New BlackBerry Z10 competes but lacks pizzazz
BlackBerry's new Z10 is the company's closest thing to an answer to Apple's iPhone and smartphones running Google's Android, but the long-awaited phone offers little to lure users of those devices.
The Z10 takes its design and interface cues from other contemporary smartphones. Like many of its rivals, it's a thin, black slab built around a large touch screen. It's got a new operating system designed for touch-screen devices, and its key features resemble those of the latest iPhone and Android devices. It's got a built-in application store, front and rear cameras, a high-resolution display, the ability to switch quickly between multiple apps, and an LTE radio to connect to wireless carriers' new, high-speed networks.
BlackBerry has made much of the Z10's new and different interface. But it feels like it's been cobbled together. It has an app grid that looks and acts like the ones you'll find in Apple's iOS or Android. It has a screen of running applications that's very similar to the one shown on Windows Phone devices. And a feature called BlackBerry Hub, which is essentially both a universal inbox and notification center, isn't all that different from the notifications areas on Apple and Android phones.
One thing that is different on the Z10 is that it has neither a physical nor virtual home button. To get back to the home screens you have to swipe up from the bottom of the display.
You can check for new messages without leaving your current application by doing a partial swipe.
But these features aren't much different from pulling down the notification shade on an iPhone or Android device. And on those devices, you can go directly from an app to a particular message or alert — something you can't do on the Z10.
The Z10's keyboard offers word suggestions, positioning those choices above various letters on the keyboard. You simply swipe up from the letter below it.
But as much as the Z10 has tried to copy and improve upon the success of the iPhone and Android devices, there are ways it just doesn't measure up.
But the bigger problem with the Z10 is the paucity of applications available for it.
Troy Wolverton is a technology columnist for the San Jose Mercury News; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Highmark seeks double-digit increase for more benefits, heavy use
- World’s 1st carbon capture power plant switches on in Canada
- Open enrollment puts varied impact of health care law back in focus
- EQT Corp. boosts profits despite lower gas prices
- FedEx investing another $1.2B in growth projects at FedEx Ground in Moon
- Amid struggles, top fiscal executive to leave EDMC
- SEC approves looser mortgage lending guidelines
- Air-bag deaths draw scrutiny of Congress as recalls widen
- EDMC loses $664M; executives receive six-figure bonuses
- Large-scale batteries are integral in shift to renewable energy
- Consumer, core prices inch up