Blackberry 10 vs Windows Phone 8: A long time WP user's view on both OSs

Recently, I attend an event held by Blackberry Taiwan, in Taiwan of course. As a fan of Windows Phone I would like to share some opinion of mine on hardware interaction & UI design. As for the notorious word for Microsoft Tribe, "Ecosystem," I will not dicuss it here since these are two fairly new operating system and you will be damned to buy into these expecting to have a vast ammount of third party developer support.

People who use Lumias or other WP devices are consider "open" or "enthusiastic" for technology. So I figure that the new BB10 would also catch some of their attention. I hope this post would help those decide between these fair new OSes.

1. Hardware

I am not talking the actual phone hardware here. I am actually commenting on how the OS(Blackberry, hereinafter BB10 & Windows phone 8, hereinafter WP8)are interacting with the various hardwares they would support. In this aspect, I will give a win to BB10. Here are the reasons.

Windows Phone:

As we all know, Microsoft requires all the OEM to have the same set of buttuns. Some are customizable regarding their postions, such as volume rockers unlock/power butten and camera buttons. Some are strictly designed by Microsoft, which are "back," "home," and the notorious "bing search" button. The OEMs are left with the choices between physic or capacitive ones. As for peripheral connection ports, there are always a 3.5mm jack and a mini USB port. Some devices will have the honor to have a micro SD slot.

As for QWERTY WP8 device, there none. The OEM that will most likely make one officially say they don't see much opportunity out off these devices.

Blackberry

We all know Z10 ad Q10 are on their way to the mass market. And from the event I attended to and various pictures online, I think BB10 definitely wins here. For one, BB10 support QWERTY keyboard. Most of the participants of the event that afternoon missed the QWERTY keyboard whether they own an iPhone, S3 or Lumia 920. There is certainly a market for QWERTYs. I can feel it even though I live in Taiwan where most people hate QWERTYs since most of us use an input method that requires more that 26 alphbets to type Traditional Chinese. I am looking forward to Q10 and wish Nokia will produce a QWERTY windows phone very very soon.

Another reason for BB10 to win this competition is that it has a mini hdmi port. I know, I know. Who gives a F$%K for HDMI ports on a phone. I have no idea. However, I think businessmen will love to have the possibility to connect their phone to a projector and show their PowerPoint to their clients.

2. UI design. This is the part where I will comment on how we do certain things on both devices(ease of use) and the look and feel of both.

Windows Phone

Clearly wins on Look and Feel department but lose a little on ease of use. The live tile design and metro design language are the most futuristic design of any smartphone, period.(The most elegant design will go to N9's dead OS though) It just never gets old. The vibrant color theme of windows phone makes using phone a fun experience. And the smoothness of the transferring animation is the remedy for any hardware limitations.

However, it cannot be said the same for the "ease of use" department. WP8's notorious lack of notification center and quick settings are choking its market share and let's just hope when WP9 comes out, Microsoft have time for it this time.

Blackberry

Though not so elegant as Nokia N9, BB10 kept the essence of Nokia N9 and add some of its own flavor. It may not look as good as N9 or touches the artistry of WP8 but it certainly functions well. It has the design of three panels activated by swipe, Blackberry hub, true multitasking panel and grids of apps. The ergonomic of these gesture cannot be touch by iOS, android and WP8. However,

Button line, if I want something beautiful and fun, I will chose WP8. If I want efficiency and multitask like I earn or lose millions of money every 30 seconds, I will chose. Guess that's why I am so broke now. But hey! At least I have some fun, right?