What can you do with the Blackberry Q10?
The BlackBerry Q10 feels just like a BlackBerry Bold. That is a good thing. Hold it right next to a Bold and you see that it’s a little taller and wider, with a much bigger 3.1-inch, 720-by-720 screen. RIM gets to play with the fact that this isn’t entirely a one-handed device – you’re going to type with two hands, so you probably won’t have to reach all the way across the keyboard with one.
The Q10 runs BlackBerry 10, of course. Its square, 768-by-768 screen looks and works like the Blackberry Z10’s 1280-by-768 screen had its bottom cropped off. You still see four Active Frames, but they’re smaller; squares now, not rectangles. On the application panes, you get three rows of apps instead of four. You can see fewer emails in the Hub, too. This all evens out in situations where you’re typing, of course, because there, the soft keyboard takes up much of the Z10’s 4.2-inch screen. All the BlackBerry 10 gestures and features seemed intact on the Q10.
The phone’s back is soft-touch rather than shiny, made of a durable “woven glass” material. The 8-megapixel main camera, 1.5-GHz dual-core processor, 2-megapixel front camera, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage all parallel the Z10, as well. So the Q10 should work just as smoothly as the Z10, just with a keyboard.
The most important thing about the Q10, of course, is the keyboard. Yes, the keyboard is Bold-quality. I checked it out right next to some existing keyboarded BlackBerrys, in fact. The keys are 30 percent bigger than the Bold’s on the edges of the panel, with larger frets between the rows to prevent mis-typing. When I typed an email to myself, keypresses were a bit mushy, but this was a pre-production unit, so I’m willing to give them some tuning.
The Q10 will have many, if not all of the familiar BlackBerry keyboard shortcuts; I watched a demo guy type “bb” and have it expand to “BlackBerry.” If you start typing from any screen, it’ll start a universal search; if your typing becomes the name of a contact or an email address, it’ll start an email. Yes, this is even more direct and effective than the Z10’s interface. It’s even quicker to get things done.