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BlackBerry Z10 Review

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The BlackBerry Z10‘s software, known as BlackBerry 10 , is the very best feature of this smartphone. The manufacturer bought TAT (The Astonishing Tribe), a group of User Experience (UX) artists that completely revolutionized the way BlackBerry handsets felt in terms of user interface.

Every single application, menu and option is animated or designed in an appealing manner that makes BlackBerry 10, together with Windows Phone 8, the most attractive operating systems in what concerns to eye candy. What aids in achieving this look and coupling it with multi-tasking, are the dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, 2 GB of RAM and Adreno 225 graphics chip.

BlackBerry 10 task manager

Multi-tasking view

The home-screen is composed of several menu pages, with the left-most reserved for the BlackBerry Hub, which puts together the user’s social networks and email accounts.

BlackBerry 10 menu

BlackBerry 10 menu

BlackBerry 10 Hub

BlackBerry Hub

The search function can be accessed from most menus in the operating system, and allows the user to search every component of the system, from contacts to settings, making itself incredibly useful.

BlackBerry 10 search

Search option

The usual suspects are present in BlackBerry 10, such as contact book, calendar, a WebKit-based browser with full Flash support that remembers open tabs, and a categorized music player. The contact book allows users to merge individuals from different social networks, or completely remove certain social networks from the contact list. The video player unfortunately does not support every popular codec.

BlackBerry 10 contacts

Contact book

BlackBerry 10 browser

Browser

BlackBerry 10 music app

Music player

BlackBerry 10 music player

Music player

Besides the apps listed above, BlackBerry also bundled in a Story Maker that transforms selected photos and videos into a single clip, with the desired mood, music and titles.

BlackBerry 10 video editor

Story Maker

Photos too can be edited with many options to alter their look, be it by cropping and rotating, tweaking their settings, or adding effects.

BlackBerry 10 picture editor

Picture editor

The traditional calculator received the addition (pun intended) of a bill-splitting option, for when sharing meals at restaurants with friends.

BlackBerry 10 bill split calculator

Bill splitting option in calculator

Unfortunately not every app is flawless, as the GPS navigation software does bring live traffic and voice guidance, but does not work with offline maps and lacks satellite view. However, for BlackBerry users with an always-on internet connection the former won’t be a problem.

BlackBerry 10 navigation GPS maps

GPS navigation app with live traffic

Another disadvantage that users will face on BlackBerry 10 is the lack of applications. The system already comes with many must-have apps, such as Facebook, Twitter and Dropbox, which were not described in this review, but the BlackBerry World is nowhere as big as its Android and iOS counterparts. This should change soon, as Android apps can easily be ported to BB10, and for developers starting from scratch, there are several platforms and languages to program with.

BlackBerry 10 world

BlackBerry World

The on-screen keyboard can be set to predict more than one language, and these word predictions are shown on top of letters. The keyboard also learns the most frequently-used words by the user, making it easier to type.

Aside from the lack of offline navigation and less apps in the BlackBerry World store than expected, the operating system is very responsive, is presented with one of the best user interfaces in the market, and if it weren’t for the popularity of Android and iOS, it could very well be the number one choice for customers.

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By , Editor-in-Chief, Johannesburg office

Published on Jun 6th, 2013 GMT +2

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