Now I’m a big fan of BlackBerry’s; they’re brutally efficient and with bullet proof messaging and the best keyboard in the market, a proper serious tool for the business user without all the teeny social media shit that other companies are obsessed with. After a numerous delays and promises, the new BlackBerry Z10 handset has finally been launched. And what a total fuckin’ disappointment it’s turned out to be.
It’s difficult to know where to start. Everything is so different and obtuse that core BlackBerry users’ will be alienated whilst new users are unlikely to be attracted to the gesture heavy interface. And therein lies the heart of the problem, the new OS 10 relies on you having to learn different types of swipes and gestures to just accomplish the bare basics. Gone is the ultra efficient optical trackpad and its replacement is the new all touchscreen shit, the very thing that a BlackBerry absolutely doesn’t need. Not only are touchscreens a pain in the ass to use, they’re uncomfortable for power users simply because you can’t use them very well single handed, there are no keyboard shortcuts and by mere fact of having to swipe and touch all over the screen, finger fatigue soon sets in. Or to put it another way, touchscreens are about as ergonomic as a thumb screw.
Then there is the software and OS 10 itself. Rather than being innovative, the new BlackBerry has taken all the rubbish bits from other platforms such as deep social media integration, NFC and a cursor that hasn’t got a cats chance in hell of being positioned correctly for text editing, and then just made it even worse by removing the best bits of the old BlackBerry OS. That means no separate email inbox icons, no personalised notification sounds and no “delete from device & server” option.
The camera still can’t be silenced when taking pictures and there’s still no bloody FM radio available. As for the much vaunted peek functionality, it’s a pain in the ass to use because it relies on yet another stupid gesture (up and right). The fact is most people buy BlackBerry’s for the superior emailing capabilities and are unlikely to be doing much else with it.
Oh yes, almost forgot; there’s no mass USB storage mode (you have to install a bloody driver) and the battery is no better than your average run-of-the-mill Android handset.
You often see BlackBerry users owning two phones and the reason for that is simply because a BlackBerry cannot be beaten for messaging but it’s pretty much average for everything else. The Z10 and OS 10 provided a real window of opportunity to offer a genuinely new value proposition that does away with a business phone and a personal phone. Unfortunately, this new handset from BlackBerry does neither very well at all.