• The wait is over: Our Blackberry Q10 review



    With the release of the Q10, If youíve been waiting for a Blackberry with a physical keyboard, then the wait is over. Still, despite being the default choice, itís a solid piece of hardware that can stand on itís own merit.



    For those wondering what the point of a QWERTY phone is in the year 2013 you might be surprised at how many people prefer this form-factor. Also, despite a rocky 2 years, the Blackberry brand still has a lot of life left in it.



    While Android and iOS have a stranglehold on the Smartphone market, it will be interesting to see if Blackberry or Windows Phone becomes the 3rd choice.

    vs Blackberry Z10:



    I already mentioned it but Iíll repeat. If youíre have a Z10 and are fine using a virtual keyboard, sacrificing 40%+ of your screen for a physical keyboard just isnít worth it. The Q10 is aimed at people who are using an older QWERTY Blackberry or people who arenít comfortable with touchscreen.

    BB10 looks better on the Z10 plus it can display a lot more information.

    vs iPhone 5:



    If for some reason youíre shopping the Q10 against the iPhone 5 and are happy with both physical and virtual keyboards then letís dig a little deeper.

    If you use a lot of apps then thereís no comparison, get the iPhone 5.

    The iPhone 5 has more screen space plus itís able to display more information because itís bigger though you trade a physical keyboard for this.

    The Q10 has a microSD and a removable battery, the iPhone has neither of these.

    If youíre comparing iOS vs BB10 solely on user interface itís tough because theyíre both quite different. BB10 is mostly gesture based so thereís no home button. Apps selection aside BB10 is a great OS and holds its own against iOS. After youíve gotten used to the gestures itís intuitive to use and very good at multitasking.

    While the Q10 has a good camera, Iíd say the iPhone 5ís is better. The iPhone 5ís camera doesnít have as many bells and whistles as the Q10 but I find itís much more versatile.

    As far as being used as a phone both are very similar. Theyíre loud with good sound quality.

    vs Samsung Galaxy S4:



    Aside from the operating system, the biggest difference between the Q10 and the S4 is the size. Next to the Q10, the S4 is gigantic. The Q10 is simple to use with one hand while the S4 is bit unwieldy to use requiring big hands and or a lot more dexterity. In that sense, if prefer a smaller phone then the choice is easy.

    I didnít compare them head-to-head but I think the Q10ís screen is better outdoors in the bright sunlight.

    In absolute terms the GS4 gives you far more hardware. The Q10 has a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor. With the GS4 you basically get a similar processor thatís clocked faster and has 2 more cores. The GS4ís screen is almost twice the size, has a bigger battery, more megapixels, etc. So if you like to rationalize your purchases this way then get the GS4.

    After all, a Big Mac has more stuff in it than a Quarter pounder so itís better right?

    Android vs BB10 is another very subjective decision. BB10 does feel a lot more streamlined than the GS4 which is kind of all over the place.

    However, like iOS, the app selection on Android is much greater than BB10.

    vs HTC One:



    The story with the HTC One is very similar to the GS4. Itís a question of whether you want a QWERTY keyboard, a smaller form factor and BB10 or if you donít care about that.

    The BB10 doesnít run Android so itís not as simple as seeing which one has more hardware.

    Pros:

    • screen looks good
    • QWERTY keyboard
    • small compared to many Android phones
    • beautiful body
    • good battery life
    • loud speaker
    • RF performance


    Cons:

    • small screen
    • headphone out could be louder
    • doesnít come with a holster
    This article was originally published in forum thread: The wait is over: Our Blackberry Q10 review started by howard View original post
    Comments 23 Comments
    1. lmcjipo's Avatar
      lmcjipo -
      Very good review.

      I use both my Q10 and my LG Nexus-4 (rarely using my iPhone 3GS... mainly using this like an iPod Touch) and there are some things that I like about my Q10 over my old Bold 9700 and some things that I'm not crazy about.
    1. Haligan-Tool's Avatar
      Haligan-Tool -
      Excelent review, really makes my choice harder. I think Verizon release date is 06/06/13. So I will have to wait and check it out in the store. Touchscreens are nice, and I use Swype but sometimes I really miss a keyboard.
    1. edensabastian's Avatar
      edensabastian -
      Excellent review! I thought of buying iphone 4 but it seems your review force me to change my decision. Any way I will take little more time to choose which one is best. Thanks for sharing the review.
    1. mikethaler's Avatar
      mikethaler -
      My concerns are multi-fold.
      1. A recent article stated that BB10 OS (and Windows) lack nearly half of the most popular apps.
      2. BB and Google must have had a falling out. Not only is Google Maps not available on BB10, Googlle has shut down Google Voice on all BB phones.
      3. There is no wifi calling, and no announcement as to whether/when it will be added. Wifi calling was added as a software add-on starting with OS7. (This feature is only available on TMobile in the U.S., one Canadian carrier, and maybe 6-10 others around the world.) TM is including wifi calling on virtually all their Androids.
      4. No more processing of email via BB servers (BIS). It is still available on all earlier BB OS.
    1. qzmpal's Avatar
      qzmpal -
      while for most of the Smart Phone users, there are a lot of Apps, that many of us do not use.
      For example just for a notepad there are more than 400 Apps in Android Market. This does not mean that all the Apps are going to solve different purposes.
      They all solve the same purpose and that is, to let us write some things down.

      BUT WITH THE NUMBER OF APPS IN THE ANDROID MARKET OR APP STORE MEANS THAT, THEY HAVE REALLY HIGHLY NUMBER OF APPS THAT ARE NOT THERE IS BB OR WINDOWS.

      Major Apps are already available in BB and Windows. Its just a matter of time, that other Apps will start coming to BB and Windows.

      I do not want to deviate the topic. Yes, App Store and Market has lot more Apps, and for that matter of fact, many Apps, which are not there in BB and Windows and definitely will take a lot of time in the future as well for those specific Apps to be available for the BB and Windows.

      But, Google Maps, and other Google products are obviously, from Google and they definitely don't want someone to be a threat to their Android and Nexus Product Lines.
      At the same time, BB should find out a way to get Google Maps or other Alternatives, because, without Maps, I'm not going to buy a BB for sure.

      No body uses a separate GPS these days. when we get all of them ready to go in the smart phones.
      Also, when you have Unlimited Data, then plug in the charger, and good to go for any distance.
    1. MrObvious's Avatar
      MrObvious -
      Quote Originally Posted by mikethaler View Post
      My concerns are multi-fold.
      1. A recent article stated that BB10 OS (and Windows) lack nearly half of the most popular apps.
      2. BB and Google must have had a falling out. Not only is Google Maps not available on BB10, Googlle has shut down Google Voice on all BB phones.
      3. There is no wifi calling, and no announcement as to whether/when it will be added. Wifi calling was added as a software add-on starting with OS7. (This feature is only available on TMobile in the U.S., one Canadian carrier, and maybe 6-10 others around the world.) TM is including wifi calling on virtually all their Androids.
      4. No more processing of email via BB servers (BIS). It is still available on all earlier BB OS.
      1) BB 10 is young and BB is encouraging development natively. Plus there is sideloading, as imperfect as it is.
      2) BB 7 has been a dying platform. I wouldn't be surprised if they brought it back for BB10.
      3) That's a problem with your carrier. Not all Android phones support Wi-Fi calling either. Don't blame the OS here.
      4) BIS was more designed for the days of GRPS/Edge/1xRTT IMO when you only e-mailed for actually e-mailing. Nowadays people need phones that can actually use data, and compression through BIS doesn't fit into that very well since the data network may be fast, but BIS compression takes you back to the 2.5g days. I can understand how it would be a user pain deal if you're used to it, but it's not like it doesn't support any e-mail anymore. It still supports BES as well.
    1. Dx3's Avatar
      Dx3 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mikethaler View Post
      My concerns are multi-fold.
      1. A recent article stated that BB10 OS (and Windows) lack nearly half of the most popular apps.
      2. BB and Google must have had a falling out. Not only is Google Maps not available on BB10, Googlle has shut down Google Voice on all BB phones.
      3. There is no wifi calling, and no announcement as to whether/when it will be added. Wifi calling was added as a software add-on starting with OS7. (This feature is only available on TMobile in the U.S., one Canadian carrier, and maybe 6-10 others around the world.) TM is including wifi calling on virtually all their Androids.
      4. No more processing of email via BB servers (BIS). It is still available on all earlier BB OS.
      I have a Z10 but your concerns are more about BB10 in general.

      1. I think the app situation is being blown out of portion. I have every app I need. RDP client? Native and free. SIP client? Native and free. Google Reader? Sideload. Urbanspoon? Sideload. Most importantly, the Howardforums app is available from Blackberry World.

      2. Google has been trying to push everybody towards Android for years and support for iOS is only there because they need the installed base of iOS users. Windows Phone doesn't really have much Google support, and until the CalDAV and CardDAV update comes, forget about using GMail to it's fullest extent with Windows Phone (not that it's perfect on BB10 either). If you need it, Google Maps can be sideloaded and it's actually pretty fast as well.

      3. Many phones don't have it including the iPhone. My carrier offers wifi calling as well but I can't think of anybody that uses it.

      4. I actually saw BIS as a hindrance. When I traveled, it was difficult to get a BIS enabled prepaid data plan in many countries. Now I'm not reliant upon needing BIS when I travel. I found that IMAP push and Activesync work as well as BIS most of the time and you don't need to worry about outages either. Yahoo Mail doesn't support true push, so there is a delay if you use it, but Hotmail/Outlook/Live all work much better compared to BIS where it could only connect via pop3 whereas it can use Activesync on BB10.

      Hope it helps in making your choice.
    1. Supa_Fly's Avatar
      Supa_Fly -
      Howard,

      Great review ... and a special thanks for posting the browser screen grabs between the Z10 and the Q10 in their native orientations - especially on the HoFo site.

      However I'm confused with this ...

      In the case of the Q10, while the resolution is very high but not quite high enough where I didn’t notice the PenTiles. At 3.1” it’s pretty small which results in a lot of small text which doesn’t really play into the display’s strength.

      Still, even though I also use a HTC One and Apple iPhone 5 regularly I’ve gotten used to the “PenTileness’ of the Q10’s display and don’t notice it anymore.
      Are you saying the Q10 has a PenTile screen and you've gotten used to it or that you don't notice it??

      Quote Originally Posted by mikethaler View Post
      My concerns are multi-fold.
      1. A recent article stated that BB10 OS (and Windows) lack nearly half of the most popular apps.
      2. BB and Google must have had a falling out. Not only is Google Maps not available on BB10, Googlle has shut down Google Voice on all BB phones.
      3. There is no wifi calling, and no announcement as to whether/when it will be added. Wifi calling was added as a software add-on starting with OS7. (This feature is only available on TMobile in the U.S., one Canadian carrier, and maybe 6-10 others around the world.) TM is including wifi calling on virtually all their Androids.
      4. No more processing of email via BB servers (BIS). It is still available on all earlier BB OS.

      WiFi Calling wasn't available on all Android phones - and still isn't due to the majority still on 2.3 Gingerbread ... and to do this requires Apps.

      Quote Originally Posted by Dx3 View Post
      I have a Z10 but your concerns are more about BB10 in general.

      1. I think the app situation is being blown out of portion. I have every app I need. RDP client? Native and free. SIP client? Native and free. Google Reader? Sideload. Urbanspoon? Sideload. Most importantly, the Howardforums app is available from Blackberry World.

      2. Google has been trying to push everybody towards Android for years and support for iOS is only there because they need the installed base of iOS users. Windows Phone doesn't really have much Google support, and until the CalDAV and CardDAV update comes, forget about using GMail to it's fullest extent with Windows Phone (not that it's perfect on BB10 either). If you need it, Google Maps can be sideloaded and it's actually pretty fast as well.

      3. Many phones don't have it including the iPhone. My carrier offers wifi calling as well but I can't think of anybody that uses it.

      4. I actually saw BIS as a hindrance. When I traveled, it was difficult to get a BIS enabled prepaid data plan in many countries. Now I'm not reliant upon needing BIS when I travel. I found that IMAP push and Activesync work as well as BIS most of the time and you don't need to worry about outages either. Yahoo Mail doesn't support true push, so there is a delay if you use it, but Hotmail/Outlook/Live all work much better compared to BIS where it could only connect via pop3 whereas it can use Activesync on BB10.

      Hope it helps in making your choice.

      #1 ... I have to agree!
      Given the engine for Gingerbread 2.3 in BB10.1 supported, sideloading quite a few apps works quite well ~ somethign I don't do as of yet but its possible, and many have reported joy doing this. (My reason for not is I'm on a leaked 10.1 OS and I keep switching often and BBLink doesn't backup sideloaded apps )

      My BIGGEST gripe is people complaining for the lack of applications that are simply a window/conduit to a web service and the app offers NOTHING more than what your desktop PC browser does - or the BB10 browser does.

      Instagram (unfortunately the main owner of Instagram sees fit to recognize the BB10 browser and limit access to its camera or other functions that the service offers).
      YouTube (really you do NOT need an app for this. Simply sign in, maybe enable Flash in the BB10 browser and EVERYTHING YouTube offers is available. Again no app required).

      That said there ARE some web services that are better for a native application:
      Banks - all banks across the globe require an application because they're set with desktop browsing and UI design not mobile devices. WAP forget it!
      FaceBook - its unique services like built in browser chat, lookup and search seems to be better on an application. They've been hurting for a while until Chat heads reared its ugly head.

      BIS has its advantages too plus disadvantages and to be honest I'm glad its dieing ... too proprietary! Forward those BIS based emails for now and inform everybody they have 12mths upon upgrading to BB10 to use your new email address. In its heyday BIS based emails made a LOT of sense ... and I still prefer the data compression so I hope BB brings that back in some other form other than BES connected devices.


      What SIP & RDP clients do you prefer? Also which service are you using for SIP? Thanks in advance.

      HoFo has a native BB10 app?! Searching for this. CrackBerry's app is quite impressive as well; I'm actually VERY shocked!
    1. Dx3's Avatar
      Dx3 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Supa_Fly View Post
      Howard,

      Great review ... and a special thanks for posting the browser screen grabs between the Z10 and the Q10 in their native orientations - especially on the HoFo site.

      However I'm confused with this ...



      Are you saying the Q10 has a PenTile screen and you've gotten used to it or that you don't notice it??




      WiFi Calling wasn't available on all Android phones - and still isn't due to the majority still on 2.3 Gingerbread ... and to do this requires Apps.




      #1 ... I have to agree!
      Given the engine for Gingerbread 2.3 in BB10.1 supported, sideloading quite a few apps works quite well ~ somethign I don't do as of yet but its possible, and many have reported joy doing this. (My reason for not is I'm on a leaked 10.1 OS and I keep switching often and BBLink doesn't backup sideloaded apps )

      My BIGGEST gripe is people complaining for the lack of applications that are simply a window/conduit to a web service and the app offers NOTHING more than what your desktop PC browser does - or the BB10 browser does.

      Instagram (unfortunately the main owner of Instagram sees fit to recognize the BB10 browser and limit access to its camera or other functions that the service offers).
      YouTube (really you do NOT need an app for this. Simply sign in, maybe enable Flash in the BB10 browser and EVERYTHING YouTube offers is available. Again no app required).

      That said there ARE some web services that are better for a native application:
      Banks - all banks across the globe require an application because they're set with desktop browsing and UI design not mobile devices. WAP forget it!
      FaceBook - its unique services like built in browser chat, lookup and search seems to be better on an application. They've been hurting for a while until Chat heads reared its ugly head.

      BIS has its advantages too plus disadvantages and to be honest I'm glad its dieing ... too proprietary! Forward those BIS based emails for now and inform everybody they have 12mths upon upgrading to BB10 to use your new email address. In its heyday BIS based emails made a LOT of sense ... and I still prefer the data compression so I hope BB brings that back in some other form other than BES connected devices.


      What SIP & RDP clients do you prefer? Also which service are you using for SIP? Thanks in advance.

      HoFo has a native BB10 app?! Searching for this. CrackBerry's app is quite impressive as well; I'm actually VERY shocked!
      I'm using sip.fm as my sip client on the device, and it's using voip.ms as the provider. For RDP, I'm using AccessToGo.

      HoFo's app in BlackBerry World is an Android port, but it works well. The Crackberry app is great as its native.


      Sent from my Z10 using HowardForums
    1. howard's Avatar
      howard -
      I'm saying I noticed the pentile screen at first and then got used to it. It's very similar to the GS3 in this regard. You see it at first and then get used to it.

      Quote Originally Posted by Supa_Fly View Post
      Howard,

      Great review ... and a special thanks for posting the browser screen grabs between the Z10 and the Q10 in their native orientations - especially on the HoFo site.

      However I'm confused with this ...



      Are you saying the Q10 has a PenTile screen and you've gotten used to it or that you don't notice it??
    1. lmcjipo's Avatar
      lmcjipo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Supa_Fly View Post
      What SIP & RDP clients do you prefer? Also which service are you using for SIP? Thanks in advance.
      This wasn't addressed to me but I, like Dx3, am using sip.fm as my sip client (with VoIP.ms) as the provider. For RDP, I'm also using AccessToGo. Both are free and both work very well. I might try another SIP program on my Q10 just to compare but so far I'm happy with sip.fm.
    1. lmcjipo's Avatar
      lmcjipo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dx3 View Post
      4. I actually saw BIS as a hindrance. When I traveled, it was difficult to get a BIS enabled prepaid data plan in many countries.
      I agree with you. I also found BIS to be a hindrance because when I traveled and I wanted to use one of my prepaid SIMs, most prepaid plans if they include data don't include BIS/BES data. This is why I normally used a different phone (either my iPhone 3GS or one of my Android phones) when I went to the US.

      Now I can use my Blackberry Q10 when I go to the US (after I unlock it) with a standard T-Mobile data offerings on their prepaid plans.
    1. Supa_Fly's Avatar
      Supa_Fly -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dx3 View Post
      I'm using sip.fm as my sip client on the device, and it's using voip.ms as the provider. For RDP, I'm using AccessToGo.

      HoFo's app in BlackBerry World is an Android port, but it works well. The Crackberry app is great as its native.

      Sent from my Z10 using HowardForums
      Quote Originally Posted by lmcjipo View Post
      This wasn't addressed to me but I, like Dx3, am using sip.fm as my sip client (with VoIP.ms) as the provider. For RDP, I'm also using AccessToGo. Both are free and both work very well. I might try another SIP program on my Q10 just to compare but so far I'm happy with sip.fm.
      Thanks Dx3 & lmcjipo, much appreciated. I'll take a look when I wakeup tomorrow late morning.

      (PS: I'm not a fan of straight up Android ports on BB10.1, since the engine is 2.3 Gingerbread on 10.1. 10.2 is supposed to bring JB 4.2.2 support.

      Quote Originally Posted by howard View Post
      I'm saying I noticed the pentile screen at first and then got used to it. It's very similar to the GS3 in this regard. You see it at first and then get used to it.
      Ah .. thank you for clearing that up. I haven't even held the Q10 yet.
    1. lmcjipo's Avatar
      lmcjipo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Supa_Fly View Post
      Thanks Dx3 & lmcjipo, much appreciated. I'll take a look when I wakeup tomorrow late morning.

      (PS: I'm not a fan of straight up Android ports on BB10.1, since the engine is 2.3 Gingerbread on 10.1. 10.2 is supposed to bring JB 4.2.2 support.
      I actually noticed a bug with sip.fm yesterday evening when I tried to call one of my Blackberry contacts (from the Blackberry Contacts via Google Contacts), one of the contacts didn't appear in the sip.fm contacts. I'm not sure what the reason was because a lot of my other Blackberry contacts do show up within the sip.fm contacts.

      I had to manually call the person from sip.fm as opposed to calling him from the sip.fm "integrated" contacts.
    1. Dx3's Avatar
      Dx3 -
      Quote Originally Posted by lmcjipo View Post
      I actually noticed a bug with sip.fm yesterday evening when I tried to call one of my Blackberry contacts (from the Blackberry Contacts via Google Contacts), one of the contacts didn't appear in the sip.fm contacts. I'm not sure what the reason was because a lot of my other Blackberry contacts do show up within the sip.fm contacts.

      I had to manually call the person from sip.fm as opposed to calling him from the sip.fm "integrated" contacts.
      There's a weird behavior with the contacts of BlackBerry 10 in general and I'm not sure sip.fm is necessarily the culprit here. Some of my contacts don't show up in the phone application either. It seems to have started after my upgrade to 10.1.

      Sent from my Z10 using HowardForums
    1. lmcjipo's Avatar
      lmcjipo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dx3 View Post
      There's a weird behavior with the contacts of BlackBerry 10 in general and I'm not sure sip.fm is necessarily the culprit here. Some of my contacts don't show up in the phone application either. It seems to have started after my upgrade to 10.1.

      Sent from my Z10 using HowardForums
      Yes, there is a weird behavior with the Blackberry contacts (at least with my Q10... not sure about the Z10). I think that part of the reason is probably due to the linking of accounts feature (whether the contact is actually linked or not). Like I mentioned in another thread, for the Q10, the contacts don't seem to sync (or sync erratically) with my Google contacts via CardDAV. I've updated information of my Google Contacts directly (either webpage or via Android phone) and these updates would never go onto my Blackberry Q10. When I modify the contact on my Blackberry Q10, this updated information will never appear on my Google Contacts.

      Perhaps as you mentioned, the problem that I experienced with sip.fm is not with sip.fm but is with the Blackberry contacts in general.
    1. Supa_Fly's Avatar
      Supa_Fly -
      FYI … SoundHound is available (and day 2 gets an update with bug fixes and 10.0.x support for those that didn't upgrade),
      TDBank released its Canadian app - I feel its more a Web-portal wrapped in QML code to be honest but it does the job.

      I'm loving the progress of the leaked dev's speeding up the boot times of BB10 … most impressive!!
    1. jacob mwamba's Avatar
      jacob mwamba -
      How do I buy the Blackberry phone?
    1. 2c's Avatar
      2c -
      Quote Originally Posted by jacob mwamba View Post
      How do I buy the Blackberry phone?
      sorry you cannot buy a blackberry phone.
    1. alamest's Avatar
      alamest -
      I dont like blackberry anyway...I will not buy it..