1. ramiusm's Avatar
    Hi all. Just thought I'd post a review (something I've been wanting to do for a long time) of the BlackBerry Q10.


    I bought a black BlackBerry Q10 in June 2014, about a year after the Q10 made it's debut on the world stage. It was a second-hand unit, and was a little beat-up on it's frame, but otherwise, was working fine. This Q10 was bought by the original owner in mid 2013 in Singapore.*

    Background / History of QWERTY Ownership*

    Before the Q10, I had always been a fan of physical keyboard devices. I owned devices which ranged from the Palm Tungsten W, Palm Treo 650, Palm Centro, iPhone 2G (worst phone ever, great for music, though), BlackBerry Curve 8520, Palm Pixi Plus, BlackBerry Bold 9780, BlackBerry Bold 9900 to the BlackBerry Torch 9810. BlackBerry devices are notoriously expensive here in Singapore, which explains why I had to go the 2nd-hand route to obtain one.*

    Physical Impressions

    Build Quality
    In terms of build quality, the Q10 has stood the test of time, so to speak. I felt it has even better build quality than my Bold 9900, which actually exhibited discolouration on the keyboard frets (they turned from silver/chrome to black/brown), and some rust developed on the steel frame.

    Thankfully, the Q10 has held up reasonably well during the 1.5 years that I've had it for.

    Rear Material
    The Q10 didn't feel too heavy in the hand, and the use of the glass-weave back is a very useful and needed addition for practicality - this phone doesn't slip out of the hand easily.
    I also felt the design of the battery cover was much better than the difficult-to-remove cover on the 9900, so this was great.

    The keyboard on the Q10 is absolutely the best l've ever used. I have large hands (I can palm a basketball), and my fingers got used to the keys of the Q10 very quickly. Mind you, I have not spent much time on the Passport, but I suspect the keyboard on the Passport will be even better.
    I have not had much trouble with double-typing, and although I suspected it was a hardware fault, I did have the 'a' and 'm' keys occasionally double-typing on me, although the problem seems to have gone away with the latest 10.3.2.x software update.
    The return of assignable shortcut keys is absolutely essential and it brings BB10 to the same productivity standards as BBOS7, at long last.*

    Mechanically, the keys have a decent amount of travel, and the tactile feel is just about right. I felt that the keys on the Q10 offer a better overall tactile typing experience than the Bold 9900, which, up to the time the Q10 was released, offered arguably the best keyboard experience.

    In a word, the keyboard on the Q10 is 'superb'.

    Operating System
    BB10, with it's latest iteration in 10.3.2, has been very stable and reliable. I have never had to restart the phone due to a lock/hang, and I usually never restart it unless I'm swapping batteries. No issues, and the multi-tasking implementation with the action frames is very practical and useful. Absolutely no complaints here.

    Comparison with other Operating Systems*
    I'm going to compare some of my frequently used actions in BB10 with Windows Phone 8 (on a Nokia Lumia 920), the other mobile operating system I've had most experience with. To better quantify this, I've made these comparisons in the section following this.

    My typical Use Case (& comparisons with Windows Phone 8)

    I use my Q10 for almost everything I do at work.
    I'm a teacher/trainer here in Singapore, and my day consists of:

    1. Email (3 accounts)
    2. Composing meeting notes, ideas
    3. Music
    4. Calendaring (2 accounts)
    5. Reading / composing / editing office documents
    6. Reading ebooks / PDFs

    I make use of Microsoft Exchange email for work purposes. Here, when compared to the email client on Windows Phone 8, the BlackBerry Hub wins hands down. It is much easier and faster to perform a search, look-up and compose/reply to emails using the Hub.*

    With Windows Phone 8, I found it to be a little slower due to the transition animation that cropped up when navigating between screens. It also took time to search for mail in Sent folders. The BlackBerry implementation of the 'ticks' to indicate Sent mail is much more practical.

    One area for Exchange email where Windows Phone is superior: the ability to set Out of office notification and settings right on the phone.

    Composing meeting notes, ideas
    I take meeting notes and notes in general very often. On the Q10, I achieve this through the use of the Remember app, which is synced to my Evernote account. For Windows, I use OneNote. I find OneNote superior to Remember, but the Android version of OneNote I found to be lacking when I used it on the Q10.

    Of course, with a physical keyboard on the Q10, text entry is far more accurate than on a virtual keyboard - slower maybe, but more accurate.*

    I have to comment that the virtual keyboard implementation used in Windows Phone 8 is far superior to that used in Android and iOS. I make a lot less typos in Windows Phone than in Android and iOS (no Word Flow or Swiftkey used - just plain old typing with thumbs).

    I listen to music a lot, and I find the music player on BB10 very good - with built-in support for FLAC and WMA formats, it is very good. Controls are well-designed, and I use the physical volume keys to manipulate my music playback. Audio quality is fine.

    On Windows Phone 8, I had to purchase Moliplayer in order to listen to FLAC and WMA music. So not so rosy there. Music controls have been implemented well here too.

    Calendaring (2 accounts)
    I use Microsoft Exchange and Google Calendars for calendaring. No issues with either of these in BB10 and also Windows Phone.

    The use of shortcut keys to navigate between different views ('T' for today, 'M' for month, 'W' for week, 'D' for day, 'A' for agenda), simply makes the calendaring experience on the Q10 a superior one.

    Reading / composing / editing office documents
    I use my Q10 to aid me in my work, and this involves lots of proofreading and editing in Microsoft Office. The native DocsToGo application in BB10 works very well, and I have been able to open all Office documents (Excel, Word & PowerPoint) without any issues with compatibility.

    Obviously, the same applies for Windows Phone 8, seeing that Microsoft supplies the Office applications there too.

    One benefit of the DocsToGo app in BB10 is the ability to open password-protected documents. I was never able to do that in Windows Phone.

    Reading ebooks / PDFs
    I read a lot, and that includes ebook and PDF documents. No issue on BB10 and WP, as I use FBREADER (Android port) on BB10, and Adobe Reader on BB10 to view PDF documents.

    On Windows Phone, I also use FBREADER for ebooks, and Microsoft PDF Reader for opening PDF documents.

    Frequent Software Used
    Here's my main list of most frequently used software on BB10:

    1. E-Mmanuel Bible Reader (native; paid)
    2. FBREADER (Android; free)
    3. Remember (native)
    4. Calendar (native)
    5. Music Player (native)
    6. Wikipedia (native; free)
    7. BlackBerry Messenger (native)

    Wear / Tear
    I use my Q10 without any case or pouch - I lost the original BlackBerry Q10 leather pouch a while back. The top fret on the keyboard has a crack and a bit of it has broken off, and other than other cosmetic damage on the edge of the device, it has been a solid workhorse.

    I have dropped this phone countless times, and it has been very reliable nonetheless.

    Battery Life
    I typically get about 4 hours of battery life, with the radio setting at 3G/2G, and about 6-7 hours of battery life at 2G mode.

    I alternate between 2 Q10 batts, and if I'm out and about, I always carry an extra Q10 battery.

    Other people's views
    BlackBerry isn't popular as it once was, and even more so in Singapore, where one's popularity appears to be linked to whether your phone of choice is a Samsung or Apple device. So naturally, I get the odd question from my colleagues, 'Man, are you still using that old BlackBerry?'.

    What's next?
    Probably a BlackBerry Passport, as I think the larger screen will benefit my document reading/proofing requirements, and yes, better battery life.
    Written on a BlackBerry Q10, using Remember.

    Posted via CB10
    hlg8888, vanrickman, bbnrs and 6 others like this.
    09-09-15 03:05 AM
  2. hlg8888's Avatar
    Great post, again it is the most powerful business tool in the world, though Blackberry's most recent additions have made me sombre in its outlook, neither the Leap nor the Classic were good options for me either because they lack the removable battery or the physical keyboard. Sad, but i've started looking at the LG G4 though I hate typing on glass, it still carries a removable battery.

    Posted via CB10
    09-09-15 04:23 AM
  3. ramiusm's Avatar
    I think the era of removable batteries are over, as manufacturers try to slim their phones down and at the same time, try to provide larger capacity batteries (like the one in the Passport). Given that the average consumer changes their phones every year, it may make more sense for manufacturers to make sealed devices.

    Posted via CB10
    09-09-15 10:36 AM
  4. bbnrs's Avatar
    Have two Q10s. Each somewhat different in character. First a "refurb" from AT&T (thank you) with ?most uptodate OS. Second unlocked SQN 100-5 Had 10.1 when purchased on EBay. Got Treasure them both. Great balance of; size, kb and removable battery. Unfortunately not many phones like this today.
    09-09-15 11:27 AM
  5. tangozulu's Avatar
    Great review. Thank you for the input. My Q is could only be replaced if the slider is indeed a BB10 phone.

    BlackBerry to the end......

    Posted via CB10
    09-09-15 11:33 AM
  6. bhoqeem's Avatar
    The best review ever!!

    09-10-15 04:36 AM
  7. ramiusm's Avatar
    Thank you. I have been thinking about moving back to a Windows Phone device with a larger screen (for reading documents), but I could never leave the physical keyboard. Maybe the Passport may suit me better than a Lumia 1520 etc.

    Posted via CB10
    09-10-15 05:04 AM
  8. ayngling's Avatar
    Thank you. I have been thinking about moving back to a Windows Phone device with a larger screen (for reading documents), but I could never leave the physical keyboard. Maybe the Passport may suit me better than a Lumia 1520 etc.

    Posted via CB10
    Sounds like the new slider might be worth considering. I am eagerly awaiting it, a large screen plus the keyboard I love.
    09-10-15 05:31 AM
  9. ramiusm's Avatar
    Not a fan of moving parts on a phone. But yeah, I'm sure the slider will be a good and reliable BlackBerry.

    Posted via CB10
    09-10-15 06:12 AM
  10. bhoqeem's Avatar
    Slider is way overrated.
    I mean, come on, we're not even sure what it'd actually look like, aside from the dubious leaks and rumors.
    09-10-15 06:49 AM
  11. ramiusm's Avatar
    Actually, anything from Apple is overrated. Anything from BlackBerry is severely underrated and even gets bad press and reviews by people who have never used them.

    Posted via CB10
    powereds and ayngling like this.
    09-10-15 09:02 AM
  12. bhoqeem's Avatar
    Actually, anything from Apple is overrated. Anything from BlackBerry is severely underrated and even gets bad press and reviews by people who have never used them.

    Posted via CB10
    Has anyone ever used the slider?
    None? I thought so.
    I wonder why...
    Oh, right! Because it doesn't exist yet!!

    NB: and YES, apple sucks. I agree.
    09-10-15 10:05 AM
  13. bhoqeem's Avatar
    Btw, writing on android (just now) makes me hate the dang os even more, with its most idiotic and nerve wrecking auto correct BS. Gah!!

    09-10-15 10:17 AM
  14. Sequester#WN's Avatar
    Ahh, Palm Tungsten W. I am from Germany but bought this thing for some 600 EUR in Singapore while it was 2000 (!) EUR in Germany. I loved this thing, epic battery life and my first personal phone which could be regarded as a smartphone. My company phone at that time was a purple BlackBerry with a clickwheel to the left. I remember it was the first BlackBerry with colour screen. And by colour screen I mean it could display four (four!) different colours. Those were the times where your employer gave you two phones. One for mails and one for talking.

    The Tungsten was great. Apart from the fact that you only could have calls through a headset.

    Posted via CB10
    09-10-15 02:58 PM
  15. ramiusm's Avatar
    Yes, Palm was ahead of it's time in those days. The Tungsten W was a superb device, only bettered by the Tungsten C.

    Posted via CB10
    09-10-15 09:45 PM
  16. MrSuit's Avatar

    One area for Exchange email where Windows Phone is superior: the ability to set Out of office notification and settings right on the phone.

    Posted via CB10

    Nice write-up. Send Automatic Replies is available if you have BES account setup by your employer for your BlackBerry 10 device.

    For personal/consumer BlackBerry 10 devices without BES, you can set 'Send Automatic Replies' for hotmail accounts, but not for gmail / yahoo.

    Drafted on my Q10
    09-10-15 10:37 PM

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