From the Editor's Desk

We've reached one of those crossroads in which we've got all sorts of things to talk about, but not a whole lot to show for it, and it's as frustrating for us as as writers as it is for you as readers.

We could go on all day about the HTC One. (And, no, we're not done poring over it just yet, so expect a few more features this week.) We could talk till the cows come home about the Galaxy S4. But the fact of the matter is -- at least for those of us here in the States -- you can't actually buy one yet. Europe's getting the HTC One this week. We've still got a month (more or less) before the Galaxy S4 goes on sale anywhere -- and remember that we have no hard and firm dates from any U.S. operators yet. 

Point is, this job is so much more fun (and easier, too), when we all have our hands in the honey pot, getting sticky together. (Ed. Note: Ewwwww. Gross. Ed. Note 2: You just put an editor's note in a first-person editor's column. What the hell, Phil?) Here's to hoping we all get sexy slabs of aluminum and plastic sooner rather than later.

OK, I do have one new phone on my desk this week that anyone else can have, too. I bought my first BlackBerry.

  • So, yeah. I got, the Z10 on AT&T. Never used one of the old-school Bold 5150s or whatever -- I was a Windows Phone guy -- and I do sort of feel bad about that now. I'm lacking the BBOS history that so many of you have. But I'll be playing with this new guy -- and BB10 -- on the weekends, trying to get a better feel for it.
  • I'm trying not to go to CrackBerry's Z10 page, so I can figure this thing out on my own.
  • A few quick observations: I rather like the idea of the BB10 Hub. A quick swipe over to get to all your messaging. But it's still a little janky in actual use. The home screen idea (swipe left once to get to the multitasking, and keep going to get to your apps) is weird, but you get used to it quickly enough. Fonts are decent, but scrolling is nowhere near as good as it is in Android now. (Remember when scrolling kinda sucked for us, though?) The Z10 seems to struggle processing data. It sucks it down quickly enough, but then it seems to take forever to do anything with it.
  • The Z10 industrial design in a single word: Unoffensive. One more word: Benign. Still one more word: Meh.
  • My unscientific, uneducated 24-hour take: Windows Phone is way ahead of BB10. There's no way I'd recommend the new BlackBerry to a first-time smartphone user yet. And Android (especially ICS and up) is light years ahead.
  • On the other hand, maybe I just found a phone that my kids won't try to steal from me.
  • Mentioned this on the podcast on Thursday, but I wouldn't trade in my 802.11n router for an 802.11ac router just yet. Sure, new phones like the HTC One and the Galaxy S4 can use the upcoming (and not-yet-final) standard. But I'm just not seeing enough of a speed increase to justify the $200 we just spent. (File transfer speed is another story, though.) If you're in the market for a new router anyway, though, what the hell. Give it a shot.
  • Starting to get Spring Fever a little bit. The good news is spring only lasts about a week here in Northwest Florida. It'll be 90 degrees soon enough.
  • One week till baseball starts! Haven't been to an MLB game in years, but we've got a pretty good Double A team here in Pensacola, at a ridiculously awesome stadium. Support your local sports, folks. 

Enough for this week. Let's get to work. 


Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: Whoops - I bought a BlackBerry


Nice article Phil and I'm a former BlackBerry user that switched to iPhone and Android, I've tried to switch back to the Z10 at least 5 times in the last 2 months (Rogers) and I just can't justify the return. My ecosystem with Apple is just to deep now and believe BlackBerry just took to long to come to the Ball.

Can't wait for the day when you can transfer your apps across different platforms that you paid for. People rarely switch between platforms because they are so heavily invested in purchases. If would be nice to transfer videos, music, apps, etc so you could use an ipad android phone or what ever you like w/out having to buy the same app again, like a licensing fee or code you could enter specific to yourself, since the same stuff is in every app store now from ios, amazon, google, windows, or blackberry.

Second that. I was an avid BlackBerry user as well before converting. I haven't tried the Z10 but at the same time I don't have much of a desire too. Don't get me wrong, I hope the best for RIM and the BB series simply because the Bold 9650 and most prior devices were great to me. The fact of the matter is the competition is advancing rapidly, RIM has got to make wiser moves with their hardware to survive.

Rene at iMore bought one as well it will be interesting to see what the Android and iOS guys think ok BB10 in the long run. Maybe it's time for another Smartphone Round Robin, this time including tablets.

I for one have been begging for the guys to get back to doing the round robins as well. Now that all 4 majors have some great players in the marketplace, what better time! I loved these round robins and would love to see the guys do them again!

Hmm....I believe Crackberry Kevin will be having some words with you Phil in the not-too-near-distant future. I'm the other way, used to run BBOS, switched to the Galaxy Nexus and played with my GF's Note 2 and original OG Note before that. I'm interested in BB10 and Ubuntu for Phones myself.

You may want to visit a dictionary before using the term "niches" again. Not quite what you were thinking.

I just copied and pasted the definition for niche with my Nexus 4

niche [nɪtʃ niːʃ]
1. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Architecture) a recess in a wall, esp one that contains a statue
2. (Individual Sports & Recreations / Mountaineering) any similar recess, such as one in a rock face
3. a position particularly suitable for the person occupying it he found his niche in politics
4. (Business / Commerce) (modifier) relating to or aimed at a small specialized group or market
5. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Biology) Ecology the role of a plant or animal within its community and habitat, which determines its activities, relationships with other organisms, etc.

I'd like to thank the Word Police for making it clear the word "niches" was used out of context. I'm so happy we have you guys picking the internet apart to inform its users that they have used words incorrectly. What would the world be without you guys - the true heroes of today! Kudos!

Niches basketball just used out of contents. It maid the sentence bakery absolutely no sense. If someone so terribly misuses a word elephant calling someone out, they deserve to get purple over the coals.

See how using completely random words jacks with the meaning of what i'm saying? Word Police call you out for stupid misspellings or bad punctuation. Using a word that doesn't make a bit of sense in your sentence is a totally different deal. Especially like I said, if you are doing it to call someone out.

Phil should have read this post before he wrote his thoughts on the Z10.... :p

@eric6052 Hmm.. time for another Smartphone Round you say? Maybe we can do a little better than just another Smartphone Round Robin this year... ;) 

Also glad that Phil isn't head over heels for the Z10 (at least yet)... he needs to be here conquering the world of Android.

And finally... since you're all talking BlackBerry around here... be sure to watch this video interview we did this week, with BlackBerry's CEO, Thorsten Heins:

+1 although this wasn't really a review. But again I think its kind of laughable that he thinks Windows Phone is ahead of BB. I live in Canada mind you but I have only ever met 1 person who has a Windows Phone and it is an low end WP7. BB10 isn't going to appeal to the hardcore android user base who want to be able to do tweak anything in their software and want the bleeding edge hardware and it probably never will. BB10 is about efficiency and that doesn't appeal to everyone.

To say either is fanboyish, to say the least. Both operating systems are striving to be number 3; who the hell does that?

While that's somewhat true, one has to look at facts.

Out of both operating systems, which one had a 2-3 year leading start to re-establish themselves? That would be Windows Phone. With that lead, they've also managed to secure MORE apps to support their platform.

User Interface is subjective so arguing that is a moot point. But your average customer is going to be looking for Apps to compliment their lifestyle. With Microsoft having more apps than Blackberry (at the moment) AND integrating two of the biggest social networks into the phone, they have a niche that is bigger than what Blackberry is supporting, which is this flow gesture they heavily promote. So yes, it would be fanboyish to say anything other than Windows Phone is ahead.

I agree to a point, though it's often forgotten than BlackBerry 10 isn't really 1.0 either. As much as the PlayBook was a bit of a farce in terms of a launch, it was the precursor to BlackBerry 10 and a lot of the functionality that was brought to the PlayBook over time as well as the apps are now on BlackBerry 10.

I don't mind people saying that they prefer Windows Phone, but I'd like for Phil to say *WHY* as opposed to an empty sweeping statement like "Windows Phone is far ahead".

I must add this, saying certain platform is better because it has more apps is fanboyish too. More apps does not necessarily make it better.

Funny you say Windows Phone has 2-3 year head start on BlackBerry 10, but Windows Phone 8 was releases 3 months before BlackBerry 10. I don't see how 3 months equals 2-3 years. Before you bring up windows phone 7 (and earlier) the kernel on window phone 8 was written hence why there's no forward compatibility from wp7. The windows phone 7 apps on windows phone 8 are like ported android apps on BB10 some work great others not so much.

One question if apps are such a big deal and Microsoft had more apps and a better niche than BB why couldn't become #3? For the majority of those 2-3 years they were fighting against the legacy BBOS and BB still out sold windows phone.

You say windows phone had the lead to reestablish themselves but they have know where near the 79 million BB users. So BB has to reestablish themselves now and Microsoft is ahead of them (according to you), but still trail BB in the number of users they have (in the mobile phone industry). To make statements like that is fanboyish.

Everything being said sounds respectable and logical until I see "fanboyish". I really wish we could purge ourselves of that STUPID term. It's a cheap, lazy way out when having an adult conversation about differing opinions. We all prefer something over another for our own reasons. So why toss that "accusation" around as if it's the lowest form of human existence?

I'm a 'fanboy' of Android until someone else develops something better. Then I will switch. That means I am actually a fan of innovation when it fits my needs. If BB10 or Windows 8 fit my needs better, i'd switch. Everyone has either found what works for them or they are looking. Name calling immediately raises your defenses and it kills conversation.

Here is the thing though, Android is better for tweaking, using the device as something else and so on, But its also just as "Efficient" as BB. BBs strengths where matched long ago but they did not match others strengths they just let them run off!.

Funny, I have the Z10 and the Nexus 4 and I find the Z10 faster for scrolling. Too fast actually (scrolls faster than I want it to).

Would agree on the styling being unoffensive, but 'meh' is a bit much.

Windows Phone may be a bit more polished (don't know as I haven't tried it) but MS has had, what... two years to iron out the bugs? We are what... around 2 months in with BB10? Still, agree that works needs to be done and I'm anxious to see BB 10.1 as to how much and how fast BlackBerry will be implementing improvements.

I actually got the opportunity to play with the Z10 the other day at work (training) and I came to the same conclusion and was surprised/a little upset to see that the Z10 scrolled better and ovrall was a lot more fluid than any Android phone I've ever used. It is literally much faster than my GS3 or Galaxy Nexus and let's not even talk about my Nexus 7. I can't even use the damned tablet anymore it just lags way too much.

Even thought the OS was a lot smoother (I was also shocked that Phil had the complete opposite conclusion as I had about 2 dozen people in my training and a few times I heard what I would consider average consumers make the same conclusion and even a lot shouting out or mumbling to themselves that this was faster than their Android phones), but the OS is extremely boring. I've never purchased a BB as I went directly from the iPhone 3G to 3Gs to Nexus One (then literally dozens of Android phones and tablets) then iPhone 4S then iPhone 5. I really like the build of the phone though and it is better than every Android phone on the market except maybe the One and One X (maybe One S too). Maybe I am just way too spoiled with iOS on my iPhone 5, but this phone put my GS3 to shame in overall build and fluidity, but like Phil said it is a ways behind Android (and especially iOS) when it comes to OS.

Just my two cents for what its worth.

Hey Phil, if you're looking for bizarro stuff to waste money on/review/test out, check out the Blue Vivo 4.3 and the other knockoff nonsense they make.

And for the record, I'm not a schill. Their SG2 knockoff is only $220 on Amazon and I was thinking about trying it out instead of replacing the glass/digitizer on my GNex.

Sure would be nice to have the pros take a look first :)

In fact, I'd volunteer Jerry to do it because he did a good job with Republic Wireless, another truly alternative to the mainstream.

Amazon reviews for those Blue devices aren't entirely positive. From inexperience with them, I'd assume that they'd be great for folks who want cool tech but can't afford the better stuff.

I've never had a BB either but I'd loooooooove teh Q10...I dunno why looks amazing. It'd be great to carry that with my Note 2! :D

First thing i thought of when I looked at the z10 is "Looks like a Droid X..."

It does look just like a droid x sans hardkeys.

Great Editor's Desk Phil... I always look forward to these not only for a recap of various things in Android and other tech, but also for the little personal touches like supporting local sports teams.
Good. Stuff.

I work at an AT&T store in Dallas, Tx. We sold a grand total of two Z10'son Friday(our launch day). Those were sold to a husband and wife that are former RIM(Blackberry) employees. Yesterday we sold none. Before you ask yes we were educating the customers on the Z10 and BlBlackberry 10. The overwhelming response was "I will pass until the hardware gets better." People were into the software and thought it hadppotential but were lukewarm to the Z10's design. It is very nondescript and doesn't look like a professional's phone in my opinion. I do have hope for the Q10 though. Many commented that if it had the keyboard they would give it a shot (at least for the 14 day return window). I also hope Blackberry does a better marketing job. Most didn't even know about Blackberry's new OS let alone the Z10. Hopefully things will pick up with a boost from word of mouth. I wouldn't own it myself but would personally love it if Blackberry succeeded.

Sine you work at an AT&T store, do you have the Z10 model out front, or in the back corner? Do you have any banners or media displayed about the Z10? Have you attended training on how to use the Z10?

Almost every report made has been that the AT&T stores are not displaying the Z10, or any advertising about it at all. Hard to sell a device that seems to be purposefully hidden.

With respect they did that to themselves while paying not one but two buffoons to run the company into the ground. I was one of the crackberry faithful and was begging for for some innovation. Even my company switched over from blackberry to iphone 5. Over 4000 units. I wish them the best from their self inflicted wounds.

I realize Blackberry is a source of National pride for Canada but Americans did not almost bankrupt that company...

BlackBerry was never near bankruptcy. Apple was near bankruptcy years back. learn you facts.

Companies have to pay to have that sort of advertising and placement. AT&T doesn't just do it out of the goodness of their heart. Nokia got all of this, and it was because they paid for it. Samsung gets all of this, because they pay for it. If Blackberry isn't getting any of this (and they aren't, I went and looked on launch day) it is because they weren't willing to pay for it.

Lets face it, Americans aren't interested in anything Blackberry has to offer. All have moved on to either iOS or Android and BB10 has nothing to offer for these users to make the switch to BB.

Not True. Blackberry needs to make the best vertical slider available, with a full sized screen. Do that and you will see increased interest from Americans and others.

That is the sad thing about Android. Few options for sliders and I don't know of any vertical sliders.

As long as BlackBerry hits the ground running, I don't see why they won't do well. The Aristo and future BlackBerry smartphones will have to somewhat compete on specs, though.

Started with a BlackBerry and I'll end with a BlackBerry. Joined Kevin at the event in NYC to pick mine up and minus the "dumb" at&t rep that was helping the Bestbuy employees with correct info, this experience has been all I thought it would be and more.

The hardware is good and IMO, the only devices that have insane specs, are Android devices. Windows Phone, iPhone and now BlackBerry work find w/o needing 64 core processors. I get all the Sprint Android devices and the statement:

"There's no way I'd recommend the new BlackBerry to a first-time smartphone user yet."

This is how I feel about Android. I sell an iPhone at my store and the only questions customers come back for the majority of the time is... "where to pay my bill". I sell an android, and my whole afternoon goes out the window showing them basic features. Another if email is important to them (aside from Gmail), I'd choose BlackBerry over any device, any day.

So you're the definition of a blind fanboy. I'm somewhat glad to see BB still has some in their pocket, as I value competition, but after owning a BB Storm I will never joyfully purchase a BB again. BB still isn't doing anything to even tempt me. Doesn't seem to be impressing corporations either which is their bread and butter.

Doesn't seem like its impressing corporations? That's why companies that were dropping BB for apple or android were testing and now deploying BB10.

64 core processors?

I rather enjoy the occassional sarcasm but if it's as bad as you say, you'd have more legit and accurate complaints. People don't know how to use Android, because there's a lot to it. iOS is easy because it's an app drawer. How hard could that possibly be? Of course people will have questions when there's actual choices available. I will take options over a basic and boring app tray any day. The learning curve is completely worth the great experience as you figure out new, cool things.

I have the z10 and absolutely love it. My previous phone was the S3, and the BlackBerry Torch before that. For me, it's the new flow, peek, and hub that have me hooked. The gestures are now second nature and I can't imagine navigating around a phone without them now.


I'm going to assume your not a big fan of how the new HTC one looks either since it looks like they copied the Z10.

The gestures really do become second nature. I cant stand jumping onto my iphone 5 after it. My thumb just wants to do so much more. Even while bored sitting in a car or something I find myself flipping through things just for fun.

Interesting enough, the white Z10 looks almost identical to the HTC One. Same styling, corners, glass ratio. I'm guessing you don't like the look of the HTC One either?

I use the Z10, a Nexus 7, and a Note 2. I do have to agree that Android has come a long way. I also think the Z10 takes a lot more getting used to how to do things on it. Once I spent a few days with the Z10, I found myself trying to close apps on my Note 2 by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. :)

I have the Note 2 as well and preordered and got the Z10 on Friday night. You know I have read this many times but I will tell you that when I got the Z10 I kept looking for the back key so I guess it's all what you've had in your hands lately.

I have committed myself to the Z10 as my primary phone for 2 weeks owing to Chris U's article on CrackBerry before I make comments about the phone, but like most there are things I like about the Z and some I do not. Coming from the Note and Note 2 everything looks small to me - have to get over that part first ;). Being 54 and having had Lasik eye surgery I can say I am having trouble with the keyboard even at larger font sizes the suggestions are hard to see, guess it's time for readers ;). That is not a complaint about the phone it's a complaint about getting older.

The Z10 only looks the same from the front facing view. Turn it 1 degree any direction and they look alot different.

Same thing with me and My Transformer Prime. I have a BlackBerry Playbook which i tend to use more frequently because of it better portability, and now i always fins myself accidentally opening Google Now because i keep swiping up from the bottom, essentially swiping the home button.


I am a BlackBerry User.
I am just interested to tell me why "Android is lightyears ahead" - that would mean Android is in every part 10x times better - i can not believe this fact, in fact there are more than 2 areas where BlackBerry even with OS 7 owns a Android Smartphone.
Is it just the "feeling" or the fact, that you dont know all hidden features? (like BBM Screen Sharing stops while you're typing a password)

Okay Apps are less avaibable. But 90% of the major Apps are confirmed. Time will tell this.

Would Android be "lightyears ahead" if all Apps for Android would be avalaible for BlackBerry 10?

Also the scrolling is interesting? Video possible? Never seen a problem before.

thanks :)

for me: getting used to how BlackBerry 10 works and its hard to go back. But thats just my opinion. But you have to get used to it. Therefore you have to invest some time, because its not like Android.

Really? Don't come here trying to start a flame war. If you want to debate the merits of BB10,then go to Crackberry. No offense, but I don't understand why you CB guys have to troll every Mobile Nations site. Yes, many of us want BlackBerry to succeed, but we don't all prefer BB10.

The average use should not have to invest time and get used to it. Nor can any OS be considered worthwhile if features are "hidden". Android IS lightyears ahead in spite of having a pretty crap app shop for the first couple of years.

Enjoy your BB, but I doubt they'll still be in business 5 years from now.

I'm a BlackBery guy, so do't shoot me yet, but just so all the cards are on the table.

The first sentence of your comment needs to be addressed, as its stated way too often with out actually putting it in your hand and giving it a go. I only say that because to me, clicking, double clicking, clicking and holding or click-hold-press click-long pressing a home buton seems unintuitive.

My wife is the most technologically illiterate human I have ever met, seriously she is, it pains me. But she had NO problem what so ever "learning" the "complicated" gestures and finding where everything is etc. I was actually surprised when I offered her advice and she said, "yeah, I've already figured that out"(No lie)

And as far as the "hidden" thing the previous poster mentioned, I think he meant in relation to the password on BBM screen share, was that you don't really need to think about a lot, as a lot of things such as freezing the screen while entering a password during BBM chat are baked in, it involves no thinking or toggling on the users part.

But again, we all use our respective devices for what they do for us, not because of what they do or don't do for others.

Your last statement add no value to any discussion. But I'm sure I speak for the previous poster when i say, We will and do enjoy our devices.

Funny...You could take everything in your statement about BlackBerry and replace it with Palm two years ago. Advanced OS with cool features that is only handicapped by blah hardware and lack of apps. Don't even say BalckBerry is too big a name to have it go under because that is exactly what everyone thought when HP bought Palm. BalckBerry needs to look at recent history, build some sexy phones, and push developers though incentive, bribe, or threat (ala Microsoft). I don't want to see them fail, but I don't want them to rest on their rep like Palm tried to do.

Funny, you could take everything in your anology about Palm and replace it with Apple, but that anology only works Palm to BlackBerry right?

The rest of what you said is very true and I agree wit it. The funny part is everything what you stated is exactly what BlackBerry is in the process of doing, minus the litigation. Maybe offer advice of what BlackBerry is not currently in the process of doing, it gives discussions greater merit and value.

Anyway, 2 comments from the BlackBerry guy, I'm really not trying to troll, just addressing missinformation or trying to get some clarity from your statements

I had no idea Edmontonians could get angry :) Glad you are hear sticking up for your plaform of choice. I really am a fan of an artist formerly known as RIM. I want variety in the mobile tech world. It forces inovation. I want the platform I own because I like it, not because someone else tells me I should like it (like Apple). It is why I started off with Palm. I did it because I loved WebOS. I didn't care what Apple, RIM, and Android people said. I liked it. Same now for me with Android on HTC. I got the Evo LTE even when the Sprint Rep told me I was crazy not to get the S3. I just like HTC. I don't need fan boy friends or comericals to tell me what I should like. Anyway, appreciate you coming on here and stating your case. Cheers.

Haven't gotten a Z10 as yet, though I've been following developments. Played with one yesterday at the AT&T store. I love the way it looks, perhaps the power and volume/pause buttons could have been black as well. Love the feel and superficial build quality, I say superficial because 5 minutes, and not taking it apart don't give me perspective beyond superficial.

Played with the hub and home screen a bit, not enough to understand paradigm, but I've seen a tonne of videos, so think I know what to expect.

I'd rather have a nexus 4 at present. Cheaper and should remain current for a while, not hardware, that's an impossible race, but software. I can't do the carrier delayed updates for android. I already have an android device that can't be upgraded after buying it at the beginning of last year. A cheaper all touch BB10 device would serve my purposes.

Glad for the variety, BBRY has been good to me in the past. Perhaps they will be good for me in the future.

Phew. Glad I said "My unscientific, uneducated 24-hour take." Otherwise, someone might have not taken what I wrote in context and ...

Oh. Right.

I can understand Phil "accidentally" buying a Z10 because he thought it was a HTC One, given that HTC's taking it's design playbook from Samsung and just copying competitors.

To that end, I'm expecting AC to say that the HTC One's design is just "meh". If you look at the side by side photos, you can't honestly say the HTC One looks substantially different than a Z10.

You really think that HTC copied a phone that's been out about 3 months in pictures? How about the folks who have constantly stated the phone looks like an older Android device? Or the just about every written review that says the phone looks like an iPhone?

The HTC One might superficially look similar to the Z10 on the front owing to the fact they are large slabs of glass with small rounded bezels top and bottom. Turn them over and tell me where the similarities are

Photos of the Z10 have circulated the web since 2012, so yes. I look at the iPhone 5 and don't see as much of a similarity to the Z10. Look at the comments here and I think there's a large consensus that the HTC One could easily be mistaken for a Z10. So if the Z10 is just "meh", I'm not expecting gushing complements from AC about how innovative and fresh the design of the HTC One is (this isn't BGR).

And I make my comments as an owner and user of iOS, Android and Blackberry.

"My unscientific, uneducated 24-hour take:" I'm glad you mentioned that. Lets remember that this is a brand new OS and works quite differently, it would take well over 24 hours to first understand the OS let alone appreciate it. The only thing I personally found factual about your review is the ecosystem, that can and will change. The Z10 is fantastic, in fact I'm trading in my S3 which is my secondary phone for a Z10 this week!:D

I also jump between platforms. I just prefer something new each time I upgrade...though I wouldn't go for the Z10 as I wouldnt be prepared to pay such a high price for what I get, don't get me wrong...I have nothing against bb but its just way over my budget especially considering that I could get an S4, HTC one or iphone 5 for the same price in South Africa.

You BlackBerry guys cry allot........ Just because BlackBerry missed it's opportunity and now is too far behind. And I even used to like BlackBerry okay but now it's a lost cause!

Kinda like Windows phone. They had the market with blackberry then blew it. MS got caught with their hands down their pants and had to play catch-up. But MS's new Winmo phones haven't been all that successful. Sure they sold millions, but compared to Android and Apple, their numbers are squat.

The only reason windows phone is still around is that they have hope. Well I digress...they have the resources and capital to keep it alive but by all rights, winmo should be dead. But people buy it...not many...but they do and it will be the same for BB. I just wonder how long BB lasts given its late re-entry into the smartphone world.

It is interesting to look back and see phone companies, OSes, etc., that have risen to the top and fallen over the years. I personally don't see the BB recovering, but as a former BB user, I do have a soft spot for them and hope they succeed.

I kind of felt that the z10 is pretty cool for using a different method for navigating around the UI, and yeah the hub is somewhat cool. I say somewhat because I have yet to see a single native email client that worked as flawlessly with Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo etc as the actual official apps from those providers for syncing. So the hub could also become a tad annoying. The design is nice enough and doesn't require a case.
However I stayed with Android and bought a Nexus 4 yesterday. For all of the above, there is still a fairly pervasive feeling of "still has a way to go" on the z10. There's still just way too many things I can do on my phone that I can't do on any others, so I have to agree with Nick about his "light years ahead" assessment of Android.

I spent about 15 minutes with a Z10 Friday and the only "glitch" I saw was when I tried watching an embedded YouTube video in one of my websites articles from within the browser.

What it did was leave the "Share this article" icons on top of the video. Works fine in the Chrome browser on my Nexus 4 and the Safari browser on iPhone so I have to say it is a Blackberry 10 browser issue.

You can see what I am talking about in the video here:

Otherwise, I really liked the build and UI of the Z10 and am looking forward to getting my review unit next month so I can spend some dedicated time with it.

Good for you Phil! Let us know your thoughts! I think it is a start for Blackberry but it will be difficult to pull android users with the Z10. I for one do not like all my emails in one place. I have that on my ipad and don't like it. I prefer to go to my three different accounts and texts and see what I have in each not mixing them. Maybe that is just me.

It's not just you. For some they may like that, and if that's their cup of tea, more power to them. I like the option of not having to.

And you can do this in BB10 too. You can set it to view the Hub (all accounts, notifications, etc), or pick a single account. And you can switch between the individual accounts easily too.

I will pass on the Blackberry, the SGS 4, the HTC One and keep my Galaxy Nexus...but I'm thinking someday I will get a Note 2! Google, please collaborate and come out with a Nexus in the size of a Galaxy Note 2!!!

i'm sure you'll love your leap over to the Note 2. i was once in a dilemma of getting a z-10 or the Note 2. i'm a huge BlackBerry fan, but when it comes to the screen size & the things that I was looking for - especially the S-note & the S-pen, Note 2 really fits the bill. one you go to the 5.5 screen size, you probably might not want to go back to a 4-incher, but that's just my 2 cents...

p/s: however, there will be a time i'll jump back to BB when BB have B-note and the B-pen :D...

I am long time BB phone user, tried an Iphone 4 for a bit but went back to my Torch til the Z10 arrived. BUT I also love my Android tablets, Nexus 7 and Acer Iconia A500. Also love my Ipads, 1-3 and a Mini so I like to think I keep an open mind.

I wasn't really sure about my Z10 when I first got it. Had to adjust to a touch keyboard first as I always loved the real one on my Torch. Took some getting used to the predictive flicking of words but I gotta say, once I got into that, it's incredible. Now that's learned how I write, I've composed whole sentences with only entering the first letters of each word and flicking the result. It gets super fast over time..and accurate. If you use SwiftKey, you'll feel more comfortable right away, but it's more accurate than SK on my Nexus probably cause it's baked right in. It's similar though cause it's built around the same api.

I found this phone to be almost addictive. First, I was a bit iffy but I kept picking it up and playing around with it, discovering more things. After a couple of weeks, I gotta say, everything else felt "behind". I'm not sating it's the be all and end all but it's definitely an innovation and it's actually hard to compare it to other OS's because it is so different.

I'm not sure why you had problems with lagging as I've never noticed that all. Everything seems so smooth to me. When I started reading how QNX operates, it became apparent how running tasks remain separate and you don't get that accumulative bogging down with several processes going.

Anyway, I didn't come here to say BB is better than everything else, I just wanted to say that if you get a chance to play with one, keep an open mind and give it a fair chance. It really is different and interesting.

That's my dose of BB for the day, now I got some Tasker stuff (very cool app btw..still learning it) I wanna play with on my Nexus 7.

Take care.

BB is facing many of the same issues that Palm did when moving from PalmOS to WebOS. WebOS introduced some new concepts that were really superior to what was available at the time. In some cases (the card metaphor, in particular) superior to what anyone else offers today. But facing entrenched competitors (Apple, Blackberry, and to some extent Android) they were forced to rush an incomplete product to market. The OS was pretty buggy, lacked a lot of capabilities that were taken for granted in other systems, and didn't offer existing Palm users any advantage in term of compatibility with existing apps. Since PalmOS users were being forced to start from scratch whether they stuck with Palm or jumped ship, choosing a more complete, fully featured and less buggy OS, with far better app support, was pretty much a no-brainer.

BB is in the same boat. Even if the Z10 does introduce a few features that are "better" than Android or iOS, existing BB users who switch to the new platform are starting from scratch. The OS is brand new, and is likely to be have bugs and lack features Android and iOS users take for granted. In spite of BB's best efforts, it won't have the app support its competitors do. If I'm "rocking" a BB Bold, and upgrading to the Z10 means I need to learn a brand new OS, and buy all new apps, what's my incentive to stay with what is probably the #4 platform out there? And if I'm already using Android or iOS, I'd need to see some pretty compelling improvements to throw away my investment in software and knowledge.

Wow look at all those cool phones on the table. Phil if you get fed up with any phone from those in th picture and decide to toss it away, send em to me :) can't do much on my HTC Radar

Man, that Crackberry site is some sad stuff. It's all people consoling each other and desperately reaffirming each other in their choice of mobile OS. It's more a support group than a forum.

Sad, but true. Then, they troll each Mobile Nations site trying to shove their opinions on everybody that doesn't prefer their OS of choice.

Phil, it's good to see you expanding your horizons a bit and trying new phones. Crackberry Kevin did that in the weeks leading up to the new BBs. I hope that you can find things that make the BB a good phone and maybe share them and see if they can be incorporated into the Android if they aren't already. Competition can be healthy, understanding the competition can help make for a better phone, and only good can come from it.

As for the MLB comment, I know you have some distance away from a team, but there are plenty of seats available in the Trop if you ever head down this way to Tampa Bay. I am actually a Tribe fan, but I do like to go to Rays games when I can. (Hopefully the whole stadium issue can be resolved, but that's a whole 'nother topic in itself.)

Braves are closer to me, actually, but I hear the Trop is a great place for a game.

Our waterfront stadium here is pretty sweet, too. :)

Looking forward to getting my Z10 next week.
My first new device of 2013...
Though it'll likely quickly be replaced by the others I get this year about every 2mos:
iPhone 5S
Nexus 5
And I'll likely through in a Lumia too.

I remember you saying (correct me if I'm wrong) that you purchase new phones for your job. What exactly do you do, if you don't mind me asking?

The sign on his door says "Vice President of Buying New Phones and Selling Them After Two Months and Generally Costing the Company a Lot of Money Through Equipment Depreciation"


Let us know how it compares to your Nexus 4. Come back to the Nexus 4 board and update us please!

Flame wars about specs, performance and marketshare aside. The question that is never talked about is if companies are going to continue to pay BB the fees in order to use their email servers? Especially in this economic atmosphere.

I work for a mid size company (about 3,000 people) and we got an email last Fall from our IT department saying that as of August of 2013 they will not continue to supprt BB devices, mostly because of the fees involved to use those servers.

Blackberry has tradionally been associated with the corporate envirnment. With the trend shifting from companies issuing phones to their Sales or Field forces (tradionally BB devices) to the "bring your own" model now (mostly Android, IOS and some WM devices).

I wonder how BB is going to make up that money if a lot of companies decide not to support BB devices any longer. I'm sure a lot of companies and governments will continue to pay those fees out of necessity for the time being. But it's something BB should be concerned with besides overall sales and marketshare.

Your comment is probably the first one I've read on either Android Central or Crackberry to even bring this issue to light. I imagine that those fees would have to be adjusted, sometime in the future, to remain competitive in that regard.

I have to agree. While BB10 sure does look interesting, it doesn't really offer much that Android, hell even Windows Phone can't already do. Plus, the Z10 look just like any other slab smartphones out there, and I don't find any use for even using a Q10. Don't even get me started with the mediocre app selection or even the camera's performance in low light situations....

"The Z10 industrial design in a single word: Unoffensive. One more word: Benign. Still one more word: Meh."

Really? Come on!!!! You say this even though you gush over the design of the HTC One.... while it is quite obvious that HTC lifted the One's design directly from Blackberry. If the Blackberry had speaker holes above and below the screen and was aluminum and neither had company branding, NO one would know the Blackberry from the HTC.....

Turn the HTC 1 degree in any direction and you see there very different. And word on the street is the feel of HTC one is better.

Right on Phil, if I had a job and a decent opportunity of getting any recent phone I would try the same :) I am still Android fan because of a hacking factor that other mobile OSes are lacking too much for my personal tastes, BB would be my choice to try. Seems to try to be focused and still offer advanced features, but I had only a few minutes on display phone to make any bold statements. Keep on :) and Ed. note'ing youreslf is just fine, I do it very often :)

I had a BB and loved the instant messages and the keyboard. I moved on to Android and although I don't miss the instant messages (almost every smartphone does this now), I do miss the BB keyboard. I would love to see BB come up with another keyboard phone where the screen is bigger and wider. If Galaxy Note has shown us anything, it's that bigger screen and easier-on-the-eye and easier-to-navigate-on-screen-phone sells. Unless BB comes up with something that will wow me, I will stick with my Android.

How's the weather up in Pensacola, Phil? Down here in Orlando it's pretty shitastic. I don't know about up there but I'm getting pretty sick of 55 degrees one week, then 80 the next. Oh well. Like you said, 95 degrees with 8000% humidity is just around the corner.

Great article, by the way. Hope to see an official S4 review soon enough.

1. BB10 is a mess. confusing, clunky, buggy, laggy, unintuitive, inconsistent UI and gestures. the "hub" is a messy junk drawer filled with shit you can't find. if you can't pick up a device for the first time and intuitively learn to navigate it in a couple minutes you failed.
2. last year's "me too" mediocre ho hum clunky hardware.
3. shitty ecosystem.

Funny to see the words "meh" in describing the new Blackberry especially when the Samsung Galaxy S4 looks just like the S3, but people are practically fawning all over it, spittle coming out of the edges of their mouths.

Thank you for your service, Sir.

I don't see too many people fawning over the Galaxy S4,though: the reaction seems to be sorta mixed, from critics on both sides of the spectrum.

A former BB user the Torch was my last BB. Bought teh year old new Atrix-2 to hold me off until the new BB came out. BUT...since then I discovered four great apps for calculating Mil Dot bullet drop for my hobby and of course BB has zilch and want $3 for a few lame apps....Soooooo enter the Sammy-4 yeah baby keep my apps and the health monitor system means I can ditch my Pedometer app for a more thorough system......Sorry BB suck to be you......American Thinker has a great article about Apple and its arrogance and how the New J.C. Penny CEO from Apply screwed the pooch for Penny due to ......bah0dah...boom.....yep arrogance...... Yeah BB has it's own fan boys and all and that's cool glad you are testing it and enjoyed reading a well written article that was not like the one's I've read form others where the opinion was already formed and then tried to justify those opinions...nice job.....

Keep up the good won over a new reader...!

I don't really get under the hood of any tech device anymore past building my own towers so I just like using them while they meet my personal needs......the Sammy won me over as other phones win their own customers....enjoy the Z10 it was about the right size for me until I saw the Sammy

I have a Note 2 and absolutely love it, coming from Note 1 ... moto atrix and other android devices.

I had one of the cheaper blackberries at my last job and it was great for "work"

Currently my work phone is a Lumia 920 and its just.... wp.. i mean, it works! but its boring as hell.

I would still rather have an older blackberry as my work phone.

I am interested in this phone as my boss said i can get a new phone for work and we are on ATT

I feel like the z10 might be perfect in combination with my Note 2.

I will post a youtube review if i end up getting it.

If your coming from a previous BB handset the Z10 is great, but if your coming from one of the current top devices the Z10 is not that impressive.

Crapberry? Really? Have you ever used a BlackBerry before? My first two smartphones were Blackberrys; anything but crap, to say the least.

Got the Z10 for my work phone (Nexus 4 and Galaxy S3 for my personal phones, soon to be HTC One) , and I have to say I'm really liking it so far. It could be due to the fact that Android has gotton a bit stale for me lately just based of the fact that visually not much has changed since ICS.

Haven't noticed any lagging issues though. With the scrolling or otherwise. Had a few random reboots, but nothing major to report from it. I will say battery life has been pretty stellar so far. I'm making it through a full day and them some before I have to plug it up. As for the design, it's not a looker like the One, but it has a nice solid feeling to it, without feeling like a brick.

We sold out of our initial allotment of two boxes of the Z10 pretty quickly, with a few more people ordering it to be shipped to them, So it seems to be moving pretty well in our area. If the app selection ever picks up some steam, I can see it snatching third place. We sell a Lumia 920 or an HTC 8X and a few days later it usually comes back to be switched for an iPhone or Galaxy (usually due to it not having Instagram or them having to use Zune or something). Not to mention I've had a few Lumia 900 and 920's (Customer's and my own personal one) just die of battery and never wake up again. It's even weirder that most tech blogs I frequent seem to love Windows Phone, when on the ground in the stores it's not doing well at all. But hey...Maybe I'm missing something?

The z10 does look like a nice phone. But I think like someone said in a previous comment, bb took too long to improve or move into the modern age. But maybe if they get enough big contracts it will hold them off so they can refine it and make it better and maybe just maybe they will have a chance.


I like watching you in the podcasts with the rest of the AC crew, but I think you must be on crack with your Z10 comments.

1: You talk about it's being slow. I see all Android devices are slow, unless you have the O/S with Project Butter and it still does not help. The O/S is just a slug, insecure and very prone to malware and viruses.

Any O/S that needs a task manager well can't be that good.

BTW: I have Z10 and a Samsung Note (i717). Want to talk slug take the Samsung Note. The only way you can get speed from Android is to increase # of cores.

2: Regarding the gestures, my 5 yr old was able to figure it out in 5 minutes, so if you can't, well (I know you can figure out what I was about to say )

3: WP8 is better.. Wow based on what?

Flames start now...


"Any O/S that needs a task manager well can't be that good."

You mean like Windows and OSX?

"my 5 yr old was able to figure it out in 5 minutes"

Nice to know you think so much of your Z10, that you're willing to place it in the hands of a toddler.

>>Nice to know you think so much of your Z10, that you're willing to place it in the hands of a toddler.

Wow.. great come back.

My first smartphone was a blackberry Pearl, then the 9700. Tried IOS then to the Nexus One and haven't looked back. I think Android beats all other OS by leaps and bounds.
It was just the other day a close friend of mine came by and was sporting the new Blackberry, I loved it. I thought the look and design was right on, the feel and materials were very comfortable in the hand. The soft back of the phone made it very easy to hold onto. I liked the hub where all messages are kept, great idea and easy to get at. Overall I really liked the entire package. I think it will take a little time but if the customer just went out and picked one up and tried it I think it would change many people's mind. The problem is most people are just writing it off before even picking one up. I think BB has done a great job pulling themselves out of the basement to where they are now. I want to see BB succeed, the smartphone world needs Blackberry. Finally Mr Thornsten has done a great job, no one could have done it better. Good Luck Blackberry.

After reading this article, I am a little confused. Firstly, I felt that Phil should just simply return the BB since really this website is about android. I personally liked all platforms. Right now I am using a galaxy nexus and Nexus 7. I was impressed with them from the beginning, but not anymore. They are getting slower everyday and begins to freeze. They remind me of perfectly then begins to slow down and blue screen will appear as we used them (MAC is much better). Before my galaxy line, I used BB9900. Silly to say I really missed my BB. It is just a good phone with great keyboard and superb for texting and emailing. I switched to Android because of apps. But really, how many apps do we all use a day? How many new apps do we download a day? I personally think we just need qualify apps. When my contract is up, I will definitely say bye bye to Android and switch to BB or iOS. I think they will be more refreshing since I never used iOS and BB10 is completely new. Oh forgot to mentioned I use Window 7.8 phone as a secondary phone. They are awesome too. But I will definitely not pick them as my next phone since the interface (tiles) can get bored easily and there arent much personalization you can do.

Hmm, very weird article. Have just few questions:
- "...but scrolling is nowhere near as good as it is in Android now." - what type of scrolling are you talking about?
- "The Z10 industrial design in a single word: Unoffensive. One more word: Benign. Still one more word: Meh." - wow, so following your rating system Galaxy S4 industrial design in single word: Unoffensive. One more word - Meh. Still one more word - dog poop?
- "Windows Phone is way ahead of BB10" - Ow, that's a huge news for me, current WP user. Could you, please, elaborate on this one, as this may stop my movements towards BB10 platform
- "And Android (especially ICS and up) is light years ahead" - another wow for the ex-Android user :D

To be honest, i'm completely surprised that you found the Z10 to be lackluster in comparison to Android. I've been looking forward to actually trying one out cause I really liked the interface, features, and openness that they showed off at the announcement. I'm getting quite tired of Android ever since ICS since i've had nothing but problems on my phone and tablet. Signal and battery life right in the toilet. JB made it even worse and the whole move away from external storage doesnt help either.

Android was supposed to be everything that iOS/iPhone wasnt or do it better and now they're trying to adopt a similar, streamlined path. The HTC One is the perfect example of this as it even looks like a giant iPhone 5. I'm really hoping that Blackberry 10 can bring fresh competition.

I felt Like i was reading a BGR article the way Phil discusses the BB. The comments seem to confirm it. why all the hate on BB?

As an iPhone user commenting on an Android site's article about the new Blackberry (whoa, Inception?), I'd like to commend Blackberry (RIM) for realizing they were behind in the game and attempting an overhaul. I don't see it succeeding in any way other than with an ad blitz. They may win a few users, but Windows Phone has 3rd place locked up for now while Android and iOS continue to duke it out for 1st.

Speaking of 1st place, GO BAYBEARS!

Been with BB for years and I love it. Every once in a while I'll bust some android (love my hacked cm tab) but I keep going back. It's nice to get stuff done without all the excess. Plus I don't miss the lag very much. Nice to see you guys testing out some different hardware. Can't wait to play around with the GS4 :)

I know several people who transitioned from feature phones to smart phones (they do exist) and they went with the Blackberry Z10 and they absolutely loved the device.

I really like BB10, but due to it being a closed environment, I'm sticking to Android.

I guess to each their own.