Recently in BlackBerry Category
BlackBerry's third handset to sit on the BlackBerry 10 operating system was announced today at BlackBerry Live in Orlando, Florida. The mid-range Q5 device sports a QWERTY keyboard and is aimed primarily at users in emerging markets, however, UK MD Rob Orr told me that its roll out in the UK and Europe will be significant for the enterprise. Orr said that the Q5, (which claims most of the features of its big brother Q10 device, but at a lower price point) will be another option for corporations wanting to roll out significant numbers of mobile devices.
The device has of course cut a few corners in order to lower its price (which has not yet been disclose, but as a mid-range device, I doubt it would come at under £150). The device has not cut corners on BlackBerry 10, all the features available on the OS will be available on the Q5.
First impressions with a Q10 in my left hand and a Q5 in my right, was that the Q5 did feel lighter and the material wasn't as high quality. However, I was expecting it to feel really cheap, and I was surprised that it didn't. I don't know if that is the familiarity of the QWERTY keyboard which automatically adds on a few BlackBerry pounds, but it certainly didn't feel as cheap as many mid-range Androids out there at the moment.
While I agree to some degree with guest blogger, David McClelland, that the Q10 is a "refined, understated and handsome handset" with an "air of familiarity", the Q10's pulling power is all under the hood. Therefore lacking the Q10's processing power would be one of the cut backs.
The device runs the update to BB10 - BB10.1 which was launched at the event today. It weighs a mere 120g (the Q10 139g), and stands at 120mm x 66mm x 10.8mm (10.5mm for non-NFC model).
I noticed a difference in the screen, the Q5 was not as sharp as the Q10, which I can only put down to the LDC display (the Q10 has a Super AMOLED), as both devices have 720 resolution at 329 PPI. The Q5 has a downgraded camera to 5MP, it also has less memory at 2 GB RAM, 8 GB Flash with a microSD slot (up to 32 GB), and the battery is not swappable like the Q10.
However, it is 4G ready and has NFC to support file exchanges and mobile payments, which suggests that this device will not be purely aimed at the emerging markets.
Available in the traditional black and white, as well as red and pink, this again suggests that BlackBerry is hedging its bets over who to aim the device at: consumers or enterprise? I think the device will slide into the place of the BlackBerry Curve which did really well across the board, I can see kids BBM-ing about the weekend's riots, oh sorry, I mean party; while enterprise users will be able to use all the exclusive functionalities of BB10 including BlackBerry Balance and BlackBerry Enterprise Services on a lower cost device.
At the end of the day, when comparing the two devices it is extremely difficult to say which is worthwhile until we have a price, which BlackBerry should be announcing in July. If the Q5 does ship at a sensible £200-£300 mark, it would be very competitive for enterprises looking at £500 for a smartphone these days (BlackBerry Q10 is shipping at a pricey £580). However, if it launches at more the £350-£400 mark I'm not sure if the Q5 specs would be worth the downgrade.
David McClelland (@DavidMcClelland, www.davidmcclelland.co.uk) spends a weekend with the BlackBerry Q10, the brand new handset pivotal to the Canadian giant's future. But will the QWERTY-packing phone be enough to complete RIM's big reboot?
BlackBerry President and CEO Thorsten Heins will be hoping that by bolstering his new handset with a physical keyboard -- eschewed by the iPhone-esque Z10 and generally something of a novelty among smartphones nowadays -- he can quell the big BlackBerry exodus and tempt back the hoards of disillusioned corporate users so pivotal to RIM's successful reinvention.
Yet, for all of the rhetoric around the future of the company, there's an inescapable irony that BlackBerry's future-facing handset looks -- from the outside at least -- rather similar to the RIM's devices of old.
Generally available from today following an exclusive deal with Selfridges over the weekend, you might easily be forgiven for not giving the Q10 a second look when you first see it nestled in a fellow-commuters' grip, such is its air of familiarity.
However, a second glance rewards you with the realisation that the BlackBerry Q10 is a refined, understated and handsome handset which discretely hides far more power and many more features than any of RIM's previous corporate workhorses.
The Q10's carbon fibre-like glass weave rear is grippy and sits securely in the hand. The back unfussily slides off to reveal an NFC sensor, a large 2100 mAh removable battery, micro SIM and easy-access microSD slots. Unlike on today's phablet devices one-handed typing and navigation so crucial for commuters is a cinch on the Q10. A stainless steel outer frame completes the casing and, reassuringly, the feel is that of a solid, workman-like handset.
Also under its hood is 16 GB of onboard storage and 2 GB of RAM to support the 1.5 GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4+ processor, along with 4G/LTE connectivity. With such brute force behind it the BB10 OS feels nippy and lag-free even when switching between apps and browsing image-rich emails and websites.
The Super AMOLED touchscreen display is bright, responsive and punchy, but there are compromises when sharing a handset's valuable real estate with a 35 button keyboard.
While its 330ppi display is technically more retina than any of Apple's and delivers screenfuls of crisp and clear text, the 3.1 inch screen may feel achingly small to anybody now more accustomed to full-sized smartphone touch screens such as the Z10. I found watching video through the Q10's YouTube or BBC iPlayer app quickly became irksome as footage failed to fill the 720x720 square screen, rendering instead in a squintsome 2.5 inch letterbox window.
On the plus side for the Q10 the keyboard which forces this screen estate compromise is nothing short of stunning. If the Q10 is to live or die by its keyboard then its designers have certainly given it a fighting chance by fitting one of the best I've used on a BlackBerry, or indeed any smartphone.
The Q10's keys are firm, rattle-free and well-spaced thanks to the four frets which provide one of the handset's defining design features. Seasoned BlackBerry users who may have strayed onto handsets sporting touchscreen keyboards may initially miss the trackball/nipple control of previous BlackBerrys but will be reassured to learn that it takes no time at all to get back into the BB speed-typing groove.
As you'd expect from its heritage, email is simple to set up and incredibly easy to use on the Q10. Also rather admirable are its organisational and productivity features and apps: the Evernote-aping Remember app looks useful for reminders and note taking; apps including LinkedIn and Dropbox come pre-installed, and the omnipresent BlackBerry Hub pulls into one place all of your email, calendar and social news feeds and is never more than a peek gesture away from whatever else you're doing on the phone.
In comparison to the daily charges demanded by my iOS and Android devices I found the BlackBerry's battery life to be impressive, with plenty of juice remaining after a day's reasonable use, although perhaps still not enough for two days on the go.
Rounding off the Q10's feature list is a capable 8MP camera on the rear and a 2MP front-facing camera both of which benefit from BlackBerry's handy Time Shift feature which lets you choose from a burst of images, promising practically perfect smiles.
The BlackBerry Z10 release in January was a showcase for the long-awaited BB10 OS, using its full-sized touchscreen to show off its brand new user interface and multimedia capabilities.
By cramming a cracking keyboard into the Q10 and harnessing BB10's Balance software, BlackBerry will hope its newest handset can combine multimedia mogul and corporate workhorse into a single slab. However, the effective screen size when viewing video is unavoidably small in comparison to other current smartphone displays which may be a turn off for some.
Nevertheless, if your morning commute is less about catching up on last night's TV and more about firing off fifty emails per minute and organising yourself to within an inch of your life then the Q10's keyboard/screen size compromise will be one well worth making.
BlackBerry Q10, £579.99 RRP, available from free on contract.
Image via CrunchBase
"We have a very exciting update to share with you today - we are announcing Yahoo! Smart Phones, Smart Fun! As of today, Yahoo is moving off of blackberries as our corporate phones and on to smartphones in 22 countries*. A few weeks ago, we said that we would look into smartphone penetration rates globally and take those rates into account when deciding on corporate phones. Ideally, we'd like our employees to have devices similar to our users, so we can think and work as the majority of our users do."
Diary of an outcast: Apple's Special iPad 2 Event
I will start with my favourite post, the infamous Apple event. I had been invited to Apple events before but somehow started getting missed off the list. I hate Apple so it was no surprise that they didn't want me there. Safe to say that after this post not only was I missed off the list but Computer Weekly never received an invite from Apple ever again.
iPhone Vs N97
This was the first big video project that me and David (video editor) put together. At the time I was so happy that I'd got the N97 I decided to make a video pitting it against the iPhone while mocking Apple's advertising campaign. Little did I know that the N97 would prove to be the worst purchase I've ever made in my life.
HTC Desire HD Review
David (who stars in this video) and I wanted to do something different and create a cool video review. This is what we came up with.
Sadly once we started recording David (and the department he worked for) were made redundant. It didn't effect the video but it wasn't a happy time for us. Having cleared out his desk he set up at home the next day to finish it. This was our last hurrah and the last video I made. Very proud of it.
What is the best mobile OS around?
At this point, no one wanted to be in any of my videos. The company was starting to cut back on them and so I tried to play four roles with four outfits and a moustache before I got told that what I was doing wasn't a productive use of my time. Honestly, how could they say that?
This video used to have a voting element that has since been removed because we couldn't afford to pay for the server the flash sat on.
The most ambitious video we ever tried.
Video: The future of business cards, I'm not taking the Poken
There was a girl I was desperate to go out with at my work. I needed to do a video to have a reason to talk to her but the only thing I'd been sent was a Poken. No phones or cool gadgets. Somehow I persuaded her to help me make this video. We're still together :)
Video review of the wiimote like Gyration Air Mouse
This video is pretty much when I realised that I can be funny. What people don't realise is that filming didn't take long but discussions between David and I on what was funny took forever.
He would stand there saying "That's not funny" every time I cracked a joke or did something stupid. Or one of my favourite lines of his was "You might think that's funny, but it isn't".
Video: Palm Pre vs the iPhone - The big debate
I had 2 weeks before Christmas to do a video armed with my wit and a white wig that was left over from a very bad 'Back to the future' spoof I'd made where I played the Doc. That video was so bad that the company we producd it for sent us a letter saying that if the video ever saw the light of day, they'd sue my a** off.
David went on holiday with a week left of editing/filming to do so I didn't have anyone to tell me that what I was saying wasn't funny and some of the editing is a bit off. It's still a good video but we felt it was rushed.
Video: I heart iPad - Dating website matches man to iPad
What do you do when you get your hands on an iPad before the UK release? Write a review. Then what? Make a video about having a special relationship with it. Yep, not sure why.
The HTC and Google story: A love affair and a tragedy
Lord knows what compelled me to write this. Had I taken more time to craft it, I think it could've been great but when I read it now I feel it's rushed. Still good, where the idea came from I'll never know.
Video: Flip Mino HD review
This video took 84 takes. For no reason at all I couldn't stop laughing during recording. We got in trouble because it was meant to take a couple of hours but took almost two weeks.
Video: Zeemote review - Is this the future of mobile gaming?
I did this video because Zeemote said that they'd give me a free phone if I reviewed it. So...
GeeklyWeekly Sexy Halloween Special
Wow, how bad is this video? It doesn't even have anything to do with gadgets!!
iPhone apps Photo credit: dougbelshaw)
Skype Technologies S.A. logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
WhatsApp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)