BlackBerry Q10 review

The QWERTY keyboard is back in black with a 3.1in Super AMOLED display for company.

Price
£33
  • Excellent keyboard; Sharp screen; BB10 OS great for message aggregation; Smooth performance
  • Missing core apps; Screen not suited to multimedia playback

After waiting three months, BlackBerry fans can get their hands on the Q10, which packs the traditional physical keyboard. Released in the UK on April 26th, the handset is now available from all major networks and it supports the UK's burgeoning 4G networks.

Running BlackBerry 10.1 OS, the Q10 combines a touchscreen with the QWERTY keyboard. Although many in the BlackBerry community have been awaiting the handset, the firm claims that just 20 per cent of mobile users want a physical keyboard. The majority prefer touch-only smartphone devices, like the iPhone, HTC One, and Galaxy S, according toBlackBerry, which is why it launched the Z10 first.

With Apple and Samsung now making serious inroads into enterprise sector, is the Q10 too late to kickstart a rival for the Canadian firm? Or is the QWERTY handset worth the wait?

Let's get physical

The Q10's keyboard is its USP. The keys are slightly raised, sloping up from left to right, and possess a satisfying amount of travel, which accompany the click when depressed.

Typing out long emails and memos on the Q10 is easy. If you're coming from a touch-only device and haven't used a keyboard on a mobile device for years, things have improved significantly. The speed and precision of typing you get with this premium keyboard is unmatched.

BB10's spell checker and text prediction engine are unrecognisable, with upgrades increasing the usefulness tenfold. The inclusion of features like Smart Actions ensure the QWERTY keyboard remains at the heart of the device's interface.

Smart Actions tap into BB10's universal search and can be used to search for applications, games, folders, and emails. It also plugs into third party applications like Twitter and Email, and can be used to send quick updates and messages without ever having to locate and open the app itself.

Type tweet this is a tweet from a Q10' from anywhere in the handset and the Q10 will tweet "this is a tweet from a Q10" to Twitter. Another example: type email [insert name]' and the email app will open up so you can begin typing. It also works with BBM, and BlackBerry has opened up the functionality to third party developers, so expect to see lots more Smart Actions added very soon.

BlackBerry also include all of the old berry shortcuts inside the Q10's new keyboard, so you can tap b for bottom, t for top. This combined with better spelling and word prediction and things like Smart Actions combine to create the best keyboard BlackBerry has ever produced.

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