| | 03-26-2013, 08:16 AM Thread Author #1
For anyone looking to make the switch from an iPhone 5 to the Z10
Disclaimer: If you have already made up your mind to get a Z10 and are looking for validation, this isn't your topic.
I know that any topics expressing negative opinions towards BlackBerry devices are looked down upon here, but I just want to post my experience here for anyone looking to potentially make the switch from an iPhone 5 to a Z10.
(The first section of this post is most likely a one-off experience, so if you are just looking for impressions on the phone, scroll down)
My journey with the Z10 began on Friday (AT&T US launch date). As I was traveling through New Jersey, I found a nearby mall with an AT&T corporate store and decided to head in around lunch time. After checking out the phone for a few minutes, I decided to make the purchase and walked over to the counter. Not only was the sales associate shocked that I actually wanted to buy one (she didn't even know what the "Z10" was until I explained it to her) she then proceeded to tell me that I was unable to purchase a Z10 at the no commitment price and that it was only for "new activations". This made no sense to me as I have purchased countless new phones on launch day from AT&T stores on the no commitment price as I change phones to often to even be eligible for an upgrade. After going in circles with store management for half an hour, I walked away with no Z10 and was forced to call AT&T Premier customer support.
Premier support swore up and down that I COULD purchase a Z10 for the full retail price, so I walked back into the store and had the corporate rep talk to the store manager on the phone. After another 10/15 minutes, I again walked away with no Z10. I could not believe how immensely difficult it was for me to buy this new product. This was not a launch that was creating huge demands and causing lines out of the door, it was a device that AT&T should be desperate to sell to anyone, especially a loyal customer with $600 ready to throw at them.
Thankfully, this story came to an end when I went to another AT&T corporate store 10 minutes away and purchased the Z10 with no problem. Clearly this was just an issue with one stubborn/ignorant AT&T store manager, but still a frustrating way to start my Z10 experience nonetheless.
Ok, now on to the phone itself.
A little background: As mentioned earlier - I switch phones, a lot. I'm a sucker for new technology and I hate missing out when a new phone comes out as I believe that every platform/device deserves a chance.
Over the past 2 years or so, these are the devices I have owned (usually for at least a couple months at a time):
Samsung Galaxy Nexus
HTC 8x (Windows Phone)
Motorola Droid Razr Maxx
And most recently, iPhone 5 (since launch)
Strictly my opinion here, but out of all of these, the iPhone 5 provided the best combination of functionality, performance and reliability.
To avoid typing a novel here, I'll jump into the pros and cons of the Z10 (in my experience)
-Multitasking: This device has the best multitasking I have ever seen on a mobile phone
-Speed/Performance: Very easy to zoom around the OS with minimal slowdown
-Notification light: No-brainer here
-BB10 OS: Really a great OS to use, very polished and genius integration of gestures
-Blackberry Hub: Not much to say here, it's awesome to have all of your stuff in one central place
-No competent streaming music platform: Having become accustomed to using Spotify on my iPhone, I made the switch to the Z10 expecting Slacker to be largely the same. I was wrong. The Slacker BB10 app offers almost no features for premium subscribers including no playlist creation or offline caching. Deezer looks to be promising but is not available in the US.
-The little things matter: To get around the limitation of Slacker, I downloaded some type of "Download Manager" from BB World that could be used to download YouTube videos. After downloading a few songs from YT and locating them on my device, I began to listen to a song and convinced myself that I could deal with this work around for the time being. As I hit the top button to put the phone to sleep and put it in my pocket as I listen to music, the song stops. That's right, you can't put the phone on sleep and have the media continue to play - extremely frustrating.
(Please note that the above complaint is in reference to a video file being played by the phone's native video player. On an iPhone 5 you can lock the screen while a video is playing and continue to listen to the sound while the screen is off)
Other little things have been extremely frustrating as well. Text messages often come in with the incorrect timestamp, meaning conversations that occurred in the past hour are shoved down the list as happening last week (before I even had the phone). Push email with Exhange is sloooooow to communicate with the server. Messages pop up on the device quickly, but after reading an email on my desktop, the Z10 will continue to blink it's red light for 10/15 minutes whereas the iPhone would know almost instantly that an email was opened on another device.
-App selection: Not to beat a dead horse here but the app selection on BB World is nothing short of pathetic. Yes, big name apps like Facebook and WhatsApp are available, yet (these 2 especially) they are horribly developed and a pain to use. No banking apps is a huge shortfall and while there are some decent games, I'm not going to pay $6.99 for a game that was ported over from Android to BB10. Simply put, BB World is a half-baked effort and while I believe that the platform has promise, BB has a loooooong way to go to catch up with the big boys (iOS/Android) or even Windows Phone 8 for that matter.
-Battery Life: Here it is, the one thing that is causing me to ditch the Z10 after less than a week of owning it, the battery life. All else equal, if this phone had good or even moderately good battery life, I would be keeping it to see how the platform grows. The thing is, this device has the worst battery life I have ever seen in any mobile device, ever.
Before you jump down my throat, I have spent hours on end scouring the CB forums for ways to improve battery life and have tried dozens of fixes/tweaks to no avail. I am literally having to charge my Z10 from 0% - 100% a minimum of 2/3x a day, where the iPhone 5 would need one charge at night under the same usage conditions.
I've been told that the battery life will "get better over time" (which makes no sense) but at this point, I've had enough. I travel for work and after one short 2 hour flight of listening to music and writing a few emails, the battery on the Z10 is down to sub-20% from a full charge. Not only is the battery life horrendous, charging via USB is INCREDIBLY slow and almost not even worth it, meaning you will need to always have access to a wall outlet if you want to get any meaningful charge into your battery.
There is just no way that a brand new smartphone in 2013, with Bluetooth off, NFC off, LTE off and the screen brightness down to barely visible, should only be lasting a maximum of 4/5 hours per full charge. One of the things I loved most about my old BB Bolds/Curves was the amazing battery life. I understand the that battery life on a full touchscreen phone would be less, but there is no excuse for this type of performance when phones from Apple/HTC/Samsung/etc. all have better battery life with comparable or better internal hardware.
This topic is not meant to incite a trolling war or anything of the like, I simply wanted to document my experieces here to benefit other consumers.
Please feel free to post or PM any questions you may have. I will be continuing to use the Z10 exclusively until Friday when I return home from my current business travel.