Thursday, January 31, 2013

Blackberry 10 - The Dummies Guide

Yesterday night (11pm - Malaysia time) was the worldwide launch of Blackberry 10. The new Blackberry platform.

And there is SO much that's new about it. First of all - introducing two members of the Blackberry 10 family. The Z10 and the Q10.

Now here's what you need to know.

1. First of all. Research In Motion is now officially known as just - Blackberry. There is no more RIM. The tagline for the company is now 'One Brand, One Promise' to refocus its strategies.

2. The Blackberry 10 is a complete overhaul of the Blackberry operating system. Meaning, it won't function as what you know of the normal Blackberry that you may already own. It will be familiar - but a big change from what you had. So until you get to test drive a Blackberry 10 - don't compare it with what you know based on past Blackberry experiences.

3. The Blackberry Hub is now a key feature. Bringing together your email, text messages, BBMs, and various other notifications from social networking sites and the calendar - integrating it all with the execution of the newly introduced Blackberry Flow that means you will never really leave the screen.

4. There is no home button! It's all swipe motion. This brings on Blackberry Peek. Think of your Blackberry now as a book, you can flip to any page - without having to close the other. Hard to imagine? Watch a demo video online or try it out. It makes things so much easier.

5. Blackberry Time Shift. This has been one of the outstanding new features I've been waiting for. You take a photo, and someone blinks or smirks or whatever. You just click on their face - and go BACK or FORTH in time before you took the photo to choose the right 'face' that you want. On the spot editing, no need to take like five different pictures to get the perfect picture.

6. Blackberry Story Maker is amazingly a surprise. Didn't hear about it until the launch event last night. Basically, your Blackberry is built in with a movie maker! You can edit you photos, images, music together to make an instant movie.

7. Predictive text has always existed. BUT you NEED to see how it works on the Blackberry 10. Crazy! No phone does this.

8. There are variations in the two models of the Blackberry 10 family so far. 

First, the Blackberry Z10. It comes in two colours, both black - and white. I usually hate touchscreen devices because it can be so bloody hard to type. But the new Blackberry Flow, Peek coupled with the new capabilities of the predictive text function allow everything to be done - with just one thumb. Seriously. This is... yummy. The back is no longer cheap plastic. It is a durable rubberised soft grip feature that is really luxurious and gorgeous!

The Q10 offers a familiar look like the Blackberry 9900 but with a larger screen allowing the capabilities of Blackberry Flow and Blackberry Peek to make it more amazing.

9. BBM offers new features. Voice Call via BBM was introduced, and now - you have Video Calling available on your BBM service as well. Awesome demo was done at the launch, and it is definitely a bonus.

10. Screen Share is another feature that is pretty awesome. Imagine you want to show someone who's not by your side what's on your phone. Now that's possible via screen share, where the other user can be invited to take a peek at your phone to share pictures or more.

11. Blackberry Share allows you to partition your Z10 for both work and personal use making it physically impossible for the two sides to share data (such as photos). This will apply more for enterprise users.

12. How does the Blackberry 10 family stack up against competition?

BlackBerry Z10 vs. Samsung Galaxy S III vs. iPhone 5 vs. Nokia Lumia 920

BlackBerry Z10

Samsung Galaxy S III
iPhone 5

Lumia 920
Screen Size
4.2 inches
4.8 inches
4 inches
4.5 inches
1,280 x 768
1,280 x 720
1,136 x 640
1,280 x 768
4.78 oz
4.7 oz
3.9 oz
6.5 oz
Dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4
Dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 (in the U.S.)
Dual-core Apple A6
Dual-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4
16 GB + microSD slot
16GB, 32GB or 64GB +microSD slot
16GB, 32GB or 64GB, no card slot
32GB, no card slot
microUSB, micro HDMI
microUSB, HDMI adapter not included
Apple Lightning, HDMI adapter not included
microUSB, HDMI adapter not included
Operating System
BlackBerry 10
Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
iOS 6
Windows Phone 8
305 hours standby, 10 hours talk time (3G)
790 hours standby, 11:40 hours talk time (3G)
225 hours standby, 8 hours talk time (3G)
300 hours standby, 10 hours talk time (3G)
8MP, LED flash, autofocus
8MP, 3,264x2,448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
8MP, 3,264x2,448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
8MP, 3,264x2,448 pixels, optical image stabilization, autofocus, dual-LED flash
Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot
Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, 4G LTE
Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, 4G LTE
Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, 4G LTE
$199 (estimated)
$199.99 + $35 carrier fee
$199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, $399 for 64GB

As you can see, battery life which everyone bitches about has been greatly increased. The Blackberry is one of the major challengers when it comes to that now. As is pretty much the whole hardware.

In fact, if we were to go by hardware alone - the Blackberry 10 is neck and neck with the Apple and Samsung challengers. Windows phones are pretty much paperweights right now.

And that's not taking into account the software. Blackberry 10's QNX technology is amazing, but again, with all the new functions and user interface, it has to be experienced to get an idea of what it's all about. I have had the chance to try to both the Alpha Developers A and B - the test units of the Blackberry 10 and I can see how amazing it is. Note, despite being a fan of Blackberry - I have tested the iPhone, HTC, Samsung and Nokia. So when I say amazing, I am saying it by comparison - NOT by just preference alone.


The magic question. The Blackberry 10 that everyone's talking about - which has seen the likes of Alicia Keys, Neil Gaiman and Robert Rodriguez join the Blackberry family to promote it.

14. When will the Blackberry 10 family come to Malaysia and how much will it cost?

Officially - Blackberry Malaysia have announced the grand launch of Blackberry 10 on 20 February. 

No price has officially been announced, or the actual date the phone will hit the shelves, but I believe it will be immediate after the Malaysian launch. 

The UK gets theirs today, some territories get it by 15 February while the US will get it by March. Why 'so long'? Easy. Telco and provider issues I guess.

At any rate. I'm getting mine. Expect to see my personal review of it in three weeks. My only dilemma now is - do I get it in black, or white.

PS - There are other functions like Remember. But honestly, it's just loaded with new stuff.

PPS - More than 70,000 to begin with but more apps are coming. Meanwhile Blackberry World has much more.