A Week With: BlackBerry Z10

The new BlackBerry phone launches with a totally new look and feel, but is it worth the wait?

Price: £410

Resolution: 1280 x 768, 365 ppi

Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB of storage

Processor: 1.5-GHz

Operating system: BlackBerry 10

BlackBerry Z10
Like excited children, thousands of people finally unbox their new BlackBerry Z10s this week. It’s been a long wait. The new BlackBerry 10 operating system was initially unveiled towards the end of 2011, but the BlackBerry Z10 phone, which was only released in the UK on January 31st, is the first handset capable of running it. In the intervening year, BlackBerry has fallen behind smartphone competitors like iPhone and Android phones, as they released smarter operating systems, while BlackBerry was stuck with its outdated BB OS7 platform. But the company is now hoping the Z10 will put BlackBerry back on the map.

What is it?
The new phone from BlackBerry and the first to run its new operating system, BlackBerry 10.

Does it work?
Initially, no, it didn’t. I had problems connecting with the WiFi network at work, then when I did connect the screen announcing I had succesfully connected wouldn’t go away and covered up everything else, including the very essential guide to “Essential gestures”, which shows you how to swipe the screen to make everything work. It’s easy when you know how, but unfortunately I didn’t, and it took me a lot of mad swatting at the screen to figure it out. There are no buttons on the front at all and there’s no back button on screen, which is initially disorientating. You need to swipe from the bottom of the screen upwards to unlock the phone and access the home screen and swipe from the top down to access menus in applications. If this is similar to the experience people have testing it out in the shop, it might put new consumers off the product. After a few days, it gets easier to use and gliding between different screens and applications becomes smoother - BlackBerry have dubbed this gliding form of navigation “Flow”. On the up side, Flow made sharing very intuitive and quick; I could take a photo, attach it to an email and send it in just three clicks. Fans of the BlackBerry physical keyboard will be disappointed with this model’s on-screen keyboard, but the BlackBerry Q10, due out in April 2013 will have the traditional Qwerty keypad.

Other features:
-The speaker option: Unlike other phones where you have to hold the phone close to your face in speaker mode, with the Z10, you can be really far away from the microphone and still be clearly heard on calls
-The BlackBerry Hub: All texts, BBMs, emails and call history are all visible in the same place
-"Peek": This feature splits the screen so you can peek at your latest notifications without leaving the app you’re in
- Clever predictive text: The phone quickly learns the words you frequently use and adapts its suggestions accordingly

Who's it for?
Although BlackBerrys have traditionally been for business-users, this new model acknowledges BlackBerry’s growing teenage fan-base, offering security features for business people and a host of apps and entertainment for everyone else.

Is it worth the money?
£410 for the handset is pretty steep, but on contract it’s around the same price as an iPhone. Vodafone is currently offering unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB internet data at £37 per month on a 24 month contract and T-Mobile is offering 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited internet data for £31 per month for 24 months.

You can get The Independent app for BlackBerry free here.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    IT Project Manager (technical, applications, infrastructure)

    £55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: IT Proj...

    SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's Stortford / Stansted

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's ...

    IT Portfolio Analyst - Prince2

    £45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client, a glob...

    Project Co-ordinator - Birmingham - Permanant

    £20000 - £25000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week