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Early reviews laud BlackBerry Q10's QWERTY keyboard and battery life

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
The first reviews for BlackBerry's latest Q10 handset are in, and while there were a few hardware related issues, many said the company's much-awaited return to a physical keyboard form-factor was worth the wait.

Q10
The BlackBerry Q10's QWERTY keyboard. | Source: BlackBerry


Reviews from TechCrunch, AllThingsD and CNET all have positive things to say about the Q10's keyboard, which apparently works well with the new BlackBerry 10 operating system despite its optimization for full touchscreen handsets like the Z10.

"The QWERTY keyboard is everything you remember about BlackBerry keyboards ? and much more," writes ABC News' Joanna Stern. "The keyboard is well-made and well-spaced thanks to the metal frets separating the rows of keys."

Stern's assessment is in line with other reviews, which make note of how spacious the keyboard feels due to wider spacing and key separation. CNET calls the keyboard "the star of [the] show," and praises the intuitive nature of the large, ridged keys.

Powering the device is a dual-core 1.5GHz processor with 2GB of RAM, while storage capacity comes in at 16GB with support for up to 32GB microSD cards.

An obvious concession for a handset featuring a physical keyboard is the decrease in screen real estate. The Q10 boasts a square, 3.1-inch OLED display with a 720-by-720 pixel resolution good for a pixel density of 330 pixels per inch. By comparison, the display on the iPhone 5 trails slightly with 326 pixels per inch, though the difference is negligible.

Q10


Reviews disagree on battery life, however, as TechCrunch, CNET and AllThingsD give high marks for the handset's ability to run up to about 8 hours of continuous use. ABC found longevity to be short of the manufacturer's claims.

As with the Z10, BlackBerry's latest touchscreen model, the Q10 runs on the smartphone maker's BlackBerry 10 operating system. Although it was designed with full multitouch displays in mind, the OS handles both keyboard- and touch-based operations with ease. As expected from a smartphone with built-in keyboard, the Q10 excels at messaging, and specialized software like Hub and Balance worked well with the form factor.

Build quality is a mixed bag, with some enjoying the feel of the soft-touch back plate, which is made from carbon fiber/glass composite, while others say the flexible design detracts from the otherwise sturdy feel of the chassis.

"The cover though doesn't fit quite flush against the chassis, especially near the USB port, which is disconcerting," said CNET's Brian Bennett.

Q10


Moving to the camera, the Q10 offers the same picture quality as the Z10 as both units share the same module, while the latest BlackBerry 10.1 update brings HDR imaging to the 8-megapixel shooter. Image quality is supposedly similar to competing handsets.

Overall, reviews were positive for the handset, especially for users looking to move back to QWERTY keyboards after Apple's iPhone shifted the market toward multitouch displays.

BlackBerry's Q10 is slated for a May release and is expected to cost $249 with a two-year contract.
post #2 of 33
This looks like a solid device for the HW keyboard lovers.

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post #3 of 33

Looks like a solid bit of tech, but I'm having a hard time justifying the 50 dollar price premium over the 16GB iPhone 5. They might want to rethink that if their aim is to seriously compete.

post #4 of 33
Reviews mean diddily. Let's see how it SELLS and by sells I mean sold to CUSTOMERS, not SHIPPED to stores and claiming "numbers sold".
post #5 of 33
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Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Looks like a solid bit of tech, but I'm having a hard time justifying the 50 dollar price premium over the 16GB iPhone 5. They might want to rethink that if their aim is to seriously compete.

I don't think that's a deal breaker for the HW keyboard crowd. I'd say the customers most interested in this device are likely older with more disposable income who want more than anything a phone they can type on.

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post #6 of 33
Good luck to them, I guess. There will always be those that cling to older things because it suits them, but it looks like an anachronism. I wonder the market is enough for a company to survive on.
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Looks like a solid bit of tech, but I'm having a hard time justifying the 50 dollar price premium over the 16GB iPhone 5. They might want to rethink that if their aim is to seriously compete.


They can price it with a premium because QWERTY die-hards like Google's Eric Schmidt refuses to use a slab phone.

post #8 of 33
I WANT!
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Good luck to them, I guess. There will always be those that cling to older things because it suits them, but it looks like an anachronism. I wonder the market is enough for a company to survive on.

I'm sure there's a market and I'm glad for it. Just because a hardware keyboard doesn't suit me doesn't mean that I wish those who like them to be left without options.

I see it like the move from stick shifts to 6-, 7-, 8-, and 9-speed automatic transmissions and dual-clutch semi-automatic transmissions. They are technically faster shifting and provide for better fuel economy, but there are still those that cling to traditional stick shifts. Many manufacturers are ditching sticks altogether at the high end (most recently Lamborghini; Ferrari already ditched then), but Porsche still offers them even though the take rate is relatively low compared to the PDK. Mainstream automakers usually limit sticks to no-option base models.

Overall, I think the last statistic I saw for manual transmissions in the U.S. was something like 13%. I doubt that the Q10 could get 13% of the smartphone market but kudos to them for trying.
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Good luck to them, I guess. There will always be those that cling to older things because it suits them, but it looks like an anachronism. I wonder the market is enough for a company to survive on.


It's funny that in the engadget review of the Q10 that they did a typing speed test and found that they type faster on the virtual keyboard with the Z10 than the hardware keyboard on the Q10.

post #11 of 33
Oh dear...
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post


It's funny that in the engadget review of the Q10 that they did a typing speed test and found that they type faster on the virtual keyboard with the Z10 than the hardware keyboard on the Q10.

That was shown to be the case back with the original iPhone. Did they test the Z10's predictive word option (forget what it's called) against other virtual keyboards?

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post #13 of 33
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Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


That was shown to be the case back with the original iPhone. Did they test the Z10's predictive word option (forget what it's called) against other virtual keyboards?


They didn't say.

 

It is such a personal choice that Eric Schmidt still uses a QWERTY blackberry and Blackberry can price the Q10 at higher price than the iphone.  Couple with the fact that the Z10 and the Q10 uses basically a mid 2012 spec US model Samsung S3 (dual core MSM8960 at 1.5 GHz) in the era of 2013 quad core phones means that Blackberry is making a lot of money on the hardware (and can cut price on the Z10 without killing profit margin).

post #14 of 33

After several years of using touchscreen phones I find using keyboards (including the Blackberry) annoying and difficult.

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post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post


They didn't say.

 

It is such a personal choice that Eric Schmidt still uses a QWERTY blackberry and Blackberry can price the Q10 at higher price than the iphone.  Couple with the fact that the Z10 and the Q10 uses basically a mid 2012 spec US model Samsung S3 (dual core MSM8960 at 1.5 GHz) in the era of 2013 quad core phones means that Blackberry is making a lot of money on the hardware (and can cut price on the Z10 without killing profit margin).

 

Don't forget these new models are incompatible with BIS (Blackberry Internet Service) and require BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) to perform traditional push email, compressed web browsing and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), leading to higher data usage.

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post #16 of 33
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Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Don't forget these new models are incompatible with BIS (Blackberry Internet Service) and require BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) to perform traditional push email, compressed web browsing and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), leading to higher data usage.

 

Right, the new models do not need a BIS any more, because consumers can now use a regular data plan like every other smartphone.

 

They can also use ActiveSync accounts like Google to push mail, calendars, etc.

 

Enterprise users can also use a BES, which also allows the use of Blackberry Balance to keep their personal info separate from their business side.   As you point out, BES users also have their usual advantage of compression of web images, less email data, etc.

 

--

 

Thanks, AI, for posting this article.  I never considered a BB for home use, but the real keyboard could be perfect for my wife who doesn't like touch keyboards.  Will have to look into trying one.

post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

I'm sure there's a market and I'm glad for it. Just because a hardware keyboard doesn't suit me doesn't mean that I wish those who like them to be left without options.

I see it like the move from stick shifts to 6-, 7-, 8-, and 9-speed automatic transmissions and dual-clutch semi-automatic transmissions. They are technically faster shifting and provide for better fuel economy, but there are still those that cling to traditional stick shifts. Many manufacturers are ditching sticks altogether at the high end (most recently Lamborghini; Ferrari already ditched then), but Porsche still offers them even though the take rate is relatively low compared to the PDK. Mainstream automakers usually limit sticks to no-option base models.

Overall, I think the last statistic I saw for manual transmissions in the U.S. was something like 13%. I doubt that the Q10 could get 13% of the smartphone market but kudos to them for trying.

I'm not sure the car analogy really works. Sure there are many things in life we cling to, grandfather clocks, stick shifts and even record players with turntables. However for a company trying to revive its once total dominance as the leader in cutting edge technology it is akin to Rolex making red LED watches IMHO. that said I wish them luck.
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post #18 of 33

If typing was the only consideration, I'd prefer a physical keyboard. But it isn't, and I could never go back to one because of the loss of screen space, or design compromises with slide out ones.

 

Well done Blackberry in offering choice: keyboard or full-touch screen. Whereas I don't think Apple needs to provide this option with the iPhone (as it does not have an existing user base sold on keyboards the way Blackberry does), I do hope Apple will offer more choice of models in future. If they do go bigger in terms of screen size, I hope this is a model for those who want it, and that they continue to make compact iPhones also.

post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

I'm sure there's a market and I'm glad for it. Just because a hardware keyboard doesn't suit me doesn't mean that I wish those who like them to be left without options.

I see it like the move from stick shifts to 6-, 7-, 8-, and 9-speed automatic transmissions and dual-clutch semi-automatic transmissions. They are technically faster shifting and provide for better fuel economy, but there are still those that cling to traditional stick shifts. Many manufacturers are ditching sticks altogether at the high end (most recently Lamborghini; Ferrari already ditched then), but Porsche still offers them even though the take rate is relatively low compared to the PDK. Mainstream automakers usually limit sticks to no-option base models.

Overall, I think the last statistic I saw for manual transmissions in the U.S. was something like 13%. I doubt that the Q10 could get 13% of the smartphone market but kudos to them for trying.

I see the comparison more like the people that like the old super-clicky style computer keyboards. I don't begrudge either group, it just seems amusing to want either setup so badly that they'll sacrifice so much to get it. Sacrificing potentially a third of your screen area is a lot, while paying more in doing so. My personal experience is that it feels like asking to get "BlackBerry thumbs" because the keys tend to be a bit stiff.
post #20 of 33
Most people can type faster on a physical keyboard - I can see how people who mainly want a good email client and the occasional quick web search and won't be spending hours surfing the net or playing video games on it would prefer this to a full touchscreen - I don't even consider it "old-fashioned", just more specialized in a way.

I spend way too much time staring at my phone, so the smaller screen is something i'll never be interested in.
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

Don't forget these new models are incompatible with BIS (Blackberry Internet Service) and require BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) to perform traditional push email, compressed web browsing and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), leading to higher data usage.


Most of the mobile traffic is video now, and you can't compress a h.264 video any further.  There is really no point of talking about the loss of BIS data compression because even if the Z10 and the Q10 were to be compatible with BIS, it would not magically compress a h.264 youtube video any further.  Also because of iphone's popularity, most websites have mobile versions of their websites which are designed for much fewer data usage.

post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

Reviews mean diddily. Let's see how it SELLS and by sells I mean sold to CUSTOMERS, not SHIPPED to stores and claiming "numbers sold".

BB has no control over that. They did their part and made a solid device. There are at least still many companies that will buy them.
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post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

Reviews mean diddily. Let's see how it SELLS and by sells I mean sold to CUSTOMERS, not SHIPPED to stores and claiming "numbers sold".


Hidden deep inside Apple's SEC footnotes, Apple's sales numbers are defined as shipment numbers also.

post #24 of 33
I like the iPhone's QWERTY keyboard better.
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post


Hidden deep inside Apple's SEC footnotes, Apple's sales numbers are defined as shipment numbers also.

Apparently you have new information; perhaps you could add links such that others can discern what you think you see.

 

Cheers

post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by minicapt View Post

Apparently you have new information; perhaps you could add links such that others can discern what you think you see.

 

Cheers


I said it 5 years ago (even gave precise footnote link) and it remains true today.

 

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/92434/half-of-apples-iphone-3gs-sold-internationally

 

I also said it 4 years ago that Andy Zaky didn't know what he was talking about.

 

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/101831/iphone-sales-predicted-to-top-80-million-by-2012#post_1468287

 

I read the actual SEC filings, not reading blog entries of people interpreting what he thought was said on cnbc talking heads.


Edited by samab - 4/24/13 at 4:44pm
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I like the iPhone's QWERTY keyboard better.

 

THANK you! QWERTY is a layout, it has nothing whatsoever to do with whether the keyboard is switches or a touchscreen.

 

Perhaps what they mean is "mechanical" keyboard?

post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by minicapt View Post

Apparently you have new information; perhaps you could add links such that others can discern what you think you see.

 

It's not new information. What Samab said is well known to people who keep up with Apple and their financial reports.

 

When Apple quotes sales numbers, they're including both end user sales through its own stores, and units sold to other retailers, including carriers.  (That's why we always hear reports of huge numbers "sold" during the first week of a new model... many of those are devices in transit to retailers.)

 

As BusinessInsider put it:

 

Quote:
"So why is it okay that companies report units shipped as units sold? It all comes down to accounting. 
 
"Companies need to determine inventory and cost of good sold figures in order to calculate earnings. Sounds simple enough.  Diving deeper into purchasing contracts would show the more intricate interactions between a buyer and seller.  Without jumping into the accounting bunny hole, let’s look at Apple’s most recent 10-K:
 
“(Apple) recognizes revenue when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery has occurred, the sales price is fixed or determinable, and collection is probable. Product is considered delivered to the customer once it has been shipped and title and risk of loss have been transferred. For most of (Apple)’s product sales, these criteria are met at the time the product is shipped. For online sales to individuals, for some sales to education customers in the U.S., and for certain other sales, (Apple) defers revenue until the customer receives the product because (Apple) legally retains a portion of the risk of loss on these sales during transit.”
 
"An iPad on a freight plane headed to a Walmart warehouse is no longer counted as an iPad in Apple’s inventory, instead it is counted as an iPad in Walmart’s inventory. Apple is able to recognize that iPad as sold and recognize the accompanying revenue (and profit). "
 
- Business Insider

 

Other companies do very similar accounting.  Blackberry does the same as Apple, counting it as a sale the moment it ships.  Samsung waits longer; they don't count it as a sale until the unit actually arrives at a retailer.

 

All of them account for returns separately from sales.


Edited by KDarling - 4/24/13 at 6:39pm
post #29 of 33

Of course, I was the original person to post that paragraph in 2008.

 

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/83675/piper-over-half-million-missing-iphones-likely-in-channel#post_1206352

post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Good luck to them, I guess. There will always be those that cling to older things because it suits them, but it looks like an anachronism. I wonder the market is enough for a company to survive on.

A hardware keyboard is not an anachronism ... yet. The fact is that few can type as fast or as accurately using a virtual keyboard. As Steve Jobs told someone who made the same argument before the iPhone was officially launched, "They'll get used to it." As usual, he was right. Most of us have been and continue to be willing to give up a real keyboard in return for a larger screen. The compromise has, for me, led to a reduction in using my phones for long text input, which I used to do on the BB. 

 

Now, imagine a 3.5" screen with a keyboard. The whole thing might not turn out to be larger than some of the phablets out there. To me, that might be a bigger difference maker than a monster screen.

post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

Reviews mean diddily. Let's see how it SELLS and by sells I mean sold to CUSTOMERS, not SHIPPED to stores and claiming "numbers sold".

 

If you were to ever read Apple's investor relations pages, you'd see they also consider a 'sale' to be when the product is shipped...

 

 

"Product is considered delivered to the customer once it has been shipped and title and risk of loss have been transferred. For most of the Company’s product sales, these criteria are met at the time the product is shipped."

 
 
It's on page 23, under 'Revenue Recognition'.  
post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

Of course, I was the original person to post [the SEC filing] paragraph in 2008.

 

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/83675/piper-over-half-million-missing-iphones-likely-in-channel#post_1206352

 

Excellent!  Your posts are always informative.

 

For the benefit of everyone else, let's review what Apple counts in their quarterly reports:

 

  • Apple DOES count end user sales from their physical stores.
  • Apple DOES count online sales after they arrive to the customer.
  • Apple DOES count shipments to retailers and carriers as sales.

 

And what is not included:

 

  • Apple does NOT report shipments to their own stores as sales.
  • Apple does NOT include sales to online customers until they arrive. (Which is why presale numbers can be larger than reported sales for a little while if shipments are behind.)

 

 

As an aside, one interesting piece of info that Apple does not provide, is how many of the sales are refurbs.  They probably sell millions each year.   When analysts are comparing which device price ranges are selling, I think refurbs should be factored in.  I know that I've bought quite a few myself, from desktops to laptops to iPods to iPads, and the lower price made them more attractive as gifts.

 


Edited by KDarling - 4/25/13 at 5:04am
post #33 of 33

Funny how the discussion began with Wall Street analysts saying that QNX needs a car battery and ended up the talks with some of the Q10 reviews saying that it can be a weekend phone that will last a couple of days in battery life.

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