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BlackBerry Z10 Reviews Are In: Meh

January 31st, 2013 - 1:50 pm

Walt Mossberg:

Overall, it worked fine in my tests, but I found it a work in progress. I liked some things a lot, including the way BlackBerry has designed its new virtual keyboard and camera, and the way it gathers all your messages into a single Hub. But it will launch with just a fraction of the apps available from its competitors, and is missing some very popular titles. It also lacks its own cloud-based ecosystem for storing and sharing files, like Apple’s iCloud or Google Drive. And there are other missing or lagging features.

Zach Epstein:

Why isn’t there a visual notification with a message preview when a new email or BBM message arrives?

Why do the volume buttons still work when the phone is locked?

Why can’t I schedule profiles so my phone isn’t buzzing and chiming with alerts on my bedside table throughout the night? My RAZR HD is smart enough to know when to shut up. My iPhone is smart enough. My Galaxy S III is smart enough. Why isn’t my Z10, with a brand new operating system, smart enough?

Why can’t I see what time it is when I’m in an app?

Why can’t I find a decent app?

Why do photos captured with the Z10′s camera look like they were taken with a flip phone from 2006 unless the subject is in optimal lighting?

Why does a swipe up on the BlackBerry Hub screen cause a panel to enter the UI from the right?

Why doesn’t it sync to the server instantly when I read an email as with other smartphone platforms, so other devices know to mark opened messages as read?

Why isn’t a BBM chat scrolled down to the most recent message when I get an alert and access the appropriate chat in BlackBerry Hub?

Why?

Andrew Cunningham:

Our biggest concern with the BlackBerry Z10′s performance isn’t that it’s bad, but that it’s being sold against better-specced phones at roughly the same price point.

Jessica Dolcourt:

The Z10′s unintuitive gesture paradigm creates a learning curve, and a long list of OS inefficiencies and omissions sour the experience. The bare-bones maps app and a deficit of camera features are two examples.

Joshua Topolsky:

The problem with the Z10 is that it doesn’t necessarily do anything better than any of its competition. Sure, there are arguments that could be made about how it handles messages or the particulars of its camera, but no one could argue that there’s a “killer app” here. Something that makes you want or need this phone because it can do what no other phone can do. That’s not the case — in fact if anything is the case, it’s that the Z10 can’t yet do some things that other devices can. Or at least, can’t do them quite as well.

The stock market:

Shares of BlackBerry, RIM’s new corporate name, fell almost 10 percent early on Thursday, after a 12 percent decline the previous day, as some tech analysts questioned whether the new BB10 devices the company launched on Wednesday were the sure-fire hit that BlackBerry needs to get back into the game.

To stand out, BlackBerry (née RIM) needed to produce a phone nearly as revolutionary as the iPhone was back in 2007. Instead they produced a nice phone which competes neither on price or features.

Say g’night, Gracie.

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