The BlackBerry Z10 is now available from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon in the US. A couple of years ago, I became a BlackBerry fan due to the PlayBook and Bold 9930 combo. It looks like it's happening again, as I just ordered another PlayBook and am thoroughly enjoying the Z10 experience. My love of the underdogs, including Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and HTC, continues.
I've been using a US GSM model of the Z10 for over a month and just received the red BB Transform Shell case I ordered to go along with the device. I previously tested out the black Transform Shell case and like the red one even better. My wife commented that it looks like Darth Maul's case due to the black and red color scheme. It offers decent protection, adds minimal size, and gives me a way to prop up the Z10 and enjoy video content.
I have a few devices to use with T-Mobile, including the Galaxy Note II and Nokia N9. The Note II is an extremely powerful device, but it is also a rather large device and it ends up on my desk and in my bag more than in my pocket. The Z10 works well with a single hand and has been in my pants pocket and with me quite a bit over the past couple of weeks.
However, it's not just an issue of size. The BlackBerry Z10 UI appeals to me, especially the BlackBerry Hub and peek functionality. I am finding that I prefer the simple way various forms of communications appear in the Hub rather than jumping in and out of apps or special notification areas.
I have many apps loaded on the Z10, there are great apps released almost daily now, too; however, I am finding that BlackBerry 10 has most of what I need built into the device and the powerful web browser lets me get things done when apps are not available. The apps that are available work well on the Z10 and the MeeGo-like multitasking screen lets me work very efficiently. Take an honest look at what apps are truly essential on a daily basis and you may just find those 10-15 apps are available on the Z10.
BlackBerry has a long way to go, but it did have a rather successful Q4 when the Z10 was only shipping in a few select countries. With the Z10 now available in the US and the Q10 coming in April, I look forward to hearing about more success from BlackBerry in the next financial period.
I plan to stick with the Z10 on T-Mobile exclusively if I can for the next month and give it a serious test. You need to spend dedicated time with devices for long periods of time to judge whether or not it can work well in your life.
I find the UI to be much like MeeGo was, but Nokia dropped MeeGo as soon as it was released and we can rest assured that BlackBerry is all in with the Z10 and BlackBerry 10. Actually, BlackBerry's strategy and dedication to succeed with BlackBerry 10 give me more confidence than Microsoft and its Windows Phone strategy. As a result, I think BlackBerry may just retain its current third place and increase in market share faster than Windows Phone.