BlackBerry Z10 hands-on
In the last several weeks, we've been seeing plenty about the all-touch device in the BlackBerry Z10, but finally, it's here in the flesh ready to kick start this next chapter for BlackBerry. And wouldn't you believe folks, the leaks were dead on with this one, not surprisingly. Of course, an all-touch BlackBerry evokes long forgotten memories about the company's first attempt at the form factor – the BlackBerry Storm. Thankfully this time around, there's more relief in knowing that the platform it's running has been refined and tweaked, to accommodate all of the modern functions and styling we crave.
Frankly speaking, the BlackBerry Z10 reminds us a lot about the iPhone 5, but obviously, the design is taking a backseat and letting the platform get its time under the spotlight. For a BlackBerry, the design is undeniably different, since we're all so familiar with their tried and true recipe of pumping out QWERTY based handsets. With this, though, there now are enough stylish elements littered throughout its design to make it a tangible and appealing offering – like it's uniform and clean flat surfaces. However, rather than employing sturdier materials, like some kind of metal, it's resorting to sticking with a plastic body. In the rear, however, it has a textured surface that gives the handset a good contrast balance between the slick front casing.
Naturally, the first thing we see is the display – a 4.2-inch 1280 x 768 IPS LCD display that happens to also feature 4 point multi-touch. Considering that the interaction with the platform is mainly done through the display, we're happy to report that it works rather well with its responsiveness. When it comes to visual appeal, we definitely like the sharp details and vibrant colors it's able to produce, but the size is a tiny bit underwhelming, especially when everyone is going super big. Nonetheless, it's appealing enough to do justice to the more astounding platform experience it's going to provide.
Without further delay, the most exciting part about this handset is the brand spanking new BlackBerry 10 experience – quite fittingly, of course. Not too long ago, we got a small preview of the new UI running in action during CES, but we're finally seeing every morsel of its totality today! Quite simply folks, it's dreamy, yet differentiated enough from everything else out there. In terms of visual appeal, RIM has done a bang up job keeping things simplified in the home screen, where it's still laid out in a grid-like view, but they've added plenty of eye candy in the form of slick transition effects that tastefully breathes life into the interface. Additionally, there are a variety of gestures employed by the new platform, which at first, brings a higher learning curve to the platform. Regardless, we're able to quickly adapt and find ourselves quickly being able to differentiate them all.
After the dust settled at today's unveiling, we have to give RIM some praise for really taking the time out to deliver a quality product – more on the platform, obviously. Visually, BlackBerry 10 seems unrivaled at the moment due to the stark amount of consistency we see with its performance. Everything simply flows smoothly! In fact, there's a lot of attention paid to the smallest details in the platform, which seemingly goes to show the kind of love they've placed in forging the platform from the ground up. Sure, some will argue about the lengthy time, which is undeniably exorbitant in the tech world, but at least the end outcome is filled with quality elements to make the wait more than worthwhile. Hey, for $200 with a 2-year contract, we’re not all that surprised by the pricing structure.