Before most of the readers who are Blackberry supporters scream abuses at me and call me names, we would like to make it clear that we love Blackberry as a brand and still regard it as one of the major players in the mobile market. We still own a Blackberry Curve device and use it once in a while. And like most of the Blackberry users, we were no different and extremely excited about the launch of the Blackberry Z10 late January. However, when all the dust had settled down, we found us convincing ourselves and others that this probably was not the best time to go ahead and pick a Blackberry Z10. Our reasons? Here they are:
1) Price Value: In an Indian market, if any smart phone is going to be priced at about Rs. 30,000 roughly more than $600, then the device is expected to be absolutely premium. In the past, smart phones such as HTC One X/X+, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Note II have justified this price. Of late even with the Lumia 920 you could understand the price, but the Z10 is priced closer to the highest quality devices such as HTC J Butterfly or the iPhone 5 at Rs. 43,000 or $ 750 approx. There is little to no justification for that. The device does not have smart enough specs, big enough an eco system or even a true 1080 P HD screen to demand that sort of price. To put things into perspective, you could probably buy a couple of Canvas HD devices from Micromax and still go out on an expensive dinner date and go home with a few bucks in your pocket than pick a Blackberry Z10.
2) It is still the first BB 10 device: When you pick a smart phone, it is there to stay with you. Most of us get emotionally attached to the devices we carry and do not like to switch things around often. Blackberry 10 is still a relatively new OS in the market. Apart from the Z10, Blackberry are yet to confirm if there are more devices in the pipeline. No we are not saying they should leak the devices or give us previews but just a little word that there are more smart phones they are working on would make the customers feel a little more comfortable that two years down the line, the OS and Hardware would still be supported by Blackberry. It is the same with the developers. Most of the apps we use daily such as Whatsapp, Flipboard or Instagram are not available yet, though few of them can be Sideloaded on the phone, but why get in to all that hassles when you can pick an Android device or even an iOS device for cheaper.
Some of the features of the device even though look very exciting are very much in nascent phase of development. The gestures are fantastic, but in our brief stint with the device we felt at times were not responsive. The battery too could be extremely inconsistent. So in a way even though we love what the device is capable of doing, we are not entirely sure if it is reaching it’s potential yet. The OTA updates sure are helpful, but somehow we feel with a little more polishing the second or third generation of BB10 devices could be better choices when you decide to invest your hard earned money.
3) The lack of Apps: I briefly touched upon the lack of apps in the section above, but it is a serious concern. If you have been using an Android or iOS device like most of us are then the move to the Blackberry Z10 could be a problem. There are not too many apps and often the ones present on board crash or become non responsive. Foursquare app for example could work brilliantly one time and totally drain a good 3/4 % of your battery trying to pull your location. Also, how much app developers would jump on the Blackberry bandwagon is still to be seen. We do hope for Blackberry’s sake that app developers do see this as an opportunity to expand their horizons, but nothing can be sure shot until a lot more apps start to roll out for the Z10. And by that not only we mean the apps that are common on other big platforms such as iOS or Android or even WP 8, but exclusive apps which work well on the new Blackberry OS10.
4) Screen Quality/ Size: Being an HTC One X user I found the 4.2 inch screen on the Blackberry Z10 to be a little small for all the web browsing I do on my mobile devices. The screen even though boasts off a good PPI i.e. 355 we found the viewing angles to be a little washed out when we looked at the phone from about 160 degrees. If you have been habitual to using a large device then the Blackberry Z10 could look a little tiny in your hand. Also since the device relies on lots of gestures, we felt it would require some getting used to it and at times the touch points on the screen did not respond as well as we would have liked.
5) It is a Touch Screen: This is the biggest reason why we would not recommend a Blackberry Z10. The sole reason we and I bet a lot of other people love a Blackberry device is due to the physical keyboard. There is something totally lovely about typing on a physical keyboard that the experience on a touchscreen cannot match. Maybe it is the feedback, or maybe we are just old school who like the feel of Blackberry keys, whatever it is we love the Blackberrys with keys and that is the reason if you agree with us we advice you to wait for the Blackberry Q10 which is the QWERTY and touch variant of the Blackberry 10 device and good alternate to the Blackberry Z10. For a purely touch experience, the devices under Android and iOS offer a lot more than the Z10 currently does.
So those are our five reasons to not pick a Blackberry Z10. Even though we like the hardware and the construction of the device, we just cannot look beyond these major five issues. We like where Blackberry is going with Z10 but for now it is more about a device with plenty of potential yet little to brag of. You can let us know your comments on the Z10 too, or Tweet them to us at @Blogtechnika or @Techverarp.