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Video: BlackBerry Q10 review - physical qwerty keyboard phone is far from cheap


The BlackBerry Q10 is the flagship BlackBerry smartphone with a physical keyboard. It offers a similar BlackBerry 10 experience to its touchscreen cousin the BlackBerry Z10, but looks and feels much more like a traditional BlackBerry handset. Here's PC Advisor's BlackBerry Q10 review. We borrowed our BlackBerry Q10 from Phones4u.co.uk.

BlackBerry Q10: Design and Build

It's a small and light device, relatively thick for a modern phone, weighing 140g and measuring 119.6x66.8x11mm.

Available in white or black it is principally constructed of plastic, with a silver metal trim. The front is dominated by the screen at the top, and the physical qwerty keyboard at the bottom.

It may be small and squat, but the overall feel is of quality and a certain ability to withstand the rigours of modern smartphone use.

If you are used to using a physical keyboard on a BlackBerry phone you'll find it is a good one: there is a satisfying level of travel and clicked feedback in the keys. A textured finish makes it easier to type in the dark. (See also: BlackBerry Z10 review.)

BlackBerry Q10: 720x720 resolution, pixel density of 330ppi

To have a physical keyboard you have to sacrifice screen real-estate. But the Q10's 3.1in display is far from the smallest we've seen. And it looks good: noticably sharper than previous qwerty keyboard BlackBerries. It's full of colour although to our eyes at least it seemed a little dark. The touchscreen is responsive, too. The only real issue we had with this relatively small display is the 1:1 aspect ratio - if you can find any movie content in BlackBerry's media-light world, it's unlikely to look any good!

BlackBerry Q10: Performance

The Q10 is a curate's egg performance wise. It's certainly no slouch, but we might have expected more at this price.

The BlackBerry 10 OS stable and responsive. The Q10 is reasonably snappy in use, although we found at times that we had to wait a split second for animated transitions to play out.

Specs: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core CPU at 1.5GHz, 2GB RAM, 16GB Flash storage.

You can add more storage via MicroSD card, which is important because on our test model 4.4GB was in use before we installed any software or media.

Benchmark results: GeekBench 2: 1720 points, Sunspider Javascript test: 2855ms

In our benchmark tests the Blackberry Q10 produced average results. Battery life is well taken care of with a large removable battery. We managed to get comfortably more than a day of use out of the Q10 without having to charge it, even if we weren't quite able to run it for two days as BlackBerry claims.

There's also an 8Mp camera which isn't much to write home about. See also: The 8 best smartphones: What's the best phone you can buy in 2013?

UK price: £579 inc VAT

The Q10 is a business-focussed tool and it may be that your employer is footing that bill. That's important, because pricewise the Q10 is in the upper echelon of UK smartphones, especially those with 16GB storage. To be honest, it feels overpriced. But there isn't much competition in the physical qwerty keyboard phone world. See also: Group test: What's the best budget smartphone for under £200?

BlackBerry Q10: BlackBerry 10

BlackBerry 10 is very different from both previous BlackBerry OSes and the other contenders: iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Yes it is a GUI that comprises a series of app tiles, but navigation is noticably unique. To see your email and social messages you swipe to the left from any Window. To reach a screen of all your open apps simply swipe up from the bottom of any screen. It sounds simple, and it is, but it takes a bit of getting used to. And there is still a great lack of the best apps for BlackBerry.

BlackBerry Q10 - the verdict

If you need a physical qwerty keyboard you'll struggle to find a better phone than the Q10. But it is far from cheap. We award three and a half stars. See also: best BlackBerry phone in 2013.

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