So the much awaited BB10 is here finally!
Thank you BB for sending us the devices to test and review. From the first looks what I could say is: Not bad! Not bad at all…!
From past several days, I just felt that BB guys will push up the same OS as the PlayBook but they have done a great job in modifying many parts of the OS to make it more native “Phone’s OS” rather than a tablet OS.( In the starting days, BB has just ported their PlayBook OS on BB10 devices, they had many references of the Playbook everywhere in the ported OS). Currently, they have not only revamped the entire look and feel, but also have added many more usability features which would make user feel good.
Things I like:
The device doesn’t have any physical Home button, but rather a swipe from bottom to the screen would act as one. This is good, saves a lot of time. This feature was there in Playbook as well and I liked it then as well.
The back buttons for all the native settings apps and many more are below near the thumb, which is again a good advantage.
The BlackBerry Hub: Most interesting part is that they have created an app (I’d rather call it as a separate desktop) which contains “All in one place” conversation app called “The BlackBerry Hub” which is really fascinating. The app cannot be killed or started, its always ON! Really really convenient for much of the conversations.
BBM: The BBM is completely revamped and has a lot of exciting look and features.
Side slide menus: The menus slide in from both sides giving out extra options, which is very convenient as well.
Browser: The browser is again a great one which I feel is more optimized version of the Playbook browser. I would call it the most advanced browser throughout all browsers. It passes every standard test with flying colors. Not only that, in my personal experience, I have been surfing on this browser in and out and have compared it with iPhone/iPad and Android browsers, but the rendering speed and look and feel is totally awesome! Specially the old websites with malformed HTML is also taken care of. Highly commendable job!
AppWorld: BlackBerry guys have been very active in getting their apps ported and has been involving the developers very much. They have even sent developers cash + devices to get their apps tested proper and encouragement to launch more apps. I’m sure there are plenty of apps for the new device. Not to forget, BB has a very straight procedure of running Android apps on BB10 platform which will encourage many more developers to port their apps. Previously, BB10 Development was a big pain and developers like us wanted to move away, but this BB10 will give us enough flexibility to develop more and more apps and games!
This is our app on BB10!
Global search is another great feature, helps you search just anything on your phone.
Background apps is also great feature – but the apps do not run on background, they just go to the background (pause) mode.
Camera tools are great, they provide facility to modify the image. Lets say you shoot a picture and your eyes are closed at the very moment, you can go back 1-2 seconds and edit that portion of the eye. Good tool..!
Big Keyboard: Really comfortable in typing. There is a ring which allows pointers to be placed properly at the exact place you’d like to .(This is more comfortable than in iPhone / Android ). The special feature is auto complete are at dynamically placed on the keys itself , rather than moving your finger to another place to auto complete, you can just swipe above the key and let it complete it for you. You’ll have to use this feature to see how it feels!
This is our Flash site looks on BB10!
Screenshot of Calendar
Things I do not like:
There is no great support for customize your phone. Its more like a professional phone and lacks a lot of fun side to it. I’m sure this is not a hardware constraint but the new updates to the OS would take care of it.
The starting of apps (initialization) is a bit laggy and makes the user wait for at-least 1second. I do not quite like this specially with my personal device where I’m most impatient to do several things at a time.
Multi-tasking is just as bad as the iPhone. I thought it would be like Android and specially they could have innovated multi-window like what the Samsung guys did with their Note II.
Conclusion: I like the device and it will definitely solve the business purpose. Much better than 9800 (except the qwerty keyboard!). The only question is how well the users accept it in the already neck-to-neck smart-phone market – Only time will tell!