The new BlackBerry is finally a reality, and I was testing: the Z10, the first computer with the new BlackBerry 10 platform, which brings a vision (and an offer) the company completely revamped. With the Z10 (and Q10, traditional model with Bold style Qwerty keyboard), BlackBerry is no longer called RIM, remember-short wisely known, and embarks on a new journey with a platform that is built from scratch in the past two years.
Summary for those who lack time:
The Z10 is a great first step, with which BlackBerry is set to the height, as to what provides the operating system, the three titans of industry (Android, iOS, Windows Phone). But not exceeded.
For current BlackBerry users looking to modernize, who just left the ship BlackBerry but want to return, or those looking for something different than what is available in the market, is an excellent team that solves the most problems of the traditional BlackBerry, with an attractive graphic interface and adapted to touch screens, a web browser and a very good superlative virtual keyboard.
For those who are happy with Android, the iPhone or even Windows Phone, there is little to justify the jump (although interesting details): first by the current difference in the number of applications available (though BlackBerry has come a long way, and continue to add titles to four hands, many first level), and second-and here also suffer Windows Phone, Firefox, Sailfish, Ubuntu and others-because BB10 has no quality or unique function that the other does not equate to one or the other form.
In fact, neither do iOS or Android per se (BB10 does the same as those operating systems), but simply occupied the land first and already have the most polished. This does not mean, again, it’s a bad computer or a bland platform, on the contrary, both are very good and have very interesting features, it is worth analyzing in detail.
When I saw him for the first time in photos I did not like. In the hand, however, things change, do not know why. They managed to make a team with a sufficiently distinctive look, something difficult in an era of black rectangles, is not played too sober. The Q10, incidentally, is a classic BlackBerry-said-in a good way, with Qwerty keyboard and 3.1 inch screen.
Anyway, the Z10 has a huge forehead is the screen with the logo of the company perhaps too large at the base and two strips of plastic, with a slight tilt, giving it a good fit in the hand. The edge-to-edge glass looks good, and secondary camera position to the front for video calls (on BBM or, in the near future, Skype) and the classic notification LED (red).
The Z10 is the first BlackBerry with camera for video calls
The IPS screen is a 4.2 “with a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels and a density of 355 pixels per inch. Similar to the Sony Xperia S, higher than the iPhone. In Creole: can not see the individual dots of color, all curves are smooth, and so on. I saw a little brighter screens, or more color saturation, but has excellent visibility to the sunlight, and the reaction is instantaneous touch.
The mobile has a healthy 9 mm thick, although the screen size you have is something big, with 130 mm high and 65.6 mm wide (almost identical to the Sony Xperia S with 4.3 “screen) , the Motorola RAZR i, for example, has a 4.3-inch screen is smaller: 122.5 x 60.9 x 8.3 mm.
There is serious: I prefer small teams to Galaxy Note 2 (which we review in brief) and his henchmen, and I think the Z10 size is fine, also helped in the back, made of a flexible plastic with dithering prevents smooth sliding of the hand.
Back is also 8-megapixel camera with flash: compared to historical BlackBerry, is spectacular, set to compete with industry owners (Nokia, HTC and using the Sony sensor as Apple or Samsung) falls a bit ago, but not much. And it’s more than capable for day to day, and has good speed for focus and prepare for the next capture.
Full HD The videos are good quality, adjust the focus while recording and you can use the flash as fill light. The front camera of 2 megapixel, 720p video recording. Not clash, it excels. The camera interface is simple to the extreme, and there is no fine tuning. Yes is the function that takes a burst of images and lets you choose the best; BlackBerry’s competitors also offer it.
At the top of the battery is also the logo of BlackBerry and, on the inner side, the NFC chip. To remove it, a very simple-to access the removable 1800 mAh battery, a microSD slot for up to 64 GB and the micro SIM.
On the left side is the microUSB connector and micro HDMI, on the right side, the volume buttons with a playback control button in the middle (long press activates the voice assistant to talk to the phone). The volume buttons also let you change tracks with long press and shoot the camera if it is active.
At the top is the audio jack, one of the microphones and the power button and lock.
Inside the computer’s 2 GB of RAM and a dual-core chip at 1.5 GHz (Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 to the American model-like using mobile phones with Windows Phone 8, like the Galaxy SIII for the U.S. market – a TI OMAP 4470 for international, in theory), and the typical antennae (3G, LTE in some markets, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4) and 16 GB of storage, of which only 12 GB are free with the Z10 freshly lit.
The battery is perhaps the weakest point, but the BlackBerry is not alone in this: the HTC One X, for example, has a battery with a similar capacity, a larger screen, more powerful chip, and so on. But there are teams of equal size and greater autonomy (the RAZR i, for example).
Applied the traditional testing: unplug the phone at 7:30 am and see how long connected with 3G and Wi-Fi, with 4 active email accounts (one VERY active), Twitter, Facebook, BBM, Google Talk, etc., in addition to calls , messages, and other occasional Web access.
It reaches the end of the day, something that will surprise no one, is a negative quality he shares with the vast majority of current smartphones. However, lower a bit the brightness of the screen and leave it always on 2G (Wi-Fi) things changed, a trick I’ve used successfully in many other teams.
The 3G is not rock solid where I usually move, so the change does not affect me too (and all that is 2G messaging works without problems), it is also true that the Z10 was a little pickier than other teams When I tried to decide if he was free or not.
By the way, does not require BIS BB10, so it is possible to use the Z10 and friends with any fertilizer, without requiring a differential (yes still exists BES 10 for companies that no longer just for BlackBerry).
The Z10 is the first team to use the BB10 operating system (the PlayBook uses its predecessor and will be updated shortly to BB10, according to its manufacturer). The good: it has nothing to do with this, which I personally find very outdated.
It is a multitasking operating system with a graphical interface according to these times. It has some elements of Nokia N9 Swipe, things Android, Windows Phone and other legitimately own.
It is very agile and all movements are fluid and clear, it feels solid. The typeface used is nice, and overall it is very clear what each button or virtual knob, etc., but the aesthetics of the icons is not exactly transgressive, and missed the ability to change with new songs.
Everything is controlled with a few gestures sliding your finger on the screen. The bad: it forces you to look closely at the original video to learn. The good: appeal to muscle memory, are very simple and memorable and, most importantly, work well. They are so “natural” then, without thinking, made on other computers.
The active but blocked (Click to enlarge)
By sliding your finger from the BlackBerry logo up front unlocks the screen (without touching any button). If it slides into the middle of the screen activates it without unlock, allowing you to see the time and date, the next event on the calendar, notifications, if you have new messages, etc.-and a virtual button that activates the camera with a long press.
One of those good details BB10: with the phone plugged in the lock screen appears a discrete active tab so lucky “night” all notifications are muted and an analogue clock appears in the display along with a button to set an alarm. The watch is set in a red dim ideal if, like me, the phone loads bedside table.
If the finger slides along all the computer screen is unlocked. If done while using an application, it minimizes to leave it in the background and switch to another. But before raising the finger next to the application, you can see on the left a vertical column with notifications, and if we back the finger returns to the original. Because applications run in full screen, is the only way to see the notifications, time, and battery connection.
By minimizing an application to access the login panel: a view with the last four applications used (plus four off-screen), with the most recent up. Below is a bar with three buttons: the phone, the camera, in the middle, the excellent browser, accessing any content within the phone, in the app store or takes the query to Google, Bing or Yahoo.
In that state, the minimized application can display a thumbnail of itself, an icon or summary useful information (such as Windows Phone, Android as a widget), but additional commands as proposed Sailfish.
Applications may close there, the ninth open application removes the top of the list, but those that are running in the background (such as audio) persist. Sliding your finger from right to left to access the list of applications: a grid of classic icons. They can reorder, create folders, etc..
BB10 The three views: top panel (the thumbnails) will be left at the Hub, right to the application (click to enlarge)
From the initial panel (the thumbnails) making a gesture from left to right to access the Hub, the most distinctive element of BB10 and, for many, the most controversial.
All you have to do with messaging and communications goes there: it is the only place where you see the mailboxes. Also appearing notifications of new posts by BBM, SMS, missed calls, mentions and messages on Twitter and Facebook, and so on. It can be seen as a unified inbox mega or access each cell or particular service.
For each service (chat, e-mail, etc.) are available all possible functions: post, reply, delete, mark, etc., and the options are activated in a very intuitive with popup bar or buttons at the base of screen.
There is a rapid gesture to activate, combining gesture minimization (bottom-up) with access to the Hub (left to right). Basically involves pushing the application up and right use. Very quick and easy but, again, different from usual. And it works from all system views.
The Parental Control screen computer
You can access calls, SMS, BBM, Twitter and Facebook from their own applications, but not to email, which is a nuisance, like the fact that the accounts BB10 groups all new mails on a single icon, so it is not possible to know if the new mail belongs to a major account or not.
The other problem with the Hub is that the last position is persistent: if we leave when we were watching an SMS, and got an email (no matter if it’s an hour later) we must first go back to the view of SMS to reach the box of mail. Suffice it to move one or two screens (to be “stacked”) but it is annoying.
BB10 includes a parental control function for all equipment: disable applications and tools, it is easy to understand and well implemented. Did not try the business functions (especially remote) but should be at least as sophisticated as in the previous BB. And it is possible to have two app stores, and personal and corporate-control which information passes from one to another.
The keyboard and the browser
BlackBerry did not have good virtual keyboards on previous teams. This, however, is excellent, far better than I tried. The keys are large, fast and accurate translations make suggestions.
The keyboard, the browser, the application of Lanacion.com
BlackBerry also adds a prediction function based on each user phrases commonly used, and that Android SwiftKey is implemented, the probability that after I had once write is high, so those are the words suggest. Terrific for phrases, people he wrote by name, greeting formulas, the classic out there and I’m like.
This works the same (and learn from what we write and the content that reaches computers), except that the suggested word appears next to the letter of each word, and is chosen with a quick gesture upwards. It is capable of suggesting words and phrases in several languages at once, and can be disabled (not always accelerates typing).
The Web browser is another improvement that brings BB10. The BlackBerry to version 7 were very bad in this respect: that of BB10, based on WebKit like Android / iOS, is among the world’s best mobile, comfortable. Fast, reliable, accurate. And it allows, if the user activates that function-see Flash content. It is usually not necessary, but sometimes comes in handy. Supports multiple tabs, a way “read” to clean up the page (which does not always work well) and a download manager.
This is the first team that recognized only with my email and password diary account as Exchange (Android, iOS and Windows Phone I had to put the data manually) and configured everything without problems. And take Gmail as an IMAP account, contacts with CardDAV and CalDAV calendar for, although the latter read-only, those who, like me, live Gmail calendar should draw that up to July 31, 2013 still Exchange account can be used as new devices (theoretically the extension of time is only for Windows Phone, but should work on BB10). Also automatically recognized in Yahoo and Hotmail accounts, allowing you to synchronize mail, contacts and calendars.
The BlackBerry Messenger offers everything traditional, with the sum of voice calls (compatible with teams OS 7 and 6, and soon OS5) and between devices with BB10 allows video calls.
The application of time
BB10 allows linking your Evernote notes app (great, although the application is somewhat limited) and added to your file manager Dropbox and Box.com accounts. Once configured, the access is transparent, and the files and folders stored in the cloud are available in the same file manager. You can also mark files to be offline, download, upload stuff, etc.. BB10 save pictures and videos Box.com automatically, if the user wants (as do its competitors).
You can open a document saved in one of those online folders, edit it in the very capable team word processor and save it in the Cloud, it seamlessly (if the connection goes, of course). Also to share these and other files via email, Bluetooth, BBM, NFC, etc.. The files can be compressed and decompressed (with ZIP, do not know other formats). The office suite is compatible with documents, spreadsheets, presentations and PDFs.
BB10 included, as is usual in BlackBerry, customers fairly decent Twitter and Facebook, better than the natives of other operating systems, but not the officers. The tweet has the annoying habit of confused avatars. It also adds LinkedIn and Foursquare customers, and is able to combine all this information in the contacts view, very effectively.
The audio player is correct, the same as the video (which raised DivX and H.264 files without problems, but no subtitle). The photo gallery includes a decent editor (above all, to apply filters) and a basic tool to edit videos: cut, rotate and change the brightness and contrast.
It also has an application to create videos from photos, videos and music, a tool with the weather report, some maps too basic, with guided navigation and TomTom mapping (so you can make the same jokes on the iPhone), a compass, the inevitable YouTube client, a nice clock with stopwatch and world clock, and a calculator. Also, a tool to “print” web content (from a PC) and you see on the phone.
Do not have
The Z10 is the eighth wonder. You might have better camera and a more powerful battery. The Hub sometimes gets access to the data, the control is capricious check mails (no how to prevent check the mail over the weekend, not always obeyed my orders to do it manually) and can interface to sometimes be confusing.
The lock screen in night mode
No, well, but that is, perhaps, a subtlety-a place where information persists: to see if I have rain to open the Weather app. To minimize it remains a widget with updated information, but as I open other applications are going to the home screen. It is difficult to, say, get a lot of information at a glance without moving things.
And forced to use a software for connecting to a PC or Mac, Linux users should appeal to an integrated feature that lets you share your files via Wi-Fi.
Then of course, there is the thorny issue of applications. The good news: Whatsapp, Skype (Android version) and Kindle, among other renowned titles, will be on BB10, no official confirmation. The Bad: not yet arrived, and what’s in store, in theory, 70,000 applications-is quite poor. BlackBerry allows adding Android applications-are 40% of the total, according to some estimates, but rather slow and break with the aesthetics of BB10. The internal component update to Android 4 (which is in the process) will improve things, no doubt, but lack enough.
In games absence is particularly noticeable. Gameloft and other large and confirmed their support for the platform, and runs on BB10 Unity-and if you do like the PlayBook, doing very well, and is to lose Angry Birds Star Wars. But not much more.
By the way, Lanacion.com is applicable for BB10, and Android, iOS or Windows 8.
It is the first BlackBerry that would use with pleasure, and without feeling that I traveled to the past. It is very good phone, and a first solid step-and promising-company. It is ideal for current BlackBerry users, or those who were passed because they wanted something decent Android touchscreen. And many things are likely to find it easier to use than Android or Windows Phone. If you have a little patience, eventually should have the most popular applications.
For those with the phone as a game console this team, today, has no appeal. If you are to try a lot of software, or have specific tool requirements, either, because the software library is still limited. For those who have the tools that come from some other base (Whatsapp, an RSS reader, etc.) reach them-remember that the browser can seamlessly access Web versions in various services, the Z10 has a very attractive alternative, as it was in its own way the Nokia N9.
If you are happy with Android, iPhone or Windows Phone, however, BB10 does not have much to offer. It is late, but not advance. The Q10 I think that may be more appealing to those who want a phone with physical keyboard, an attractive format for users of the platform and seems to be better implemented in the mobile devices with Android in seeking to emulate the classic format BlackBerry.
Remains to be seen, of course, when these teams arrive in the country (and at what price), but there is no reason to buy it out and use it here (to Q10 missing a few months yet).