BlackBerry Q10 review: Qwerty lovers rejoice!

The new BlackBerry smartphone features a real keypad, along with some great new features.

By , Computerworld |  

However, the Q10 has a 2100mAh removable battery, considerably bigger than the 1800mAh battery in the Z10. The choice to have the larger touchscreen device run with a smaller battery might seem counterintuitive, since the larger screen will probably be used for viewing more power-sucking videos and games. But having the larger battery in the Q10 points to one of BlackBerry's underlying missions with the Q10: To give (hopefully) more than a full day's charge to the executives, stockbrokers, lawyers and other busy people who were the original users of BlackBerry devices.

BlackBerry rates the Q10's battery life at up to 9 hours for video playback and up to 61 hours for audio playback, with up to 13.5 hours talk time on 3G. However, I was running the Q10 on 4G HSPA+ from AT&T (LTE is not yet available where I live) and found that I could barely get a full 8 hours on a single charge after a day of using it for a variety of tasks (including some admittedly power-sucking tasks like voice commands, video and audio).

An OS upgrade

The Z10's BlackBerry 10 OS is chock full of great features -- like a universal inbox called the Hub and Active Frames, the latter a feature that some have likened to live tiles in Windows Phone 8. The Q10 picks up all those same features, but will ship out of the gate with an upgrade to BlackBerry 10.1 that adds some significant new features and a number of minor ones.

A really cool new feature is a high dynamic range mode (HDR) for the camera, which automatically picks the best combination of dark and light areas of an image based on three frames taken in sequence. It is a noticeable improvement over version 10 for indoor shots.

But the biggest OS improvement in 10.1, in my opinion, is a feature that BlackBerry calls Instant Action, which is designed to provide keyboard shortcuts in various apps. For example, if you want to reach your colleague quickly via BlackBerry Messenger, you can just start typing the name in the home screen; when it appears in a frame on the screen, you touch the frame, type the message and finish by touching the enter key.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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