BlackBerry Q10: It's all about the keypad

 Nidhi Singal        Last Updated: June 11, 2013  | 15:40 IST

BlackBerry Q10
Rs 44,990
Specs: 3.1 inch capacitive touch display with QWERTY keypad; 8MP camera; BlackBerry OS 10; 1.5GHz dual core processor; 2GB RAM; 16 GB onboard storage, up to 64GB expandable; 139 grams; 2100 mAh battery

With the smartphone world revolving around an all-touch display, BlackBerry continues to hold an edge as the only big manufacturer with high-end QWERTY phones. The BlackBerry Q10, announced in January along with the Z10, will be the new QWERTY flagship for the company while sporting its new BlackBerry 10 operating system.

Though it looks a bit big, and fat, the BlackBerry Q10 is not much larger that its predecessors like the 9900. It is just the slightly bigger display that makes it look big. In fact, at 3.1 inches the display is just 0.3 inch larger than that of the BlackBerry 9900. The removable back panel is made of carbon fiber that gives it a soft finish, making the Q10 comfortable to hold.

To get more real estate for the display, the traditional first row of call, menu, back and cancel keys as well as the track pad have been shown the door. We were unsure if the experience without the ubiquitous track pad would be worth it. But the BB10 OS, like in the Z10, needs just a swipe to bring all that you need on the screen itself. But it took us some time to get used to the swipe and peek gesture on the Q10, though it was very similar to that on the Z10.

BlackBerry’s India MD Sunil Lalwani at the Q10 launch event
BlackBerry's India MD Sunil Lalwani at the Q10 launch event

The keyboard is again a BlackBerry masterpiece and is divided into four rows separated with metal lines. It was a pleasure typing on this keyboard and the accuracy levels were much beyond what you would get on a touchscreen. If you do types something wrong, there is always auto-correct to rectify the mistake.

The Q10 we reviewed isn't a final sales unit and asked for a software update the first time we powered it on. The BB10 interface is the same as in the Z10. So there is no back button, you swipe the thumb up from the bottom to minimise an app and swipe right to open the BlackBerry hub.

The 8 MP camera is about average in results and the HDR support in BB 10.1 failed to redeem the quality of the images captured. The platform still struggles from a lack of third party applications, even though the total numbers are headed north.

Unlike the Z10 that struggled to last a day with heavy usage, the Q10 managed to give us a day and a half. This could be because of the bigger 2100 mAh battery and the smaller 3.1-inch touch display.

Bag it or Junk it: BlackBerry loyalists will love the Q10

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