BlackBerry Q10: Hands on with the elusive keyboard-equipped handset

BlackBerry Q10: Hands on with the elusive keyboard-equipped handset

Summary: BlackBerry has announced its Qwerty-equipped Q10 handset but there were precious few of them in the launch. ZDNet managed to track one down and get a quick hands-on demo.

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  • The rear of the device features a "glass-weave" effect cover, which BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said is "thinner, lighter and stronger" than regular plastic.

    Again, like the Z10 it features an 8-megapixel camera capable of 1080p video recording and a user-removable rear cover and battery.

  • The Q10 also has a forward-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for stills and video calling. In addition to revealing the two new devices BlackBerry also announced the introduction of video calling across its BlackBerry Messenger service (BBM).

    In order to use video calling on BBM, two BlackBerry 10-based devices or PlayBooks must be used. However, voice calling in BBM is still possible between BlackBerry 10 and older BlackBerry handsets.

    All images Ben Woods/ZDNet

Topics: Smartphones, Mobility, BlackBerry

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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40 comments
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  • Keyboard Not Blackberry's

    The keyboard is not a BB trademark, it is a Palm Treo trademark.
    MarkD60
    • Palm

      Mark, I also see quite a bit of WebOS in BB10. Multiple notification types on the screen, etc... all Palm (except Palm had it four years ago).
      vailmcc
      • They all have similarities

        WebOS was a really good operating system. I have the Blackberry Playbook and its OS (which the new handsets are a derivative of) is really slick. Lack of apps absolutely killed it. The same will happen with the new phones if they can't get Google Maps, Slacker, Pandora, etc. Being a phone and web browser is not good enough. Yes they are slick looking handsets but I see no compelling reason to switch from Android or iOS for the new Blackberry's. This will be a tough road to hoe for Blackberry.
        ryork272
        • How to use a hoe...

          For you city boys, your crippled metaphors should be about hoeing a ROW, not a road. A rough road to travel makes more sense, doesn't it?
          Next time you see a garden or a corn field, think abut hoeing the rows...
          In the hot summer sun they can be seemingly endless.
          However, best of luck to BB.
          Joe
          jbobst
          • Tough row to hoe

            Well, both models are a disappointment. Would have preferred something like a fliphone or a Sidekick, bigger screen. Tablets are accidents waiting to happen in any size.

            If voice recognition were good, maybe it would be worthwhile. I can't see websurfing or getting email with such a small screen and such a slippery device. Oh well. Back to the garden of simple cellphones and netbooks, which are more functional, and far cheaper.
            brainout
          • Slippery?

            ...what are you on about?

            Got stuck in a plowed row by any chance :)
            CarusDave
          • Voice on BB

            If the past is any indication, then the new BB should have decent voice command functionality. I had a BB Curve about 6 years ago and voice commands worked fine as long as I enunciated ;-)
            Gravyboat McGee
        • @ryork272

          If the security of your personal data is not compelling, then so be it. It is for me.
          Susan Antony
        • You're Joking, Right

          BlackBerry PlayBook has Slacker Radio and the Apollo Pandora Radio Client. My wife listens to Pandora on our PlayBook quite often.

          Google maps? My 3 y/o 3G BlackBerry Torch 9800 (with the 3.1 touch screen, track bar, and QWERTY keyboard has the native BB map, Bing Maps, and AT&T Navigator. Who needs Google maps?

          Reasons to switch from iOS or Android?
          1. BB is more secure; all communications are encrypted.
          2. Nothing is as easy to use as a BlackBerry.

          You realize that the USA is not the world. BlackBerry still has 50%-60% market share in many countries outside the USA, who value BBM, encrypted communications, and BlackBerry Internet Services.
          bb_apptix
      • Is the Palm WebOS still around?

        I haven't actually researched ... I recall that Sprint offered WebOS devices several years ago and haven't heard a single thing about it since. What ever happened to Palm? Are they still around or are they completely extinct?
        Gravyboat McGee
    • Not really...

      That's not entirely accurate... BlackBerry started as a two-way pager company in 1999 that made a device with a screen and keyboard with even some limited WAP functionality.

      BlackBerry made seven different pager/Web-enabled mobile devices before their first phone enable device, the 5810 was released in March 2002. The first Handspring Treo (before they were bought out by Palm) was released in February 2002.
      GenericResponse
      • oops

        Accidentally tapped near the flag icon
        Max Peck
        • Then Go Back...

          ...and Vote for that Post, like I did. How's it going to look? A Flag, but no Votes?
          PreachJohn
  • Feedback?

    Ben - thanks for the overview. Did you get to use the device? I'm liking the Z10 after a month using it but really like my 9900 keypad. (I carry multiple devices so I don't need to compromise one or the other)

    How does the BB10 UI work on the smaller screen? Thats my big concern.
    MobileAdmin
    • Check pic #2

      looks like it automatically adapts but reduces number of elements on screen...
      SinfoCOMAR
  • Boot up

    Has anyone rebooted the phone to see how long it takes? I would love to see it under 20sec so when batteries are swapped out we know how long to expect to be down.
    Ray (Canada)
    • Reboot

      The Z10 takes about a minute to reboot, not as quick as other platforms but not the long process the older Blackberry devices had.
      MobileAdmin
      • Reboot

        So its better than the other failed Blackberry's but inferior boot speed to newer Androids and the iPhone. I'm sorry, but that is yet another reason why there is no compelling motivation to switch to the new Blackberry's, along with the lack of popular apps and no Google Maps.
        ryork272
        • @ryork272

          Hmm, you can swap batteries and reboot in a minute with a BB10 phone or your battery dies and you have to wait until you recharge it with an iPhone. What to choose, what to choose.
          Susan Antony
          • Susan.. Never once have I ran into a situation where my

            phone stopped working due to power issues. After all it has a battery charge indicator on the screen for me to observe and take note of. Now for me mobility means light and for as much as possible as care free as possible. I don't want to haul "extras" around like say batteries or in this case battery. It's just something more to put in a pocket and or misplace and who needs that? I also own a tablet and yes I type on it often but I don't carry around an external keyboard cause again extra kit to keep track of and to carry around reducing a devices mobility factor in my humble opinion. If I thought I wanted suh I would have just gotten myself one of those ultra books after all.

            Pagan jim
            James Quinn