I am a member of Crowdtap and received a BlackBerry Z10 to review and share my honest opinion of.
If you’ve been into smart phones and it’s ever-changing and evolving technologies, you undoubtedly know the name Blackberry. Blackberry was the flagship; the best and brightest; the top of the line (no disrespect to all of you palm users out there. Those were awesome devices as well.) For years RIM’s Blackberries were the go to device for mobile internet searching, texting, mobile email, tethering, you name it! It took the PDA, combined it with a pager, smashed it into a cell phone, and then integrated business-focused features into the software to make it the go to device for many professionals. If you didn’t have one, you wanted one. And if you didn’t want one, you had completely no idea what you were missing. The world of communication was changing and Blackberries were on top of the world. That all changed, however, in 2007 when the Iphone first appeared. It changed even more when the first android phone hit the market in late 2008. Sure, there were still versions of the Blackberry on the market, but, the ease of the touchscreen, simple swipe gestures to navigate the Operating system, coupled with (what would replace “Program” in the English lexicon) “Apps”made us leave the stickiness of the roller/track ball for a more personal and new world of mobile gaming and social interaction. Fast forward to 2013, and RIM (the company that makes blackberry) is no more… well not no more, but renamed BlackBerry. The Blackberry has been redesigned with new software and features. The latest incarnation is the New Blackberry Z10!
Below are some of the features that I believe shoppers in the market for a new device will enjoy.
1. Gesture-based navigation. There are few physical and no navigation buttons on this device. The only physical buttons are the Volume up, Volume down, and power. There’s also a smaller button in between the volume that activates the voice commands. This does take a bit of getting used to, but it is such a cleaner experience navigating the phone. Swipe up from the bottom to unlock the phone when in sleep mode or to exit any app. Swipe down from the top to get to your setting shade. Swipe down from within an app to reveal menu options (if any). Swipe to the right to get to the message hub. It’s extremely clean, easy and simple to use.
2. The Interface is simple. The BB10 OS for me exists in two sections: The Message Hub and the Apps. It really is that simple. No extra complications. This makes it extremely easy to follow and navigate as well.
3. The Keyboard is fantastic! The predictive text suggestions that the keyboard provides is amazing. Since this does take a little time to get used to, it will be different at first. But give it a few texts, and you’ll be raving about it. Text, email, whatsapp, tweet, etc. in half the time. A simple explanation is that the keyboard will offer potential word suggestions based on your key presses. It will offer each word of the next letter in the word. For example, if you press “w”, over the “I” on the keyboard will be “will”, over the “h” will be “what”, over the “e” will be “we”, etc. It will also track your frequently used phrases. So instead of typing out “What time are you coming home?” letter by letter. You press the letter “w”, and then from there (based on the predictive text suggestions) swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe. That’s it! Like I said, it’ll take a little getting used to, but, once you do, you’ll love it!
4. Camera Features are pretty cool. The camera takes pretty good photos, and there are some cool lenses and effects to choose from during photo editing. There is also a feature called time shift that allows you to take multiple photos back to back. After the photos are taken, you can detect faces, click them and scroll through to select the best one. It works on group shots too. So you can time shift each individual face to create the best possible photo. Like I said, pretty cool!
5. The Message Hub is my favorite feature. If you have ever owned a Blackberry previously, then you know how easy it was to sync multiple email accounts. It’s even easier now. All email accounts, text messages, tweets, Facebook updates, LinkedIn messages, etc. can be set up in the message hub. Also, notifications from your apps will show up there as well. You can choose the view you wish to have or have them all appear as an integrated group. You will never miss an important message or update again. From the lock screen you will see without having to unlock the phone if you have new messages from twitter, Facebook, email, or notifications from other apps like USA today, whatsapp, or Pulse. I LOVED this feature.
All in all, this is a fantastic device for Blackberry to reintroduce themselves into the smart phone market. If you’re a technophile and you need the latest and greatest, this phone will not blow you away. However, if you’re like me, and need a device that is easy to use, spec’d to compete with its contemporaries, and does everything a smart phone is supposed to do without me, the user, having to do a ton of tweaks and setup, then the Blackberry Z10 is a fantastic device for you. The more we used it over here at the Houseful, the more we fell in love with it. The Blackberry Z10 gets two thumbs up from me!