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2/8/2013
09:48 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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BlackBerry Z10: 5 Best Features

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
BlackBerry 10: Visual Tour Of Smartphones, OS
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
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.

[ BlackBerry faces a battle for third place in the U.S. smartphone market. Read Windows Phone Tops BlackBerry In U.S. ]

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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Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/11/2013 | 8:49:14 PM
re: BlackBerry Z10: 5 Best Features
The Hub feature certainly sounds interesting -- I would love for my Android to funnel all of my communications and alerts into one space, where I could also turn particular inboxes on and off at my leisure. I'm tired of having to skip around to various windows to check my text messages, emails, and social messages.
Guest
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Guest,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/9/2013 | 4:15:21 AM
re: BlackBerry Z10: 5 Best Features
I've never owned an iPhone. I've used one. I don't understand. It has icons. It opens icons. You close them with a button. It seems like 1990 haunting us in its simplicity but then Windows 3.1 saves us with multitasking. Why do Apple fans covet them so much? What do they do that I'm not seeing. Because it seems that all the cred should go to devs building iPhone apps, not Apple.

technews2103
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technews2103,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/9/2013 | 2:55:57 AM
re: BlackBerry Z10: 5 Best Features
You are referring active apps as the multitasking screen, that's not the home screen. The home screen equivalent is where you have all your icons, icons can be moved around to your liking or you could create folders similar to iOS or Android. Essentially there are 3 areas - you have your Hub(where all your message streams come in), Active Apps(the apps you leave running), Apps screen (you could call it the home screen). Yes there are no widgets like Android our the customizable tiles on WP...

But what you are asking for " I want the same X apps/services visible on my home screen at all times" is totally do able.What customization are you looking for exactly?

I still find your toe to toe comment very weak to start of your blog with the title you chose. See if your title read "Why Z10 doesn't go toe to toe with x y z" I wouldn't have bothered reading it and saved 10 mins of my time taken to leave comments

bwdolphan
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bwdolphan,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2013 | 9:48:02 PM
re: BlackBerry Z10: 5 Best Features
Suck up!
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
2/8/2013 | 9:28:38 PM
re: BlackBerry Z10: 5 Best Features
Well, I have to confess I haven't used those rival apps. I've used iMovie, but not on an iPhone. Mobile phones aren't my usual beat. Knowing your coverage, I'm sure your humble opinion is more like an authoritative, cogent analysis based on vast experience.
technews2103
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technews2103,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2013 | 8:26:35 PM
re: BlackBerry Z10: 5 Best Features
Make sense - so you are only highlighting the features of Z10 which are superior or unique as compared to the phones its can't go toe to toe with :)
Eric Z
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Eric Z,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2013 | 7:54:04 PM
re: BlackBerry Z10: 5 Best Features
Doug, IMHO, Story Maker is no different than iMovie or the Android Video Editor app. They each accomplish the same thing.

Eric.Zeman@gmail.com | +1(973) 970-5664 | @phonescooper | GTalk: eric.zeman | Google Voice: (646) 389-3626
Eric Z
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Eric Z,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2013 | 7:51:26 PM
re: BlackBerry Z10: 5 Best Features
Thanks for reading. I didn't "miss" anything. This is a list of my top 5 features. Obviously there are plenty of other features big and small for people to enjoy or dislike.

As for the toe-to-toe comment, the lack of a customizable home screen is a complete deal-breaker for me. The ever-changing active apps on the multitasking screen drive me nuts. I want the same X apps/services visible on my home screen at all times, not a random, rotating mishmash of what I've used recently. Android, iOS, and Windows Phone all offer customizable home screens to one degree or another.

I could go on...

Eric.Zeman@gmail.com | +1(973) 970-5664 | @phonescooper | GTalk: eric.zeman | Google Voice: (646) 389-3626
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
2/8/2013 | 7:34:38 PM
re: BlackBerry Z10: 5 Best Features
I've been using the Z10 for one week as well and I agree on the Hub (very nice consolidation of all communications) and the keyboard, though you undersell the latter. The feature that automatically offers tiny suggested words that you can flick into the message as you compose (see image gallery) is a huge time saver!

One feature you didn't mention was the still/video camera and "Story Maker" feature. I used these to make a little movie of my day downhill skiing with my son. I just gathered a bunch of clips, chose a stock soundtrack, typed in titles and the software automatically cut a movie based on the order of the clips. I then tweaked certain clips to be shorter or longer and presto -- the result was a really nice little high-def video with less than half an hour of work. After a day of camera work and video editing/rendering the battery crapped out, but that's understandable.

Long story short: add the nice camera and photo/video editing software to the list of attractive features.
TimBee
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TimBee,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2013 | 7:01:44 PM
re: BlackBerry Z10: 5 Best Features
So why doesn't it go toe-to-toe with the competition? Where does if fall short?
Just making that comment without elaborating on it seem like a cheap shot.
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