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Z10-BlackBerry New birth

BlackBerry finally came forward with the official launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform earlier this year.While the QWERTY-packing BlackBerry Q10 won’t be available for a little while yet, the touchscreen-only BlackBerry Z10 is now available through a number of carriers around the world.

Feature Overview and Unboxing

The BlackBerry Z10 is, of course, powered by the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. It gets a 4.2-inch 335ppi touchscreen, dual core 1.5GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB storage, 8MP camera, 2MP front camera, and microSD expansion. It also gets both LTE and NFC, as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.

On paper, the BlackBerry Z10 is quite competitive with the iPhone 5 and most higher end Android devices, except that its 4.2-inch screen is noticeably smaller than the much larger Android phones with their 4.7+ inch displays these days. BlackBerry World boasts about 70,000 apps for the Z10, many of which are ported over from their Android counterparts.

Hardware Impressions

The BlackBerry Z10 definitely feels very solid in the hands. I particularly like the rubbery back that provides a great grip. The profile is remarkably thin and I like how the front face is completely lacking in buttons, leaving a much sleeker overall appearance.

The volume controls are along the right side, which is fine, but the power button is in the middle of the top. What I found is that when I wanted to put the phone to sleep (by pressing the power button on top with my index finger), my thumb oftentimes pressed one of the volume buttons by accident. I’m wondering if this could be rectified by either shifting the power button to either side on top, or by placing it on the right side of the phone instead, relocating the volume buttons to the left side.

As I have grown accustomed to Android displays of 4.7-inches or bigger, getting back to the 4.2-inch display felt comparatively small. The overall form factor, in this way, is closer to the iPhone 5. The difference is that the word “BlackBerry” on the bottom is not a home button; it really doesn’t serve any real purpose.

BlackBerry 10 Gestures and UI

People who are coming from legacy BlackBerry products may face some confusion with BlackBerry 10. There is no BlackBerry button, for example, nor is there is a hardware back button. Just about everything is done via gestures and many of these originate from off the screen, not unlike webOS. You get back to the home screen, for instance, by swiping up from off the bottom of the display (where the BlackBerry name is). You swipe in from the right side to access functions and swipe in from the top for certain contextual settings.

BlackBerry Hub

Your real home is the BlackBerry Hub, which can be accessed by swiping up from the bottom and then toward the right. Alternatively, it is effectively the leftmost home screen. Here, all of your notifications are amalgamated into a single interface, including texts, emails, Facebook updates, Twitter, Foursquare and so on. There are several “tricks” and UI quirks here that you can use, but I feel there is still a lot that can be improved.

For instance, when you are within one of the notifications, there is no option to easily move to the next one. Instead, you have to hit back to get back to the list of notifications and then choose the next notification. It should be simpler and faster than that.

Camera and Video
The 8MP camera on the BlackBerry Z10 is decent, but it won’t win any awards either. It seems to have a habit of overexposing, leaving some washed out elements, but this really depends on your lighting conditions. Here is a macro-esque shot that I took indoors under soft incandescent lighting.
For sure BB10 is completely a new birth compare to its previous version.The phone itself is solid and it performs well, but it still feels incomplete compared to the more mature Android and iPhone offerings already on the market.

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