BlackBerry, the Canadian smartphone maker formerly known as Research in Motion, today unveiled its new BlackBerry 10 devices in India, as the company looks to revive slumping sales. The price of the Z10 is Rs 43,490. We expect the market price to be around Rs 42,000. The Z10 will be available to customers, who had pre-booked it, starting Tuesday and will be available at retail points across the country later on in the week.
The company, once the brand of choice for business customers, has struggled in recent years to compete against Apple and other rivals which run Android on their smartphones such as the Samsung. From a global market leading share of 41 percent in 2007, BlackBerry now has just a 4% share.
The Z10 is the first phone running BlackBerry’s new OS. Surprisingly, the phone is being launched in India earlier than in the US. Presently it is available only in a few markets like Canada and the UK.
The Z10 is a 4.2-inch, 1280 x 768; 356PPI phone that runs on a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, has 2GB RAM and 16 GB of storage. It looks very similar to the iPhone, but does not have any buttons including a home button. The Z10 will have an 8 megapixel rear camera, while the front facing camera will sport a 2 megapixel shooter. This smart phone also sports 16GB of internal memory, which can be expanded up to 64GB and a 1800 mAh Li-Ion battery.
BlackBerry 10- The all new OS
BlackBerry 10 is an entirely new OS built from the ground up on the QNX, which also powers the Playbook.
Touch control and gestures are front and center of BB10. Users will also always have access to the phone app, a universal search function and the camera from the home page. Some of the highlights of BB10 are
BlackBerry is calling the user interface of BlackBerry 10 ‘Flow.. Flow was designed to move around more efficiently and quick access to important applications such as email and messaging. Flow makes it easy to move from application to application with up to eight simultaneous open apps available on the home screen, as something Blackerry as calling Cascade. Since BlackBerry 10 is all gesture based it will take a bit of learning, but one done the system can be navigated pretty quickly.
The Hub integrates all messaging, text, calling and social media accounts into one place, which is always running in the background. One can access multiple messaging accounts without having to open any app.
Peek is one of the key features integrated into BB10. Using this feature, users who receive a notification (The Z10 comes with a LED notification) can quickly check what that notification is about without closing or leaving where they are. All they have to do is simply slide away from their screen in to messages section.
BlackBerry was known for their QWERTY keyboards and they have taken their strength in this department and made what is probably the best touch screen keyboard. The keyboard is visually designed to look and feel like a physical one with frets in between key rows maximized edge-to-edge. The keyboard automatically learns words based on your vocabulary for future suggestions. The keyboard comes with support for multiple languages, which can be switched mid-message. While typing, it will auto-suggest what words it thinks you may be composing, and one can easily swipe up to toss it directly into a message.
BlackBerry Balance splits the phone into two separate devices, one for work and one for personal use. The switch between the two is seamless and the separate help IT departments cordon off sensitive work information.
BlackBerry Messenger in BB10 will allow video-chatting, in addition to free voice calls over WiFi. BBM will also come with a cool screen sharing feature.
BlackBerry says there are 70,000 apps for BlackBerry 10. But, many of those apps are old BlackBerry or Android apps that have been ported over to the new system, not designed specifically for its features.
So are you going to go out today and get a Z10, or are you saving up for another smartphone? Do let us know.