector. It costs about 24.99. It’s rated 9H so the only thing that can scratch it would be diamond. So it’s claimed. Sand will probably still scratch it, but it’s in my holster and I don’t visit the beaches often. IF it does scratch, I just remove it and repurchase a new one for 24.99 as oppose to replacing the screen or the entire phone which costs a lot more.
I did take some pictures of the phone, but I’m using Word to publish this blog. I’ll add them when I get the change to upload the pictures through the built in WordPress image management software and when I’m not tethering from my mobile phone. Uploading pictures tend to drain from my limited pool of monthly data allowance.