BlackBerry 10: What You Need To know

Research In Motion (RIM) will be looking to re-enter the smartphone wars with it’s new platform, dubbed BlackBerry 10 with a launch event this upcoming Wednesday. Does RIM have what it takes to be a real game changer this year? Read on to find out more about it.

 

 

 

Update 1 – BlackBerry Camera TimeShift

Update 2 – BlackBerry Z10 Black High Resolution Image

BlackBerry Flow

BlackBerry 10 Flow - As you swipe to unlock the phone, you get a preview of your homescreen behind. (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

BlackBerry 10 Flow – As you swipe to unlock the phone, you get a preview of your homescreen behind. (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

BlackBerry 10 has a brand new user interface, majorly gesture based. This begins from the lock screen where you swipe up to unlock and as you do so you get a preview to what lurks behind, i.e. your homescreen. While on the subject of the lockscreen, it’s a very useful one, providing you quick access to important notifications you may have missed, missed calls, unread texts etc. as well as upcoming calendar appointments.

BlackBerry 10 Peek (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

BlackBerry 10 Peek (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

As part of BlackBerry Flow, there is a feature dubbed BlackBerry peek, which allows you to peek at your notifications from within any application, simply by swiping up from the bottom bezel of the device. It minimizes the app, and then when you let go, you’re brought back to where you left off.

BlackBerry Hub

BlackBerry 10 - Swipe to the right from BlackBerry Peek to access BlackBerry Hub (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

BlackBerry 10 – Swipe to the right from BlackBerry Peek to access BlackBerry Hub (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

First of all, BlackBerry hub follows on from BlackBerry Peek, in both the way to access it but also features wise, in that it goes one step further. What I mean by this, is once in BlackBerry Peek, you simply swipe to the right and you’re at the BlackBerry hub, this is the central integrated part social wise of your phone; Facebook, Twitter, email, and many more other types of notifications all in one convenient place. You can customize this Hub to your heart’s content, so if you don’t want to be bothered with Facebook notifications for example, you can simply disable that from the settings. Swiping again to the right from BlackBerry hub, gives you access to the settings and various account options.

BlackBerry 10 - Swipe to the right from Event Pane to get back to BlackBerry Hub (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

BlackBerry 10 – Swipe to the right from Event Pane to get back to BlackBerry Hub (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

Another great feature about this hub, is right at the top are upcoming calendar appointments and other events you’ve scheduled and these events are interactive in that you can see who’s going and get access to their social updates right from within the BlackBerry hub, again just convenient. To return to the BlackBerry hub from within the event pane, simply swipe to the right and you’re right back where you were, no need to keep tapping the back button multiple times.

Active Frames

BlackBerry 10 Active Frames (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

BlackBerry 10 Active Frames (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

No not widgets, not live tiles, active frames. The first homescreen, shows your active frames. Essentially these are minimized versions of your open applications but with useful content. In the above example, you can see that someone on BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) updated their display picture, and so the user would be alerted to this change their friend has made. Application developers can code within the app, what content should be shown on these active frames. Active Frames is also RIM’s take on multitasking.

BlackBerry Balance

BlackBerry 10 Balance - Work and Personal Profiles (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

BlackBerry 10 Balance – Work and Personal Profiles (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

Before gaining mass popularity amongst teenagers due to BBM, BlackBerries were traditionally almost entirely used in enterprise and it’s no surprise they still are, the level of security offered due to the high level encryption of the data on each device added with the benefit this data is stored in offshore data centers makes it ideal for business. The problem has been while companies give their employees a BlackBerry device for work, the employee would have another phone for personal use. RIM is looking to change this and let one phone be be the best of both with BlackBerry 10.

BlackBerry 10 - Dedicated Company App Store on Work Profile (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

BlackBerry 10 – Dedicated Company App Store on Work Profile (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

It does this by using profiles, simply named “Personal” and “Work”, and their meanings are self explanatory. What’s powerful, however, is the way to effortlessly change between them, again using a swipe down gesture from anywhere on the screen, but also the company could have a dedicated App Store of enterprise apps, and this would be kept completely separate from the personal section of the phone. Both are fully encrypted and separate from each other. It’s almost as if when you leave work, and switch to the “Personal” profile, your work life is completely switched off, allowing you to enjoy your time with the people that matter.

BlackBerry Messenger

BlackBerry 10 Messenger (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

BlackBerry 10 Messenger (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

One could argue the main reason why BlackBerry devices have become so popular in the general consumer market is BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), in brief this is an instant messaging client with a lot of media sharing options as well as the ability to see when your messages have been delivered and read. With BlackBerry 10, RIM updates BBM with more updated graphics, seeing your contacts in a grid view by their display pictures (as shown above) but also the UI is very user friendly, you can quickly jump between open chats and contacts just by tapping the relevant on screen button.

BlackBerry Keyboard

BlackBerry 10 Keyboard - Multi Language Next Word Predictive Typing (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

BlackBerry 10 Keyboard – Multi Language Next Word Predictive Typing (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

With BlackBerry 10, RIM is introducing for the first time, effortless multi language next word predictive typing. Again this is gesture based, as you can see in the image above, typing the letter f, suggests “family” “from” etc., and to accept the suggestion, you just swipe up on the corresponding letter. For example, swipe up on the letter a, to input the word “family”. Also you can see that it switches from Spanish to English effortlessly and RIM is the first to pioneer such a revolutionary way of typing. Not sure how this will work on the BlackBerry 10 devices that will have a full QWERTY Style physical keyboard; we’ll just have to wait and see.

Sleep Mode/Alarm

BlackBerry 10 Sleep Mode + Alarm (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

BlackBerry 10 Sleep Mode + Alarm (Image Credit: BlackBerry)

With all the gestures in BlackBerry 10, what better than to have one more to let the device sleep right? Well again this is pretty straightforward and convenient, in an opposite fashion to the way you swipe up to unlock the phone, swipe down from the lockscreen and this puts your device into sleep mode. What’s nice though is it allows you to set an alarm right from that sleep mode page. You just move the cursor around till the time you want and you’re done; alarm set for the next morning.

BlackBerry 10 Devices – Z10 and X10

BlackBerry 10 - Z10 Device Press Shot (Image Credit: UnwiredView)

BlackBerry 10 – Z10 Device Press Shot (Image Credit: UnwiredView)

Nothing is official till RIM make the announcement on Wednesday so take these rumours with a pinch of salt. The Z10 is supposedly RIM’s BlackBerry 10 Flagship touchscreen smartphone. Rumoured specs include a 1.5 Ghz Dual Core Processor, 4.2 inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels, if you do the maths that’s 356 pixels per inch, making it a very crisp and sharp display for reading emails and also looking at media content. 2 GB of RAM is expected with 16 GB of on board storage, but also a hot swappable Micro SD slot (i.e. you can remove and replace micro SD cards without turning off the device). Camera wise, 8 MP rear facing camera and a 2 MP front facing camera, both capable of recording video at Full HD 1080p resolution. Powering this beast of a smartphone will be an 1800 mAH battery, we’ll have to wait and see how many hours of battery life this gives in everyday use.

BlackBerry 10 – X10 Device (Image Credit: N4BB)

BlackBerry 10 – X10 Device (Image Credit: N4BB)

RIM is very well known for it’s full QWERTY physical keyboards on devices. Despite the trend in technology moving towards touchscreen, virtual keyboards, RIM continues the tradition of a physical keyboard and that’s one reason why people still use and like BlackBerry devices. Moving on, the X10 will be the flagship BlackBerry 10 device to have a physical QWERTY keyboard as well as a touchscreen keyboard. Cameras wise, it’s expected to have a rear facing 8 MP Camera, with an 5x digital zoom, capable of 1080p video recording and front facing 2 MP Camera, with a 2x digital zoom, capable of 720p recording. This phone is also expected to NFC, will be interesting to see how RIM plays catch up with this technology since Android has had this for a while, even though it hasn’t come to the Apple iPhone….yet.

SuperBowl Ad

RIM will air an advertisement during the SuperBowl XLVII to promote BlackBerry 10. There was an official press release for this announcement but what stood out to a lot of people in the tech community was this line “BlackBerry 10, its new mobile computing platform that will power the next generation of smartphones and tablets”; suggesting that RIM will potentially have a flagship tablet device, as well as the rumoured X10 and Z10 devices, all running BlackBerry 10. We haven’t heard much BlackBerry tablets wise, since the PlayBook, and yeah…the less said about that the better.

Watch BlackBerry 10 in action:

 

 

 BlackBerry Camera TimeShift

RIM wants to make sure you capture the right moment in your picture. Essentially, they allow you to “go back in time” and “change” the person’s face to how it was before, so if a person had their eyes open initially but closed their eyes at time of capture, you could modify it to show their face with the eyes open.

Words don’t do this feature justice, see it in action in the video below:

Thanks Natalie Crampton

 BlackBerry Z10 Black High Resolution Image

Thanks to MrIgorTV for exclusively providing me with the image below of the BlackBerry Z10 in Black:

BlackBerry Z10 Black - High Resolution Image

BlackBerry Z10 Black – High Resolution Image

It matches the blurry version above pretty well don’t you think? For a full review on the device, stay tuned to MrIgorTv’s YouTube channel.

Unfortunately, we won’t be at the launch event, but the event will be live streamed, link will be announced here nearer the time.

Stay tuned to TeckComesFirst for more tech news and be sure to like our Facebook page so you don’t miss any updates.

Written by Purav, PDTechHD (My personal account is PDTalkinTech)

What do you guys think of BlackBerry 10? Would you consider switching to this new platform from Android/iOS/Windows Phone? It would be great to get some feedback/thoughts in the comments section below!

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Notable Accolades for this article:

Nishant GambhirAdam from CrackBerry, Matt Brian from The Next Web, Carly Page from The Inquirer, BlackBerry UK Twitter

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I’m a 23 year old Maths Graduate, who has a great passion for technology and in my spare time I make videos on YouTube to show my passion. I'm also co-admin here at TeckComesFirst and I joined this site back in January 2012.
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  • Black Berry 10 looks awesome great overview purav :D. Im still the most exited for Ubuntu mobile. The major problem with BB10 is whether it will have the right apps or not and the hardware of the phones. Even though it has the BB name behind it , its still not enough to beat windows phone especially since its this late of a launch.

  • Great Article Purav! Never been a huge fan of Blackberry, however you sure give across a persuasive message. The 8mp Camera sounds amazing with the 2GB RAM on a mobile device too! I saw that cheeky put down of the Apple iPhone in there too 😛

    Keep up the good work mate. Enjoyed the read. Gareth.

  • Very nice article, extremely nice use of pictures! Although I looked into BB10 before, you even mention stuff that I didn’t know but I really like. For example the multi-language support in the keyboard, it’s a big feature for me in Swiftkey because I’m using my phone bilingually and it’s just a must-have for me.
    Also thanks for sharing that there will be a livestream, I didn’t know that and I love livestreams!
    Overall, I’m looking forward to BB10 but at the same time, I don’t think it can satisfy me as much as Android can with the AOSP. But as a work phone this would be my first choice.
    Keep up the great work!

  • NaijaMan

    Great article dude, the competition is just getting more heated now. It is definitely trying to set a great mark for this new year, and wanting to beat everyone else at their own game. Also, I saw that burn to Apple haha, no love for the,. Hopefully, one gets to demo this very soon.

  • Ben

    Enjoyed the article Purav! Great job! I kind of like it but still, I prefer iOS or Android as you know. Anyway great job man! 😀

  • Nice review…I am planning on switching back to Blackberry …the Z10 looks like a monster Phone…glad to have BB back in the game…

  • Amazing article! Great detail and you seem to have covered everything, makes me exciting for BB10 and it’s many features!

  • I’ve been using the iPhone 5 since launch in between last month I tried the Note 2. I’m going back to BlackBerry when the BlackBerry Z10 launches. I already pre-ordered mine. I can’t wait. Here are some reasons why I’m switching.

    Since 2007 iOS hasn’t changed much. I hate the locked down eco system everything has to go through iTunes. You can’t even transfer picture using Bluetooth. Even my 2002 Nokia was able to do that. Creating a beautiful industrial design phone that is prone scratches sucks. No point making a very thing phone that can’t be used without a case… Battery life that doesn’t last 5 hours of use. I know all phones have sucky battery life but the iPhone is the worst. Plus the battery cannot be swapped… But I’m getting used to the phone. iOS 6 is more refined than any other OS “currently” available including Windows phone 8 and Android. UI is getting boring with the static icons but it works for the most part. I hate the multi-tasking and double clicking and triple clicking the home button. Not intuitive at all. All in all as a phone I seem to prefer iPhone over Android. I wouldn’t have said that a year ago. Mostly because of the screen size, build quailty and the software keyboard is better on the iPhone with BlackBerry like feature especially word shortcuts which I use often. Also Android is fragmented, heats up, force closes too often. My iPhone 5’s days are numbered.

  • There is no doubt that 2012 was an anus horribulus for RIM, all the BBM issues and network crash while they continued to fall behind other smartphones – with Android and iOS both upping their game. Maybe 2013 will see new fortunes, they are obviously looking at what consumers want and the competition offers and designing a handset to fill the gaps. Very good article, in depth a thought out well.

  • Really liking the UI. Don’t know how well its going to sell but has some potential.

  • That was a great detailed article Purav! 😀 I love all the visuals that you’ve included too! I’m not a big fan of Blackberrys though haha

  • Great and factual article man! Just what i needed to know about the BB10 and more beyond that. Really hoping to look forward to that phone. Keep up the good work mate!!

  • bulls2213

    Cool article. It should be noted that RIM is not playing catch up with NFC as you described — the Bold 9900 has it.

  • Wow the Blackberry 10 is a pretty cool looking device!

  • Tim Wong

    Excellent article Purav! Very factual and informational, you obviously done your research! Though I’m not keen on Blackberries, I would definitely check it out!

  • TBH never being a true fan of the whole RIM Package, Granted this is based on the old style that RIM more or less refused to update to today’s standards for what people want. Granted RIM started with “We are Business orientated” we do not want the youth market (Quickly swallowing there words) became and still are in some respect the No one Teen Phone to date. Over powering the likes of Nokia and such for global dominance became a reality.
    Based now on what has become the Smartphone revolution over the past 4 years i have seen RIM slowly ignore what needed to be done, Which in turn has left the consumer wondering if this is going to become another victim of the Apple/Samsung Dominance ?, Well who knows, Maybe RIM Have got it right this time round and is about to take the world by revealing the next best thing ??

  • Love the article well written and informative

  • Great article PD. I think people should appreciate the PlayBook’s features especially it’s gestures because it looks like RIM are porting many of the cool features of the playbook to BB10. Again great article PD. Very informative. Keep up the awesome work.

  • Nice write up Purav! I wanted to know about BB10, but frankly couldnt be bothered to ready up about it 😀
    This could be their savior, and the fact they have got Dev’s to back it is essential to its success, with the help of a $10,000 incentive (if your app makes between $1k and $10k they will make the difference so its $10k). Unfortunately if you don’t have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Angry Birds, and a number of other apps the mass market is just not interested.
    I think that BB will always have a place in the market, due to its security etc… just not sure if that future is with RIM (if that makes sense)

  • Great Article! Excited for the BlackBerry launch

  • Very interesting article, anyway i’m really looking forward to see how it works!

  • Great article! I’m not a blackberry person.

  • Awesome article matey, you’ve put a lot of effort into this one and it shows due to the outstanding response you received. The BlackBerry Z10 looks like an amazing phone, really does look nice, keep up the good work mate 🙂

  • smokedbyinkyung<3

    which phones 4 u store was this? my local one sells tablets too but not as many as the chemist