The BlackBerry Q10 represents the return of the original BlackBerry. And unabashedly so. Sure it runs the same BlackBerry 10 operating system as the full touchscreen BlackBerry Z10, but it packs it into the classic, keyboard package every hardcore communicator and enterprise accomplisher knows and loves. But how does it compare to the iPhone 5, and if you're considering both -- which one should you get?
And you know what? For what it is, it's really really good. I've been using BlackBerry 10 on the Z10 for a month or so, and I've been using Kevin Michaluk's BlackBerry Q10 review unit quite a bit this week. And the experience translates pretty well to the smaller 720x720 display on the Q10. The keyboard is everything you'd expect from the people who pretty much perfected it. It's a real BlackBerry in every way that matters.
On the other hand, the OLED display is sub-optimal and a compromise. It's a concession to battery life, which is the entire focus of a workhorse phone like the Q10. Apps are still sparse, and Android emulation is a stop-gap at best.
It's also a brand new OS, so while it has all the basics, and carries over a lot of the smart ideas from the Z10, but it's still first generation and that means it squeaks a little when it turns around too fast. But that's okay. Every modern mobile OS has been there.
The truth is, the Q10 is a hold-over from a time gone by, and hardware keyboards aren't a growth market anymore. Kids growing up today will be touch-screen native, and the Q10-style BlackBerry will fade as the Z10-style grows to take it's place.
But right now, today, I don't care. Right now, today, it's like watching your favorite hero from the past come out of retirement to kick ass one last time. And it's a hell of a thing to watch.
No one who wants and iPhone will want a Q10, but everyone who wants the BlackBerry will love it.
Go check out CrackBerry's coverage, then come back here and tell me what you think.