“The BlackBerry Z10 isn’t the strongest reboot the RIM of old could have delivered,” we wrote back in February in our Z10 review, “but it gets an awful lot right about the smartphone experience.” We continued: “In a broader sense, it has accomplished something not many products out of Waterloo have managed in recent years: it’s made us excited for the next BlackBerry.”
The next BlackBerry to cross our desks turned out to be the Q10, the Z10’s QWERTY-packing little sibling. And while we rather liked the plucky little curveball, we were left a bit skeptical that many folks would go out of their way to purchase one: “What does the Q10 offer that … more-mature ecosystems … don’t?” we asked. “A great physical keyboard. A ‘peek-able’ notification center. Cool multitasking. BlackBerry Balance. Is that enough? We’re not sure.”
In the intervening time, BlackBerry’s fortunes haven’t exactly improved. Despite encouraging developments like the long-awaited BBM rollout to other platforms and an increase in BlackBerry interest from the enterprise sector, the company has suffered from terrible financial performance, the appointment of a new CEO, and the removal of its products from T-Mobile USA retail stores.
While no one was expecting the new Z30 to turn the tide all on its own, we harbored some hope that BlackBerry’s revised flagship model, in concert with some of the improvements brought by BlackBerry 10.2, would at least provide a boost. But the device’s rather unremarkable hardware, combined with stateside Verizon Wireless exclusivity, quickly doused those few flickers of optimism.
Still, we very much wanted to see the second modern monolith in BlackBerry’s arsenal, so when the company gave us the opportunity to spend some time with it, we quickly said yes. While we received our demo hardware too late to justify a full BlackBerry Z30 review, we were eager to share our observations with you after a few days with the device. Here, then, for your viewing enjoyment, is a brief tour of everything we love (and everything we don’t) about the beefiest BlackBerry yet.
Update: the video above erroneously states there is no “mark all as read” feature in BB10, which is incorrect. Pocketnow regrets the error.