Blackberry Z10 – Too late to the game?

Blackberry Z10 Review – not bad, but do they have a market?

This past weekend, we were hanging out with a friend of mine who’s in the tech industry. And at one point in the night – he wanted me to do an initial Blackberry Z10 Review.

He retrieved the device (which his company had given him), and gave it to me. He said – can you figure out how to work it?

Even though I had been a Blackberry user forever (hung on as long as I could), I was not familiar with the updated “features” of this new model. Frankly, the first couple minutes – I had no idea what I was doing. Couldn’t access home screen or any of the functionality as a phone. Frustrating to say the least, especially when you’re used to phones like the iPhone or Android. I was ready to call it a piece of junk.

However, a little fiddling around, I discovered how to “wake” the device, and it became fairly straightforward. He gave me the device to play around with it for a few days. You might be a bit surprised.

Blackberry Z10 Review

Blackberry Z10 functions well as a smartphone

OK – I didn’t get to play around with the “apps” that so many people install on their devices (Facebook, games, other social programs, photo filters, etc.) But from a phone perspective – this was quite easy to use.

For one, you can “wake” the device simply by “swiping up.” Then the standard left – right swipes switch you between various home pages, icons for apps, and recent calls, etc.

Swiping down gave you access to your settings, and swiping “up and to the right” showed all your recent communiques (calls, texts, etc.)

Overall – navigating the phone was easy once you got the basics.

How’s the screen on the Blackberry Z10?

The “feel” of the Blackberry Z10 was almost perfect. A 4.2″ screen and slightly grippy rear made it feel quite at home in my large hands. It appeared to be about a third of an inch wider and taller than my iPhone 5, and about a twentieth of an inch thicker. I wish my phone had those dimensions. Just felt more natural.

The clarity of Z10 screen seemed even sharper than the iPhone, which was easy on the eyes.

Blackberry Z10 vs Apple iPhone 5

Using the Blackberry Z10 – Does it work?

I made calls and sent text messages. That’s about it.

The call functionality was flawless. Everything you can expect in a smart phone. But the biggest surprise came when typing.

At first I was a little disappointed in the keyboard. Especially since my muscle memory is already programmed for a different device. I got fed up after a while, and initially deemed it a failure as a keyboard. But after more experimentation – I noticed an interesting twist on the “autofill” technology.

Again, I didn’t care to read any manuals about the Blackberry Z10 – I just wanted to see if I could “figure it out.”

As you type, the Z10 suggests words a bit differently than I’m used to. Instead of trying to figure out the ONE word you’re looking to type, it actually suggests many different words – with different first letters.

Like my example below, I’m typing “Do you want to grab a…” and it suggests “quick, drink, good, coffee, bite…” and in order to pick one of those words, just “swipe up” to have it auto-fill that word. Pretty cool, and I got used to it fairly quickly. A neat feature I’d love to see on other platforms.

Blackberry Z10 Auto Complete Swipe

Blackberry Z10 Verdict

With the limited use I had over the past few days, I cannot really say much bad about it.

Phone worked flawlessly, the camera was on par with the latest iPhone (a bit sharper), recorded video was quite astounding, sound quality was respectable and battery life was above average.

Other features which were much appreciated were the full-capability browser (HTML5 and Flash) and the ability to easily close out apps without too many actions.

But as with much of the world, does this really matter much? There is so much competition in the smartphone world, it makes you wonder how it will all flush out in the end. Has Blackberry just been falling too far behind for it even to matter anymore? Or do they still have a niche at the very least. Some users may be getting frustrated with Apple’s complacency, and with Android’s inconsistency.

Plus – for those that just want a phone with good functionality and perhaps some “online” usage – the Blackberry Z10 really does cover all those bases, and quite well. That, paired up with the very solid design and great form factor, should at least allow the Z10 to compete for some consumer share.

Have you used the Blackberry Z10 yet?

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