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BlackBerry Q10 review: Multimedia, Apps, Battery Life, Connectivity and Verdict

Luke Johnson

By Luke Johnson

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

User Score:

BlackBerry Q10 Multimedia and Apps

The BlackBerry Q10 is not the most multimedia friendly handset, but it’s competent enough. It can’t handle very intensive 3D games, but then the small, square screen makes such games pointless anyway. Casual games, Stick Tennis for instance, run just fine.

The Q10’s inbuilt speaker is better than expected, and its positioning on the base avoids accidental muffling for the most part. It’s not the most bass rich or detailed, but it serves its purpose. Calls on speakerphone sound clean and undistorted while music sounds good enough.

Where the Q10 falls down is the app selection. BlackBerry World claims to contain over 120,000 apps, but still lacks a number of the big players and, in truth, many of the 120,000 apps are little more than web redirects or questionable ports.

The BBC iPlayer app is a case in point. It hints at a native app, but it’s little more than a bookmark pushing you to the iPlayer website.

The Q10’s 16GB of internal storage will be acceptable for many but undersized for some. Fortunately, unlike the Google Nexus 4, microSD card expansion is available, with the Q10 taking storage boosters up to 64GB.

BlackBerry Q10 Battery Life

The BlackBerry Q10 battery life is strong. But getting the maximum from the Q10 takes some tweaking of settings.

Off the bat the Q10 will easily survive the dreaded one-day hump. This is thanks to the handset’s 2100mAh Lithium-Ion battery. Careful management of push notifications and turning off NFC when not in use sees the Q10 battery provide the better part of two day’s without need for a recharge.

Keeping the essential mail clients active, stopping social media accounts from automatically pulling in updates has a positive effect on the Q10’s battery, too.

What’s more, the BlackBerry Q10 battery can be removed, unlike some of its high-end compatriots such as the iPhone 5, meaning those with higher usage demands always have the option to carry an additional power provider.

BlackBerry Q10 Connectivity

On a connectivity front, the BlackBerry Q10 has everything you need now and in the near future. 4G and NFC join the standard 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and Wi-Fi connectivity. There's GPS, too, of course.

While the former pair haven’t hit the mainstream within the UK, they’re welcome additions that will help future proof the Q10 against lengthy 24-month contracts. NFC capabilities worked well in practice, including the option to bump devices to share BBM details. We couldn’t test the 4G performance in time for this review, but we’ll update this review shortly once we can.

An integrated Micro HDMI connection means content is not limited to the BlackBerry Q10’s screen. You could conceivably use it to show a presentation in an emergency, even if it’s not the most practical solution.

Should I buy the BlackBerry Q10?

If you desperately crave a physical QWERTY phone then look no further. There's nothing better with a QWERTY keyboard. However, at £600 Q10 expensive for what it is. iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 owners will look down on the Q10 as a superphone wannabe, and understandably so. It lacks the apps and depth of features to compete with them, while its compromised screen makes it a so-so web browsing and multimedia phone.

Neither is it quite a no-brainer for those determined to buy a BlackBerry phone. The physical keyboard is great, but the BlackBerry Z10's innovative touchscreen keyboard is worth trying if you've tried other smartphones and left disappointed. There's also the upcoming BlackBerry Q5 to consider, which might present better value if you care about the keyboard and nothing else.

Verdict

The BlackBerry Q10 will not challenge the Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One, but this is not really what it has been designed to do. For business users, the Q10 will be a welcome and giant step up from an aging BlackBerry Bold 9900. It is unlikely to turn around BlackBerry’s fortunes just yet, though.

Overall Score

7

Scores In Detail

  • Camera 8
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 8
  • Screen Quality 7
  • Usability 9
  • Value 6
Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

Jaime Membreno

May 30, 2013, 6:47 pm

After being die hard BB users my wife and I finally dame the change to Iphone and Galaxy and we are so happy we made that change. Sorry BB but you arrived too late. I am not saying that BB is not good but at this time of the game they really need to come up with something that nobody else has.

lovetobbq

May 30, 2013, 9:51 pm

They did...a kick-ass querty key pad.

kupfernigk

May 31, 2013, 1:17 pm

First, it isn't £600; it's £528 from Handtec, £440 to businesses.
Technically it's an iPhone 5 with a smaller screen, a keyboard, larger and removable battery and NFC. It's at least as well made as an iPhone 5, so it is not at all obvious why it should be cheaper. If you don't spend your time watching videos on a phone (use a tablet for that) the screen size rapidly becomes immaterial because when you are typing, the remaining screen is the same size as the space above the keyboard on a slab phone. For reading and writing, the screen is big enough.
Even the comment about iPlayer is a bit pointless. BB 10 is designed to work well with HTML5; wherever possible things should run in the browser. Too many apps on iOS and Android are basically wrappers around a mobile site that doesn't run too well in the browser.
It isn't competing with the "superphones" because they are in a different market.I know someone who uses a Galaxy Note 2 because he thinks while doodling, and he can doodle on the GN2. Me, I just don't get on with glass keyboards. It doesn't matter how good the screen is, I find the iPhone unusable. I may be part of a niche, but the industry is so big nowadays that it can support many niches.

Tin City

July 17, 2013, 5:20 pm

The most honest reviews regarding this phone can be found on Amazon, here are 25 honest reviews from actual buyers - This is how I made my choice.

jyb

July 20, 2013, 9:50 am

Correct. And precisely why you have the Q10!

neverrealisedihadbecomeafan

October 22, 2013, 8:34 pm

I need to send a lot of emails while out and about for work, I also need an interface that allows me to access and search what I need quickly with no fuss or bother. I HAD been using a Bold for a couple of years but it was showing it's age so my boss bought me a new Samsung Galaxy S4. 5-days later I am sending it back, sadly it's all gimicks and toys and looks like it would be broken within a month. I'm expecting delivery now of a new Q10. Out of interest and as an experiment I tried to type "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. (With punctuation) on my aging touch screen Motorola and then on the Bold. I tried a minimum of 5 attempts each with a stopwatch. The touch screen Motorola took me generally around 42 seconds ( I managed 1 attempt at 24 seconds (but missed that I had failed to correct Fox from "Fly" ). Most of my BB attempts were around 18 seconds ..but with 1 at 14.6 !! Therefore for me, taking into account the usual corrections and errors, one simple sentence takes me usually half the time to complete with a keyboard as opposed to a touch screen. I don't dispute that the Galaxy is probably great for messing around with apps and games and I am sure that there are indeed better touchscreens than my Motorola, but people need to remember that there are a good many of us who simply need to get the job done. (Oh, and yes..I do think the Q10 is a beauty )

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