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Blackberry Z10: A week with the Blackberry 10 powered smartphone

Fri Feb 22 2013, 14:29

By the third day of our trip, we thought it would be best to quickly catch up on our work emails so we wouldn't be greeted with an overloaded inbox when we got back to the office on Monday.

Easy, we thought. Blackberry smartphones are well known for their business email support, so we weren't expecting to be met with any hiccups when setting up our Microsoft Exchange account. Boy, were we wrong.

Despite thinking our email address, username and password would be enough to satisfy the Blackberry Z10, we were met with a complicated form to fill out, requiring info such as 'server name' - information that we didn't have at hand.

The Blackberry Z10 comes with support for Microsoft Exchange accounts

Filled with rage - although with the creeping realisation that, in hindsight, we should have set it up before we left - we instead turned to the Nokia Lumia 620 which we were also carrying with us. All this required was our email address and password, and our Exchange email account was set up within mere seconds.

That said, we did find the Blackberry Hub useful, as we had our Facebook and Twitter accounts linked to the Hub. This meant that we were able to easily keep up to date with our contacts' many status updates and pictures posted while we were away on the trip.

On Thursday, we thought it would be best to get in touch with family at home, and we were hoping to do so over Skype. However, a quick search in Blackberry World told us that Skype was not available yet for Blackberry 10 - nor was Whatsapp, an application we commonly use for sending free messages.

There's always Blackberry Messenger, we thought, but we quickly came to the realisation that nobody we know uses the service.

Still, we had Facebook and Twitter to fall back on, applications that meant we were easily able to share pictures with family, albeit without the luxury of speaking to them.

On Friday, we left Amsterdam, and decided to start making some notes on our week with the Blackberry Z10, on the Blackberry Z10 itself.

We opted for Blackberry 10's built-in Docs to Go application, which was excellent. In fact, thanks to its ease of use and its plethora of formatting options, we think it's one of the best mobile office applications we've used.

The Blackberry Z10 comes with a built in Office application

This ease of use was aided by the Blackberry Z10's onscreen keyboard, which is also fantastic. During our first couple of days on holiday we'd struggled to get to grips with the Blackberry 10 mobile operating system's quirky predictive text system, which lets you swipe up on a letter to complete a word. However, by Friday, we'd become comfortable using the predictive text system, which made typing up our thoughts a breeze.

Oh, until our battery died of course.

While some have voiced their disappointment that Blackberry didn't release the Q10 first, which comes with a physical keyboard, we're struggling to see how it can be much better than the onscreen keys found on the Z10.

In Short
Our week long getaway with the Blackberry Z10 certainly was eventful.

While we're still not complete Blackberry 10 converts, we appreciate the effort Blackberry has put into giving its debut Blackberry 10 smartphone an easy to use, slick user experience. Sure, the camera isn't fantastic, we found the Microsoft Exchange setup difficult, and the Blackberry Z10's battery won't last through a 12-hour day of almost continous use, but we're going to continue using the Blackberry Z10 to see if things improve. µ


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