Yesterday, Research in Motion (okay, BlackBerry – new stock symbols are BB (TSX) and BBRY (NYSE)), announced its two new devices, the Q10 and Z10 both operating under the revamped BlackBerry 10 system. These devices, of which one (Z10) is touch screen and the other (Q10), a keyboard, features a supposedly improved camera (though not really too different from its competitors – would have liked to see a better all round camera), browser and email. Their signature app, BBM, is also improved, and will include video chat, similar to iOS’s Facetime as well as the ability to share screenshots – great for businesses who are doing presentations. Really, other than a faster system, there really isn’t too much improvement based on the announcement. First off, there aren’t too many apps – only 70,000 or so. Apple has more than 800,000 apps and Android isn’t that far behind. While many of the apps are useless, the very fact that BlackBerry does not have many can be seen as a turn-off. Physically, the Z10, with its 4.2″ screen, looks pretty standard and the Q10 (screen size not mentioned, but it looks about 2/3 the size of the Z10) looks like traditional BlackBerry phones is dated and unattractive. With all the phones being touchscreen these days, why would someone even want a keyboard? My bet is that Q10s will not sell too well. Who wants such a small screen?
Z10 video from the official BlackBerry channel
The good news is that many previously iOS and Android-only apps, such as Angry Birds, will apparently be available (but no word about Instagram – bad news for food and style bloggers not yet on iOS or Android). For those of us who love using their phones as cameras, but are always worried about taking bad shots, there’s Time Shift, which allows the photographer to take group shots and adjust faces so that everyone looks his or her best. There is also a video editing and shooting app called Story Maker. Another feature, called BlackBerry Balance gives users the ability to split work and personal usage (email, apps, etc…). Other specs include:
- Size: Measures 5.12″ x 2.58″ x 0.35″ and weighs 4.78 oz (bigger and heavier than the iPhone. Slightly smaller than the SIII, but heavier)
- Memory: 2 GB of RAM (more than iPhone and SIII), 16 GB internal storage (with a microSD supporting up to 32 GB)
- Camera: 8 MP with 1080p HD video recording; 2 MP (better than the iPhone and SIII) front facing camera and 720p video.
- Processor: Dual-Core 1.5 GHz
- NFC-enabled (which many Androids have, but are not on iPhones)
Will you consider this device? Personally, I thought I made a good switch when I bought my iPhone 5 back in September, but who knows (though the lack of Instagram is a bit of a turn-off)? Besides, with my iPhone, everything is seamless. What I download from iTunes goes directly to my phone, while it’s not the case with BlackBerry – it’s a completely different store, first off. However, I’m hoping that stores will have a live model of this device so people can test it. I’m curious about the new BBM, first off, and also about the availability of music, movies and TV shows (heard that it would be rather limited in Canada to start). It’s disappointing that most places seem to only have live models for iPhone and Samsung (latest Galaxy and Note only).
The Z10 will be available in Canada on February 5 but won’t hit stores in the United States until March, when the Q10 will also launch. Rogers, Telus and Bell are already taking pre-orders.