Thursday, January 31, 2013

BlackBerry 10 OS and the Z10 Arrive

RIM, now officially renamed BlackBerry has launched its BlackBerry 10 operating system. It also announced two new phones that run it, the Z10 and the Q10. It seems BlackBerry has got a lot of things right with its new operating system. The user interface is gesture driven. No physical buttons. BlackBerry 10 has full multitasking capabilities. The Z10 comes with a software keyboard that learns your vocabulary, similar to SwiftKeys award winning Android keyboard. Email, SMS, BBM and messages from Social Networking sites and other noticications are all displayed in one integrated hub. Integration with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Foursquare is backed into the operating system. Also integrated into the operating system is an Remember, similar to Evernote. More importantly Remember syncs to Evernote. BBM has been expanded to include VOIP video calls and a nifty feature call Screen Share, which allows you to show another BlackBerry 10 user what is displayed on your home screen. At launch, BlackBerry 10 will have 70,000 apps. Thats a lot for a new operating system. 

All in all, BlackBerry 10 should give iOS and Android plenty of reason to feel uncomfortable. It looks like cloud service will have to come from a third party and there was no mention reference to chatty virtual assistants. Still, BBM is still the killer app for a BlackBerry user. 

The first phone to launch will be the Z10, and well that right now in the UK, and February 5 in Canada. Now that is the way to launch a phone. 

Hardware wise, the first available phone, the BlackBerry Z10 has a 4.2-inch HD display (768 x 1280).  Inside is a dual core Qualcomm Krait  processor, 2 GB of RAM. The phone has two cameras. An 8 MP shooter in the back and a 2 MP upfront. The phone has 16 GB of internal storage and a MicroSd card slot. Bucking current trends, the phone has a user replaceable battery.

The Z10's first job will be to keep users of the higher end BlackBerry phones within the BlackBerry fold. It will be a fairly expensive device, so it will be a comfortable move, price wise, for users of the Torch and the Bold. The next job of the Z10 would be to woo back users from iOS, and get some users of high end Android handsets to switch.

In this regard, it looks like the new Z10 is well equipped to try to convince iPhone buyers to make the switch. For Apple buyers, the Z10 actually has a larger and sharper display. It allows them to expand storage and replace the battery. It comes with features not found on the iPhone, like wireless charging. As compared to Android phones, the Z10 is a high end handset which has the specifications of a what is now a mid-level device.

Is this all enough for BlackBerry? I would not want to venture a guess. I can only speak for myself. I am due for an upgrade in 5 months, so I will certainly give the Z10 a look. This is something I would not have bothered to do in the past two years. In that sense, BlackBerry 10 is a success. It looks like a viable option. In the end, a BlackBerry devices success is tied to carriers pricing and packages. If BlackBerry plans are priced low enough to give them an edge over regular data and LTE plans, I think BlackBerry has a fair shot at a comeback.

I have no word on when we will see the Z10 in the Philippines.

1 comment:

  1. I hope BlackBerry succeeds, if only to give Android, Windows8, and iPhones more competition. Competition always benefits the consumer with better specs and pricing.


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