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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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technews2103
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technews2103,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2013 | 5:30:51 PM
re: BlackBerry Z10: 5 Best Features
What do you mean " It doesn't quite go toe-to-toe with some of today's best devices, but it is a worthy competitor."

If you wanted to drop a conclusion like that at the start of your blog you should at least have done a competitive feature comparison.

You missed peek and flow, the time shift camera, picture and video editing, work/personal balance feature. The contacts and calendar social integration is amazing, everything just works so well together - I only have it for 3 days now and loving it

Unless you are writing this blog from the future - I don't know what other today's best devices you are talking about that Z10 doesn't go toe to toe. Z10 is easily beats your best phones in most areas...except its growing App store
sthompsever
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sthompsever,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2013 | 6:29:28 PM
re: BlackBerry Z10: 5 Best Features
Did you use the device in that week? Because you missed many other features including the HTML5 ultra-fast browser. Also, " 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 is available next month in the US. Get your facts right!
unatommer
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unatommer,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2013 | 6:57:24 PM
re: BlackBerry Z10: 5 Best Features
wow, I see we have a couple of potential RIM (excuse me, Blackberry) employees commenting. I'll be interested to check the new devices out once they are in stores. However I fear it's too late for most organizations since many have moved to other platforms. It's only saving grace in my environment will be it's ability to connect to activesync.
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.
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.
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
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
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 :)
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.
bwdolphan
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bwdolphan,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2013 | 9:48:02 PM
re: BlackBerry Z10: 5 Best Features
Suck up!
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