One of the perks working closely with the Blackberry team is getting our hands on new devices. I’ve been using the Z10 since November and have been really enjoying it. A review and video can be found here.
Many of the people I’ve been working with have been anxiously awaiting the latest BlackBerry with full, physical qwerty keyboard. It’s here, and probably exactly as you would expect. There are lots of great things in the new BlackBerry 10 operating system that have already been covered. For this post we will focus on the new device.
For those who were a fan of the Bold family of devices this is the natural progression. This iteration is thinner, lighter. Yet this new model also has a screen that is approximately 30% larger. Physically it’s moderately larger than the Bold and is smaller than the Z10. As you’ve likely seen, it has a fiberglass backing. The backing is actually unique to each handset because it is cut from a piece of fabric which will change with each cut. It looks awesome and feels great. It’s got some slight grip to it but is not sticky. Similar to the rubber backing on the Z10. The sides of the device taper from the back to the front. When you are holding it this tapering gives you a very secure grip which is becoming uncommon. It does feel like a tank of a phone compared to much of the competition and I wouldn’t anticipate some drops having much affect on it.
The keyboard is approximately the same size. The difference is that rather than the curve across the top this one is straight, making more room for the screen. Typing seems to be the same experience. Something that I noticed immediately is that typing on a keyboard has become a little awkward for me. The predictive type is very effective on the Z10. As long as you are close to the correct letter the predictive text will figure out the rest. With the physical keyboard you actually have to hit the keys much more deliberately and accurately. Because there is a physical keyboard you also can’t switch to landscape mode to type.
There is a software update over the Z10. The two major welcome enhancements I’ve noticed are:
- The background colour of the SMS application is black instead of white. I was trying this to no avail on the Z10. It is easier on the eyes and drains the battery slower.
- Because there is a physical keyboard always present you can just start typing what you want and the correct application will open. For instance type a phone number and it will prepare to dial, type an email and it will find the contact to email. Similar to the Bold.
Overall a very nice device. For physical keyboard and former BlackBerry Bold fans this will be your best fit device.
P.s. I wrote this post on the phone. 🙂
This post has been modified from Stephen’s original post on his blog Insecurity.