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BlackBerry Q10 where traditional meets touch

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The BlackBerry Q10 arrived in AT&T stores on June 21. It is available online and at local retail outlets stating at $199.99 with a new two-year contract. If you are a fan of the BlackBerry because of the keyboard, you’ll want to check out the Q10. If you are business customer who is locked into the BlackBerry universe, the Q10 is your next option.

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The BlackBerry Q10 measures 4.71 inches by 2.63 inches. However, the screen is only 3.1 inches to make way for the keyboard. The key layout seems to provide much better spacing than the traditional BlackBerry keyboard. Compared to the BlackBerry 8360, the Q10 was a much better phone on which to compose a longer message. This is mostly due to the keys themselves being around 30 percent larger.

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The key difference between this model and the older ones is the touchscreen and no navigation buttons. Unlike other BlackBerry devices, the Q10 navigation is purely on the touchscreen. The device’s screen can only be turned on with the button on top of the device. Even though there is a volume rocker on the right side of the device, they can not active the phone’s screen.

The navigation itself is done after the screen is on. Swiping up will place an app into the active app screen. Swiping left will display your apps. While swiping right will bring you to the BlackBerry HUB as you pass the currently running apps screen. A downward swipe brings up system and app settings. All of these gestures may seem a little awkward at first. However, after using the device for a couple of days, it becomes very intuitive and very easy to understand the usability of the system.

While the navigation may seem simple and easier to get used to on a pure touchscreen device, the Q10’s keyboard provides a slight distraction and lengthens the time it may take get used to the keyboard and touch combination. The first time you enter an app, it may be a challenge to get out of the app since there are no additional buttons. Reading the short and simple quick start guide will help shorten the learning curve.

The camera on the back of the Q10 is 8-megapixels and is capable of capturing videos at 1080p. It is fairly easy to capture pictures through the camera app. Simply tapping on the screen will snap a photo. This was an interesting change from other devices that focus when you tap on the screen and are required to tap a specific portion of the screen. If you are looking for a more tactile approach, you can use the volume buttons to take the picture as well.

The quality of the pictures is OK. The biggest challenge was around consistency. In similar lighting, especially in lower light, pictures would come out good. In others, they would be a little blurry even after focusing and appearing steady on the screen prior to snapping the picture. At times, the length of time to focus was a little slower.

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The BlackBerry Q10 comes with 16GB of space. This space is a little low if you wish to add media, pictures, or many apps. However, it can be easily expanded with a microSD card located in the battery compartment. The Q10 only accepts cards up to 32GB. While you can insert a new card without removing the battery, you do need to remove the back completely to access the card on the right side of the device.

If you are in need of a phone with a keyboard or are just a fan of the BlackBerry line, stop by your local AT&T store to check out the BlackBerry Q10. If you are interested in the BlackBerry line with a full touchscreen, you may want to check out the BlackBerry Z10.



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