• Our Blackberry Z10 SuperThread + My Impressions

    Now that the Blackberry Z10 is available in Canada have you given it a try yet? Post your thoughts, questions and impressions of the Z10 here!

    Personally, I've been using one for a few days now for most part, Blackberry has done what they needed to do to make a compelling device. It's not perfect but they've differentiated it enough that it's an intriguing alternative to it's competitors.

    They've also done a decent job with their app ecosystem. Yes, it's still starting out but it's not totally dead like the Playbook's was when it first launched.

    Hardware wise, the Z10 doesn't disappoint but at the same time, it's not absolutely cutting edge either. They've done enough, in the hardware department that most people aren't going to complain about it unless they spend all their time looking at spec sheets and reading reviews rather than using it.

    Menu keys anchor of the experience of Android and iOS, so the lack of menu soft keys (and on-screen softkeys) can be a bit confusing at first.

    I really like how they've taken Blackberry's signature (the messaging) and made it one of the cornerstones of the experience without making it feel like they're forcing it down your throat. Actually, the messaging (email, text, Facebook (including groupchat), Twitter, LinkedIn, BBM) is bundled in with your calendar, and phonebook into a feature called 'Hub'. To access the Hub you swipe up and then without letting go, swipe to the right. It's an interesting idea that's intuitive to use.

    Even better is that the hub has hooks for programmers. I was looking around the App store and noticed that there's a GTalk app from Blackberry which presumably hooks up with hub.

    The other Blackberry signature is the keyboard. These days, everyone has a good keyboard. If I was to rate them, I'd say Android 4.2's is the worst (say it's 8/10), Windows Phone is a 8.5 while the iPhone gets a 8.6. With that in mind, the Blackberry's is 9+ easy.

    Whether you use the 'brute force' method like me where you type as fast as you can and let the auto-correct sort it out or if you type slowly the Blackberry keyboard works really well.

    I've always found that Blackberry's came with inferior cameras. The camera isn't class leading but it's not terrible either.

    One feature I like is the Z10's share feature. Yes, the same one you find on Android. Blackberry even took the share icon! Anyways, it allows you share files and media with other devices - even via NFC!

    Battery life is phenomenal Part of the reason why is because Blackberry doesn't allow the screen to get insanely bright (like on the iPhone 5), the other is because the screen has auto-brightness which you can't turn off. Even some heavy users will be able to use it an entire day.

    Another feature I like is the file share feature. It's not the same as the share feature I mentioned earlier. This one lets you access your Z10 via SAMBA (Windows file sharing). You can copy files to the Z10 wirelessly.

    I copied some 720p mkv and 480p DIVX avi's to the Z10 and noticed that it has decent codec support! No need to use handbrake first like on Windows Phone or iOS! There is (what I assume is) a bug where the video player's maximum volume is very low. Hopefully they'll fix that soon.

    Due to health reasons I've been bed-ridden the entire time I had the Z10 so I wasn't able to use it outdoors and test RF. Sound quality is average, maximum earpiece volume and speaker phone volume are both good - similar to the iPhone 5.

    I'll have a full review in a few days. It's hard to review a phone from bed.

    Any questions? What did you think about the Z10? Honestly, Blackberry has done all they could do - it's better than I was expecting.

    -Howard
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Blackberry Z10 users superthread started by DerekToronto View original post
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. cjordan's Avatar
      cjordan -
      Does that typing interface get in the way of typing? Without actually using it myself, it would seem to me as if words keep popping up they would get in my way if I just want to quickly type an email and get it sent off as quickly as possible.
    1. DerekToronto's Avatar
      DerekToronto -
      Absolutely not. It's in between the rows.

      Sent from my SGH-I317M using Tapatalk 2
    1. DerekToronto's Avatar
      DerekToronto -
      @DennyCane Oops! I screw up. I was typing this this morning at my Starbucks. Its Z10. I texted Howard to change the title.
    1. DerekToronto's Avatar
      DerekToronto -
      Camera wise the Z10 takes minimal shutter lag. You just press it and it takes it very fast, sharp photos. The focus ring you can move it by dragging the ring in the middle then to the area you wish to focus on. The close up pictures are very good. I can get closer with the Z10 than with my Note 2. In low light areas the noise is not bad..decent for a cameraphone. Colour reproduction is fairly accurate... not 100% but better than my other Note 2.

      Timeshift is a godsend if you are doing a group shot or your kid. In this mode it takes 20 burst shots. I find even if I move/panned the Z10 it still takes 20 crisp shots. After you take the photo you can review the photos and select the one you want to save.
    1. Mann Incognito's Avatar
      Mann Incognito -
      Got mine at launch too but haven't made over to my carrier yet to grab a mini SIM so I'm going to have to with hold a full opinion until I get it running fully.

      The keyboard is absolutely amazing! My last 5 BlackBerrys were all PKs so I was a little concerned about switching to a VK but the thing wows me everytime! I never used the VK much on the Dev Alpha unit I have, when I first got it didn't seem like there was anything too special about it so it be came a function I never used much. After all those updates I never once gave it a good try, boy I'm really regretting it now!

      The rest will have to wait, I'm holed up in bed after coming down with that flu that's going around. I can't wait to give it a proper go!
    1. Supa_Fly's Avatar
      Supa_Fly -
      Questions:

      Keyboard - accuracy (Day 1 to Day 2/3) = accuracy Improvements?
      Keyboard - accuracy vs competition - better than iPhone 4/4S/5? (for VK's this is my benchmark, Android regardless of the plethora of manufacturers or keyboards is balls with a rusty nail; horrible).

      Application or File Download = PLEASE tell me NO MORE KB/Checksums ... that the download just flows!! Java was a ******* PAIN with this; still is even configuring profiles to Cisco 7965Gs/etc. On older BB's only Bolt Browser downloaded content in a smooth stream!

      BlackBerry World - Content =
      Apps can you download from other stores? I've noticed the web url allows you to download to your device al la PlayStore style which I like a lot (iTunes/iOS somewhat differently).
      Movies/Music content looks VERY sufficient, dare I even say competitive!!!

      Why on EARTH are greedy ppl online trying to sell this for $1000+?! Aargh! I want one like Wednesday last week!!! hook a brotha up already!

      Edit more q's

      Browser:
      1 thing I LOVED about the BlackBerry Browser of old is that it allowed me to save favorites/bookmarks into Folders that "I" chose to organize, creating folders on the fly when I was saving a bookmark. Is this fully gone now and replaced with "tags"? I pray not because tags are VERY messy and not always relevant.
    1. DerekToronto's Avatar
      DerekToronto -
      Congrats to everyone that's getting their Z10 today!
    1. Mann Incognito's Avatar
      Mann Incognito -
      Just popped into a Bell store on my way to get a coffee, they had 24 Z10s for retail, they sold out by 9:45 after opening at 8:30. They're still signing everyone up as the system's slow for some reason and some people are coming back later to complete the transaction. Still lots of people coming into the store enquiring.
    1. DerekToronto's Avatar
      DerekToronto -
      I hope you feel better Howard! Your forum NEEDS you!
    1. Drug$toreCowboy's Avatar
      Drug$toreCowboy -
      I got mine today, and, so far, so good.

      The VK works quite well for me. This is me just coming off of a BB 9900.

      One question, once you plug the Z10 in for charging, it looks like it goes into "Bedside Mode". Anyone know how to change that? That was an easy fix on the 9900.
    1. Kimber Clothing's Avatar
      Kimber Clothing -
      Picked mine up this morning. So far loving it. Had a problem with blackberry link. Could get my contacts from my 9900 to the Z10. Finally I thought why not try Bluetooth. It worked like a charm and took under 5 minutes. Lots to learn but it's going be fun.
    1. Supa_Fly's Avatar
      Supa_Fly -
      Feel better Howard.

      yeah I had an early shift at work so I could not do anything.
      BestBuy, FutureShop, Koodo, WirelessWave, Telus Corporate - even the damn walmart in duff mall does NOT have BNIB retail for sale!

      This is ridiculous for someone like me wanting to purchase a device!!! Craigslist, even Kijiji nobody is reliable - keeping ads up when they have nothing to sell!! Arrrgh!!! Yet I'm VERY happy for BlackBerry about the brisk sales, and the inquiries!

      I have a sneaking feeling that over time this BB10 will increase in functinonality and features along with ease of use. RIM did a fantastic job with API's ... like Howard mentioned, Box.net has a specific self 1st class API into not just the hub but the whole OS! Others services get similar functionality by writing pre-determined code to access as well.

      this could be the very first REAL open mobile OS without restrictions or privo's to follow by the maker - yes Google's Android is FREE/OPEN but you don't get G services if you mess with the kernel/ASOP!! Nor do you get timeline udpates as well. The key point with BB10 ... there is NO NEED to ROOT; if a service/apps needs ROOT to the system its given it for a specific time and then its closed.
    1. Drug$toreCowboy's Avatar
      Drug$toreCowboy -
      I've had this now since yesterday afternoon, so I just wanted to share some quick thoughts on what I have found so far. Keep in mind that I am coming off of a BB 9900.

      [B]Keyboard - [B]It took a little getting used to, but now it's really grown on me. It is almost eerie how the predictive text can "guess" what the next word(s) will be!

      BB Hub - This is very handy and I like this very much.

      Apps - This is somewhat of a mixed bag. There are some really decent 1st party apps, and then plenty of half-baked android ports that are quite buggy. The Facebook app looks like a previous-generation Android version. I'm sure this will improve over time. This could be a "deal-breaker" for some, but not for me personally.

      Bedside Mode - This, much to my regret, is very buggy. The options have been really "dumbed down" compared to BB 7.1. Once you plug the charger in, it defaults to turning off ALL notifications! I like the bedside mode to operate in "Phone Only" profile. The way it sits now, to achieve this, I have to select "Phone Only" profile, then reboot the phone in order for this to work! Blackberry needs to fix this sooner rather than later, considering most of us will need to plug the phone charger in during the day to top the charge up. There is no way to change this in the settings unlike in BB 7.1 / 7, 6 etc. This stuns me, frankly!

      Profiles - This has been "dumbed down" as well from BB 7.1 and earlier versions. For most consumers, this won't be much of an issue, but for more advanced / power users, this won't make them too happy. The number of profiles has been cut back, and even the details within each profile has been cut back somewhat compared to previous OS versions (7.1 on back). Not a "deal-breaker", just worth noting.

      Tethering / Hot Spot Hosting - This, like my BB 9900, is pretty much the best I have used. Why? These are the only 2 devices I have used that can maintain a basic Bluetooth connection (voice only, no A2DP) while running the Hot Spot wireless hosting / tethering. It's nice to be able to take a call while the phone is tethered without holding up the phone to your face with WiFi going full-blast! This has been extremely useful to me but is a little-known fact.

      Overall, I plan on keeping this phone. There is much I do like about it, and more for me to learn and get better acquainted with. LTE is nice to have for speed, and, like the Playbook (which I have), will improve even more over time. I consider this a far better start than the Playbook and the BB 9900 had on it's initial release.
    1. Aurelian's Avatar
      Aurelian -
      I have a Z10 to try for a short stint, and my initial thoughts:

      It feels truly designed for touch and modern smartphone activity. I can't stress how important these are to BlackBerry's success. Even the Curve 9380 felt like the "oh, here, fine" concession that the company threw out in the hope that you'd give up and get a keyboard-equipped phone instead. The Z10 feels like a first-class citizen.

      I like the emphasis on one-handed use not just in ergonomics, but as a principle -- that you can be fumbling with groceries in one hand and doing most things on your phone with the other. Not that it's impossible with other platforms... just watch me on an iOS device, as an example.

      The hub is a nice idea, but there's two flaws: it doesn't cope well with large volumes of notifications, and it needs a much faster way to cope with mass actions on messages -- it's somewhat ironic that the other major platforms let you clear messages faster. Also, why do full Twitter conversations (including replies, not just the source message) seem to appear in the hub, but not the app itself?

      Yep, the app selection kinda sucks. Hopefully there really is a native Instagram coming, and it could use some Google services. More games, too, although there's a few gems out there.

      The camera is better than I thought -- it can do some decent macros. The decision to require changing AF points through a press-and-move action is odd, though. Have yet to try it truly dark scenes, but it did cope with less-than-ideal light well.

      While I'll have to use it for awhile, my initial reaction: I wouldn't drop an Android phone or iPhone for it (due to the app ecosystems, some email niceties and camera choices), but I wouldn't feel pained if you told me I had to live on a Z10. And that's a big, big step forward. Hopefully, BlackBerry will be just as aggressive, or more, in updating the post-launch OS as it was in getting the core OS built during the Thorsten Heins era.
    1. DerekToronto's Avatar
      DerekToronto -
      Quick tip. In standby mode screen off. If you swipe up to half way from the bottom will wake and bring you to the lock screen. If you swipe all the way up. It will wake the screen and unlock it. No need to press the button on top.