Monday, May 13, 2013

Blackberry Q10 Review

As mentioned in my previous 2 "intermediate" blog entries, I managed to get my hands on a Blackberry Q10 and would either spend the time to write this week's blog entry on Blackberry OS 10 or the Blackberry Q10. I've decided to write this blog entry on both.

I've been using a Blackberry Q10 for approximately 1 week so these are my first thoughts about it and they might change as I use it more.

I came from using a Blackberry Bold 9700 which as I mentioned in a previous blog entry was starting to show its age. That Bold 9700, shipped with Blackberry OS 5 and I later upgraded it to Blackberry OS 6 which in hindsight doing this was a big mistake because in my opinion, the Blackberry Bold 9700 was not meant to run Blackberry OS 6. I wanted a phone with an actual keyboard (as opposed to a virtual onscreen keyboard) to replace my Bold 9700. This is one of the reasons why I decided not to purchase the earlier Blackberry Z10 which came out a few months earlier.

The carrier that I deal with had 2 colours (black or white) for the Blackberry Q10. I opted to get the white one which for the time being is rarer than the black one since the black one is available with all the carriers that offer the Blackberry Q10. My Blackberry Q10 shipped with OS There were no upgrades available at the time that I received my Q10.

In terms of some of the specifications for the Blackberry Q10, it is a dual-core phone that is LTE enabled (unlike the LG Nexus-4 that I got as an upgrade to my Samsung Nexus-S). I find the Q10 to be very fast. The resolution of the screen is 720x720 and it has a 8 megapixel auto-focusing rear camera (the Bold 9900, which I skipped, did not have auto-focusing). The Blackberry Q10 uses a microSIM card from the carrier, has a microSD expansion slot, and a micro-HDMI port for connecting it to a television set. For Wi-Fi, it supports 802.11 a/b/g/n. I didn't have any issues connecting my Blackberry Q10 to any of the access points that I had at home or at work. Most importantly, the Blackberry Q10 has a physical QWERTY keyboard (and a touch screen).

You can get a copy of the Blackberry Q10 user's guide from *HERE*.

One of the main differentiating things between this Blackberry and the previous Blackberries (with the exception of the Z10) is that Blackberry OS 10 does not require a Blackberry specific data plan (like BIS). In fact, for the first 3 days, I was using my Blackberry Q10 entirely on wireless mode (without a SIM card in the phone) and all the data functions worked very well (browser, Blackberry Messanging, e-mail, synchronizing, etc.). On my Blackberry Bold 9700, without a BIS-enabled SIM card, the built-in browser, the e-mail functions, and Blackberry messaging (among other data applications) would not work even over Wi-Fi. This meant that when I traveled to another country, I couldn't put another carrier's SIM card into the phone and get the data applications to work even over Wi-Fi. The negative thing about Blackberry OS 10 going this route (no longer requiring a Blackberry specific data plan) is that there is no longer any compression for e-mail and browsing which will increase data usage. Depending on your company's corporate network, you will probably still require a BES data-plan for some of the business features.

Because I've used a Blackberry Playbook before, the touchscreen gesture controls didn't take me too much time to get used to. After about a week of usage, I am still sometimes looking for the non-existent trackpad, the Blackberry menu button, or the back button.

In the one week that I've been using the Blackberry Q10, I find that the keyboard is very good and the phone and/or the OS is very stable/solid. Whereas my Blackberry Bold 9700 has to be rebooted almost on a daily basis and the browser on it would crash after viewing a few pages, I have yet to reboot my Blackberry Q10 and it's browser has yet to crash and I have used the browser a lot. The Q10's browser renders pages very well although because of the screen-size (3.1" diagonal), it does sometimes require that I do  the "2-finger pinch zoom" in order to enlarge the portion of the webpage I want to read.

In terms of the applications available for the Blackberry Q10, I do find it lacking in that department. A lot of the applications that I had on my Blackberry Bold 9700 are not available for the Blackberry Q10. As of the date that I'm writing this blog entry, one program that I use occasionally on my Blackberry Bold 9700 which is available on the Blackberry Z10 is not available on the Blackberry Q10 (and both the Z10 and Q10 run on Blackberry OS 10). The program that I'm referring to is the Ebay program.

The Blackberry Q10 supports Microsoft ActiveSync which I find is a big improvement from what was supported via the carrier's BIS webpage. The only thing (but this is not Blackberry's fault) is that Google has abandoned support for Microsoft ActiveSync for their free accounts. As such, it required a few extra steps to get my Blackberry Q10 to synchronize with my Google calendar, my Google contacts, and my Gmail account but it wasn't too difficult to do this. I forgot to mention this but as opposed to using the Blackberry Desktop software to back-up my Blackberry Bold 9700 and then perform the hardware upgrade option (transfer device) for restoring all the settings to my new Blackberry Q10, I opted to configure everything from scratch. After getting my Blackberry Q10 to synchronize with my Google account, I find that it does it very well (better than what I was getting with my Blackberry Bold 9700). The Blackberry contacts integrates my Google contacts, Facebook contacts, LinkedIn contacts, and my Twitter contacts and it allows me to specify which accounts to show in the Blackberry contacts list. There does seem to be a bug in the Blackberry contacts for the Q10 and that is, it only performs a sync once when setting it up. I've changed information for a particular contact (either on my Blackberry Q10 or on my Google Contacts account) and that change was never reflected/synched even after waiting over 8 hours.

As mentioned in this blog entry's title, this is only part 1 of my review/thoughts on the Blackberry Q10. I will write part 2 at a later date (I am not sure if it will be next week's blog entry or whether I will write about something else).

If you have any questions/comments regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment which contains a URL link (whether it is embedded or not) will automatically be labelled as spam and will not be posted.


  1. Dear Sir,

    In ref to the above, what I gathered about email was, I can upgrade to Q10 from 9810 and do not require BIS/BES to get my emails. My push emails will work without the services like in any iPhone or any Android phone.

    Kindly, reconfirm on the same.

    1. Thank you MadHouse for reading/commenting on my blog.

      Regarding your question, you don't require BIS to use push services for email on any Blackberry OS 10 device (such as the Z10, Q10, Q5, Z30).

      Basically, with Blackberry 10 devices (such as the Blackberry Q10), you don't even need a data plan and it will get e-mail over WiFi.

      For the first week that I had my Blackberry Q10, while I waited to get a microSIM to put into my Blackberry Q10, I was using BBM and my e-mail (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, and my Internet Service Provider's POP3/IMAP email) completely over the WiFi network and without a SIM in the phone so it was using data programs/apps/e-mail/BBM without a SIM card or any associated data plan in the phone.

      I'm not that familiar with BES but if your corporate network requires BES, you will probably still need a BES data plan in order to access your corporate e-mail and calendar.

      I hope that this answers your question. If you have any other questions/comments, please don't hesitate to leave another comment.