| | 02-10-2013, 05:28 PM Thread Author #1
5 Days with my Z10, Coming from a Galaxy S3 - Real Talk - LONG READ
ATTN: LONG READ!
This is my first post, but I've been lurking for years. I wanted to contribute after reading all the posts regarding BB10 and the Z10. The posts on this forum gave me some real insight and helped tremendously during my decision making process. I will do my best to describe my situation, uses, etc. so that you can really feel where I'm coming from and hopefully some users can benefit from the review.
A little about me:
I'm in my early 30s, self-employed and have a very unpredictable schedule. I use a PC desktop at my office and a PC Laptop for home/portable use. My home is filled with apple products, my wife is fully immersed in the mac eco system. I appreciate their ďsystemĒ, I just never felt compelled to join in. I was/am a committed RIM user, started in the side scroll wheel days and never looked back. When it comes to technology, I'm pretty "simple". I'm not into social media (no facebook, linkedin, Google+) and I'm not a gamer (never owned a gaming console before). A phone, to me, is a device to get your work done on efficiently and effectively when out of the office. The less time I spent staring at that little screen, the better my life is. Oh, and I absolutely HATE seeing notification icons at the top of my screen, I always have to select options like "mark all as read"... just a pet peeve of mine.
Everything changed for me when my 9900 broke last November. At that point, BB10 was still a myth to me and I was losing hope it would ever come into fruition. I was sick of my 9900 crashing, freezing, and just plain sucking. I could type like a madman, but outside of calls, e-mails and note taking, the phone had become useless to me. The camera made me so angry, so I started to carry a digital camera with me at all times.
By now, everyone at my office had switched off of BB and I was the last man standing... the **** of all jokes. This was my way out, so I took the chance. My good friend Kijiji led me to a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S3 - I felt like I stepped into a new dimension.
First impressions of Android:
Amazing, where has this gigantic screen been all my life? Wait, why does this native e-mail app look like a 10 year old designed it? Wait, my gmail uses a different app? Goole Street View.... Coooooool. (literally, these are my thoughts about 10 mins into using the GS3)
I found the phone to be nice, but definitely not as mind blowing as co-workers and friends had touted it to be. I understand that my uses and personality are completely different so my impressions of the OS would be also. I decided to just take the leap and not look back. I tried to use the phone as my all-in-one, hopefully replacing surfing duties of my laptop at night. I started by looking for any and all apps that I thought were useful. Banking was great, mostly because the bank apps on BB were so outdated and designed pre-9900 days. Kijiji/Photobucket/PayPal/eBay were all fun and helpful... Flipboard was marvelous, and I discovered instagram. I really liked the idea of widgets and did my best to make my home pages as graphical and useful as possible.
Now come the negatives:
1) Samsung's e-mail program is SO basic, I could not believe how bad it was. I read some reviews and decided to run an app called k9 mail instead, which was marginally better. However, the layout/UI was horrible and setup/configuration/options were confusing. The fact that there were options and ways to make it run efficiently was the only upside.
2) Typing with the Samsung native keyboard was painful, but I went into this knowing that nothing would ever compare to a physical keyboard. I was hoping that I would eventually get faster and more accurate... I didn't. A few weeks in when I was going to snap, co-workers told me about Swiftkey and installing that keyboard helped my sanity.
3) Toggling between gmail/k9 mail/whatsapp/txt/twitter is actually a lot more tedious than it seems. I never realized what BB had done with their unified inbox until I left, boy did I miss that. Android is cool, but scattered... might be an issue of too many cooks in the kitchen.
4) I found the phone laggy at times, definitely not as bad as my 9900, but still enough for me to notice. I think the average user doesn't give it any thought because Android devices seem like they're doing so much more.
5) Apps and widgets crashed - do not like
6) Battery life sucked. I carried around an extra battery and wall charger, felt like I was using a Motorla StarTac again.
7) Design left a lot to be desired. I found the phone to be too plasticy, too thin, and too light. I know this sounds really superficial, but I felt that the 9900 and even my wife's iPhone 4S to be much more thought out in terms of ergonomics.
The worst thing for me - A few weeks in, Google Maps/Navigation crashed and my GPS signal went haywire. I basically couldn't lock on to any satellites. This drove me nuts, I went as far as buying another GS3 phone so I could send the first one in for warranty repair. Low and behold, after a day or 2 of testing, the 2nd phone screwed up too. At this point, I realized it was software related. It was apparently a known problem, found an app called "GPS Fix" which re-calibrated the GPS antenna - duh. I felt stupid, but I was also upset that this was happening. I think this was when I really had enough with the phone.
Donít get me wrong, I liked the device and had a new understanding of what a smartphone could do for me. On the other hand, I hated e-mails on it and would take any opportunity to run back to my desk or open my laptop. Whenever I was forced to type and do e-mails on the GS3, I felt like my hands were tied... in my mind and physically. Iím not a small guy, but even I had issues handling the phone with one hand, I actually got cramps trying to navigate e-mails and accounts.
I'll stop with the android talk, now let's get to Z10.
Iíll admit, I watched a live stream of the BB10 unveiling. The variety show beginning made me really cringe, but it got better towards the end. I was pleasantly surprised, maybe even excited about the new OS and device. I really wasnít expecting much from the press conference, actually thought I would be disappointed and was prepared to proclaim RIM dead, order me a Nexus4. That day, I scoured the net for articles, reviews, videos, anything on the Z10. Good or bad, I took it all in. As I struggled with my decision, I came to a realization that I needed to give BlackBerry a chance. I prepared myself for the worse and went out to buy the phone.
First impressions of the phone:
Simple and sleek design, good weight, upset that the phone didnít come with a holster, and donít understand why they didnít build it with gorilla glass. Iím pretty clumsy with my phones and could care less how they look so weíll see how this thing lasts. Anyways, my buddy cracked his iPhone5 screen within a week of owning it by dropping it from knee level... guess it all depends on how itís dropped.
Things I LOVE:
1) BlackBerry Remember/Evernote Ė Integration of the two is seamless and works WAY better than on Android.
2) Documents to go Ė Amazing how well spreadsheets are viewed and edited, WAY better than Android or BB7
3) FAST Ė I was expecting lag, but this thing is fast. I know people have complained about how opening an app starts with going to Active Frames, but itís so fast I barely notice it
4) DropBox Ė BB10 File Manager instantly and seamlessly integrates my DropBox folder with the rest of my file folders, how awesome is that?
5) The Hub Ė This concept is priceless and I donít know how I lived without it... Iím glad BB has branded it now, itís a real selling feature. I especially like how messages can be dragged down to show calendar entries up top and then hidden again. This is subtle, but so good.
6) Gestures Ė Once you get the hang of them, they make so much sense. My hand doesnít cramp up and my thumb typically ends up in the middle - ready to go. I hope app developers take full advantage of these, as well as streamlining the way options and settings are accessed (top down only please!)
7) Battery Life Ė The first charge only lasted me about 8-10 hours, but it gets better with every cycle. Yesterday, it went a full 24 hours. Less use on weekends, but still impressive nonetheless.
8) e-Mail Ė Oh, how I missed you. I feel at peace again, I can use my phone on the go and it doesnít stress me out... it actually brings joy to my life, how sad.
9) Keyboard Ė I can type at 9900 speeds and Iím only a few days in, unreal. I am no longer waiting for the Q10. I realize the only reason I want a physical keyboard was to type and drive, something the world needs less of anyways.
I can go on and on, Iíve been gushing over the phone to all my ex-BB user friends (my BBM list went from 130+ to 18 in 2012)and I think Iíve got a few on board. Itís a start
There are a few things I am still missing:
1) Sound profiles Ė I missed this when going to Android and was upset to hear BB10 didnít have it either. Thereís no option to change notification sounds for different e-mail addresses either.
2) Glitchy Ė Small things only. Once in a while my notification sounds stop working so I have to reset. Sending multiple text messages one after the other (chat style/speed) has caused problems.The phone or apps have not crashed on me yet, so ahead of Android already. We'll see what happens as more apps become available.
3) Hide/Unhide Icons Ė I miss this option, but Iím sure itís just an update away.
4) Smart Button Ė No way to assign a specific task to the button inbetween the volume keys
5) Bottom Bar Ė No way to customize the bottom bar... like if I wanted to change the camera icon to something else I use more frequently, or add another icon to the bar.
6) Dust Trappers Ė The ledge around the screen and the slit between the flash and camera glass are all areas that will collect dust and dirt over time.
7) Camera Ė Not as good as my S3 in all conditions, but I think thereís room for improvement within the OS
8) Blackberry World Ė I have faith itíll grow, especially when reading up about the developer options... just needs time.
9) Link Ė We all know about this.
Iíll stop here before this goes even longer. If youíre interested in the phone... try it out, you will probably be surprised. Try it for a week though, donít just fiddle with it or else it wonít seem like anything special.
Iím just really happy BlackBerry has come out with a solid device and OS. Itís been said a million times, we have to realize that this BB10 OS is essentially BB10 1.0 and is bound to have flaws. Considering where the other OSí are right now, BB is off to an amazing re-start. I just hope and pray they continue to work on the OS, BB World, Device releases, etc... no one wants this to turn into a Playbook scenario.
I never thought I would become such a cheerleader for BB, but I realize now that the company can use some help and thereís no harm in spreading the word. The success of the platform can only be helped by support and feedback.
Sorry for the long read, maybe I should do a coles notes version.