Thanks to a good friend of mine who was wiling to give me a few days with his Q10, I’d like to take some time and do a brief hands on and review of my experience with the device. The Q10 feels meaningful in the hand. It sports a battery larger than its Z10 brother 2100mah vs 1800, and is built for the CrackBerry in all of us. The power users are going to love this device. While I of course have been using and loving the Z10 on-screen keyboard, the Q10 delivers an experience that is even more efficient than the Z10 (which already brings a super-efficient gesture based “Flow” paradigm for UI). If agility and accuracy are your primary drivers, then the Q10 will suit you nicely.
The model I got to play with was white, that being so the agreement I came to with my friend was to not reproduce any pictures of the actual device, but Google Images is your friend, and I’ve got other pictures I can show you *see gallery at end of article.* Back to the specs and build of the device.
The Q10 sports a 3.1 inch SuperAMOLED (surprisingly) display at 720×720 resolution giving you a rich HD image on the screen. For the BB10 devices, BlackBerry has been touting a new screen technology called Touch on Lens. The new technology brings uses only one sheet of glass and a ITO film rather than two sheets of glass. This brings the experience closer to the fingertips while driving down costs. The screen comes in at a rich, 360 PPI but we’re not too sure how firm that number is based on the specifications of the device, it’s likely closer to 232.
The phone looks very similar to legacy BlackBerry Bolds, while maintaining the new Z10 look and feel. The keys are 30% bigger and the new straight frets across the keyboard are stainless steel. They not only aid in raising the screen up off flat surfaces but protect the keys from fabrics and catching. Because the keys re bigger and the space along the lower half of the phone fully utilized, the typing experience is amazing. I liked the ergonomic curves design of the 99xx series, but this definitely is a better keyboard, and has less of a learning curve to become proficient with it in my trials. The keys tapper off with the stainless steel frets giving the whole keyboard a very polished elegant look, while keeping it functional with use in cases. The 35-key QWERTY has backlit keys for evening typing, and has several speed-dial type functions; in particular Type and Go, which you can watch more of here.
Inside this phone is just like a Z10, and therefore just like a GS3. It’s got all the goodies, Wifi, Bluetooth, NFC, supports HDMI out as well. The version of BB10 running on the device was much more complete than demo versions I saw at the BB Experience in NYC. Suffice it to say the OS was on par with the Z10 experience. Which you can experience every time you’re using the Z10 keyboard. As the keyboard comes up the viable screen real estate is exactly 3.1 inches. Meaning they built the BB10 with both phones Z&Q, in mind.
This makes the app experience rather comparable on both devices. I find scrolling a bit more in apps convenient (and efficient0 –the battery life is truly stellar getting almost two days of use out of one charge with moderate use. The gestures make a lot of sense and it’s neat to see both devices side by side. They are the same but completely different. The BlackBerry Bridge via the QWERTY to a PlayBook is an exceptionable experience, one with which someone could knock out some serious typing.
Back of the device is unique on every Q10 device because of the glass weave back BlackBerry designed in-house. The unique gradient of the soft touch back is distinct to every Q10. This new glass biweave material is thinner, lighter and stronger than any plastic and cannot be found on any other device. All in all the device feels very premium and luxurious in the hand thanks to its industrial design, while still being a serious work horse with the Qualcomm S4 Plus Dual Core 1.5 GHZ processor inside.
Is it worth the wait into April? You bet your biscuit. This phone brings me back to the original BlackBerry experience while delivering the brand new QNX based BB10 to a QWERTY device. A lot of people have been wondering how the predictive text works on the Q10. To be honest it works a lot like Swift Key on Android. There are settings within the Z10 which allow you to change the text to appear “in line” so that next words are predicted into three different columns and organized alphabetically, you bring your fingers up from the keyboard and can quickly tap individual words, while the prediction engine serves you three words at a time, every letter you type. It’s got much of the same learning tech as the Z10 keyboard, and there are also region specific keyboards for those in local markets.
I love my Z10, but I love the Q10 even more. I will be getting it ASAP from AT&T when it releases, it’s a phenomenal experience to be rivaled only by the Z10.