Archive for January, 2013

Research In Motion is Moving Again… 

This is the week that RIM brought the new BlackBerry 10 to the world, with its debut on January 30th 2013. For them it is possibly the defining moment of their company… For us, it’s a cool new gadget to play with!

 

Two new handsets (one touchscreen, one with keyboard), one new Operating System, 70,000+ apps and counting… BlackBerry is looking like a viable contender in the market once more. Hoorah!

 

The best thing RIM could do was return the BlackBerry phone to its former exclusive standing, instead of making them £120 toys for children. This was probably why they went rather quickly sliding downhill – without much of a tech standing anymore in the market their phones have been seen as nothing but kids’ toys – just as other cheap, pink handsets are seen. Frankly, when you can only seem to get plastic pink penguins and Hannah Montana accessories for the most recent set of BB Curves, you know it’s a lost cause and you’re never going to be taken seriously!

The starting price for the Z10 (touchscreen) handset is a rather eye-watering £479.99 (in the UK on Pay-&-Go). Many handsets often have a high starting price and fall… But this is standing shoulder-shoulder with the other expensive phones out there, and I can’t see why its price should fall. Their tech seems highly up to standard and the OS (Operating System) is probably much better than Android (… no, I’m not a fan…). Give it some time and I think RIMs reputation will be saved with this.

The new Z10 has already had public endorsements on Twitter from the likes of Sir Alan Sugar, Piers Morgan and Stephen Fry, amongst others – so finally, they seem to be doing something right!

 

Apps:

Once its downfall, BlackBerry now seems to have finally dipped its toes firmly into the App market – and with some conviction, which is a bit of a relief for us BlackBerry fans,  I would have imagined.

The @BlackBerryDev, @BlackBerry, @UK_BlackBerry Twitter updates along the journey of its production, through the BlackBerry Jams, and up to the Big Reveal has been exciting to watch, and I’ve been so excited with what’s come out of it. Through the “BlackBerry Jams” (I do love that name!), they have been encouraging devs (software/game developers) to create and/or port (transfer) their apps and games to the new BB10 OS platform, and it seems to have resulted in a rather cool range of launch-products for their shiny new handsets – the Z10 & Q10. All they need to do now is to make BlackBerry World an app store that devs will want to produce apps and games for, so BlackBerry fans have some great stuff to play with too!

 

Already available to download now from BlackBerry World are a wide range of apps:

Games: Angry Birds Star Wars, Pocket Ninjas, Babel Rising 3D, The Bard’s Tale

Social Networking: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flixter, Foursquare

Media: The Evening Standard, The Weather Network, OK Magazine, BBC News, BBC Sport, Tune In Radio, BBC iPlayer…

And that’s just the tip of the very large iceberg. You get the idea… There’s now much more than quite a few to choose from – but I won’t be listing all 70,000!

 

 

Multi-Media:

As well as these apps, there is now not only a dedicated Music Store in BlackBerry World, but also a Video Store (click here to check it out). You can now download your favourite albums, films and TV shows to your new BlackBerry from their app store and watch them on the go.

Anything from Friends to BBC’s Sherlock, and An Affair To Remember to Prometheus is on here, and the movies are available to rent or buy. There’s a really decent selection – they have some really great films and shows from all through the decades, up to the most recent releases. Given this is what they’re just starting with, it should be a hopeful indication of what’s still to come, and BlackBerry can show it’s got the ability to stand head-to-head against iTunes and GooglePlay in terms of choice and pricing in the near-future.

 

 

Because I’m Worth It… 

Now RIM has the BlackBerry 10 OS Platform and two shiny new handsets with rather cool tech – and the apps/music/movies to go with them – RIM can now be taken a little more seriously as a tech company, once again.

For the last few years, they’ve been little more than a children’s toy manufacturer, if their Curve handsets are anything to go by. But this fun, smart and functional – if expensive – BB10 platform should definitely be the spark that changes all that for them. They’re playing with the big-guns now, and they’re putting a lot of effort in to prove they can hold their own.

The new design of handset and OS seems smart, sleek and sophisticated, and hopefully won’t – ever – come in baby pink and violet. The app store at launch already looks very impressive, with added bonus of music and video store integration – and the promise of what’s yet to come is also hot in the air… This is only the beginning, and it’s already looking pretty damned good.

Hopefully, RIM has now realised it needs to be taken seriously to be an active contender for a more grown-up market looking for something different in style and class, not in gimmickry and “exclusive colours”. Hopefully they will be more focused, like Apple is – putting more value on the quality and tech of what’s under the hood, rather than how many colours it can be manufactured in.

I’m really looking forward to getting mine. Just one question… Q10 or Z10 – how do you prefer your BlackBerry…??

***

– Here Comes The Science! – 

THE SPECS – Z10:

http://uk.blackberry.com/smartphones/blackberry-z10/specifications.html

The Z10 (touchscreen model) is weighing in at a cool 16GB with a micro SD slot for up to 64GB extra (that’s a possible grand total of 80GB of space, though 2GB of that is for the OS), has a 4.2” HD, 15:6 display (widescreen), and is powered by a Dual-Core 1.5 GHz processor (which means it’s fast and great at running apps, internet sites, etc).

It also comes pre-loaded with a whole bunch of apps – including the obvious ones such as FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Docs To Go, FourSquare, Adobe Reader and Dropbox.

As well as these, it has the usual suspects of BB handset necessities, such as Contacts, Texts, BlackBerry Browser, BlackBerry World, Compass, File Manager, Calculator, Clock, Print To Go, BlackBerry Maps, and BBM – amongst others*. There is also the new BlackBerry Hub**.

 

Then there are the features that new tech should have:

NFC (Near Feld Communication – you can bump your phones together to transfer data, or use your phone to pay for things), Bluetooth 4.0, Wifi (802.11 at 2.4/5 GHz), Quadband (LTE and EDGE), GPS, and USB 2.0, as well as the always-present Auto-Correct features with Personalised Learning Engine – for more of those Damn You Autocorrect! moments… (FYI – These specifics are, in the main, the latest versions of the things you probably already use – wifi, Bluetooth, etc – and0 it just means they’re better than the older versions!)

 

It also has the following specs – amongst others:

  • BB10 OS (… obviously!)
  • 4G Compatible
  • 10 hours of talk time on 3G
  • 8MP camera with Flash (with a whole bunch of other gizmos to go with it – see full specs)
  • “Time Shift Mode” for pinpointing and adjusting individual elements of photographs taken
  • Full-HD video recorder
  • A front-facing 2MP camera
  • 720 HD video recording (on the front-facing camera)
  • Micro HDMI connection (to plug it into your HDTV)

 

**BlackBerry Hub: 

http://uk.blackberry.com/smartphones/blackberry-z10.html?CPID=KNC-kw227440_p8&HBX_PK=rim|3b27763f-7b06-7469-632a-00003cffc4e8

 

BB Z10 Handset

BB Z10 Handset

BB Q10 Handset