My biggest concern with the BB 10.1 OS is that, in my tests, boot time averaged 84 seconds, which is much longer than on typical smartphones, and even above the 70 or so seconds on the Z10. While you may not power your phone off and on frequently, you will definitely notice the delay when you land after a long flight and need to quickly make a call or text.
High-end security features
Security is a constant worry for many handheld users, especially in the government and financial sectors, and BlackBerry has tried to address their needs head-on with BB 10.1.
One feature included in BB 10.1 is what BlackBerry's Michael Clewley calls "BES advanced policies." (The official name BlackBerry uses is Enterprise Mobility Management -- Regulated Policies.) It gives IT shops the ability to tightly control the devices in ways they see fit -- such as disabling a camera or location services on a phone remotely.
BlackBerry says its advanced policies capability will apply through use of its BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 10 server for operations where a government or private security-conscious organization would want to distribute Q10s to employees.
Computerworld's Matt Hamblen tries out the BlackBerry Q10's Balance feature.
Other business customers can take advantage of BlackBerry's new Balance feature, which made its debut with the Z10. With Balance, a user can blend both work and personal email streams into a single email stream. (Phones with BES advanced policies set require users to go to separate work and personal email inboxes.) Other apps are divided into separate work and personal containers.
To make Balance or these advanced policies work, users must be connected to a BES server, which in most cases means an enterprise buys the server to locate behind the firewall.
For this review, BlackBerry set up a trial account giving me access to a BES server to test out Balance. After I set it up on the Q10 (which is not a trivial process), I was able to swipe a finger down the center of the screen to access the personal or work container for data. If a rule had been created that kept one type of file in a specific container, I was told by the device. For example, when I was on the work side, I tried to open a pictures icon, and got this message: "You are currently in the work space. Please switch to the personal space to see any personal files."