BlackBerry Z10 (T-Mobile) Review

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As a diehard iPhone user, it was hard to imagine switching to a different platform. For years I've been advising friends and family to stay as far away from BlackBerry as possible, and rightfully so. Every iteration of BlackBerry's OS up to this point has been pretty terrible in comparison to iOS and Android. Things are different now, BB10 is not the same sluggish and boring OS that we are used to seeing. It is, in every regard, a polished and enjoyable experience that everyone should at least try before knocking. It's not all about software though, so lets take a look at what the Z10 brings to the table.

Hardware

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The Z10 is a great piece of hardware, and its clear just from looking at it that BlackBerry knows how important this phone is to them. The 1280x768 (356 PPI) LCD screen is easily one of the best on the market today. Color reproduction, touch response, and clarity are easily on par or better than any phone I've laid eyes on.

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The back of the phone sports a soft touch battery cover that feels great in your hand. I also like that fact that I can set the phone on my desk (sans cover) and not have to worry about getting hairline scratches. It also seems to improve grip, so using it with one hand feels comfortable.

Admittedly, when I heard about the soft touch cover I felt that it would cheapen the feel of the phone. I am happy to report that I was 100% wrong, and it actually adds to the luxury feel of the Z10. Overall, the hardware feels as good, if not better than any phone I've come across.

User Experience / Apps

BB10 on the Z10 is one of the most impressive operating systems that I have ever used. It is buttery smooth - I was unable to get it to drop frames, even when stressing the device. This can be somewhat contributed to its hefty specs, donning a Dual Core 1.5 Ghz processor and 2GB of RAM. The rest cant be contributed to a well designed, and well executed OS.

One of the main differentiators for BB10 is the use of gestures. Gone is the home button, replaced by a simple swipe up of your thumb from the bottom of the screen. Swipe up and drag to the right, and you will be able to peek into the BlackBerry Hub. This feature is one that communications junkies are going to love. Without digging too deep into the OS (there are plenty of other reviews that do this), I will just say that once you live inside BB10, its hard to go back to anything else. The gestures become second nature, and maneuvering your way through the OS is more fluid than anything else out there.

The only gripe that I have with BB10 is the glaring lack of apps. It does seem that big name apps are being released daily though, and in a months time should have the biggest part of the app gap closed. Not to mention that anything I "needed" is available, or you are able to sideload it.

For Example - Here is a short list of my must have apps:

1. Kik Messenger (Sideloaded) - Kik is a must have for me. Luckily, it works perfectly as a sideloaded app.

2. Reddit Is Fun - Excellent Reddit App. (Available thru BlackBerry World)

3.Waze - Social Turn-by-Turn Navigation (Available thru BlackBerry World)

4.Nobex - Great podcast manager (Available thru BlackBerry World)

Its worth mentioning that the browser in BB10 is one of the most powerful available today. I have found myself using it far more than I did on my iPhone, and the experience has been terrific.

With that said - I do feel starved for apps, and it's what anyone coming from iphone or Android is going to experience. The lack of good native apps definitely takes away from the experience. So, for people like myself, the Z10 is going to spend some time sitting in my desk.

Overall Rating 8/10 - Excellent Phone, Excellent OS, App Starved.