If anyone believed that Alicia Keys would actually be in the BlackBerry office on Monday at 8AM to work with the product team, as CEO Thorsten Heins joked, the company’s stock would have sunk even faster than the 5% drop it’s already seen. Keys was named as BlackBerry’s – renamed from RIM – Global Creative Director, just one of many announcements designed to reverse the company’s march into irrelevancy. (Our live blog play by play is here.)
While some of what BlackBerry showed off today is undoubtedly cool, it looks like the company’s ambition is getting the best of it. Perhaps forgetting that the days of BBM dominance are gone, BlackBerry today showed off a mobile operating system that wants to do everything for you. And that’s not really the way today’s mobile ecosystem works.
Messaging, video chat, to-do lists, a “story editing” app to string together pictures, video, and music. All fairly sleek looking. And there’s nothing wrong with seeding your platform with some solid apps. But the company’s decision to dwell on so many of them in the launch left me wondering: what are the odds that BlackBerry can be best in class in even two of these categories?
That’s the pessimistic take. Here are a couple of the more promising items. The toggle between personal and work is super sleek, and clearly has appeal for the enterprise market. The screenshare feature was extremely cool. You can share your screen with me and then when you flip through the photos, I can see them on my phone.
There’s also “the Hub,” essentially an activity stream but one that lets you interact with your apps without opening them. Got a friend request from Facebook? Accept it from your notification without going into Facebook. To the extent app developers will let BlackBerry get away with this, it’s a great feature. But again I fear the focus on an OS that is great to use rather than an OS that makes apps great to use may be too controlling and ultimately a misstep.
We’ll see. On the content side, the launch is pretty impressive, though AllThingsD points to some big names like Spotify that went unmentioned. U.S. carriers will begin offering BlackBerry10 devices in mid-March, and the company left most of the pricing details for the carriers to roll out individually.
Specs, Features, & Pricing
BlackBerry (formerly known as RIM) unveiled the BlackBerry10 operating system and two new phones, the Q10 and Z10, at a live event in New York City. We’ve gathered all of the information that you need to know about the Q10, Z10, and BlackBerry10 OS including specs, features and pricing below. We are continuing to update this piece, but for now check out the BlackBerry Z10 specs and features, the Q10 specs and features and the rundown of the BlackBerry10 specs and features.
BlackBerry Z10 Specs & Features
The display on the Z10 is 1280 x 768, 356 PPI LCD screen and stands 5.1 inches tall, 2.6 inches wide, and 0.35-inch thick. The Z10 is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus. The new phone has 2GB of RAM alongside 16GB of internal storage (that can be expanded with the use of a microSD card). The Z10 comes with all of the standard smartphone capabilities – Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, an accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, and ambient light sensor. The Z10 has two cameras, a rear-facing 8 megapixel shooter capable of 1080p video, and a front-facing 2 megapixel camera which can do 720p video capture.
The BlackBerry Z10 goes on sale January 31 in the UK, February 5 in Canada ($149.99 on contract,) and February 10 in the UAE. Expect U.S. carriers to sell the smartphone for about $199 on contract (about $599 unlocked) in March, with official pricing announcements slated for the coming weeks.
BlackBerry Q10 Specs & Features
The keyboard lives with the Q10. The Q10 features a 3.1 inch 720 x 720 display screen with a full QWERTY keyboard. The Q10 is also powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus. Similar to the Z10 the new phone has 2GB of RAM alongside 16GB of internal storage (that can be expanded with the use of a microSD card). The Q10 also comes with all of the standard smartphone capabilities – Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, an accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, and ambient light sensor. The Z10 has two cameras, a rear-facing 8 megapixel shooter capable of 1080p video, and a front-facing 2 megapixel camera which can do 720p video capture.
BlackBerry 10 Features & Specs
Here are the highlight from the BlackBerry 10 Press Release.
- The ever present BlackBerry® Hub, which is a single place to manage all your conversations whether personal or work email, BBMTM messages, social media updates or notifications, and the ability to “peek” into the BlackBerry Hub from anywhere, so you’re always only one swipe away from what matters to you.
- BlackBerry® Flow, where the BlackBerry 10 experience excels by enabling features and apps to flow seamlessly together, helping you complete the task at hand effortlessly and efficiently. For example, you can tap on an attendee listed for a meeting to see their latest tweet or LinkedIn profile. Or tap the thumbnail of a picture you just took to launch the Picture editor and quickly apply a transformation or filter, then instantly share it with your contacts.
- A keyboard that understands and adapts to you, that learns what words you use and how you use them, then offers them up to you so you can type faster and more accurately.
- BBM (BlackBerry® Messenger), which allows you to share things with the people that matter to you in an instant. BBM in BlackBerry 10 includes voice calling and video chat, and introduces the ability to share your screen with another BlackBerry 10 contact.
- BlackBerry® BalanceTM technology, which elegantly separates and secures work applications and data from personal content on BlackBerry devices.
- Time Shift, an astonishing camera feature that lets you capture a group shot where everyone is smiling with their eyes wide open. Story Maker, which lets you bring a collection of photos and videos together, along with music and effects, to produce an HD movie that you can instantly share.
- The new BlackBerry 10 browser, which sets the industry benchmark for HTML5 support on smartphones, is incredibly fast. Scrolling or zooming is fluid and responsive. The browser includes many advanced features, supports multiple tabs, lets you browse sites privately, includes a reader mode, and integrates with the platform for easily sharing content.
- BlackBerry® Remember, which combines memos, tasks and much more into a single experience. It helps you organize and manage information you have on your smartphone around projects or ideas, letting you collect content such as websites, emails, photos, documents, and other files, and then like a To-Do list, lets you create tasks, assign due dates, and track your progress. If your BlackBerry 10 smartphone is set up with a work account, your Microsoft® Outlook® Tasks will automatically be wirelessly synced with BlackBerry Remember. If you have configured an Evernote account with your smartphone, BlackBerry Remember will sync Evernote workbooks as well.
- BlackBerry® Safeguard technology that helps protect what is important to you, and the business you work for.
- Built-in support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync® so your BlackBerry Z10 or BlackBerry Q10 smartphone can be simply connected and managed as other ActiveSync devices in a company, or enabled with BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 to gain secure access to work email, “behind the firewall” applications and data, and benefit from other security and enterprise mobility management features.
- The BlackBerry® WorldTM storefront, which now includes 70,000 BlackBerry 10 apps and one of the most robust music and video catalogs in mobile today – with most movies coming to the store the same day they are released on DVD. In addition, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare apps for BlackBerry 10 are preinstalled, and BlackBerry 10 customers will have access to leading applications from across the globe. Leading application providers including Disney, Cisco, Foursquare, Skype and Rovio have committed to the platform.
What do you think of the Z10, Q10 and BlackBerry 10 OS? Do you think that it is enough to bring BlackBerry back?