Monday, August 12, 2013

BlackBerry Z10: Could It Be The "Perfect 10" Of Smart Phones?

By: Anne M. Raso

I recently tested the BlackBerry Z10 with a three-week loaner device, and have to say that at first I was a little nervous about using it. I have always been a BlackBerry loyalist and it is the only brand of hand held I have used for the past eight years. I have had five different devices in those eight years and they all had the Qwerty keypad, which I worship and adore and will not give up even if someone offered me an iPhone for free. When I heard BlackBerry was launching the Z10, their first product with a touch screen, I had the urge to check it out. I wanted to see if the browser was faster than on the other models I have tried and to see if I could handle the virtual keypad in terms of how fast I could shoot out emails. I get more than 700 per day and I answer anything addressed to me by my first name, whether it is in my regular mail or spam folder! I am a journalist, but I am sure corporate clients are looking for an easy to use keypad as well.

The BlackBerry Z10 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.5GHz processor, making it super fast on the web. I am a YouTube addict and spend almost every night watching videos on there while I am trying to fall asleep. The picture quality is remarkable and even clearer than when I watch them on my desktop (which is an iMac).

After basic email function--and I am thrilled with fast I got use to the virtual keypad on the Z10--I care most about being able to function well on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook photos looked clearer on the Z10 than on my desktop and I could scroll up and down my friends' and my home pages like lightning. With Twitter, I was able to move equally fast and do searches very easily.
The camera on the Z10 is fabulous and photos seem as clear and precise as when I use my regular Panasonic Lumix 14 Megapixel DMC-FH6 camera. The Z10 features an eight-megapixel backside-illuminating sensor and an LED flash, and offers a 5X optical zoom. The quality is good enough for bloggers who also take their own pics or people who like to sell on EBAY...of course, it's great for personal pics to, and they can be shared on social media in an instant through a "share" icon that appears on the bottom of the screen. I like that the camera eye and flash are located in the top left corner of the device; that makes things a lot easier than on other popular smart phones. You get several picture settings to choose from, including Action, Whiteboard, Night and Beach Or Snow. You also get great quality video and the Time Shift feature and Story Maker apps that come on the device perfect for armchair movie directors and editors!
Looks wise, the Z10 is black, sleek and sophisticated. It's got a metal frame but the rubber backing makes it feel really comfortable in the user's hand. This is important as most busy New Yorkers spend at least 10 hours a day holding their smart phones! For lazy folks who want to keep typing to a minimum, there is a Voice Control app that lets you send emails, book appointments, save notes and memos and even change your Facebook status or tweet!

I still do have my obsession with Qwerty keypads, and hope to review the BlackBerry Q10--which has both a touch screen and Qwerty keypad--in the near future. But I will tell you that the BlackBerry Z10 is a winner. It's easy to use, feels nice in your hand, does the four or five tasks I need to do very easily (email, FB, Twitter, browse the web and take photos) and I picked up how to use the device for these things in about a half hour or less! So I think it's a great choice even if prior to owning one, you were someone who didn't even carry a Smart Phone and did everything except calls from your desktop. This is a brilliant device: simple, nice to look at and reliable. You can't ask for more!

Photo Courtesy BlackBerry

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