BlackBerry 10 and the Z10: 10 things I like and 5 things I don't

BlackBerry 10 and the Z10: 10 things I like and 5 things I don't

Summary: I have been using the Z10 with BlackBerry 10 for the past five days and am finding things I really like about the OS and device and a few things I don't. Let me know if you have any questions as I continue to work on a full review.


I know most of my posts over the past week have been devoted to the BlackBerry 10 OS and new Z10 hardware, but that's what is hot right now and it is an important operating system to discuss. I have now been using the BlackBerry Z10 for five days and have experienced quite a bit with the OS and device so I wanted to share 10 things I really like and 5 that I don't.

BlackBerry 10 and the Z10: 10 things I like and 5 things I don't
(Credit: BlackBerry)

10 things I like about BlackBerry 10 and the Z10

BlackBerry 10 is a fresh operating system and pretty radical for BlackBerry. The hardware isn't revolutionary, but it is solid and on par with other high end black slab phones. Let's take a look at the 10 things I find most appealing:

  1. BlackBerry Hub: BlackBerry devices have always been focused on communications and BB10 provides an incredible communications experience through the BlackBerry Hub. I love how I can have several services set up and keep in touch with people in one central place on the phone that is extremely easy to access from anywhere with a couple simple gestures.
  2. No BIS/BES requirement: I could never be fully satisfied with a BlackBerry before because the BIS experience was not complete and my company doesn't have a BES. As I wrote this weekend, BlackBerry 10 is now fully BYOD compliant and I can use it as my primary device if I desire.
  3. BlackBerry Keyboard: All platforms have great keyboards and lately I have been loving Swype and SwiftKey on Android. However, the predictive implementation on BlackBerry 10 is unique and efficient and I think I may have found my new favorite smartphone keyboard.
  4. BlackBerry Remember and Evernote: I am a huge fan of Evernote and like when it is integrated, such as with HTC Sense on Android. Evernote supported is provided in the OS and in the BB Remember application. However, I still want a full Evernote client eventually as well.
  5. Fast modern web browser: The web browser on BB 10 is a pleasure to use. It is fast, supports multiple tabs, and I haven't seen any limitations so far. It even supports Flash for those that want it. I would like to see syncing like I have on Chrome, but it's a nice mobile browser.
  6. Application manager/active thumbnails: The "home" screen with thumbnails that change content and serve as a task manager is slick. It works much like we have seen on MeeGo and webOS.
  7. Documents To Go integration: Windows Phone has integrated mobile Office, but I find the Documents To Go product on BB 10 to offer more functionality with a better user interface. BlackBerry purchased DataViz last year and it is great to see the full version of Documents To Go, with Box and Dropbox storage access, on BB10 devices.
  8. High resolution display: I am a fan of high resolution displays and the 4.2 inch 1280x768 pixels resolution display with 356 ppi looks fantastic. I like that it is large, yet still helps make the device very pocketable too.
  9. HDMI out, microSD, removable battery: Some manufacturers limit the consumer with hardware, but on the Z10 you get to control how you watch media, how much memory your device has, and whether or not you wish to carry extra batteries to go days without connecting to power.
  10. BlackBerry Protect: I like that iOS and Windows Phone offer an integrated find and wipe service and was pleased to see the functionality of BB Protect. The easy website access and control of your device is important for security and peace of mind.

5 things I don't like

I don't expect a new operating system and hardware to be perfect and it isn't. However, as you can see in my list of five things below that bug me, there isn't much to complain about at this time.

  1. Lack of big name apps: BB10 hasn't yet launched on carriers in the US so the application story might change before the official launch. However, at this time there are not that many popular applications to choose from and I hope BlackBerry delivers on all the partnerships they have made with leading developers.
  2. BlackBerry World browsing and discovery: I didn't like browsing the app store on the PlayBook and I don't really enjoy it now on BB10. I find it easiest to just search for apps I want rather than browsing by category and getting lost in the store structure.
  3. Viewing next email: I tend to read email in blocks and thus like to move from one message to the next. On Android I simply swipe to get to the next message, but on BB10 I have to go back to the Hub and then select the next message every time and it is NOT an efficient means to navigate your inbox.
  4. BBM contact discovery: I am not a long time BB user and right now I just have one BBM contact, Kevin Tofel. It doesn't appear to be that easy to find friends in BBM, even those people you are already connected with on social networks or through your contact database. I would like to see better discovery through these types of networks.
  5. Camera software and quality: The camera software is pretty basic and so far photos look OK, but not great. I expect devices with cameras in 2013 to be able to replace my point and shoot and was hoping for a bit better optics in BB10.

There are still a number of things I want to test out before I post a more in-depth full review that I hope to get up before the end of the week or early next week. Since the Z10 is not yet out in the US, if there is anything you wish for me to check out and include in my full review please leave a comment and I will try to address your question.

Related ZDNet BlackBerry 10 coverage

Topics: Mobility, BlackBerry, Smartphones

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Not Much to Complain About

    Seems like your dislikes are purely nit picks, thats a good sign for BB. I think BB10 is finally running with the big boys now; WP8, Android4, iOS6. I happen think iOS is the one that is a little behind in term of interface now (ironically). I still love my modern WP8 phone, but BB10 is appealing.
    Sean Foley
  • Battery life and Screen swipe

    I'm sure the bigger screen and the powerful OS requires a lot of power. How often did you find yourself charging the phone?

    I have a friend who was able to get hands on a Z10. He said that there is minute, but noticable lag when swiping through screens. Did you notice this as well?
    • QNX

      QNX (the base of BB10) is indeed powerful, but it's incredibly light. You might remember seeing a cool demo years ago of QNX running a full GUI, productivity suite, and web browser all from a single floppy disk.

      Compared to other mobile OS's, BB10 is extremely fast and efficient. You can do more with QNX on less hardware than you can with, for example, iOS and Android. Battery life won't be a problem.

      It's also a hard real-time OS suitable for, and used for, medical, areospace, nuclear, and automobile applications. So you can completely eliminate things like lag in the UI.

      It's pretty amazing.
  • Email swipe

    Interesting that swiping to move to the next email is not included in 10 since it's a feature I use all the time on my Torch. It's noticeably (and irritatingly) absent in the Gmail app, so I know it's going to be a sore spot for me (assuming I move to the Z10).

    It makes me wonder what other features have been removed as well...
    • Email Swipe

      The Swipe we are familiar with on BlackBerry 7 phones to change emails brings you back to the live app pane.

      I too would like to see a fast way to go to the next email, that said I like the Z10 email over the iPhone email because like BB7 BlackBerry continues to put sent/received emails in line and allows searching both sent/received at the same time, this is VERY useful for me and a constant frustration on my iPhone.

      If you spent a lot of time on a BB7 device and learned all the little tricks and short cuts, the Z10 will leave you wanting, BUT is still a very enjoyable experience, I'm looking forward to OS10.1 hoping for more of the refinements the very old BBOS had amassed over its life
  • Battery and camera

    I as well am interested in how the battery stands up after your initial observations. Also, I am curious how the camera compares to other current flagship phones. Thanks!
  • simple question

    Does the task app, or remember app support sub tasks?
  • #4 of dislike


    Re: #4 of your dislike column, I'm not sure you're aware of this but take a walk down your contact list and if one of your contacts is a closet BlackBerry user the contact list will give you the option to add them directly to BBM.
  • Messaging with BB10

    I use to be a BB user and now Android. My Company does alot of group texting, Android messaging client is terrible, and I cant reply all. My wifes Iphone she cant just reply it is always reply all, which is better than Android but when I had a BB if i remember correctly I could do both reply and reply all, just wanting to verify that is still the case? The only reason I went away from BB was their web browsing capabilities, looks like they have address that with 10. Cant wait for them to come out here in US.
  • best cell phones

    Find out latest mobile,mobiles OS like Android ,Window OS,and iOS and some useful tips. Hopefully it will helpful
  • Good summary

    A lot more big name apps appear to be on the way but at the end of the day, most of what I need is already there. Well done Blackberry - want to try that new keyboard.
  • BBM Contact discovery

    I don't WANT BBM contact discovery to be terribly easy.
    You can look through peoples contact cards on your device to see if they have BBM connected to their address book
    you can invite people to BBM via their email address
    and you can ask people who you see have BlackBerry phones for their BBM.
    Denying someone your BBM when they send a request is not something you want to have to be doing regularly, and the beauty of BBM is that it can remain anonymous, without getting 100+ requests after you've handed your business card out at a function.

    Having never been apart of the BBM culture and entering it so late in the game I can appreciate expecting it to be more like a social network of always open. and you can publish your PIN to your hearts content if you wish it to be so.
  • Question

    Hi, thanks for your review, does the BB10 has a wifi hot spot like iPhone?, because i would like to share the phone's internet with my wifi tablet
    • Hot Spot

      Absolutely kills iPhone 5

      Bitterly disappointed with my iPhone 5, now use it like an iPod and have BB Z10
  • Group messaging - BB Z10

    Unable to select a group for sending a text to multiple recipients.
    The only option is i will have to select one by one in the "TO" area and then click on "send", This takes a lot of time.

    Is there any option to select more or add group contacts or anything else ?

    Thanks in advance !
    Udhay Kumar
  • Camera

    The biggest disappointment to me is the camera. BB has always been typically slow. Z10 coming out after iPhone 5 - I was expecting way better. It is a very very slow camera in comparison.

    I hope a software update might fix it?