GADGET WATCH: BlackBerry Q10

BlackBerry hasn’t been having the best year. Although chief executive Thorsten Heins is trying hard to turn the company around, it can’t seem to shake the reputation of a once-triumphant business that is rapidly losing relevance.

This year’s release of the Z10 and Q10 smartphones is an attempt to turn that reputation around. But can it work? Reviewers have got their hands on the Q10 and have delivered their verdict.

Hardware and features

The Q10 comes with a QWERTY keyboard, and is powered by a dual-core 1.5Ghz Cortex-A9 processor, with 2GB of RAM.

The gadget comes with a 3.1 inch screen, with a 720×720 resolution. The device also comes with 16GB of storage, with the possibility of adding up to 64GB of storage in microSD format.

The device also comes with two cameras, including a two megapixel lens on the front-facing lens, and an eight megapixel lens on the rear. Both lenses are capable of recording HD video, although only the rear-facing camera can record at 1080p.

The Q10 also features an HDMI port, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC capability.

What’s the consensus?

Over at The Verge, the publication noted the design of the device featured a “nice chamfer and a gentle curve”, which provided a solid “soft-touch finish”.

However, although it said the gestures on the display are frustrating, including the need to swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the multitasking bar.

“It just feels weird, like BlackBerry didn’t consider the notion of a physical keyboard when it designed that gesture.”

Engadget said the most distinguishing feature of the keyboard was its layout, “which does away with the ergonomic, curved shape in favour of straight rows”.

“While this does mean you may need to move your wrists closer together to achieve proper thumb alignment with the keys, you’re not likely to notice much of a difference.”

It also noted the BlackBerry 10 software, saying its app selection is still limited when compared to the competition.

Over at CNET, the publication said the performance of the gadget was solid, and felt “lively and responsive”.

Battery life was also praised, with CNET noting the device played back a video for 14 hours.

“The device’s behavior during my test period mirrored these results, and I consistently managed to go well over a full business day without recharging it.”

Who’s it for?

While the Q10 is a competently-built device, there isn’t really a lot here for anyone other than BlackBerry fans.

If you’ve used a BlackBerry in the past and are a die-hard fan, this is a good choice. But for the rest of the market, there’s really nothing else here to convince you to switch formats.

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