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BlackBerry Z10 smartphone: Bloggers, tech sites praise hardware, mixed on software

John Cox | Feb. 4, 2013
Early testers don't see Android, iPhone users making leap to BlackBerry 10 in big numbers.

In a separate review of the BlackBerry 10 operating system, Dolcourt writes that it "looks terrific, and comes with many of the world-class features you'd demand from a modern OS" and "adds a few of its own signature tools for security and business users." But it is "riddled with perplexing omissions and behavioral inefficiencies that wear on you over time."

"There's no single, overarching failure I can point to, but rather, a growing list of missing features and aggravating issues that take their toll in the aggregate; not a single fatal blow, but a thousand paper cuts," she writes. "These represent the little details that can make or break an experience, and they're the kinds of things that RIM should have ironed out in all these years of development."

One example she cites as evidence: "any time you tap to open an app, the operating system first scoots you to the Active Frames window before launching. [Active Frames is RIM's term for active apps reduced to a large thumbnail, four to a page, eight in total.] This extraneous step complicates what should be a smooth, logical action -- seriously, what could be easier than opening an app? I don't really care what happens on the back end, but seeing every app open from the multitasking window is just jerky and unnecessary."

She also says that "heavy browser use is where the inconsistencies bubble up, many of them having to do with rendering issues. Some mobile Web pages didn't render correctly, and it routinely took a very long time for Wikipedia pictures and Google Maps images to load in search results" though "I suspect that I have an issue with my particular testing phone ..."

Like many other reviewers, she faulted the limited Maps app for not having "3D view, satellite view, and walking or transit directions" or a compass.

TechCrunch's Darrell Etherington was impressed by the new phone. "With the Z10, BlackBerry has created a smartphone that's worthy of being mentioned in the same conversation as the latest Android devices and the iPhone," he writes. "That alone is an accomplishment for a company that has seemed on the verge of extinction for quite a while now.

"But a lot of what they've provided with this flagship device is [about] narrowing, or at best, eliminating the feature and hardware gap between it and the two mobile platforms that have legions of users already, including a number who have already migrated away from BlackBerry devices," he writes. He doesn't expect legions of iOS and Android users to convert to BB10.

The "hardware feels fresh, and also manages to come across as noticeably distinct from Android OEM devices or the iPhone," he writes. "As for the actual look and feel, the Z10 definitely impresses overall."


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