After spending more than a week with the BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry 10 OS, I have some opinions on what BlackBerry got right.
BlackBerry 10: Visual Tour Of Smartphones, OS
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After spending more than a week using the new BlackBerry Z10, I've come to like certain features. This smartphone, which isn't yet available for sale in the U.S. but will be later this year, brings a lot to the table. It doesn't quite go toe-to-toe with some of today's best devices, but it is a worthy competitor.
The core hardware features of the Z10 include a 4.2-inch display, dual-core 1.5-GHz processor, 8-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, microSD card support, and a removable battery. Here are five of what I think are the Z10's best features.
1. BlackBerry Hub. BlackBerry Hub is the new messaging center on the Z10 and within the BB10 operating system. Calling it a "hub" was a good choice of words, as the BlackBerry Hub is the core of the Z10's communications powers. Every type of message is funneled into the Hub, which includes email, text messages, instant messaging, social networking and so on. Giving users one place to see absolutely all their messages makes it a powerful and convenient tool. The Hub is also infinitely customizable, and it lets users turn on/off mailboxes at will, as well as separate them for easier viewing.
2. Software keyboard. BlackBerry spent a lot of time rethinking the software keyboard for the Z10, and it shows. This keyboard is much better than the ones BlackBerry offered on devices such as the Storm or Torch. I found the keyboard to be accurate and quick, and it didn't make me perform too many edits. Though it takes a little getting used to, features such as the word prediction are really helpful.
3. Browser. There's no doubt that the BB10 browser is a major improvement over older BlackBerry browsers. In the time I've spent with the Z10, I've found it to be quick and efficient at rendering both mobile-optimized and full-HTML web sites. It also supports some of my favorite features, such as multiple tabs and private browsing.
4. Hardware. It is not the best-looking or the highest-quality smartphone ever made, but BlackBerry got the basics of the Z10 just right. It has a good size and weight to it, the screen offers enough real estate for whatever you need to do, and features such as a removable battery and memory card stand in stark contrast to the many devices that don't offer such flexibility.
5. Screen sharing. The Z10 is able to share its screen with other BB10 devices via BlackBerry Messenger. This is an extremely useful feature that BlackBerry was smart to include. Think of the trouble tickets that can be solved if IT can see exactly what's going on with your device. Beyond that, the ability to show others things on your device that might not otherwise be possible to see can be beneficial.
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