JUST DAYS after Blackberry announced its Blackberry 10 operating system and latest smartphone lineup, we decided to take a little holiday and take the Blackberry Z10 along with us.
We put the Blackberry Z10 smartphone through its paces each day by using it to direct ourselves around an unfamilar city, as our main camera and to keep up with news while we were away.
Monday was our first full day on holiday and our first full day with the Blackberry Z10. As we were in unfamilar surroundings, we relied on the Blackberry Z10 to direct us around in the city of Amsterdam using the handset's built-in custom Bing Maps application.
While it's nowhere near as polished as Google Maps, or Nokia's Here maps for that matter, Bing Maps on the Blackberry Z10 got the job done. It provided detailed and easy to follow instructions to get us from point A to point B, even though the Blackberry Z10 struggled a bit to render maps clearly.
It takes a bit of getting used to, and we found ourselves standing in our hotel lobby for 15 minutes trying to get to grips with the Bing Maps app. Not only is it a departure from the mapping software on previous Blackberry devices, it's different than any other mapping apps available today, so most Blackberry Z10 adopters are likely to struggle with Bing Maps at first.
A problem we found was that mapping around the city had a huge negative affect on the handset's battery life, an issue which recurred throughout the week. We found ourselves phoneless from around 7pm each day, with the handset's lack of staying power on its 1,800mAh battery proving to be a real nuisance.
On Tuesday, we used the Blackberry Z10 to get us to Madame Tussauds in Amsterdam, where we decided to test the handset's photographic capabilities.
We were optimistic about the handset's camera on paper. The Blackberry Z10 features an 8MP rear-facing camera complete with autofocus, flash and software tweaks that aim to make capturing images easier and better. Looking back, we shouldn't have been feeling quite so positive.
While we have no complaints regarding image quality - all our snapshots came out clear, full of detail and well-lit, despite sometimes poor lighting - the camera proved quite fiddly to use.
Taken using the Blackberry Z10
Due to the lack of a dedicated camera key, we often found ourself in some weird positions trying to keep hold of our belongings while attempting to tap on the handset's screen - which, while we're on the subject, presented no problems during the week. This often resulted in us missing the shot that we were after, although Blackberry's nifty Timeshift technology often came in to save the day.
Another slight gripe is the lack of apps, in particular Instagram. Whereas on our iPhone we can quickly share photos on the social network, Instagram is not yet available for Blackberry 10, and there's no sign of it arriving any time soon.
Again, on Tuesday, the Blackberry Z10 ran out of juice before 8pm, despite having been charged fully overnight.