May 02, 2012

What do you think of RIM's Blackberry 10?

RIM started revealing the upcoming BB10 to developers this week, and I think it is fair to say the consensus is that this is a make or break product for the company. Just judging from appearances, my first though was that the BB10 physically looked like pretty much any other smartphone, whereas old BlackBerrys tended to look like, well, BlackBerrys. After having a chance to see a little more of the BB10, what do you think? Is this the device that saves RIM?


BB10 LOOKS WORSE THAN WINDOWS 8!! how is that even possible?



I agree that the physical appearance was a little unexpected.  Although the way it looks is far less important than the way it works, appearances do count.  It may not look like an old BlackBerry, but it looks good enough not to be an issue at least.  More importantly, what does it bring to the table?  Initially, I thought it notable that there wasn't a keyboard.  That's a big deal for a device that has messaging at the core of its appeal.  I use a touch keyboard with Swype, and while I don't mind it, I would rather have a physical keyboard if I did any more typing than I do.  I think that RIM may be using SwiftKey for their on-screen keyboard, so at least it should work well.  Turns out that the prototype was a touchscreen, but RIM stated that they had no intention of dropping the keyboard, so there will be presumably other variants that have a more classic BB form.     


The camera function that RIM demonstrated during the BB World 2012 keynote speech was really cool.  It allows you to time-shift parts of a photo you take.  For instance, someone blinks during a photo, you can back up just the portion of the image with their face to an instant before so you get them with their eyes open.  Really cool. but do you think people are going to buy BBs because of the camera function?  Me neither.  


Overall, it looks fine, with decent but not mindblowing hardware.  Maybe not "I'm going to get rid of my Android and get a BlackBerry" fine though, and I'm not sure that is good enough for RIM.         


I'm a big fan of competition and choice, so I hope it works out well for them. I hate the idea of one or two companies dominating the smartphone product category.

The Verge took a look at the Blackberry 10, you might find the article (with screenshots and video) interesting:

BlackBerry 10 unveiled

"RIM's managed to do something really innovative with the camera, too: you tap anywhere on the screen to take the picture, then you can use a timeline tool to scrub and select a moment right before or after your shot — good for getting rid of a blinking subject, for instance.

Everything RIM is showing today confirms leaked screen shots that we'd seen back in February, and CEO Thorsten Heins commented on stage that the project has been underway for a year and a half. He says we can expect an "exciting" device later this year — but in the meantime, stay tuned for more coverage from BlackBerry World throughout the day."
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