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Review BlackBerry Q10 Smartphone

Michael Moser (translated by Peter Krastev), 06/26/2013

Back to its roots. BlackBerry has successfully launched the vanguard of its new OS Blackberry 10 with the Z10 model. Now the Canadian manufacturer introduces the Q10 - a purebred business smartphone. The hardware is largely identical, but the Q10 wants to impress with a physical QWERTY keyboard and a 3.1-inch touchscreen. So, is this new blackberry mix tasty?

For the original German review, see here.

Not too long ago, the first smartphone with the new BlackBerry 10 operating system, namely the Blackberry Z10, showed up in our office. It was impressive, and not only because of the intuitive user interface. Almost three months later, the Blackberry Q10 is here to follow in the footsteps of its successful brother. Looking at the technical specifications of the two devices, one might think they are identical twins. The Q10 is equipped with the famous Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 SoC, operating at 1.5 GHz, and the integrated Qualcomm Adreno 225 graphics card with 400 MHz core frequency and 2 GB of RAM. 16 GB flash memory and LTE round up the specifications of the Q10. 

De facto, there is one distinctive feature of Q10 - the physical QWERTY keyboard and the therefore smaller 3.1-inch touchscreen. The perfect compromise for heavy writers and browsing enthusiasts? Are there any more differences to the Z10? Our detailed review will reveal the answers to these questions.

Case

Great QWERTY keyboard and good workmanship.
Great QWERTY keyboard and good workmanship.
Rubberized back side and removable cover.
Rubberized back side and removable cover.

Because of the square display and the wide QWERTY keyboard, the casing of the Blackberry Q10 is naturally slightly wider and with a size of 67 x 120 mm and almost 140 g weight it is no small smartphone. In comparison to its brother, the Blackberry Z10, it feels subjectively more compact, although their dimensions do not differ too much. The same is true in comparison with the competition: competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One X+, the HTC One and the Nokia Lumia 920 are only slightly thinner than the 10 mm of the Q10.

The good design of our test model in elegant black with silver accents reminds us of the predecessor RIM Blackberry Bold 9900. The glass of the display is very pressure resistant. The silver trim parts, the power button and the volume rocker are made of aluminum. The back of the device is made of rubberized polycarbonate and imitates the look of carbon. It also gives the phone an excellent grip. The largest part of the back can be taken off, revealing the 2100 mAh battery as well as the microSIM and microSD slots.

In addition to our black version, the Blackberry Q10 is also available in white. Overall the workmanship of the smartphone is of high quality, which is backed up by the even gaps as well as the tactile and visually pleasant materials.

Connectivity

The connectivity of the BlackBerry Q10 is quite impressive. The smartphone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 SoC with 1.5 GHz clock frequency and an integrated Qualcomm Adreno 225 graphics card with 400 MHz core frequency. The SoC has access to 2 GB of RAM. In addition to that, BlackBerry has also installed 16 GB of flash memory (about 11 GB is available) in the Q10.

In terms of interfaces, the smartphone offers a micro USB 2.0 port and a micro HDMI port on the left side of the device. Furthermore, the obligatory 3.5 mm jack for the connection of external headphones is also on board.

Behind the back cover, next to the 2100 mAh battery we have a micro SIM slot and one for microSD cards. The latter supports cards of up to 64 GB capacity.

Top side: microphones, power button, 3.5 mm jack
Top side: microphones, power button, 3.5 mm jack
On the inside: microSD, micro SIM, 8 Wh battery
On the inside: microSD, micro SIM, 8 Wh battery
Left side: micro USB 2.0, micro HDMI
Left side: micro USB 2.0, micro HDMI
Right side: volume rocker, mute button
Right side: volume rocker, mute button

Software

The operating system of the BlackBerry Q10, namely the BlackBerry 10 OS, as well as the preinstalled software are identical to those of the already tested Z10. For a more detailed description we would like to refer you to our detailed review of the Blackberry Z10. However, our test model came with version 10.1.0.1483 already installed (the Z10 at the time of the review came with 10.0.10.90), which is most noticeable in the fixed browser.

Communication & GPS

The Blackberry Z10 was a fully equipped communications hub and the Blackberry Q10 does not fall behind. In addition to the WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n our test model also supports Bluetooth 4 LE (Low Energy). Telephony and data transfer via quad-band GSM, UMTS and even LTE (Long-term evolution) are also on board. We also have A-GPS and NFC (Near Field Communication), which round up the comprehensive communications package.

In terms of wireless reception, the Q10 is again brilliant - we have never seen such good reception. As we already said to the Blackberry Z10: A+!

Telephone Function

The phone application is clear, easy to use, and offers all the necessary features. For more details see our review of the Blackberry Z10.

Cameras & Multimedia

The camera modules are identical to those in the Blackberry Z10, which is why we refer you to our review.

Front camera 2 MP
Front camera 2 MP
Main camera 8 MP, AF, flash
Main camera 8 MP, AF, flash
Reference camera Nikon D3100 14 MP
Reference camera Nikon D3100 14 MP
Blackberry Q10's supplied accessories
Blackberry Q10's supplied accessories

Accessories

In addition to the smartphone itself and the 2100 mAh battery, in the black carton box we also find a couple of brief instructions. There is also the modular 3.75 W AC adapter with a 1.20 m long USB data cable and a standard stereo headset with spare ear plugs. There are various accessories for the BlackBerry such as different cases, external loudspeakers, spare battery and cables.

Warranty

BlackBerry delivers the Q10 only with a 12 month warranty period, covering the phone and accessories. There is no optional extension of this period.

Input Devices & Controls

The 3.1-inch square touchscreen of the BlackBerry Q10 allows fast and precise inputs. Thanks to the good gliding properties of the display glass, scrolling and swiping are effortless and accurate. There is no automatic image rotation.

The real highlight of our test model is the backlit, mechanical QWERTY keyboard. "Ingeniously implemented" is one phrase that comes to mind. In the tradition of the previous devices, the buttons offer great feedback to the user thanks to their clear pressure point and generous key travel. The rest of the physical buttons are equally impressive.

Once you get used to the layout and the operation, nothing stands in the way of quick typing. The intelligent predictive system from the Blackberry Z10 also helps. The intuitive control via the BlackBerry Hub and BlackBerry Flow is identical to that of the Z10. The well thought-out multitasking has also found its way into the Q10.

 

Genius: mechanical QWERTY keyboard...
Genius: mechanical QWERTY keyboard...
...with backlighting.
...with backlighting.

Display

3.1-inch display with 720x720 pixels.
3.1-inch display with 720x720 pixels.

Here is the biggest difference to the sister model BlackBerry Z10. Because of the limited space, the Super AMOLED display of the BlackBerry Q10 has been shrunk down to 3.1-inches and has a resolution of only 720x720 pixels. Therefore, the comparison between the square panel and the keyboard-less competition is difficult. Nevertheless, in comparison to other square screens, the display of the Q10 has a high resolution. For example, the BlackBerry Q10 has nothing to fear against the iPhone 5 with its resolution of 640x1136 pixels. The Samsung ATIV S with 720x1200 pixels, the HTC One X+ with 720x1280 pixels and the Blackberry Z10 with 768x1280 pixels have relatively similar resolutions. The current class leader, the Samsung Galaxy S4 with its Full HD display, is still far ahead.

But even the Q10 is not immune against the reflections problem that all smartphones with glass displays have. Unfortunately, the brightness of 240 cd/m² is nowhere near that of its brother Z10 (average 656 cd/m²). Comparison with other devices in this class has the same result. Whether it's the iPhone 5 with 487 cd/m², HTC One X+ and Lumia 920 each with 322 cd/m² - almost all competitors effortlessly trump our test model in this discipline. Even the relatively dark screen of the Samsung Galaxy S4 has an average brightness of about 300 cd/m², which is clearly brighter than our test model. Only the ATIV S with its 244 cd/m² is on a similar level. 

Like the Z10, the ambient light sensor cannot be disabled in the Blackberry Q10 either, although it regulates the brightness adequately. The display of our test model can finally shine in terms of illumination: the extremely homogenous illumination of 98% can't be matched even by the top display of the Samsung Galaxy S4 (95%).

238
cd/m²
240
cd/m²
237
cd/m²
242
cd/m²
242
cd/m²
242
cd/m²
240
cd/m²
241
cd/m²
236
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Gossen Mavo-Monitor
Maximum: 242 cd/m²
Average: 239.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 98 %
Center on Battery: 242 cd/m²
Black: 0 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1

With its AMOLED panel, the BlackBerry Q10 reaches black levels of infinity, which our test equipment cannot measure. In reality, the display impresses us with its rich black and brilliant colors.

The measurements with CalMAN software and the colorimeter X-Rite i1Pro 2 show that the display of the BlackBerry Q10 has a couple of drawbacks in the form of deviations of the grayscale, DeltaE values of 4.95, and clearly overemphasized colors, which are barely noticeable in everyday use. Displaying a fully white image on the screen reveals some of these deviations, while a completely black image is represented without any visual losses. Overall, the color reproduction of the display seems very homogeneous.

We must note here that the color space coverage at factory settings is significantly larger than the sRGB. Therefore, we ran the CalMAN tests for grayscale and color check with AdobeRGB as the target color space. The results show that the grayscale has only slightly higher deviation. The colors are significantly closer to the reference space.

We have asked the manufacturer whether the settings can be adjusted to sRGB. We are still waiting for a response.

CalMan accuracy (target: sRGB)
CalMan accuracy (target: sRGB)
CalMan color check (target: sRGB)
CalMan color check (target: sRGB)
CalMan grayscale (target: sRGB)
CalMan grayscale (target: sRGB)
CalMan color saturation (target: sRGB)
CalMan color saturation (target: sRGB)
CalMAN grayscale (target: AdobeRGB)
CalMAN grayscale (target: AdobeRGB)
CalMAN color check (target: AdobeRGB)
CalMAN color check (target: AdobeRGB)
White image: barely any color deviations are visible
White image: barely any color deviations are visible
Black image: no deviations visible
Black image: no deviations visible
Subjectively, colors are rich and contrast is good
Subjectively, colors are rich and contrast is good

Outdoors, our test model has some weaknesses, mainly due to the highly reflective surface of the display and the average brightness. In direct sunlight, reading and recognition of the screen content can be difficult, but it works perfectly in shady areas.

Outdoors
Outdoors

The viewing angle stability of the display is good. Only at extreme angles, which are practically irrelevant, do we see brightness loss and some color inversions.

Viewing angle
Viewing angle
Extreme viewing angle
Extreme viewing angle

Performance

The BlackBerry Q10 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 SoC working at 1.5 GHz and a Qualcomm Adreno 225 graphics chip with 400 MHz core frequency. The 2 GB of RAM is sufficient and ensures a good application performance. Even multitasking with several demanding apps is smooth and reliable. The Q10 also has an internal flash memory of 16 GB (net: about 11 GB), which can be increased up to 64 GB via a microSD card. In addition, the user can make data transfers via Dropbox.

Since the System on a Chip (SoC) is not different than the one in the BlackBerry Z10, the performance results are nearly identical. The benchmark variety in the BlackBerry Store has not increased, which leaves only Geekbench 2 for providing some comparison between Android devices and the iPhone 5. With 1806 points our test model is very close to the BlackBerry Z10 (1755 points). The Q10 even beats some of the competition: HTC One X+ by 13% and the iPhone 5 by 9%. Only the new Samsung Galaxy S4 is clearly ahead with 3216 points - thanks to its significantly more powerful hardware.

Geekbench 2 - 32 Bit
Total Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Q10
1806 Points ∼15%
BlackBerry Z10
1755 Points ∼14% -3%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
3216 Points ∼26% +78%
HTC One X+
1566 Points ∼13% -13%
Apple iPhone 5
1648 Points ∼13% -9%
Integer (sort by value)
BlackBerry Q10
1065 Points ∼8%
BlackBerry Z10
981 Points ∼7% -8%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
2272 Points ∼17% +113%
HTC One X+
1236 Points ∼9% +16%
Apple iPhone 5
1261 Points ∼10% +18%
Floating Point (sort by value)
BlackBerry Q10
2940 Points ∼18%
BlackBerry Z10
2783 Points ∼17% -5%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
5171 Points ∼31% +76%
HTC One X+
2509 Points ∼15% -15%
Apple iPhone 5
2114 Points ∼13% -28%
Memory (sort by value)
BlackBerry Q10
1686 Points ∼20%
BlackBerry Z10
1849 Points ∼22% +10%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
2703 Points ∼33% +60%
HTC One X+
1193 Points ∼14% -29%
Apple iPhone 5
1867 Points ∼22% +11%
Stream (sort by value)
BlackBerry Q10
674 Points ∼7%
BlackBerry Z10
681 Points ∼8% +1%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
704 Points ∼8% +4%
HTC One X+
169 Points ∼2% -75%
Apple iPhone 5
940 Points ∼10% +39%

Legend

 
BlackBerry Q10 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, Qualcomm Adreno 225, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
BlackBerry Z10 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, Qualcomm Adreno 225, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505 Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
HTC One X+ NVIDIA Tegra 3, NVIDIA GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 64 GB SSD
 
Samsung ATIV S Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, Qualcomm Adreno 225, 16 GB SSD
 
Apple iPhone 5 Apple A6, PowerVR SGX543MP3, 32 GB SSD

The cross-system comparison comes from the browser-based benchmarks. As was the case with the BlackBerry Z10, the BlackBerry 10 Browser in the Q10 only scores limited points. In direct comparison we do see a tangible performance increase, which is due to the newer version of the operating system of the Q10.   

Therefore, the Q10 is far ahead of the Z10 in almost all the benchmarks, in Sunspider 0.9.1 even by 40%. In the Peacekeeper benchmark our Q10 scored only 222 points, which is significantly behind its brother (Z10: 361 points) and not to mention the rest of the competition. Some models scored up to 289% more points (iPhone 5 - 863 points). Only the Samsung ATIV S is beaten by our test model in almost all of the tests.

Browsermark 2.0 turns the tides a bit. With 2322 points, the BlackBerry Q10 is faster than many of the competitors, such as the HTC One X+ with 1723 points, and is just about the same as the iPhone 5 (+3%) and the Samsung Galaxy S4 (+8%).

The Q10 is similar to the Z10 in respect of the subjective working speed, which is very good and is also consistent and reliable, thanks to the strong wireless reception.

Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Q10
1055 Points ∼6%
BlackBerry Z10
829 Points ∼5% -21%
Samsung ATIV S
792 Points ∼4% -25%
HTC One X+
2136 Points ∼12% +102%
Apple iPhone 5
1457 Points ∼8% +38%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
2222 Points ∼12% +111%
Sunspider - --- (sort by value)
BlackBerry Q10
1744.6 ms * ∼17%
BlackBerry Q10
1744.6 ms * ∼17% -0%
BlackBerry Z10
2446.7 ms * ∼23% -40%
Samsung ATIV S
1737.4 ms * ∼16% -0%
HTC One X+
1028.2 ms * ∼10% +41%
Apple iPhone 5
935.4 ms * ∼9% +46%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
1095.4 ms * ∼10% +37%
Browsermark - --- (sort by value)
BlackBerry Q10
2322 points ∼32%
BlackBerry Z10
1905 points ∼27% -18%
Samsung ATIV S
1494 points ∼21% -36%
HTC One X+
1723 points ∼24% -26%
Apple iPhone 5
2383 points ∼33% +3%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
2502 points ∼35% +8%
Google V8 Ver. 6 - --- (sort by value)
BlackBerry Q10
1082 points ∼9%
BlackBerry Z10
857 points ∼7% -21%
Samsung ATIV S
770 points ∼7% -29%
HTC One X+
2057 points ∼18% +90%
Apple iPhone 5
1640 points ∼14% +52%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
2593 points ∼22% +140%
Google V8 Ver. 3 - --- (sort by value)
BlackBerry Q10
1073 points ∼8%
BlackBerry Z10
587 points ∼4% -45%
Samsung ATIV S
754 points ∼5% -30%
HTC One X+
2201 points ∼16% +105%
Apple iPhone 5
1702 points ∼12% +59%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
1881 points ∼14% +75%
Octane V1 - Total Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Q10
918 Points ∼4%
BlackBerry Z10
925 Points ∼4% +1%
Samsung ATIV S
616 Points ∼3% -33%
HTC One X+
2089 Points ∼10% +128%
Apple iPhone 5
1663 Points ∼8% +81%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
2290 Points ∼11% +149%
Mozilla Kraken 1.0 - Total Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Q10
34065.3 ms * ∼20%
BlackBerry Z10
41401.5 ms * ∼24% -22%
Samsung ATIV S
45665.6 ms * ∼27% -34%
HTC One X+
18124.1 ms * ∼11% +47%
Apple iPhone 5
20380.2 ms * ∼12% +40%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
13779.3 ms * ∼8% +60%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
BlackBerry Q10
222 Points ∼4%
BlackBerry Z10
361 Points ∼6% +63%
Samsung ATIV S
338 Points ∼5% +52%
HTC One X+
667 Points ∼11% +200%
Apple iPhone 5
863 Points ∼14% +289%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
555 Points ∼9% +150%

Legend

 
BlackBerry Q10 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, Qualcomm Adreno 225, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
BlackBerry Z10 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, Qualcomm Adreno 225, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Samsung ATIV S Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, Qualcomm Adreno 225, 16 GB SSD
 
HTC One X+ NVIDIA Tegra 3, NVIDIA GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 64 GB SSD
 
Apple iPhone 5 Apple A6, PowerVR SGX543MP3, 32 GB SSD
 
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505 Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB iNAND Flash

* ... smaller is better

Games

In this discipline, the BlackBerry Q10 performs very similarly to the already reviewed Blackberry Z10, because of the identical hardware. The integrated Qualcomm Adreno 225 graphics chip allows demanding games to run smoothly. For the purpose of this review, we ran two games on the Q10.

The conclusion is the same as in the review of the Z10: the game of skill Angry Birds Star Wars runs just as smoothly and perfectly as the racer Riptide GPThe control with the touchscreen, the positions sensor, and the accelerometer functioned flawlessly. Naturally, in some games the controls were sloppier than those with the Z10, because the 3.1-inch screen is small and relevant game content is covered by the fingers.

Angry Birds Star Wars
Angry Birds Star Wars
Riptide GP
Riptide GP

Voice Quality

The Blackberry Z10 showed very good speech and voice quality in our short telephony test. Since our Q10 test model is technically identical to the Z10, we had high expectations that were met in full. The Q10 features two microphones on the front side including noise reduction function, while the Z10 had only one. Test calls with the Q10 had an even better clarity and good volume. The supplied headset is only makeshift and should be exchanged for a higher quality one, if the user has higher requirements.

The Q10 provides excellent voice quality.
The Q10 provides excellent voice quality.
The two microphones feature noise reduction.
The two microphones feature noise reduction.
Mono speaker with decent quality.
Mono speakers with decent quality.
The headset is standard.
The headset is standard.

Emissions

Speaker

The built-in mono speaker provides a high maximum volume and decent sound quality for its size. Although the bass and mids are somewhat lacking, the sound is full-bodied and clear. The sound transfer and volume over the 3.5 mm jack are also very good.

Temperature

The BlackBerry Q10 has a well-designed housing, because the surface temperatures remain significantly below 30 °C. In idle use the device reaches a maximum of 28.7 °C, while on average the surface reaches only about 27 °C. Even under full load, simulated by playing a Full HD video, temperatures reach a maximum of 29 °C, but the average is only 27.7 °C. The smartphone never even becomes lukewarm, which is exemplary.

Max. Load
 27.5 °C27.3 °C26.0 °C 
 29.0 °C27.9 °C26.9 °C 
 28.2 °C28.2 °C27.3 °C 
Maximum: 29.0 °C
Average: 27.6 °C
27.1 °C27.8 °C26.7 °C
27.2 °C28.4 °C28.1 °C
27.1 °C29.0 °C28.5 °C
Maximum: 29.0 °C
Average: 27.8 °C
Power Supply (max.)  36.2 °C | Room Temperature 22.3 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Energy Management

Power consumption

The Blackberry Q10 is very energy efficient in comparison to other devices, much like the Blackberry Z10. In idle it consumes between 0.7 and 1.5 W. Under load, the energy consumption varies between 2.5 and 3.9 W. The efficient iPhone 5 with its 2.9 W consumption is therefore safe from the Q10. The rest of the competitors are on par (Z10: 3.7 W, ATIV S: 3.9 W, One X+: 4.4 W), only the Galaxy S4 is slightly out of line with 5.1 W.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.0 / 0.1 Watt
Idle 0.7 / 1.1 / 1.5 Watt
Load 2.5 / 3.9 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

Removable 8 Wh battery
Removable 8 Wh battery

According to the manufacturer, the BlackBerry Q10 can last up to 14.8 hours in 3G standby and up to 13.5 hours of 3G calls. We analyzed the battery life of the test model and its 8 Wh battery provides very good endurance. In the idle test with minimum brightness, the Q10 lasted a whopping 32.5 hours

The test under full load was simulated with a 1080p video and the maximum brightness was achieved using the lamp trick, as we did with the Z10. 7 hours and 35 minutes later the Q10 had to be charged. The 2100 mAh battery completed the more realistic WLAN surfing test after 8 hours. In order to set the brightness at 150 cd/m² we used the same lamp trick and set the screen brightness to 50%.

In comparison to the competition, BlackBerry's Q10 performs even better than the Z10, because the 1800 mAh/6.8 Wh battery has been replaced by a 2100 mAh/8 Wh larger one. The test model thus manages to double the idle runtimes and is also better in the surfing and full load tests. Although the ATIV S has a larger battery, it can only last a maximum of about 21 hours and only 2h 34 under load, but manages to hold a good 11 hours in the browsing test. The One X+ is about on par with the ATIV S. The Galaxy S4 with its thick 9.88 Wh battery, larger display and more powerful hardware holds 27 hours in idle and almost 9 hours in the WLAN surfing test. Under load it lasts about 4 hours. The iPhone 5 only has a 5.45 Wh battery (1440 mAh), but it trumps the Q10 in the WLAN surfing test, lasting 16 hours. But the Blackberry Q10 turns the tables in the full load test and its battery holds out for almost twice as long as the competition.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
32h 30min
WiFi Surfing
8h 00min
Load (maximum brightness)
7h 35min

Verdict

Reviewed: the Blackberry Q10 smartphone
Reviewed: the Blackberry Q10 smartphone

The BlackBerry Z10 already scored a whopping 88% rating in our review. The Blackberry Q10 receives 1% more. We see this as absolutely deserved, because the Q10 offers some significant improvements. Primarily this is the great mechanical QWERTY keyboard, which in combination with the intelligent word prediction software creates an unrivaled typing experience and immensely increases productivity. In addition to this, the Q10 also has an 8 Wh battery, which ensures very good runtimes. 

The clean and solid workmanship has remained on the same level, as have the elegant exterior and the powerful hardware, with the resulting good application performance. The AMOLED touchscreen is slightly smaller with a size of 3.1-inches and also has lower brightness, but is still very good overall. Another highlight is the extensive connectivity: micro HDMI, two noise reduction microphones, WLAN a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, GPS, LTE. No other competitor on the market offers as much. In addition there is 16 GB of flash memory, which can be increased with a microSD card. The intuitive, sensible controls and the great multitasking concept are the icing on the cake.

The drawbacks are the same as in the Z10: average camera modules and only standard accessories hold the high rating of the Q10 back, even if slightly so.

Overall, the BlackBerry Q10 is a successful all-around smartphone with a street price of 550 Euros (~$719). With its QWERTY keyboard it is aimed mainly at typing enthusiasts and business customers. Once again: those open to the BlackBerry OS 10, should have the Q10 on their shortlist.

Test device courtesy of ... GetGoods

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In Review: Blackberry Q10. Test device courtesy of Getgoods
In Review: Blackberry Q10. Test device courtesy of Getgoods

Specifications

BlackBerry Q10

:: Processor
:: Memory
2048 MB
:: Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 225, Core: 400 MHz
:: Display
3.1 inch 1:1, 720x720 pixel, 4-point multi-touch, Super AMOLED, 330 PPI, 24-bit color depth, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
16 GB iNAND Flash, 16 GB Net 11.4 GB, 11.4 GB free
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm jack, Card Reader: microSD (up to 64 GB, SDXC), Sensors: Accelerometer, magnetometer, proximity sensor, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, NFC, GPS
:: Networking
802.11a/b/g/n (a b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth, LTE, HSPA+
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 10 x 120 x 67
:: Weight
0.139 kg Power Supply: 0.044 kg
:: Battery
8 Wh Lithium-Ion, 2100 mAh, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 810 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 355 h
:: Price
649 Euro
:: Operating System
Blackberry 10
:: Additional features
Webcam: Rear 8 MP, autofocus and LED flash, Video FullHD 1080p; Front camera 2 MP, Video HD , Speakers: Mono speaker, Keyboard: Physical QWERTY keyboard, Keyboard Light: yes, Docs To Go, Maps, YouTube, Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN,..., 12 Monate Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
The BlackBerry Q10 is the second smartphone...
The BlackBerry Q10 is the second smartphone...
...with the BlackBerry OS 10.
...with the BlackBerry OS 10.
The workmanship is of high quality.
The workmanship is of high quality.
Gaps are consistent and cleanly finished. The ports and trim elements are also well fitted.
Gaps are consistent and cleanly finished. The ports and trim elements are also well fitted.
In addition to the obligatory headphone jack and micro USB port, there's also a micro HDMI port for connection of external displays.
In addition to the obligatory headphone jack and micro USB port, there's also a micro HDMI port for connection of external displays.
The back is rubberized, is pleasant to the touch and offers good grip.
The back is rubberized, is pleasant to the touch and offers good grip.
Clever details throughout: the metal strip below the camera protrudes slightly out the back. Thus the camera lens and LED flash are somewhat protected from scratches, when the device is placed on the table.
Clever details throughout: the metal strip below the camera protrudes slightly out the back. Thus the camera lens and LED flash are somewhat protected from scratches, when the device is placed on the table.
The keyboard is automatically illuminated in the dark.
The keyboard is automatically illuminated in the dark.
The volume buttons can also be used as camera shutter buttons.
The volume buttons can also be used as camera shutter buttons.
The mono speaker has a better sound than many competitors.
The mono speaker has a better sound than many competitors.
The Q10 offers excellent voice quality.
The Q10 offers excellent voice quality.
The largest part of the back side...
The largest part of the back side...
...can be removed.
...can be removed.
Behind we find...
Behind we find...
...the 8 Wh- battery, the microSD slot and the mini SIM port.
...the 8 Wh- battery, the microSD slot and the mini SIM port.
The antenna for the wireless module is located on the inside of the back cover.
The antenna for the wireless module is located on the inside of the back cover.
The microSD card can be replaced while the phone is turned on, thanks to its clever placement.
The microSD card can be replaced while the phone is turned on, thanks to its clever placement.
Blackberry 10 OS
Blackberry 10 OS
Memory information at delivery.
Memory information at delivery.
The keyboard more than compensates for the smaller display.
The keyboard more than compensates for the smaller display.
The intelligent multitasking is exemplary.
The intelligent multitasking is exemplary.
Although the display does have technical color deviations, they are not visible even on a white image.
Although the display does have technical color deviations, they are not visible even on a white image.
Subjectively, the 3.1-inch AMOLED display is bright, with high contrast and rich colors.
Subjectively, the 3.1-inch AMOLED display is bright, with high contrast and rich colors.
Geekbench 2 system information.
Geekbench 2 system information.
The wireless modules are excellent. Even NFC is on board.
The wireless modules are excellent. Even NFC is on board.
The BlackBerry Store does not yet offer as much choice as the counterparts from Google and Apple, but it is steadily being filled up.
The BlackBerry Store does not yet offer as much choice as the counterparts from Google and Apple, but it is steadily being filled up.
The browser is very fast and reliable.
The browser is very fast and reliable.

Similar devices

Devices with the same GPU

» Review Nokia Lumia 1020 Smartphone
Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, 4.5", 0.158 kg
» Review Nokia Lumia 925 Smartphone
Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, 4.5", 0.139 kg
» Review RIM BlackBerry Z10 Smartphone
Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, 4.2", 0.145 kg
» Review Samsung ATIV S Smartphone
Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, 4.8", 0.135 kg
» Review Dell XPS 10 Tablet
Snapdragon S4 Plus APQ8060A, 10.1", 0.635 kg
» Review Nokia Lumia 820 Smartphone
Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, 4.3", 0.159 kg

Links

  • Manufacturer's information

Price comparison

Pro

+Brilliant QWERTY keyboard with backlight
+The controls
+Lots of connectivity options
+Workmanship and tactile feel
+Brilliant AMOLED display
+Battery Life
+Good OS
+Well thought-out one-hand operation
+High performance
+Business extras
 

Cons

-The brightness of the display could have been better
-The quality of the cameras is only average
-The store must be filled more

Shortcut

What we liked

In addition to the great operating system is the brilliant keyboard in combination with the good touchscreen. This is what mobile working should look like.

What we'd like to see

Slightly brighter display, preferably similar to the luminous one in the BlackBerry Z10.

What surprises us

There aren't many smartphones with mechanical keyboards. Once you get used to it, you would not want to leave it. Also, the high battery life of the device.

The competition

In addition to the technically identical Blackberry Z10, the Blackberry Q10 competes with the flagships Samsung Galaxy S4Apple iPhone 5HTC One X+, and Samsung ATIV S.

Rating

BlackBerry Q10
08/05/2013 v3
Michael Moser

Chassis
89%
Keyboard
75%
Pointing Device
90%
Connectivity
48%
Weight
100%
Battery
98%
Display
85%
Games Performance
37%
Application Performance
52%
Temperature
94%
Noise
100%
Add Points
82%
Average
79%
89%
Smartphone *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review BlackBerry Q10 Smartphone
Author: Michael Moser, 2013-06-26 (Update: 2013-07- 1)