x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Upgrade for BlackBerry's qwerty fans

The Life: Unless you simply must have a phone with a traditional qwerty keypad, then BlackBerry's new Q10 is just another BlackBerry phone, reliable but with little else to offer.

The new BlackBerry Q10 has the traditional full qwerty keypad. David Paul Morris / Bloomberg News
The new BlackBerry Q10 has the traditional full qwerty keypad. David Paul Morris / Bloomberg News

BlackBerry made its comeback earlier this year with the Z10, an all touchscreen device running its latest operating system, the BB10.

The greatest thing about the phone was its keyboard which provided a new way to type, simply flicking predicted words on to the screen.

The technology was innovative, worked well and was perhaps one of the main reasons to purchase one.

BlackBerry's newer Q10 runs the same operating system, but has the traditional full qwerty keypad that BlackBerry is known for.

This also works, but the absence of the menu, home and back buttons makes the Q10 less intuitive and surprisingly frustrating to use.

Going back and forth from hard keys to touchscreen for simple commands such as choosing an application feels like going back in time one second and returning to the present in another.

It doesn't quite make sense.

Saying that, those with fat fingers and clumsy thumbs will appreciate the feel of the traditional keypad.

Whether it is worth upgrading to Q10 is another matter. BB10 is still not quite ready.

The interface is not attractive, the colour scheme is garish and the apps are almost nonexistent.

Yes, WhatsApp is finally on there, but Skype, Viber and Instagram still do not exist.

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), one of the only other reasons why anyone would purchase a BlackBerry, will be available on Apple's iOS and Google's Android by this summer.

The BB10 version of BBM features secure voice and video calling, but this is still not available in the UAE - yet another reason to hold back on an upgrade.

BB10 is an improvement on previous BB operating systems.

It is faster, more reliable, more efficient and excels at multitasking, but the BB10 really works better with all touchscreen devices, such as the Z10.

Unless you simply must have a phone with a traditional qwerty keypad, then the Q10 is just another BlackBerry phone, reliable and secure but with little else to offer.

 

thamid@thenational.ae