BlackBerry Q10 Review
When we said that the small screen might be the BlackBerry Q10's biggest downfall, we may have made a mistake. The BlackBerry 10 software platform might be just as big of a reason for anyone who doesn't like this phone.
Sure BB 10 OS is snappy, visually-polished and very fluid — just as every contemporary mobile OS should be — but it's hard for us to see why one should prefer it to iOS or Android, or even Windows Phone, especially when we know that BBM is coming to those other platforms (except for WP). The thing is that BB 10 not only lacks any groundbreaking features to make it stand out, but it even throws in some unintuitive stuff like a bunch of navigation gestures to make things somewhat more complicated than they should be.
So, there's no Home button, we can live with that. Instead, the user has to swipe from the bottom in order to minimize an app and return to the home screen, which is basically OK, but it just doesn't work in a device such as the BlackBerry Q10. While the swipe-up gesture is OK for something with a bigger screen like the Z10, it's simply frustrating when using the Q10. Imagine that you have a list of options and you want to scroll to the bottom. As you start scrolling (which is done with... surprise - a swipe-up gesture!), there's a very big chance that you might swipe from the bottom of the screen (since there isn't much space for you to stretch your fingers), and all of a sudden, you're back to the home screen with the app minimized, when all you wanted to do was to scroll the list. Sadly, the experience with the Q10 is littered with such examples. Of course, we don't say that you can't get used to these issues. In fact, you can even learn to avoid them with time, but the question is should you...
The BlackBerry Hub is at the heart of the messaging experience in BB 10 and the Q10. It's basically an always-on application that's found in the leftmost end of the homescreen. The BB Hub integrates all of your communication activities including text messages, email, calls and notifications. It's a cool concept that you can always return to the BlackBerry Hub from anywhere else in the OS by doing a swipe up and then right gesture, though that one is a bit difficult to master.
So, how's that QWERTY keyboard, you ask. Well, it's as good as on any high-quality BlackBerry smartphone, meaning that it's quite cluttered, but still much more comfortable than a larger on-screen one. They keys have the trademark BlackBerry form and they do have a nice clicking feel when pressed. You'll still have to use them with your fingernails, though, as they aren't big enough to let you comfortably press them with fingers. Still, all in all, the keyboard is very good and will be enjoyed by those who plan to really do a lot of typing on their phone.
The Email client of the Q10 is good, though we've certainly seen better. It will surely get the job done, but we feel that the small screen isn't going to make working with the BlackBerry Q10 very comfortable.
Internet and Connectivity:
BlackBerry has developed a very capable browser for BB 10, so you can theoretically surf the web in a decent way. We say theoretically, because it's possible, but it's practically a pain due to the small screen and 1:1 aspect ratio. It's a pity, because everything moves swiftly and the browser itself is very capable. That doesn't mean that it has Flash support, of course.
In terms of connectivity options, the BlackBerry Q10 is well-equipped as it sports LTE and HSPA, along with all necessary Wi-Fi protocols, including 'n' on the 5 GHz band.
In addition, this little bad boy boasts a Micro HDMI (Type D) port, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0, so yeah, we can't complain of a lack of features in this respect.
Processor and Memory:
Almost surprisingly, the BlackBerry Q10 sports a pretty decent 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and not 1, but 2 GB of RAM in order to ensure the smooth operation of the system. Built-in storage is 16 GB, which is fine, especially for the Q10, but if you ever happen to need more, you can always insert a microSD card of up to 64 GB.
1. Kurai (unregistered)
7? . . .bulls**t!
33. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)
36. cabuya (Posts: 24; Member since: 16 Jul 2012)
i love phonearena reviews they give a 7/10 but all pros and no cons i dont get it because if is all pros then i guess is a 10/10
3. roldefol (Posts: 2858; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
Seems pretty clear to me from the start of the review: this isn't a phone for you (the average buyer comparing equally capable smartphones to find the best one for you), it's for Them (Blackberry fans). Unfortunately I don't believe there are many of Them left. The few I've known moved on to iPhones at their last upgrade.
7. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5529; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
I think you really captured the challenge facing BB/RIM - so many of their users have moved on to either Android or iOS.
The only ones left are dedicated fans. Why BB didn't release the Q10 first is beyond me. Oh well. Best of luck to BB.
4. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1619; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)
hmmm sounds about right, BB has a steep climb to face to even get to its significance it once was.
8. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5529; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
Getting to even a quarter of their previous market share is basically not possible. They have to develop a strategy to 'right-size' the company, aka fit the company to where ever the users are, with whatever functionality is important to those users. Otherwise, it is over for BB. The 2 former co-Bozos squandered BB's market position.
27. Commentator (Posts: 2293; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
To put it in perspective, BBRY's (then RIM) market cap at the height of its glory the week of June 16, 2008 was $76bn. Its market cap now is $7.6bn. Thus the company is worth roughly 10% of what it once was. So yes, as Doug said even getting to a quarter of their previous size doesn't look very feasible.
5. StreetNerd (Posts: 699; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)
im willing to try this new phone... currently using a Lumia 920
6. jellmoo (Posts: 619; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)
Well, I'm so glad that insignificant items such as battery life and the buttons along the frame are completely ignored so that the pivotal issue of being packaged with crappy headphones can be addressed...
What is it with PA and the hate on Blackberry? Sure, maybe this device deserves a 7, but each review of BB10 and BB10 devices just drips with negativity. There is a weird bias displayed against with all of the decent to good points being quickly glossed over, and every little nitpick being brought to attention.
41. TritonForceX (Posts: 57; Member since: 27 Sep 2012)
Yeah, I'm noticing that a pro is brought up, followed not by a con, but by an opinion of why that pro is no good.
I'm sorry if you don't like the phone, but keep the review factual with as little opinion as possible. The problem with accidentally minimizing a window when trying to scroll a list is a valid point. Wondering out loud to yourself why someone would want to learn the new BB10 OS and not stick with Android or iOS is something that doesn't need to be in here.
9. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5445; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
I think that 7 points for this phone is too much.
24. semipro1337 (Posts: 67; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)
I think its good that what you think doesnt really matter....
32. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)
Well the number of dislikes on your comment is clearly showing that you have said something wrong.
38. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)
10 people are disagree with you.
39. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5445; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
Exactly, it shows that ten people disagree with me, but that doesn't mean that I'm wrong!
And I'm not wrong since I just told my opinion, in my opinion 7 points for this phone is too much.
10. exynos5 (Posts: 21; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)
Ray S no offence but whenever you write reviews it will be completely biased and you won't consider certain important factors like who are the target consumers of q10? Its for enterprise and certain die hard blackberry fans who love qwerty. Secondly, compare the previous gen of Blackberry and this one ( use the previous gen for few days and come back to this unit) and give your impressions rather than comparing with some touch centric OS's.
You can give me thumps down and ban
P.S: I'm not a BB fan or anything like that....I use my iphone 5 and samsung galaxy s4 which are both extraordinary devices and waiting for Q10 to be released...
25. Ray.S (Posts: 250; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)
I really don't see what's the problem here. I've said the Q10 is a better BlackBerry. I've said it's great for people who really need a physical QWERTY keyboard... and, I've also said that it's a worse overall smartphone compared to all the rest. Where am I wrong?
26. semipro1337 (Posts: 67; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)
you dont really give any acceptable reasons why its a worse overall smartphone compared to all the rest. If its what someone wants and needs how come all the rest arent overall worse smartphones in that particular case?
28. Commentator (Posts: 2293; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
By your logic there is no reason any phone could be rated as worse than any other phone. Supposing there is a phone that stabs somebody with fish-hooks every time they make a call. Sure, that might not appeal to most, but as you say "if it's what someone wants and needs how come all the rest aren't overall worse smartphones in that particular case?" I want to be stabbed in the ears by fish-hooks, dammit!
Ray S. (and PhoneArena, and really the entire democratic world) are banking on the idea that the preferences of the majority of a body of people are more important than the preferences of the minority.
29. Commentator (Posts: 2293; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
...And notice, by the way, that I never stated (in comment 28) that PA's democratic style of rating is necessarily a good thing, but they're really caught between a rock and a hard place.On one hand they're trying to catalogue and rate every smartphone on one unbiased basis, but on the other hand there are inherent differences in intentions of functionality between these smartphones based on their target-markets.
An avid QWERTY user, for instance, might very well rate this phone a 10 rather than a 7, and their opinion really does matter. So what is PA to do? They could categorize their reviews into sections such as "High-end," "Mid-range," "Low-end," "Rugged," "QWERTY," etc. and just compare phones within each category, but that's a slippery-slope to run as there are obviously differences of opinion within each category itself.
For instance, within the "high-end" category the HTC One would be compared with the Galaxy S IV. I personally prefer premium construction over extensive software capabilities, so I would obviously be a bit put-off that the SGSIV is rated higher than the One.
The easiest solution would be for PA to go the route of Engadget and do away with the rating system altogether, but I'm not sure that's wise given their history and mission.
(I realize this may have veered far from the original topic and I apologize, I was just musing aloud on some issues that have been hotly debated over the years...)
30. semipro1337 (Posts: 67; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)
I guess I dont believe its fair for a reviewer, if they are being unbiased toward each and every device (which we all know PA does not follow this rule) that they shouldnt ever say theyre are better devices out there by comparing it to a totally different style of device.
What he failed to mention was what QWERTY device out there can he compare this to that is a better choice and what makes it a better choice. Thats what a real reviewer would do.
42. TritonForceX (Posts: 57; Member since: 27 Sep 2012)
"When we said that the small screen might be the BlackBerry Q10's biggest downfall, we may have made a mistake. The BlackBerry 10 software platform might be just as big of a reason for anyone who doesn't like this phone."
A statement like this is a blatant show of negativity. Rather than say the screen was the biggest downfall, then retract that further down the review, why didn't you just go back and edit the previous comment?
Phrasing it like this looks to be more of another dig at the phone based on your personal preference.
It's okay if you don't like the OS or the phone, but this isn't an opinion article, you're talking about the phone. Do the features BlackBerry advertise with the phone work or not? Yes, the screen probably is too small to watch movies on. So were the other BlackBerry qwerty models that were fairly reviewed when the company was more popular. It didn't affect those scores, or warrant complaints.
43. jellmoo (Posts: 619; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)
Here are some of the issues with the review:
- Battery life: There is no mention of battery life for the device. This is a big deciding factor for just about everyone shopping for a device.
- Basis for comparison: Harping on the small screen as it makes it poor for multimedia and gaming is silly. this device is clearly not designed for this, therefore people looking for these features are going to be looking at other devices (such as the z10)
- The earphones: When is the last time this has been mentioned in a phone review? Earphones from just about every device are terrible and not a basis to judge a device. Doesn't this seem slightly petty to bring up here to harp on on?
- The keyboard: The big reason anyone would be interested in the phone, and it is glossed over in a paragraph with no substance other than the fact that for some reason people will need to use their fingernail to type on the device. Instead of offering any real analysis of it at all, it gets a blurb.
- Gestures are difficult: Why is it that some of the smae things that made WebOS and MeeGo so fun are seen as a negative here? The interface is different, so yes there is a learning curve, but you make it sound like you are treating the device like one of those hopeless people from an infomercial...
If the device deserves a 7, then give it a 7. But show how you reached that conclusion, actually review the items that people will have questions about (the keyboard and battery life), and take into account that this caters to a different audience than other devices. Just like giving a good review to a low cost device that caters to a different market than a flagship, a text oriented device shouldn't be gauged against a media powerhouse.
11. slaggyb (Posts: 184; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
Ray s were you forced to review this phone? Is not meant for multimedia or what not its for those who want a physical qwerty keyboard and those who want to get things done without been distracted.. you my friend is the worst reviewer of the q10 so far..engadget and the verge even gave credit to were it is due..I see reason why blackberry refused to give you guys iphone/samsungarena a review unit cos the know the trash you will review...praise and glorify your galaxy s4 you should have given it a 10/10 ...
12. slaggyb (Posts: 184; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
Every better reviewers out there that even hate blackberry made positive remarks but all you are saying is small screen unintuitive os and hard learning curve. Dude admit it you can't do without the physical home button... I lost interest in your reviews when you said the galaxy s4 is very fast no lag when it's so obvious and clear that the phone lags like hell even tech sites like engadget, theverge and even gsmarena confirmed it...Am so done visiting this Samsungarena site.. very disappointed. .
13. AcE_LoZeR (Posts: 4; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)
I love how this professionally done review talks about the all important included headphones and leaves that worthless battery life information! Very well done sir.
Sarcasm aside, why would you compare this phone to media-centric smartphones? Their target demographic is completely different. It's a device meant for business and text based communication; not for watching Monsters VS Aliens and playing Angry Birds. Review it for what it is, not for what it isn't.
45. roldefol (Posts: 2858; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
"It's a device meant for business..."
Unfortunately for Blackberry, the business world has already moved on. My wife works for a major US corporation that has replaced all its company-issued Blackberry Bolds with iPhone 5s and Lumia 920s. The needs of business users have changed. They need good cameras, web browsers and useable touchscreens just like casual users.
14. slaggyb (Posts: 184; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
For those interested in buying this phone and you know what you really want, I suggest you go and try it out yourselves when its available in your country as for the USA, we are always late to the party..Hopefully first week of june it should be instores..meanwhile for comprehensive review of the Q10, visit other better tech sites. .This site is a complete joke..
15. REYNER (Posts: 187; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
this is one of a heck pathetic inconsiderate biased review Ray S. should at least spent time with the device and learned to live with the device for about a week. the scrolling thing... Q10 already has the type N Go where you can just type to search button what you are looking for instead of scrolling.. im a former BB user, i been waiting for this "in depth review" but it seems to me that this review is nothing but a crap author also failed to give emphasis on the strength of this phone compared to other os and to Z10 good thing i read some reviews from the verge and engadget i guess it would have been better if i wait to gsmarena which is far more reliant.
16. hf199 (Posts: 22; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)
This is such a biased review. It just keeps mentioning the the small screen. Well the screen is suppose to be small and tailored to BB qwerty users! Hello?! That's the reason for the Q10!
18. bigbmc26 (Posts: 41; Member since: 10 May 2012)
Haha, I was thinking the same thing throughout! It was designed to have a smaller screen simply because of the keyboard. Why is a small screen a con on a QWERTY phone?
20. Xtasy (Posts: 270; Member since: 13 Jan 2013)
How is navigation gestures unintuitive? Wow what a complete ignorant dummy for writing that! The home button is unintuitive. The gestures makes things more simplistic and very intuitive compared to some dum button..
21. Xtasy (Posts: 270; Member since: 13 Jan 2013)
Why would you use your finger nails while using the keyboard? I never used my nails with my old Blackberry 9900.. WTF? and I have huge hands. I advise all of you to read a real review on this phone cuz this guy is a complete loser.. I don't know how he still has a job at this point
23. slaggyb (Posts: 184; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
Xtasy I really can't help but to wonder what he meant by using finger nails..I have been a BlackBerry user for 5yrs and I can't type when my nails are grown... I don't know how to describe Ray S he must be a muppet..
22. Xtasy (Posts: 270; Member since: 13 Jan 2013)
Are u kidding me the 8 MP on my Z10 takes better pictures than the 13 MP on the samsung galaxy S4 lol and the Q10 has HDR mode so should be much better
31. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)
Build quality is extremely gorgeous.
7 is not fair. It deserves 8.
There is no other qwerty phone in the market right now to compete with this device
35. ahhxd717 (Posts: 316; Member since: 08 Dec 2011)
Small screen a con? Wtf? It has a damn keyboard! Oh, let's put a huge screen on it so its extremely clunky and unwieldly. I guess that's a better form factor. If you don't like qwerty phones, don't let it show in the review. People out there do like that form factor.
37. fervid (Posts: 173; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
Scratches and/or finger prints on the camera lens again. Be sure it is clean when you guys test.
44. depeche (Posts: 60; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)
Watching this review for the first time left me sad for BB, inc.
This device is unique and can only be appreciated by a few; not the reviewer in this case.
Please take the time to check out crackberry's review of this device.
46. gtatech (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 May 2013)
I have setup several units since launch and have the following comments. The BlackBerry 10 has a few tasty bugs and it is not my intention to make this phone look bad but here are some "real-world" issues with the Q10 and BB10 software I have experienced so far.
1) Using Google Apps for Business and Exchange Accounts we rely on ActiveSync to have push e-mail, sync contacts and calendars. Push e-mail was working well until last week on ActiveSync with the BlackBerry. Suddenly e-mails were not coming in or working. After calling tech support and having the call escalated to BlackBerry we discovered that disabling push allowed e-mails to start flowing again. This issue can be found on CrackBerry forums by googling "Email delay with Google apps over EAS tonight" so ActiveSync e-mail right now on the BlackBerry is buggy.
2) When using Active Sync for Calendars on BB10 you can not invite people to your meetings. You would have to setup CALDav in order for it to work
3) ActiveSync doesn't show all my folders for filing messages.
4) You might ask, why don't you just use IMAP, well IMAP doesn't have push and apparently PUSH on ActiveSync is broken right now with the BlackBerry so either way you are in for a world of headache with e-mail on the BB10. I like BB 7.1 for email better to say the least.
5) Q10 call quality - If you call another Q10 / Z10 it says HD Quality, but in reality it sounds like a tin can and a string and very garbled.
6) Q10 earpiece - turned all the way up and walking through a noisy urban city you can't hear a thing had to actually tell clients I will call them back because the Q10 doesn't have a good speaker on the earpiece - is this a faulty device you ask? No I asked other people if they had the same problem - YES they do!
7) NO pressing the U key for checking unread emails quickly. Yes BB10 says all the qwerty shortcuts are built into the phone, no this one isn't and its annoying - maybe 10.2 will fix this.
8) touch screen lag, whether hanging up a call or answering, dialing etc. there is a definite lag on what is supposed to be the fastest blackberry on the planet.
9) Copy and paste is a nightmare, try copying a web site URL to paste into an email
10) Using CardAV contacts do not sync - BTW BlackBerry Link is also useless when trying to sync your old BB 7 phone to the new BB10 device. It didn't transfer BBM contacts or contacts in the address book
11) No more GROUPS - BB7 had a great feature to allow you to create a group so you can easily send to multiple recipients. BB10 you can kiss that good bye :\
Obviously this is a new platform and there are many things nit pickers will have gripes with. These are just some of the complaints I get to deal with so far from the phones that have been deployed into the workplace. This phone has a lot going for it, but traditionalists that have the BB7 and prior OS programmed into their cerebral cortex will find a lot of things missing.
47. Psuperman112 (Posts: 1; Member since: 11 Jun 2013)
I've frequented this site just to browse through the news and check out phone reviews for a long time now. This review prompted me to register just to express what a horrible review it was. The author sounded like he hated the phone and dwelled on everything he personally didn't like (i.e. the screen size was brought up throughout). I understand that the phone wasn't designed for your particular uses but like some others have mentioned, you should probably be more objective in your review. I was a long time BB user and this phone had me curious about switching back from a Galaxy S3 (miss the keyboard), after reading your review I have no better idea since it was dripping with bias. I'll be checking out reviews on other sites for this phone.
|Display||3.1 inches, 720 x 720 pixels (330 ppi) Super AMOLED|
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, Dual core, 1500 MHz, Krait processor
2048 MB RAM
|Size||4.71 x 2.63 x 0.41 inches|
(119.6 x 66.8 x 10.35 mm)
4.90 oz (139 g)
|Battery||2100 mAh, 13 hours talk time|