Blackberry Z10 is finally here! The experts give their verdicts
The new Blackberry was finally launched in New York yesterday. Have a look at the video - and prepare for a deluge of opinions over the next few days.
In what reviewer Walt Mossberg called a "bet the company " move, The Z10 is an all-touch device—with no physical navigation controls and no physical keyboard.
It's meant to compete in a world defined by Apple's iPhone and Google's Android phones, says the Wall Street Journal report.
Mossberg's verdict: "The Z10 and BB10 represent a radical reinvention of the BlackBerry. The hardware is decent and the user interface is logical and generally easy to use. I believe it has a chance of getting RIM back into the game, if the company can attract a lot more apps."
The user interface, he says, is so different that it will seem foreign to longtime BlackBerry users. And the first phone to use it, the Z10, looks much more like its rivals than like traditional BlackBerrys.
"I've been testing the Z10 for about a week and decided to approach it as a new entry from a new company, because it is so different from past BlackBerrys.
"Overall, it worked fine in my tests, but I found it a work in progress. I liked some things a lot, including the way RIM has designed its new virtual keyboard and camera, and the way it gathers all your messages into a single Hub."
The Z10 and BB10 will go on sale in some countries including UK almost immediately and In the U.S.,from March. All four major US carriers are expected to sell the phone for $199.
A second BB10 phone, the Q10, due in April, may be an easier transition for BlackBerry addicts, says the WSJ, since it will have a physical keyboard. But RIM sees typing on glass as its future and will be emphasising the touch model.
The Z10 is basically a chunky plastic slab, midway in size and weight between the tall, slim iPhone 5 and the bigger, wider crop of new Android models.
'I found it felt good in the hand," said Mossberg. " Its high-resolution 4.2-inch screen is a bit bigger than the iPhone's 4-inch display, though much smaller than many newer Android screens, which are creeping toward 5 inches. The rear camera is the same 8 megapixels as on the iPhone and Android models like Google's flagship Nexus 4. It has only one memory configuration—16 gigabytes (the base on the iPhone)—but the memory can be expanded by up to 32 more gigabytes using a removable card. Plus: It has a removable battery.
BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis , "We'll see if they can reclaim their glory. My sense is that it will be a phone that everyone says good things about but not as many people buy."
He thinks the company will need to sell at least 5 million BlackBerrys each quarter to remain viable. The tardy arrival to the U.S." threatens to cause even more BlackBerry users to defect to the iPhone or an Android device."
Ovum analyst Adam Leach: "The new system will appeal to existing BlackBerry users, but that won't be enough to undercut the popularity of the iPhone and Android devices." He predicted that BlackBerry "will struggle to appeal to a wider audience, and in the long-term will become a niche player in the smartphone market."
Avi Greengart of Current Analysis said Blackberry will need a persuasive marketing campaign to lure back fans who have switched to iPhones or Android devices.
Jefferies analyst Peter Misek called the redesigned BlackBerry a "great device" that could lead to a revival that many market observers didn't think was possible at RIM's low point last year.
"Six months ago we talked to developers and carriers, and everybody was just basically saying 'We're just waiting for this to go bust,'" Misek said. "It was bad."
New York Post At the close, shares of Research in Motion — changing its corporate name to BlackBerry — were down 12 percent, to $13.78.
"Still, the Z10 received some good reviews and instilled some hope that BlackBerry could maintain its No. 3 smartphone position. Blackberry to be sure, still has 79 million users."