I remember being an avid blackberry user a couple of years ago. I bought the 2nd generation of the bold series, BlackBerry Bold 9700. It was everything you would want in a ‘Smartphone’. That was the golden era for BlackBerry. Then, along came the iPhone 4 and the endless possibilities you could explore with it. It had iTunes software that revolutionized the music industry, multitasking, copy/paste abilities and not to forget, their world class App store which had some amazing 3rd party apps. That last point about the app store is where BlackBerry really lost me. I decided to shift and took a leap to the apple wagon, just to be was pleasantly surprised; it was indeed a masterpiece, in terms of hardware (including the design) and software.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry was pushed further down the ladder when Google upped its game with the ever evolving Android OS. BlackBerry was losing its charm, and unlike Apple and Android, it had nothing ‘special’ to offer. BlackBerry kept pumping different models in the market but was finding it difficult to stay afloat. Come 2012 and RIM (now BlackBerry) was on the verge of going bankrupt. After a series of changes in the management, RIM decided to hand over the reins to Thorsten Heins, who had joined RIM in 2007 as Senior Vice President of BlackBerry’s handheld device units, but quickly rose to power to become the CEO in January 2012.

Image courtesy ibnlive
With plummeting shares, BlackBerry had to do something truly revolutionary. They had options of getting rid of their rather crappy OS and go the Samsung or Nokia way by adopting Google’s Android OS or Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 OS and providing their own hardware. They had another option, which was rather crazy to say the least, after looking at their market shares value. They could scrape off all the software they had built over the years and start afresh; which meant, building their own OS from ground up. They decided to go with that option which gave birth to BlackBerry’s new OS, BlackBerry 10. They decided to take their time and make sure they iron all the kinks that come along during the development. They decided to go so slow, that they had to postpone the launch of their latest offering, not once, but twice.

But better late than never, BlackBerry 10 was finally launched on 30th January 2013 and boy did they deliver, or what? They rechristened themselves from RIM to BlackBerry, which seems like a rather logical move. One Product, One Promise; they say. This means, they are now immersing themselves on their premium product, the BlackBerry Smartphone. So, let’s step right in and see what it has to offer.


The Z10 (one of the initial devices that supports BlackBerry 10) will be have the following hardware –

1.5Ghz Dual-Core
5.13 x 2.6 x 0.37 inches (130 x 66 x 9.3 mm)
1280 x 768
1800 mAh (removable) – Up to 15 to 18 hours of daily usage*
Internal – 16GB
External – MicroSD
Front – 2MP (720p Video Recording)
Rear – 8MP (Auto Focus, LED Flash)
NFC – Yes
4G/LTE – Yes
LED Notification Indicator – Yes
Bluetooth – Yes (v4.0)
WiFi – Yes (802.11 a/b/g/n)
Micro HDMI Port – Yes
Micro USB – Yes
*Usage varies for different users. The numbers depicted are a rough estimate.

By the looks of it, the phone looks absolutely stunning. The front panel has end-to-end glass and no (home) button, unlike Samsung Galaxy S3 or iPhone 5. The Screen is 4.2” diagonally and a ppi of 356, which is more than any of its competitors. The back panel has a removable plastic cover with a chrome BB logo in the middle. The anti-grip sort of a removable back panel doesn’t feel cheap or clunky by any means; it is, however, quite thin. The top left corner has the 8MP camera and the LED flash. The top features a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a power button in the middle. The right side has 3 buttons, volume up, volume down and a convenience key which is programmable as per your needs. The left side of the phone has the micro USB and micro HDMI port. The bottom of the phone doesn’t have anything.


This is the area where BlackBerry has jumped leaps and bounds. To begin, it has 2 key features – The BlackBerry Hub and BlackBerry Flow.

BlackBerry Hub is a place where you can manage all your conversations ranging from Emails (work or personal), BBM, SMS, calls and social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) notifications. No matter whatever you are doing on the phone, you can always take a “peek” in your Blackberry Hub.

An image explaining Blackberry Hub
BlackBerry flow allows the features and apps to literally flow together seamlessly. You can be in an app that clicks pictures but use the preloaded features, like the photo editor, to tweak the pictures you have just clicked.

BlackBerry Messenger – We all knew that the BlackBerry messenger was one of the best messengers for interaction between BlackBerry devices. The team at BlackBerry took it one step further and integrated voice and video calling, right inside the messenger. During a video call, you can even share your screen with the other person. Cheating partners have nowhere to run now! It is absolutely amazing for personal and professional work.

A video call in progress during the BlackBerry 10 launch event
BlackBerry Balance is another feature offered by the OS. It separates your work and personal data (for example emails) and applications.

Keyboard – Aesthetically, the keyboard looks like a physical keyboard on any BlackBerry device but virtually, it has some tricks up its sleeves. Once you start typing, it can memorize custom words and you can just swipe up to add the entire word in your message.

Browser – BlackBerry has done its best to provide the users an amazing browsing experience with fluidity in scrolling or zooming. It takes HTML 5 support to a whole new level and supports features like multiple tabs, private viewing (something like an incognito mode in Google Chrome), and a reader mode. The browser is integrated extremely well in the OS for quick sharing.

You can read more about the other features of the BlackBerry 10 over here.


BlackBerry has confirmed that its App world will have over 70,000 applications on launch for BlackBerry 10. Social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare will be preinstalled, and plenty of other leading app developers have committed to the platform.

Preinstalled social networking apps on BlackBerry 10
Personally, I use around 5 to 6 apps on daily basis and some others when I’m bored. If BlackBerry 10 is able to provide these applications as soon as possible, I’ll be one happy camper.

For a version 1 launch, BlackBerry has been able to do a lot of things with its latest OS. Hopefully, this will help them regain its market share and reach at least the third rank/spot in mobile devices over the next couple of years.

Let me know what you think of this move by BlackBerry in the comments below. Please subscribe and +1 for more interesting posts. 

All images are the properties of their respective owners. Images have been used only for illustrative purposes and I do not claim ownership on the content of the images.


  1. Man, it does look impressive. I was excited when they announced it a while ago. I just don't know if making the switch will be worth it though. It makes me miss my blackberry curve!

    1. Its quite impressive. I'm waiting for some reviews to come in once the product starts selling in UK, Canada and India. Unfortunately USA gets this beauty somewhere in March!

  2. Great review! I'm not convinced that BlackBerry is a game changer, but they're definitely not going away any time soon! We'll have to take a closer look at sales and usage in a month or two and see how consumers respond. I think the question will be whether or not Android and iPhone users are willing to port.

    1. Like I mentioned in the article, it's a decent effort for a version 1 launch. In my opinion, right now, BlackBerry should only try to stay afloat to launch further generations of Z10 (and BlackBerry 10).
      Most people will get this phone because they feel bad for the company and just to try out something different.