The Blackberry Q10- enough to bring back the Blackberry Thumbs?

blackberry q10 ycp
blackberry q10 bottom right corner
this thing would not look out of place next to a Mac.

by yellowchilli.
review unit provided by Blackberry / Text100.

Verdict: wait for price drop, then grab it! By all means this is a very good Blackberry but the price is set a little too high initially.

Quite possibly one of the most significant releases as part of Blackberry’s comeback. The Q10 is the traditional full QWERTY Blackberry that everyone knows and loves. Only this time, it’s equipped with the brand new gesture-rich Blackberry OS 10. So is the going the mark Blackberry is looking for as their return to the smartphone and corporate world?
A lot has changed since Blackberry was last spoken of as a necessity and the stereotypical businessman no longer has to hang onto one of these qwerty phones to be seen as well, a businessman. Instead, everyone has moved onto the all-touch territory while the Blackberry giant lay dormant. Strangely enough, during this absence no other manufacturer has had the ability to come up with a good qwerty phone running one of the modern mobile OS. And so Blackberry is ready to tap this goldmine with the Q10.


We have already reviewed the all-touch Z10 in recent months so we shan’t go into too much detail as far as the OS is concerned- since they’re exactly the same thing.
Specs and info
3.1 inch display, 720×720 resolution, 328 PPI
Dual core, Snapdragon S4 for 4G LTE or TI OMAP 4470 for non-4G; 1.5 GHz
2 GBs of RAM
Full QWERTY keyboard
2100 mAh battery
blackberry q10 top right corner

Design and hardware

blackberry q10 qwerty keyboard
perfection. but try not to rely on your fingernails

++++++ the keyboard is excellent! Blackberry reminds us of their strength- and that is to engineer the most comfortable and ergonomic mobile keyboard, ever. It’s incredible how the keyboard is split right down the middle, with the left set of keys contoured to your left thumb and the right set of keys contoured to your right thumb.
++++ keys themselves have perfect amount of travel i.e. from the moment you press on it to the moment it hits the bottom and registers as an input feels completely natural. It is neither too hard nor too soft either.
++++ never thought I’d get excited over this but..that keyboard lights up very nicely in the dark!

blackberry q10 keyboard lights up in the dark
just like any Macbook
blackberry q10 kevlar weave back
the Q10’s kevlar weave. the only other phones to use this is the Moto Razr series.
blackberry q10 battery door open
there’s still some plastic on the inside though

+++ the back plate has a layer of kevlar weave on top of regular plastic and it makes perfect design sense in conveying the look of sophistication and durability.
+++ the Q10’s side is surrounded by iPhone 5-like aluminium
++ button placement and design around the phone mimics that of the Z10, which is a good thing.

blackberry q10 keyboard
the upward gesture that starts from the bottom edge of the display can be very tricky at times due to the proximity of the keyboard

—– one major flaw is that the keyboard is too close to the display, leaving little room for the user to make that upward gesture swipe. as a result, it sometimes becomes difficult to e.g. multitask or wake the phone from standby. The mistake is actually quite inexcusable.
— can get hot especially on 4G


+++ the super AMOLED display is vibrant and rich when it comes to colours and blacks are blacks, not grey.
++the combination of a small screen and a 3.1 in display means a relatively high ppi. text is actually pretty sharp and comfortable to look at.

—- limited legibility under direct sunlight, which is expected but nevertheless disappointing.
— there is no toggle for auto-brightness, only a slider for manual brightness. This only confuses users into thinking that this thing doesn’t have an ambient light sensor but in fact it does and there IS auto brightness.
– display is a little too bright when used in total darkness, even at the lowest setting.

blackberry q10 display test under direct sunlight
under direct sunlight even on full brightness, it’s pretty useless.


+ photos in direct sunlight are respectable
—– the 8 megapixel camera is worse than the Z10’s. Blackberry does not break the mould in delivering mediocre camera performance in their qwerty variants so how is it that they hope to break into the consumer market?

blackberry q10 camera module off center
not sure if that off-center lens unit is a problem on other Q10s as well…

Photo samples- click to enlarge

blackberry q10 photo sample night lowlight
Not made for lowlight shots..
blackberry q10 photo sample coco daylight indoor blurred
snapshots are not its strong suits either
blackberry q10 photo sample coco daylight indoor
second try, better. but really takes effort
blackberry q10 photo sample coco daylight indoor blurred 2
similar lighting, again snapshot sucks.
blackberry q10 photo sample coco indoor daylight2
second try
blackberry q10 photo sample daylight outdoor
not bad in full daylight when no specific focus is required
blackberry q10 photo sample full sunlight
and no problem under bright sunlight

Software and features

everything fits
what websites look like

+ screen size may be small but the OS has been adapted and is fully manageable.
+ blackberry OS also gives user fine-grain control over which radio signals to stay active. there are some rare choices such as “3G & 4G”

Battery life and performance

+++++ a very comfortable all-day phone. and that’s on 4G LTE. The Q10 gave us 2 days on our 3G test without going through a single charge! that Blackberry endurance is back
+++ the dualcore 1.5GHz processor is enough to keep things moving along but animation length really could be toned down a bit

What do you think? drop us a message.

be sure to check out our photo gallery for more pics!


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