When the BlackBerry Q10 launched in May, we decided to come up with a social experiment. We wanted to hear first hand what tech enthusiasts had to say about the device so we reached out to a great group of parenting, technology and lifestyle bloggers; telecommunications and technology journalists and customers from all across Canada to test drive the device. We asked them to identify their favourite features so we could ultimately develop a top 10 features list exclusively for you, our readers. Our participants reviewed the device on their blogs, discussed features (tips and tricks too!) amongst themselves on Twitter using the hashtag #10BestofBBQ10 and, as a result, we’re excited to share our list with you below. Enjoy!
Here it is folks…Our 10 Best of BlackBerry Q10 list compiled by some pretty rad Canadians!
- QWERTY Keyboard by Simon Sage of Crackberry.com
- BlackBerry Remember by Christine McNaughton of lifeonmanitoulin.com
- Security- BlackBerry Protect and Balance by Keri Potipcoe of Keriblog.com
- Battery Life by Greg O’Brien of Cartt.ca
- BlackBerry Peek by Kelly Cameron of broadwaybabyto.com
- Story Maker by Andrea Traynor of mommygearest.com
- Time Shift by David Papp of davidpapp.com
- Touch Screen by Patrick O’Rouke of o.canada.com
- BlackBerry 10 OS by Dan Levy of levynewsnetwork.wordpress.com
- BlackBerry Hub by Linda Habkirk of Service Alberta
#1 QWERTY Keyboard
This might be the obvious pick, but the keyboard on the BlackBerry Q10 is so, so good. The auto-correction on touchscreen keyboards are getting great and for a lot of people they’re good enough. I’m a stickler for spelling and I’ve seen far too many embarrassing auto-correct mistakes in e-mails to be able to put that much faith in a prediction engine, though. The keyboard comes in handy for more than just writing; peppered throughout BlackBerry10 you’ll find all sorts of helpful shortcuts that can shave off seconds from routine tasks and turn you into a serious productivity machine. The fact is, the keyboard makes the Q10 stand out in a sea of all-touch smartphones, and is a familiar comfort for those that have been using a BlackBerry for a long time.
To read Simon’s full review, click here.
#2 BlackBerry Remember
As someone who is constantly online and whose job requires me to be on Social Media and to be super organized, the BlackBerry Q10 Remember app is one of my best friends. Partially because I don’t have a good memory (my daughter is 4 years old and I still blame “Momnesia” for my absentmindedness), I rely on the Remember App. It allows me to create, organize, and track projects all at my fingertips (as my BlackBerry Q10 is always in hand). It’s one of my favourite features because it keeps all related information for my projects, planning and interests together and organized in one convenient place. It also syncs memos and tasks from Cloud and Evernote. Another thing I love is that (yes, I’m going to be a real geek right now) I can colour coordinate my folders and have a different colour for each project/task! Due dates and timelines can be kept up-to-date as well. This is an amazing and helpful feature if you have deadlines and projects that are time sensitive. The Remember app makes my #10BestofBBQ10 list because it’s a lifesaver for work and just keeping my life “together” and organized.
To read Christine’s full review, click here.
#3 Security – BlackBerry Protect and BlackBerry Balance
Of the 3 big ones (BB, iPhone, Android), BlackBerry does end-user security the best. It comes pre-installed with BlackBerry Protect – lose your phone, run to the nearest computer and remotely wipe it.
Also pre-installed is software to encrypt your emails, media card and even the entire phone. It’s easy (maybe 5 extra steps), because remember the ‘golden rule of email’ – if you wouldn’t shout it out a window onto a busy street, don’t put it in email. And employers: this is the phone to issue your employees, because BlackBerry Balance – split the phone between work & personal to help avoid costly compromises.
(aside: I didn’t realize I missed having more control over my phone, until I did (I’m currently on iPhone))
Good luck with your comeback BB! #GoCanadaGo
To read Keri’s full review, click here.
#4 Battery Life
What almost convinced me to stick with the Q10 was the battery life. Having so much less screen to power translates to a meaningful extension of battery life compared to the Z10 and SIII. The SIII never could get me through an entire work day, generally dying around 4 p.m., even when fully charged in the mornings – and that’s with no game play, just e-mails, texts, calls and other normal work functions.
The Z10, thankfully, can get me through a 12-hour work day without needing to plug-in. But the Q10 actually got me through two days at a conference last week, when I forgot to charge it one night. I was e-mailing for work, calling, texting, surfing when needed over two days and still had juice left over. I was very impressed.
#5 BlackBerry Peek
My favourite feature on the BBQ10 is one I wouldn’t have expected – BlackBerry Peek. When the phone was introduced I remember thinking that the hub seemed nonsensical, but I’m completely in love with its streamlined approach to messaging and the ability to ‘peek’ at your messages. As someone who relies heavily on her BlackBerry for work purposes when I’m on the go, the ability to see (at a quick glance) all my messages across various platforms is saving me tremendous amounts of time. I can be browsing the web and with one swipe see that I have emails to three separate accounts, text messages, BBMs and WhatsApp messages – all without having to look away from the website I’m viewing. It’s sleek, fast and most importantly – efficient.
To read Kelly’s full review, click here.
#6 Story Maker
Story Maker – it’s just one of the coolest (and easiest and most reliable) apps I’ve ever used. It comes standard on every BlackBerry Q10, and it takes your photos and turns them into mini-movies. Whether you’re a budding Spielberg or an overzealous Type A mom who needs to capture every moment of her kids’ lives to feel sane (anyone?), you’re going to love Story Maker. Here’s an example: we surprised The K Man with a birthday trip to Great Wolf Lodge, and for two days I took every photo on my Q10. On our drive home from Niagara Falls, I buckled up and opened my Story Maker app; I chose all of the best pictures from my gallery and followed the step-by-step instructions on my screen: write a title, write your name and select music (either from the stock tunes pre-loaded in the app or from your own music files). That’s it. Within about 10 minutes from start to finish, I created this:
To read Andrea’s full review, click here.
#7 Time Shift
When I cracked open the box on my new Q10 and took my first photo, I was duly impressed by the unexpected Time Shift feature. Take one photo with your BlackBerry and it actually takes many so you can pick the best one.
This is great for group shots where someone is always blinking or not quite showing their pearly whites. You can easily pick your favorite using the intuitive interface.
To read David’s full review, click here.
#8 Touch Screen
The Q10 doesn’t have the track ball or track pad that was present on older models of the BlackBerry Curve or Bold and, instead, features a touch screen designed for navigation. In many ways, the Q10 is the best of both worlds. It offers the touch screen controls owners of the Z10 will probably be familiar with but also a standard QWERTY keyboard.
It features an impressively sharp 720 x 720 pixel 3.1-inch screen that looked great, even under direct sunlight.
Also, switching between the Q10′s physical keyboard and the touch screen is a little confusing at first, but after a few hours of use, it starts to feel very natural. Swiping up to go back to the phones home screen is more difficult than it is with the Z10, simply because the screen is smaller.
To read Patrick’s full review, click here.
#9 BlackBerry 10 OS
The new BlackBerry 10 operating system is quite beautiful and it works really, really well. It is smooth, almost never slows down, and in my time using it, it never crashed. The whole gesture based aspect of interacting with the OS instead of pushing a button took some getting used to but once you are it becomes second nature. The core of the OS that is BlackBerry 10 is great in that it solves all issues we ever had with our BlackBerry devices in the past. BlackBerry 10 is smooth, fast, reliable, doesn’t slow down, and doesn’t crash.
To read Dan’s full review, click here.
#10 BlackBerry Hub
It’s really just a matter of being able to find things easier and respond quicker. I use my phone a lot after standard business hours and I don’t have all of the same tools available to me, so this device makes it much easier to work from home. Looking through e-mail folders to find old emails is no longer a hassle and organizing my BlackBerry Calendar is easy. It’s just a much simpler user interface. I find everything really self-explanatory with the Hub. I’m definitely sold.
To read Linda’s full review, click here.
The revamped and uniquely re-designed BlackBerry 10 platform is easy to navigate through once you get the hang of it, but in the meantime we recommend checking out one of our Learning Centres located at more than 200 TELUS stores across Canada. A Learning Specialist will give you a personalized tutorial so you can learn how the device best meets your needs. And do you want to know the best news of all? These sessions are completely free! Heck, even our ‘expert’ friends above checked out our Learning Centres!
Find out more about the BlackBerry Q10 here.
Emma Miller is a member of the TELUS Social and Media Relations team.