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BlackBerry 10 first impressions

BlackBerry CEO, Thorsten Heins, speaking at the world wide Launch Event
BlackBerry CEO, Thorsten Heins, speaking at the world wide Launch Event
BlackBerry Examiner

BlackBerry 10

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BlackBerry 10 was unveiled to the world this week, and yours truly was there to see it all happen first hand. As I mentioned already, I was even given a BlackBerry Z10 of my own. Well after several hours with the phone, I decided to put it down long enough to let you guys know the ins and outs, ups and downs, of BlackBerry's newest operating system.

The Good

There really are too many great things about BlackBerry 10 to list in a short first impressions article. Expect me to go in to depth with some of these as time goes by. The Hub is a gold mine. It took me a bit to get used to the up and then right gesture motion that allows you to access the Hub from pretty much every app on your phone, but once I got the hang of it, it seemed natural. Convenient doesn't even begin to describe its functionality.

The devil is in the details, and BlackBerry 10 has plenty of small details that really make it a great operating system to use. Probably my favorite is the lock screen and how it fades from locked to unlocked. The great detail about that is wherever your finger is on the screen, there's an ever so slight arch to the fading. Move your finger around from left to right, and the slight arch moves along with it. This is nothing that makes the phone function any better; it just looks really slick.

It's nice to see some of the more familiar motions and movements from my PlayBook make their way to BlackBerry 10. Creating and organizing folders is the same as on the tablet, so if you have one, you know how to do it.

The home screen keeps all your open apps on display for easy access. When you've got nothing open, it moves to the first page of your app list.

The Bad

Unlike with the Z10 hardware, there were a few things I have issues with on BlackBerry 10. While it's a great OS and I think will be a big game changer, it's not quite perfect yet.

Switching from portrait to landscape orientation, or vice versa, could be a little smoother and quicker. There's nothing more annoying than having to keep turning a phone this way and that to get it in the orientation you want.

The Z10 was designed to be a portrait orientation phone, and it shows in the fact that you can't switch to landscape from your home screen. This is a similar issue that first showed up when the PlayBook was first released, so a software patch will hopefully rectify the issue soon.

The Summary

I've had several people ask me if they think BlackBerry 10 will breathe new life in to the faltering smart phone manufacturers. While I would love to see BlackBerry be beyond successful and completely destroy the competition, I can't say with confidence that BlackBerry 10 will do that for them. Yes it's a great OS and I love pretty much everything about it. However, I'm very obviously biased. I think it's great enough to bring back some of the users BlackBerry has lost over the years via defection to Android an Apple, however, as I've stated before, they aren't the competition just yet. I think BlackBerry 10 will be a success if they prove that they are able to be the #3 smart phone in the country.

What are your thoughts? Drop me a comment below and let's start a discussion!

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