1. FlashFlare11's Avatar
    Hey CrackBerry! This is my personal review of the BlackBerry Z10 after one month of use on AT&Tís network. Before I get into it, let me tell you a bit about myself and my personal device habits, as well as my history with phones and smartphones.

    I received my first cell phone when I was thirteen, a Motorola V188. At that time I had heard of BlackBerrys, but always thought of them as for ultra-affluent business people and government officials. After a year, my V188 was replaced with a Samsung T619. Around this time, my mom was issue a work phone; a BlackBerry Curve 8330. When she brought it home, I was deeply interested in the phone. Before then, I had never known of a phone that had a full QWERTY keyboard. At the same time, I had never known of a phone that could also surf the web and send and receive emails. I wanted one. When it was time to upgrade, my family switched from T-Mobile to Verizon and with that change into my hands came my first smartphone; the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230. This upgrade was in 2009, just around the time the iPhone 3GS had been released. I wasnít totally sold on touchscreen phones and still wanted to stick with the flip design, which is why I fell in love with the 8230 (also keep in mind that I was sixteen at the time).

    Fast-forward two years and I was just about to begin the life of a college student. Early in 2011 I was ready to replace my Pearl. It was a fantastic device but I was having rebooting and crashing issues. I almost switched to a Storm 9550 but knew about the leaked Torch 9810. I had fallen for the 9800 when it was released and managed to hold out for a 9810 on AT&T. I loved this phone as well! However, as the two-year term with the phone went on, it became apparent to me that BlackBerryís legacy platform was not going to cut it in the face of iPhones and Android devices. The rest of my family had already upgraded to iPhones and at times it was frustrating for them to use my phone.

    While in my freshman year of university I grew increasingly more interested in RIM, the company behind BlackBerry. I realized that the company was in dire trouble and needed to get BB10 out the door. 2012 was a painful year as a BlackBerry fan. I had purchased a PlayBook in January of 2012, so I knew that BlackBerry 10 had serious potential. At the same time, 2012 was also an exciting year as we grew to know more about BB10 and the excitement that surrounded it.

    Today, Iím a 20-year-old college student. Communication is whatís most important to me. I suppose that Iím BlackBerryís target customer. On March 11, 2013, at full price for the first time in my life, I pre-ordered a phone; the BlackBerry Z10. 11 days later, the phone arrived, my Torch went back into its box, and now one month later, here are my impressions so far as a Z10 owner:


    Hardware:
    When the phone was released, there were mixed thoughts on BlackBerryís decision to use plastic instead of aluminum for the body of the Z10. However, it certainly doesnít feel like plastic. The phone looks and feels fantastic. The back feels great as well. Another common complaint was that the phone was small compared to other devices, but I initially felt intimidated by its size. Eventually I grew to accommodate the bigger-sized device but at times I still feel that the Z10 is big for my hand (maybe I just have small hands). Watching videos of the device, I thought the screen was of much lower quality than it actually is. The screen is fantastic, and the icons look great. I do have some issues viewing the screen in sunlight, but other than that, Iíve no qualms about the quality of the screen. One small issue I have, though, is the positioning of the lock button. I wish it was more towards one side or the other as opposed to being directly in the center. I donít need it to unlock the phone, of course, but I like to turn the screen off as soon as Iím finished using the phone and feel myself reaching a bit for it. Overall, however, I have little to no issues with the physical body of the Z10. In fact, I love the understated look of it and am glad BlackBerry stuck with the design style theyíre for which theyíre known.


    Software Ė BlackBerry 10:

    Premise:
    Owning a PlayBook and having watched hours of BlackBerry 10 pre-release videos, I knew almost exactly what I was getting into when I decided to buy a Z10. Iíll go through some of the features I use most extensively and other, more obligatory features of the OS.

    Iíll begin with the Hub. I like the Hub. I really like the Hub. I love the idea of having a universal inbox. I have four email accounts associated with my device (Outlook, Gmail, and two IMAP accounts) as well as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. I get about 20-30 emails a day, in addition to multiple SMS texts. Accessing anything unread is usually pretty quick. If I canít find something unread, I can simply swipe once more to the right and get a granular list of the different accounts.

    While the idea of the Hub is fantastic, it isnít perfectly executed. Let me say, though, that the 30-email limit isnít an issue for me (thought I hear this is rectified in the 10.1 update anyway). What is a bit irritating is that Hub saves whatever state in which you left it, meaning that once you open email and leave, you have to go back to list of messages and then find what you want to act on. While itís a minor annoyance, for someone who relies on messaging constantly, it can be one that gradually builds upon frustrations over time. Still, having an inbox that stores every communication the device brings in and sends out thatís constantly running and accessible from screen of the OS is an amazing feature and one that I absolutely love.

    Text input plays a huge part in how I evaluate a device and BlackBerry 10 exceeds in this area. I was a bit weary in switching to a full-touch device, but I think the Z10ís virtual keyboard ties for first place in all the phone keyboards Iíve used (the Pearlís SureType keyboard is amazing too). Okay, perhaps it edges the Pearlís. After a bit of getting-used-to, the keyboard has learned my typing style and habits. Admittedly, Iím a very formal text message-r. I use proper English and sentence structure when I type and donít use any abbreviations or ďtext language,Ē so, in that respect, it was probably easier for me to adapt to the keyboard than others, but that doesnít take anything away from the keyboard BlackBerry has built here. Simply fantastic!

    Calendar and Contacts are hugely important to me and BlackBerry 10 delivers here as well, for the most part. Like the PlayBookís Contacts app, BlackBerry 10 brings in your contacts from all of your email contact lists as well as social networks. After linking all of my contacts with one another, Iím satisfied. However, one gripe I have is that linking a contact with a social network profile somewhat prohibits you from editing that personís contact. For instance, my mom is saved as ďMomĒ in my Outlook contacts, but when I link it with her Facebook contact, our last name is tacked on. So, if my last name was ďPeterson,Ē her contact comes in as ďMom Peterson.Ē Again itís a small issue, but it looks strange and this is something that should be worked out. Moving to the calendar, Iíve no problems here. Everything syncs perfectly and the Calendarís multiple views are great. I use multiple calendars for school and my personal life and have had no problems doing anything from within the Calendar app.

    My daily commute consists of an hour to an hour-and-an-half train ride. During that time, Iím browsing the web on the web browser for a great length of that time and, again, the Z10 delivers. Everything renders beautifully and, because AT&T has a pretty consistent LTE network over my commute route, I enjoy blazing fast internet speeds, further enhancing the usability of the browser. Occasionally, web pages do crash, but at least the OS gives me the option of restoring the site instead of exiting the app entirely.

    A small issue with the browser is that it is one area that highlights an inconsistency within the OS. In almost every other natively-built BlackBerry 10 app, you can swipe to the right (if you have the option to) to reveal more options. In the browser, this is the list of open tabs or the option to open a new one. However, in the browser, you cannot swipe to right. Instead, you are forced to actually tap the ďTabsĒ button to reveal these options. This wouldnít be an issue if this was done everywhere else in the OS, but itís not. Aside from that, the browser has been a dream.

    The BlackBerry Z10 is a phone and there are no problems with the phone part of this phone. Opening the Phone app, though, is another story. The Phone app is very slow to open and it doesnít default to the dialer when opened; it goes to recent calls. If the app opened quickly, it wouldnít be a huge issue, but itís a slow app and the fact that you, again, have to tap somewhere else to actually place a call adds to the frustration to make a call. If ever presented with an emergency situation, the Phone is the most invaluable and useful function I would have available to me at the moment and I believe it is vital to increase the speed of the app and decrease the time it takes for one place a call. The speakers and call quality, though, are great. I have not experienced any dropped calls so far and usually experience great signal strengths.

    Because the Z10 is a modern smartphone, it is going to be held to the standard of competing devices and ecosystems, and a huge part of this is the availability of third-party apps. Again, let me preface this by saying that I came into the Z10 having already been a BlackBerry user for four years. I was never a fan of having a lot of apps on my prior BBs, but I had no problem purchasing an app on my PlayBook (partly because I knew that once I had it on there, I could get it on my future Z10). My app situation is unique in that instead of coming in to BlackBerry 10 looking for and missing some of my favorite apps, Iíve had a great time exploring BlackBerry World and finding new apps. Iím still not big on apps, but if I like an app, I will buy it. The natively built BlackBerry 10 apps are beautiful and all that Iíve experienced so far have been great. Iím not a huge Facebook user, so the native Facebook app is sufficient for me (though I will admit that it is quite bare-bones). Iím a bit more of a Twitter user and even it is a fine app though missing a few features. Iíve, so far, not been missing much on my Z10.

    Android apps, though, present another problem I have with the Z10 and this ties into battery life issues. After the latest AT&T update, I can make it through about 6-8 hours of moderate to heavy use. I am very skeptical of the way ported Android apps behave when closed and their effects on battery life. This is why one huge feature I am missing from BBOS is the presence of an Application Resource Monitor-type app and a Task Manager-type app. This, I believe, is a huge weakness of BlackBerry 10 and is, by far, my biggest problem with the OS. I believe the user should know exactly what services and processes are running in the background. At one point I did have more apps on my phone than I currently do, but because of battery issues, I was forced to uninstall every app and reinstall each one one-by-one in an attempt to identify the apps that were behind the problem. Granular resource and power monitoring apps would have readily come in handy at that time and I think these features are absolutely necessary, especially with headless apps coming soon to BB10.

    The stability of BlackBerry 10 is one area that Iíve been hearing a lot of complaints about and it is one I can attest to. My device has restarted on its own a few times, though everytime it has done so it was when not in use. Never has my phone crashed when I was actually using it. In addition to that, I have not once removed the battery door in the month Iíve had the device. Maybe I just got lucky, but my phone has been incredibly stable for the most part.


    Final Summary:
    The BlackBerry Z10 is the best phone Iíve ever owned and has been a joy to use so far. The phone is incredibly fast in every aspect, whether it be sending or receiving messages, typing, browsing the web, downloading apps, swiping between menus, etc. I love simply playing around with the lock screen or just swiping it, flicking it, and just playing with it, even without being in an app. BlackBerry has truly produced an attractive physical device with an equally attractive and joyful OS to compliment it. Despite having been a BlackBerry user for four years prior to owning a Z10, it still felt new to me, though not completely unfamiliar, and Iím happy about that. Part of that may be because Iím the type of person BlackBerry is targeting.

    Note that I didn't review other key aspects of the phone, such as the camera and Maps. Personally, these aren't features that I've used or used extensively enough to be qualified to write a comprehensive review on them. I do apologize for that but I refuse to fluff up or detract from features without having spent enough time on them.

    Can I recommend this device to an iOS or Android user? Yes, but only if youíre willing to make a long-term commitment to the device and are truly looking for something new and are willing to put up with third-party app shortages and minor 1.0 OS gripes. If you canít make those sacrifices, then I cannot recommend the Z10 (or any other BB10 device) at the present time, despite everything else it has to offer. These minor issues for me would be major deficiencies for users coming from other platforms. Still, if youíre willing to stick it out in the long-run and wait for these issues to eventually be fixed (which Iím sure will be fixed at some point), then youíll be making a trade for an incredibly fast, fluid OS with you, the user, at its center. This is truly a device built around its user and Iím convinced that there is no other OS like it.

    In conclusion, I spent $550 on the BlackBerry Z10 and do not regret my purchase. I am incredibly happy as a BlackBerry Z10 user and, despite my complaints, can live with them. BlackBerry has shown a dedication the continued development of the OS and that is enough for me to place my confidence in the company in that itíll fix most of the issues Iíve had with the OS so far and will truly develop this OS into something truly more special than it is now.
    Last edited by FlashFlare11; 04-27-13 at 08:19 PM.
    04-26-13 08:18 PM
  2. ray689's Avatar
    Wow thanks for taking the time for such an in depth review. I couldn't agree more. Best phone I've ever owned as well.

    Posted via CB10
    04-26-13 08:32 PM
  3. l1f3l355's Avatar
    Nice. I wasn't a BlackBerry fan until I moved to Indonesia. But now I'm a fan. I used to be in the camp who dismissed BlackBerry as an afterthought. I've only gone through 3 generations of BlackBerry. The 9780 Onyx 2, 9900 Dakota and now the Z10

    I still have my iPhone 4 which is reduced to being an alarm clock and for now also make Skype calls to my family in Singapore. I cannot believe how I could live with such a small screen in the past And the Z10 screen is not even that big compared to my wife's S3.

    I love my BlackBerry Z10 and protects it with an Otterbox Defender. Lol. It makes it unsightly (but safe). But still love it anyway

    Posted via CB10
    04-26-13 08:45 PM
  4. Davidro1's Avatar
    You mentioned the Phone "App" and described some of its shortcomings. I can agree and add a couple more. Ending a call requires a hard press and a long one. Not the same force / pressure as required to select numbers on the dial pad or in th Contacts list. The phone app makes calls far too easily. Pocket calls, barely swiped calls, unwanted calls, that you cannot end until the other side gets a ring.

    You mentioned Contacts but avoided the duplicates and the sync problems -- although I'll admit these are not strictly blackberry problems. They are problems integrating to the real world
    04-26-13 09:12 PM
  5. twstd.reality's Avatar
    You mentioned the Phone "App" and described some of its shortcomings. I can agree and add a couple more. Ending a call requires a hard press and a long one. Not the same force / pressure as required to select numbers on the dial pad or in th Contacts list. The phone app makes calls far too easily. Pocket calls, barely swiped calls, unwanted calls, that you cannot end until the other side gets a ring.

    You mentioned Contacts but avoided the duplicates and the sync problems -- although I'll admit these are not strictly blackberry problems. They are problems integrating to the real world
    rapidly tap the end call button. and it will end before the call is made.
    04-26-13 09:26 PM
  6. FlashFlare11's Avatar
    You mentioned the Phone "App" and described some of its shortcomings. I can agree and add a couple more. Ending a call requires a hard press and a long one. Not the same force / pressure as required to select numbers on the dial pad or in th Contacts list. The phone app makes calls far too easily. Pocket calls, barely swiped calls, unwanted calls, that you cannot end until the other side gets a ring.

    You mentioned Contacts but avoided the duplicates and the sync problems -- although I'll admit these are not strictly blackberry problems. They are problems integrating to the real world
    First of all, thank you very reading.

    As far as the issues you raised, I can say that I haven't experienced any of those problems. I haven't had any issues ending a call nor have I made calls involuntarily. The contacts issue is one I personally haven't seen, yet I've heard others talking about it. I didn't want to complain about things I haven't experienced, which is why I may have seemed to have been avoiding them.

    Posted via CB10
    04-26-13 09:39 PM
  7. cd1105's Avatar
    Damn can we talk now...! jeeaazzeee! After reading all of tht...I fuh got Wat I was goin to say!!!!!

    Posted by B* Courtney Z10
    04-26-13 11:07 PM
  8. Hawaii Realtor's Avatar
    I've worn a blackberry since they first came out as a pager-size email device. It was required by my company and I've loved it more and more as it matured. Well, the Storm model was pretty bad but I replaced that with the awesome Torch. 2 weeks ago I bought the Z10. I didn't like it much at first, and liked it less and less each and every day. It is not stable unless you call a lock-up with vibrator vibrating endlessly "stable". Sometimes the phone would not ring when there was an incoming call, I have not idea why. This is a business machine and I cannot be missing calls, that's totally unacceptable. Then there was the issue that it would not sync with my desktop Outlook. I was hopeful there would be an update to Blackberry Link to fix this but it hasn't come. How can they release a product without that! Without that sync I have no reason to stay with something I have learned to hate.

    I returned my Z10 today and am back with my Blackberry Torch for now. Long term I'll probably migrate to Samsung, perhaps the Note 3 when it arrives. I'm a die-hard Blackberry fan who has abandoned ship, it's time to move on. It's odd but I don't even feel sad about it.
    04-27-13 01:12 AM
  9. FlashFlare11's Avatar
    I've worn a blackberry since they first came out as a pager-size email device. It was required by my company and I've loved it more and more as it matured. Well, the Storm model was pretty bad but I replaced that with the awesome Torch. 2 weeks ago I bought the Z10. I didn't like it much at first, and liked it less and less each and every day. It is not stable unless you call a lock-up with vibrator vibrating endlessly "stable". Sometimes the phone would not ring when there was an incoming call, I have not idea why. This is a business machine and I cannot be missing calls, that's totally unacceptable. Then there was the issue that it would not sync with my desktop Outlook. I was hopeful there would be an update to Blackberry Link to fix this but it hasn't come. How can they release a product without that! Without that sync I have no reason to stay with something I have learned to hate.

    I returned my Z10 today and am back with my Blackberry Torch for now. Long term I'll probably migrate to Samsung, perhaps the Note 3 when it arrives. I'm a die-hard Blackberry fan who has abandoned ship, it's time to move on. It's odd but I don't even feel sad about it.
    Sorry the Z10 didn't work out for you. The Torch is an awesome phone though!

    I wonder why Outlook didn't work for you, though. I've had no problems with syncing Outlook. It's one of the things I'm glad was added in BB10 that was absent from the legacy platform (at least wireless sync was).

    Posted via CB10
    04-27-13 04:47 PM
  10. jtfrn's Avatar
    Great review! I feel the same on most points. But, the Contacts app is the most annoying for me and if I could go back to my 9800 I probably would. It is all because of the contacts app duplicating contacts, even after I have gone through my entire contact list - several times - thinking I have "fixed the problem," by linking, etc but a few days later, duplications again, even though I have turned off the sync to my email, and I do not use social media. The other frustrating thing, at random times, I cannot scroll past "L" on my contact list! This contact problem is a deal breaker for me, but since my trial period has ended, and my poor old 9800 looks like it has been beat to death, I will continue to have the Z10. Sad too, because I am a huge BlackBerry fan.

    Posted via CB10
    04-27-13 07:59 PM

Similar Threads

  1. My BlackBerry Z10 review
    By LazyEvul in forum BlackBerry Z10
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 08-05-13, 03:43 PM
  2. Two Weeks In: My BlackBerry Z10 Review
    By killthelights64 in forum BlackBerry Z10
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-21-13, 02:00 AM
  3. One week in with my Blackberry Z10, my thoughts
    By Snazy in forum BlackBerry Z10
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 02-08-13, 04:07 PM
  4. My BlackBerry Protect review/info
    By Mark PPG in forum BlackBerry OS
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-06-11, 03:19 PM
  5. My Blackberry Tour : REVIEW
    By sooks in forum BlackBerry Tour 9630
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 07-12-09, 12:49 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD