Along with the full-touch Z10, BlackBerry will be launching the Q10 that has a physical QWERTY keypad sometime in May. While the company remains zipped about the pricing or exact specifications of the device, we went hands-on with it. Read on to find our my impressions of the Q10. Also Read - Blackberry is coming back once more, will debut in 2021 with a flagship keyboard phone
Most existing BlackBerry users I know are waiting for the Q10 just because of the physical QWERTY keypad. Can’t blame them really, especially after BlackBerry’s past record with full-touch smartphones in its Storm and Torch series. It surprised me a bit when BlackBerry did not launch the Q10 along with the Z10, though it now seems we would see its unveiling at the company’s annual BlackBerry Live event in May. Also Read - TCL will not design, manufacture or sell BlackBerry smartphones from August 31
I spent some time playing with the Q10 and the device left me pretty impressed. The software was not final but it is clear that it will run a customised version of BlackBerry 10 for devices with physical QWERTY keypads. Also Read - BlackBerry Messenger to shut down soon as the world doesn’t really need pins
The thing that impressed me the most was the Q10’s build quality. It not only looks but feels premium too. While the rest of the world is going with cheap plastic finish, the Q10 is a mixture of glass, metal trimmings (no faux metal here!) and premium plastic finish on the back. From the looks of it, the Q10 is also going to be a high-end device and will replace the Bold 9900. The physical keypad is typical BlackBerry Bold quality, which would please most loyalists. Check out my quick hands-on video below.
Photographs: Ashish Bhatia