BLACKBERRY OS 10
As attractive as the Blackberry Q10, Z10 and Z30 are, Blackberry would not be seeing their recent success without the Blackberry 10 OS. As far as competition based on the OS alone, there is no other that comes even remotely close to the BB 10 OS, and it all comes down to multi-tasking. The BB 10 OS enables the use of up to 8 programs or apps at the same time, all of which are active and still running while reduced on their own home screen.
Let’s step back just a bit and speak of the OS. Everything is done by swiping. When you turn the Q10 on, swiping to the left brings you to three screens of software icons. Another member of our staff did some rearranging, but this is a typical app or software screen:
Swiping left brings you back, and then displays your active app screen (if you have any), notification screen, and Blackberry Hub on the far right side.
The Hub is key to everything and instantly updates you to such things as e-mail, text messages, BBM, Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and other notifications.
When you have a program active and want to either shut it down or simply reduce it, swipe up and it instantly gets placed within the active app screen. From there, simply press the ‘x’ bottom left of the reduced app to shut it down.
The sheer beauty of BB 10 OS is the ability to move anywhere at anytime without losing what you are doing, or even finding it difficult to return. On the phone and want to check a text? Simply swipe up to reduce the phone app, swipe right until you get to the Notifications panel and check. Somebody calls to ask for a contact phone number? Swipe up to reduce the phone, swipe left, open Contacts, find the contact, e-mail, text, BBM or just tell them the number right there. If you want a birds-eye view of what this OS can really do, check out our BlackBerry Z30 Review.
Traditionally, BlackBerry has been an underdog in the smart phone race and has suffered in the area of App availability. For the most part, this has changed and most Android Apps can easily be installed on BB OS 10, but not all. From my own perspective, I run the Z10 and Z30 continuously and am an App nut. There is only one App that I need that is not available for BlackBerry yet, and that is the Canon EOS Remote App. It’s a killer because this necessitates my keeping the old Samsung Galaxy Note II in my camera bag for that purpose.
BATTERY LIFE, BOOT UP AND SHUT DOWN
The Blackberry Q10 comes with a 2200mAH battery which is a step up from the 1800mAH battery of the Z10, but a step down from the monster 2880 maH battery of the Z30. On average, the Q10 will provide just over 9 hours of continuous use but we find plenty of complaints with respect to the Q10 battery life. Five of my coworkers carry the Q10 and we have seen the battery last as little as 6 hours with active use. Such things as reducing display brightness, turning down the volume, and shutting down Apps that aren’t being used help significantly.
Another concern some may have when shutting down the BlackBerry Q10 for any reason is the shutdown and startup times. On average, we find it takes about 25 seconds to shut the Q10 down, yet a mind-boggling 1m20s to start. If that doesn’t seem like long, turn your Q10 and then restart it.