BlackBerry Z10 - a face with charm
The new platform from RIM is fresh and has its own charm. And the intuitive interface is generally a breath of fresh air after Android! We analyze step by step on the example of a new flagship.
In April 2010, RIM acquired QNX, the developer of the closed-source Unix family platform platform. This platform has been used for over thirty years in various industries requiring high reliability: space, hydropower, and the oil industry. By the way, over 60% of Infotainment automotive systems run on QNX. In general, for about three years, the company has been developing a hybrid OS, combining the best qualities of the BlackBerry and QNX platforms. At one time, the BlackBerry 9900 smartphone (May 2011) appeared on the BB7 platform, and the Playbook tablet (June 2011), which already worked on QNX. They should have been combined in the company.
Let me remind you that the system was originally called BBX - from combining the names of the BlackBerry and QNX brands, but later it turned out that this name was already used by BASIS, so the new platform was simply named - BlackBerry 10. After that, a year later, in March last year, a conference was held for BlackBerry Jam developers in Orlando, where I was also and saw a gadget that was handed out to developers to test BlackBerry 10 programs on it. - In RIM, it was understood that it was very important that there were as many programs as possible. This gadget - BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha was not intended for sale and was essentially a BlackBerry Playbook, but packed in a more compact case.
After that, various information leaks from the company occurred during the year - for example, images of a mysterious device codenamed London, supposedly the first on BlackBerry 10, got into the network. The platform itself was supposed to start first on October 10, but the announcement was postponed. And while they were waiting for the new OS, RIM was buried several times: the company laid off seven thousand employees last year, revenue for the third quarter fell by 47% compared to 2011, the BlackBerry share in the smartphone market fell to 4-5%, and for the first time in history The BlackBerry subscriber base has decreased - by 1 million, from 80 to 79. And just before the announcement of BlackBerry 10, company president Torsten Hines, who has been in office for exactly a year, announced a possible sale of the iron division, and then he allegedly intended to buy Lenovo. However,
Finally, on January 30, Research in Motion officially announced the BlackBerry 10. And also the first two smartphones on this system - the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10. One is completely touch-sensitive, and the second has the same hardware keyboard in the good old style and, accordingly, a smaller screen, square. In terms of filling, Z10 and Q10 are identical, but the screen resolution of the Z10 is 1280x768 pixels, of the Q10 - 720x720. It is clear that the main emphasis will be placed on the Z10 - touch screens are the main trend and the main challenge of the BlackBerry, and the QWERTY smartphone is rather a tribute to the past and a sign of loyalty to its fans. So we will study the BlackBerry Z10 - which, as you can see, is the very device called London, whose image has leaked to the network.
So, what does BlackBerry 10 want to surprise, how does this platform differ from its competitors? Firstly, you can immediately see that there are no buttons here - neither hardware nor touch, unlike all the dominant platforms. Let me remind you that in iOS there is a hardware button for returning to the home screen, in Android - a whole menu, Windows Phone also has a number of touch buttons. Obviously, the system is controlled by gestures from the edges of the screen, and this industry has seen at least two times - in the MeeGo platform, as well as in the BlackBerry Playbook tablet. Here, most of the actions are performed with one single gesture: moving from the logo up.
But more on that later, but for now - the hardware. The device is quite thin, but rather big, not the lightest, but it lies nicely in the hand. The screen is quite in trend, 4.2 inches, 1280x768 pixels, this density is 356 dots per inch, sharper than in the same iPhone5.
The connectors are almost all the same as in the development sample: power button, Reset and standard audio jack, volume control and Mute; and on the left side - microUSB and microHDMI. But unlike the development sample, there is a removable battery, and microSIM is inserted inside. The back cover, by the way, is different, there is not soft-touch, but material close to what is used in the Bold 9900. I compare the X10 and the Blackberry Bold 9900: very similar devices, and in RIM they absolutely rightly took their most successful QWERTY- as a sample smartphone.
But if the Bold 9900 screen had 2.8 inches diagonally and a resolution of 640x480, then in Q10 the resolution is 720x720.
True, at the ends of both gadgets there are no contacts for the docking station, which were, for example, on the tablet, which is slightly sad.
There are two cameras, 8 and 2 megapixels, and the main one supports the time-shift function, which I will talk about a little later. There is NFC and support for 4th generation networks, with two versions - both HSPA and compatible with Russian LTE networks. The internal memory is 16 GB. The processor is dual-core one and a half gigahertz, RAM 2 GB. There will be two versions of each device, in a white and black case.
The screen is activated by moving your finger from the logo up. This is the first position when the phone does not need to be fully turned on, sort of half asleep. In this mode, you can see, for example, time, battery power or message status. This half-movement is called in English peek - you kind of peep. You can swipe down and the screen will turn off again. And if you drag your finger higher - the menu will start.
The same action, half-peek, can be performed in various applications. For example, while surfing, my LED beacon blinked that a message arrived, I moved the picture, looked at what had fallen on me, and either went back or switched to messages.
Message management is another interesting feature called the BlackBerry Hub. Here in one place all incoming messages are collected: mail, Facebook, BBM, Twitter, Linkedin and so on, messages can be filtered by type, for example, read only Twitter. But the hub allows you to not only view statuses, but also reply to messages and publish your statuses. So, to respond to a message, you need to hold the call to bring up a context menu from where various functions are available. And from here I can publish my status without separately launching the application, in this case Facebook. I note that this is not a separate program, but part of the system: you first drive in the settings all your data in social networks and get a hub. There is also a calendar in the hub - pull down, and information about the next meeting will appear.
QNX, on whose core the system is built, is highly reliable primarily because of multi-threading processes. An incorrectly working application cannot hang or drop the system - you can simply close it, this is done by simply clicking on the cross. At the same time, eight applications are supported, all of them can be seen in the menu and switch between them. Moreover, the application from which you left is always displayed in the upper left corner - so that you do not get confused. Clicking on the cross completely closes the application and clears it from memory. If you run the ninth application, it will pop out what was closed first. The simultaneous launch of eight applications is not a limitation of the system itself, QNX can consistently hold much more programs, it was simply considered by BlackBerry that eight simultaneously running applications are enough.
In general, much has been done in BlackBerry 10 so that the user does as little as possible extra clicks and movements, and working with text confirms this too. The appearance of the on-screen keyboard is very similar to the hardware keyboard: the same spaces between the horizontal rows, the maximally enlarged keys close to the screen, the inverse color - white letters on a black background, well, everything is like on BlackBerry devices. The system guesses words and gives hints. You can print without spaces at all: the system will arrange them yourself, just press the space bar at least once. And it is on the space bar that a hint is displayed. Russian dictionary is connected, everything works with a bang. In English, we switch to the left of the space in two clicks. To erase a word, you just need to wipe the keyboard anywhere on the left, and it will be erased by the word. The keyboard can be removed
BlackBerry 10 is believed to be the coolest browser in the world that works best with HTML5. A browser is built on the web kit engine. To test this, I ran a well-known HTML5 compatibility test. The browser scored 485 points, and overtook all existing mobile browsers, even tablet and desktop ones, on this indicator.
Another trick is especially for business users: with the BlackBerry Balance function configured (and it is configured by the administrator on the BES server), you can separate the working and personal spaces of the smartphone. Just one downward movement from the center of any screen.
BlackBerry Balance separates corporate information from personal information - you can give your child a smartphone without the risk that he will delete something, for example, in work mail. Both applications and data are separated, of course, all this can be configured. And when you, say, change jobs, only corporate data is deleted, without affecting personal data. This trend is called BWOD Bring Your Own Device today, when people want to use their personal smartphone at work, you can set up BlackBerry Balance for them.
The camera writes video in HD mode, but the main feature is the built-in timeshift function, which allows you to literally open people's eyes and return their smiles. The essence of the function is that the camera does not take one shot, but a small series, and if suddenly a person blinks, you can always choose the frame on which his eyes are open.
In addition, the voice control function and photo / video editors are actively promoted, allowing you to glue video directly on the phone.
It was renamed from App World, at launch it should have from 70 to 100 thousand applications, but in any case it is a record for the new operating system. Android applications do not natively launch, but are ported fairly quickly. BlackBerry World has added content: video and music.
I believe that RIM did an excellent job: the already reliable platform turned out to be interesting, convenient and quite competitive. She looks fresh and has her own charm. The intuitive interface is a breath of fresh air after Android, an opportunity to plunge into the clear ocean after all of us are actively trying to cram into the swamp. I sincerely wish RIM success with the new platform. I want to believe that a new strong player has appeared on the market.