1. the cnut's Avatar
    So just over a year ago now I found myself in a situation where I needed to keep in contact with a loved one who was in Europe for a year while I was stuck here in the UK. I had managed to spend way too much in text messages and needed a solution. So, as my loved one had a Blackberry I decided to put my preconceptions to one side and get myself a second hand Bold 9900.

    To my surprise I was quite impressed with the quality and weight of the device, but then on the other hand I realised quite quickly that this phone is for one thing: Communication. If I wanted to make hipster pictures or have access to a hugely diverse app store then this wasn't the OS for me. However, over time I realised pretty quickly that I didn't care about those things; I cared about being easily contactable.

    Now, I must admit that at the time it had not occurred to me that I could have just downloaded Whatsapp and foregone the phone switch from an increasingly outdated iPhone 3G to the 9900 and in hindsight I think that would be the most reasonable thing to do. Despite that, I think I would have missed out on a number of experiences that now shape my perception of what a good smart phone should do for the consumer.

    The first of those experiences was the initial one of physically using the device. It was relatively heavy which in combination with the bezel, keyboard, and overall feel of the phone which gave me the sense that, whatever downfalls the OS has, this is a quality device. True to that impression it has not failed me in the time that I have had it and I suspect that the only failing will be when the OS finally stops being supported. Beyond quality, I had anticipated that I would struggle with the physical keyboard and the tiny touch pad below the touch screen, but in reality I grew to appreciate how useful all these features are for communicating effectively.

    The second and final of those experiences was the one of using OS7. Before I began to use the phone I anticipated that I would struggle to adapt and generally hate the experience. What I found was that, while different, the OS made it easier to set up all the things I needed to keep up to speed; email accounts, BBM, Facebook, Twitter, et cetera were all set up in a matter of minutes. I decided to have a look at what was on offer in the app store but, as I had expected, most of what I found wasn't suitable to read, let alone suitable to install and use. So, OS7 was a mixed bag in terms of being great for communication and pretty terrible for anything else. I suppose that is why it is quite a common business phone and quite an uncommon personal phone.

    Fast forward back to the present day and my loved one has returned home and the need for Blackberry in my life has disappeared- and arguably was never there in the first place. This is made even moreso thanks to Blackberry's decision to roll out BBM to all popular formats, i.e., to more popular formats. I had presumed that it would be the case that BBM would be free for Blackberry users and would require a small charge or subscription of some sort for non-Blackberry users, but that has not happened. So, of the two main reasons why I enjoyed using a Blackberry they have decided to give a large part of one of those reasons away for free. To make matters worse the app situation has not really been resolved and the hardware, while potent enough for the efficient BB10, is not anywhere near close enough to phones in the price range that Blackberry values itself at.

    Currently, I am looking towards getting a new smart phone and I am the type to keep the phone for a number of years before switching to a new one. That in itself is problematic as I learned from when I was using the iPhone, but I am just not able nor willing to commit myself to ~500 annual purchases nor do I want to tie myself into a contract. Thus, my next purchase is an important one.

    Phones that are currently on my radar include the Nexus 5, the HTC One, the Sony Xperia Z1, and the Blackberry Z10 and Z30. Now, out of all these phones the two which are hit the most with negatives such as relatively poor specs and apps are the two Blackberrys. So why do I even consider them? I think that the primary reason would be that, despite its flaws, I enjoyed the experience of using the 9900 and would genuinely like to continue to use Blackberry products. Apple and Android both offer similar experiences in terms of apps and in both cases the hardware is typically better than that of Blackberry, but to me they lack the Blackberry experience. So, I should ignore specs and go for the Z10 or Z30 right? Well... no, because while the Z10 is currently at the price point it should have been at to begin with (~350) the Z30 is far too expensive for what you get (500).

    My general feeling is that Blackberry have missed a trick. They could have subsidized their handsets to sell the Q5 at 200, the Q10 and Z10 at 275, and the Z30 at 350. Alternatively, if they wanted to keep the prices higher then they could have fitted the phones with the kind of spec that is expected when you are competing with the likes of Apple and the top Android handsets. Either decision would have increased the number of users which in turn would have meant more app support for BB10.

    So, I'm stuck between spending more than the phone is worth because I enjoyed the 9900 and think I'll enjoy BB10, or spending the same amount or less on a phone and operating system that I don't particularly care about but is better value, has better apps, and will probably last longer. To make the case for Blackberry better, I can always sideload those Android apps that would make the difference and because of that I am more inclined toward the Z10, but still, I am quite the reluctant Blackberry-phile.

    PS- While I am typing away I may as well tell Crackberry what I would like Blackberry to do going forward: Produce a Z30 device (perhaps colour code the stupid bottom lip this time) and have a physical keyboard which can slide out of the bottom of the device to be folded upward into the place where the physical keyboard would usually be and the screen resolution reduces to accommodate the keyboard. Once the person finishes using it they can quickly press it back into its slot and the phone goes back to being a full 5" touch screen smart phone. This would allow you to accommodate two groups of phone user without having to spend twice as much money providing two different phone models for them. Of course, whether or not this is possible at an affordable price point... but Sony Ericsson did okay with the P800-910 series.

    Thoughts of a Reluctant Blackberry-phile and a PS re: 2in1 Blackberry-z20.jpg
    Patman1200 likes this.
    11-07-13 06:11 AM
  2. jrohland's Avatar
    In fact, the Z30 is worth the purchase price. Having used a Z10 for 10 months and the Z30 for 6 days, I would choose the Z30. The Z10 is a fine phone. The [new] BlackBerry experience is all there but---for me---the screen size and battery are too small.

    I could not image going to Android or iOS after having used a BlackBerry. BB is just too good as a phone (communications device) and the app situation is way over-blown. If I absolutely must have some app which is not available as a BB10 native, there is a high likelihood the Android version will work on the Z30 (or other models of BB10 with 10.2+ installed) as a side-load.

    Please see the tread I started about non-BlackBerry users impression of the Z30: The Z30 is leaving impressions
    the cnut likes this.
    11-07-13 06:40 AM
  3. chopachain's Avatar
    Just a thought, BB has the Z10 and Z30. I look at that Z20 pic and think maybe the device in your pic could of been a planned Q30. BB did say six devices.
    the cnut likes this.
    11-07-13 06:56 AM
  4. the cnut's Avatar
    Just a thought, BB has the Z10 and Z30. I look at that Z20 pic and think maybe the device in your pic could of been a planned Q30. BB did say six devices.
    Well, it's just a ms paint edit-job combining the Z30 with the Q10's keyboard. It did occur to me that they perhaps could have had a keyboard on the z30, but then I'm not sure if that would have a negative effect on the full touch screen experience or not. Either way, the point is that Blackberry has a number of options open to them if they wanted to move to properly high end phones and I hope they move into that direction.
    11-07-13 11:58 AM
  5. BoldPreza's Avatar
    I would still try the Z30. I think you will be surprised just how nice that phone is. It's nicely built and only has one let down. It's screen.

    Even then though it's a vibrant screen with great colouring and a great size. Plus unlike the others you mentioned out if the box it offers the best in terms of communication. Best stock keyboard, BBM standard, and full featured I might add, great email interface, organized and structured UI, just an all around great product.

    I think if you only knock it because it's ppi isn't as high as the others and it's processor which is really good Btw, just not the 800 that everyone else is using now, then you will be missing out.

    Posted via CB10
    the cnut likes this.
    11-07-13 01:19 PM
  6. knownastron's Avatar
    If you value communication, BB10 really is, IMO, the only phone for you.

    The hub is an incredible tool that really allows you flip from any app to your messages in an instant. Then when you're in the hub, you can switch between email, bbm, text, twitter notifications in an instant too. Or for instance, you're in the hub and you click 'compose' and it gives you a big list of all your communication choices. It's a beautiful thing.
    the cnut likes this.
    11-07-13 08:45 PM
  7. the cnut's Avatar
    Thanks guys, I think you're right and that I should put my worries about tech to one side on this occasion. Even so, I'm going to wait a few weeks to see if anything changes or is announced.
    11-08-13 04:02 AM

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