BlackBerry 10 Phones Reviews

blackberry-z10Recently we wrote about launching BB 10 devices January 30, 2013. So there is much debate about the upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices at present. The specs of the L-series BlackBerry Z10 (or London 10 as it was previously known; previously the upcoming BlackBerry 4g phone was discussed as BlackBerry Triton) phone were leaked not so long ago. The smartphone has a lot of positive reviews, which mainly come from fans of BB devices though.

The new BlackBerry Z10 phone comes with a 4.2” touch screen, has the resolution of 1280 x 768, which is quite reasonable feature of today’s smartphones. For comparison, the recently unveiled Samsung Galaxy S4 phone, which will come in the first half of 2013, will have a 4.99” display with the 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution.

BB’s device has 355 pixels per inch, which is better than the iPhone 5’s indicators, but less than, e.g., Sony’s Xperia Z or Samsung Galaxy S4 with 440 ppi.

The battery of the new BlackBerry 10 device is going to be of 1800 mAh capacity. It is not so much as compared with the most modern 4g smartphones on the market.

Many BlackBerry 10 phones reviews which appear online within the last time conclude that BB10 can become one of the best phones from the hardware and OS perspectives. Some say that the new BB device looks promising, but are afraid RIM will not be able to surpass Samsung or Apple’s devices.

Most BlackBerry reviews come to the point that RIM makes great innovations in its phones as compared with the previous technologies of BB devices. Many see the trend that the company reestablishes itself and stays in the game.

If you’ll compare the features and productivity of the new BB 10 devices with the new flagship phones of other manufacturers, you’ll come to your own conclusion and choose the device which only you will like the most.

BlackBerry 10 Will Launch on January 30, 2013

RIM finally announced the key date when the company was going to launch its new operating system – BlackBerry 10 OS, which is January 30, 2013. That day the company is going to introduce two new models of smartphones which will run this new operating system. Many analysts define the future of the Canadian mobile manufacturer depending on the success or failure of these new  devices and the new BlackBerry 10 OS. Remember that over the past two years RIM is constantly loosing its market share and its first real 4g phone previously called BlackBerry Triton did not appear on the market. Instead, the BB Bold 9900 appeared and gained rather modest rankings among Amazon customers. See for example our review of the trends on the smartphones’ manufacturers share.

In the press release RIM announced that it would reveal the details on the phones and the availability on the market just at that event on January 30. So, we need to wait for some time for further information concerning the release date of the BlackBerry smartphones and their price. It is already a known fact that one of the devices will be equipped with a touch screen and another one will have a physical keyboard. Other features of the new smartphones include the so called BlackBerry Flow and Hub, Keyboard which learns how you write and helps you write faster, Balance which provides profiles for separating work data and your personal data.

As for the BlackBerry 10 OS, it will offer a lot of applications from games, social, multimedia apps to lifestyle, productivity and enterprise apps.

 

 

BlackBerry 10 Around the World

As for the official news from Research in Motion, its two new BlackBerry 10 phones will be launched in the first quarter of 2013 (and, most probably they will not be named BlackBerry Triton, which possible arrival was widely discussed since launching the first Android 4g phone, the HTC EVO). The company also mentioned that the BB10 platform is already being tested by more than fifty carriers. The step is needed before certifying the use of the new device and a new mobile OS (operating system) on the relevant networks.

In order to make the process of enterprise applications development more effective, RIM organized events for  testing the BlackBerry 10 platform in some cities of the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Brazil, Spain, and Mexico since October 23, 2012. The aim was to provide the developers with the information about the secure access to intranets, databases or other data needed for learning the tools for developing BlackBerry 10 enterprise applications in shorter time.

Recently Engadget published the review of the new BlackBerry DEV Alpha B phone, which runs BlackBerry 10 and i. It is mentioned there that the BB DEV Alpha B has a 1280 x 768 pixels display, has quite good color saturation and appropriate angles of view. It also looks like the BlackBerry PlayBook in its design, but it looks different as compared with other BB devices.

The DEV Alpha B’s body is made of plastic with some metal parts for power button or volume rocker. The phone looks steadier as compared with the elder model of DEV Alpha and it runs a fuller version of BB10. The reviewers compared the overall performance of this device and came to the rather positive feedback.

Reviewing the latest news for BlackBerry 10 smartphones and the new BB 10 platform, we see the last weeks growing excitement around this topic. Some say that BlackBerry 10 can be the last chance of RIM to survive on the market.

 

BlackBerry PlayBook – What Makes It Competitive?

The BlackBerry tablet entered the market in mid 2011 and has already received numerous software updates and price cuts in the interim, making it one of the most competitive devices of its kind.

The BlackBerry PlayBook features a 7″ LCD display with the resolution 1024 x 600 pixels, dual core processor, 1 GB RAM, a 5 MP camera on the rear and its own custom PlayBook operating system which is based on software originally developed by QNX.

The software is the real strongpoint of the PlayBook, as it needs to be with any tablet. It sits somewhere on the market between the locked-down world of Apple`s iOS and the open source approach of Google`s Android, although its interface and key features allow it to remain distinct from its rivals.

The interface relies almost entirely on touchscreen interactions and gestures, with the broad bezel surrounding its seven inch display being used to help you perform things like switching between apps and accessing drop down settings and connectivity menus, depending on the context.

Each app is assigned to its own card and by swiping up from the bottom of the display you can reveal all of the apps you have open at any time. The PlayBook is an excellent multitasking device and can be used to run plenty of apps simultaneously without any noticeable lag or slowdown. Switching is easier and more fluid than it is with either iOS or Android and it offers true multitasking capabilities.

The PlayBook OS was revised with a major update in early 2012 and this added a number of new features, including support for applications originally designed for Android devices and a native email and messaging app.

This BlackBerry tablet is particularly attractive to those who already have a BlackBerry smartphone, because it can be tethered to a handset in order to share its 3G data connection, since on its own there is only its Wi-Fi service available to get you online.

The PlayBook`s operating system is actually forming the foundation for manufacturer Research in Motion`s next generation BlackBerry smartphones, under the moniker of BB 10 OS.

This will share many of the attributes of the PlayBook but make them available on smaller smartphones. This means that things like multitasking and improved touchscreen keyboard interactivity will be present in the line up of new handsets that are set to launch at the start of 2013.

RIM has recently launched a new iteration of the 4g LTE BlackBerry PlayBook in its native Canada. This device features a faster processor and a built-in 4G LTE antenna which allows it to connect to high speed mobile networks without the need for a BlackBerry smartphone to get involved in the process.

There is not yet news regarding the international launch of this device, but as the arrival of BB 10 OS draws closer more may be made clear. You can get the PlayBook as part of certain mobile phones deals, which may be an affordable way of acquiring it.

4G Phones Trends

The ideas showed in the article published in the Wall Street Journal on June 19, 2012, gave the idea to summarize the perspective 4g phones trends in 2012. The authors have stated the positions of Google and Apple as the main rivals at this moment. The idea is proved by recent sales data of these giants.

1) As for the WSJ data, the current share of Apple and Google on the global smartphone market is about 80 percent.

2) According to the statistics of 2012, about 490 million smartphones were sold of over 1.4 billion phones sold this year. The projected figure for smartphones for the next 5 years is about 1 billion.

Motorola-Droid-RAZR-MAXX-4gIf you see the trends of the decreased share of RIM or Nokia (see our more recent article about 4g phones trends published in January 2012), the increase in demand for smartphones is substantial.

3) The authors in the WSJ also think that Google’s measures on the market are underestimated by many other cell phone manufacturers. They say Google made 59 percent of smartphone shipments worldwide. That’s about 23 percentage point increase as compared with the previous year data.

The idea is that after acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. for the sum of $12.5 billion, Google will certainly pay attention to hardware issues and promotion of Android gadgets.

4) As people who are familiar to the matter say that Google has accelerated plans to launch alternative solution to Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, which gives the opportunity to search the info in another way than search box by Google.

5) Google is constantly improving not only services, but it also launches its own devices. E.g., a new inexpensive Android tablet is expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks.

As for our point of view about 4g phones trends in 2012, you cannot dismiss the Samsung’s increased share on the smartphone market, especially with its recent flagship phones – Galaxy Note, Galaxy S2 or Galaxy S3. Samsung should be considered as one of the most powerful rivals to Apple and Google.

HTC One X Release Date May 6 with AT&T

HTC-ONE-XThe widely anticipated HTC One X 4g phone is available with AT&T beginning May 6, 2012. The price is $199.99 on a two-year contract with voice plan of minimum $39.99 per month and data plan of $20 per month. Pre-orders for this 4g phone began April 22, 2012.

Why was this 4g phone so anticipated? The main technical specifications identify the main reasons:

Platform: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)  - that means AT&T offers its first 4g phone with the latest Android OS with the HTC One X.
Display: 4.7” screen, 720p HD, contoured Corning Gorilla Glass for higher clarity and sharpness,  1280 x 720 pixels resolution.
Processor: NVIDIA Tegra 3 mobile processor, 1.5 GHz S 4 dual-core integrated with fifth Battery Saver Core and 12-Core NVIDIA GPU, LTE-enabled Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
Memory: internal up to 16 GB (32 GB in the unlocked international version HTC One X S720E), 1 GB RAM.
Cameras: 8 MP HD camera, autofocus, dual LED flash, continuous zoom, BSI sensor, 1080p HD video capture with 60 frames per second; 1.3 MP front camera with 720p video chatting, video stabilization.
Dimensions: 134.36 x 69.9 x 8.9 mm or 5.3 x 2.75 x 0.36 inches.
Weight: 130 grams or 4.6 oz.
Battery: 1800 mAh (the most powerful among HTC One series phones). Talk time is up to 8.5 hours and standby time is up to 12.6 days.
Colors: the HTC One X is available in grey and white colors from AT&T.
Other features: preloaded AT&T apps, different cool tools like HTC Watch, Google Maps, Amazon Kindle, YouTube HD, etc.

 

So, the main pros of HTC One X include:

  • HD entertainment: fast 8MP HD camera with lens, sensor improvements and HTC’s new ImageChip integration (you can take shots under low or no light), HD games which can be downloaded;
  • the processor of the next generation;
  • Dr. Dre Audio built-in to the hardware and software, which gives HTC’s professional sound experience (higher volume sound without distortion and with rich bass);
  • higher clarity and sharpness with the Corning Gorilla Glass screen;
  • large screen with rather high resolution;
  • the opportunity to share multimedia on the HD TV with the HTC’s wireless HDMI Media Link HD adapter accessory;
  • battery performance is improved with the software enhancements as compared with other HTC phones;
  • large and fast AT&T 4g network (HSPA+ and LTE where available) for about 250 million people.

 

The possible cons of HTC One X might be the following:

the embedded battery, so you will not be able to replace it. The capacity is still less than other phones have (e.g. the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx has a 3300mAh battery).

Pros and Cons of LG Lucid

The LG Lucid came to Verizon Wireless stores at the end of March 2012 and now it is often recommended for those who are early adopters of 4G LTE phones launched this year. Other best 4g phones from Verizon are the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, released January 26, 2012 and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

The main technical features of the LG Lucid are the following:

Release date March 29, 2012
Carrier Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network
Operating system Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), but is upgradable to Android 4.0 OS (Ice Cream Sandwich).
Processor dual-core 1.2 GHz processor
Display 4”; Corning Gorilla Glass; 480 x 800 pixels resolution; IPS touch screen
Cameras 5MP rear-facing camera with autofocus, LED flash; full HD 1080p video recording;0.3MP VGA front-facing camera with video recording.
Memory 1GB RAM; internal 8GB, up to 32GB microSD card support (to buy separately).
Connectivity LTE 700/CDMA 1900, 800 EVDO REV A/1xRTT; Bluetooth 3.0, EDR. Wi-Fi.
Other features Virtual QWERTY keybord, Swype. Gallery App. Video Player. Video Producer. Music player, library. Verizon apps. Google apps. Different quick settings and tools.Hotspot features (up to 10 devices in 4G).
Battery 1700 mAh, Li Ion, up to 350 hours of standby time, up to 8 hours (480 minutes) of talking time
Dimensions 4.69 x 2.45 x 0.45 inches
Weight 5 oz (137 grams)
Price $79.99 with a two-year agreement with Verizon Wireless after a $50 mail-in rebait. Amazon sells LG Lucid from the carrier for $0.01.

Here we’ve tried to summarize all the pros and cons of LG Lucid mentioned by the phone’s users and experts.

Pros

- Affordable price.

- Durable Gorilla Glass screen.

- Full HD 1080p video recording is one of the pros of LG Lucid. Many flagship 4g phones, e.g. the Razr Maxx, also have this feature.

- Hotspot capability for up to 10 4g devices and up to 5 3G devices (e.g. the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx has a hotspot function for up to 8 devices in 4G).

- Verizon 4G LTE speed (fast performance along with the dual-core processor).

Cons

- Screen size: of the LG Lucia (4”) is less than of any current or upcoming 4g phone. The resolution is also not so high (480 x 800). Compare it, for example, with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (4.65” with the resolution 1280 x 720 pixels) or Motorola Droid Razr Maxx (4.3”, 540 x 960). But if to compare with the expected Nokia 808 PureView, its 4” screen provides the resolution of 360 x 640 pixels which can be some pros of LG Lucid.

- Platform: LG Lucid runs on Android 2.3 platform while many current and upcoming 4g phones come with the upgraded version called Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

- Processor: the Lucid has a 1.2 GHz processor while many new smartphones have 1.5 GHz processors (note that the popular Razr Maxx also has the same 1.2 GHz processor).

- Cameras: rather poor front-facing and rear-facing cameras in terms of megapixels. The expected Nokia 808 PureView uses a 41 MP sensor to capture detailed and low noise images.

- Battery life: looks like a typical LTE device with the battery capacity of 1700mAh, but the recent 4g phones like the Nexus or Razr Maxx offer more hours of talking and standby time (1850 and 3300mAh respectively).

- Customer service: Some users mention poor Verizon’s customer service, but this should not be the issue for only the LG Lucid. On the contrary, Verizon announced its coverage of more than 2/3 of the US population on April 19, 2012. That is a good sign for the carrier’s competitiveness on the market.

Conclusion.

Summarizing the pros and cons of LG Lucid, the Lucid offers many advantages to smartphone users if they don’t need the newest device loaded with features. Of course, if compare with the flagship 4g phones which are primarily sold on the market (like the iPhone and the most recent Samsung phones), the Lucid may lose in its technical features.

In whole, for the average smartphone users the pros and cons of LG Lucid tell the phone offers good value for money.

See related articles:

Cases for LG Lucid
Screen protectors for LG Lucid

Samsung Galaxy Nexus Comes to Sprint April 22, 2012

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus first came to Verizon Wireless in December, 2011 and was called as one of the flagship Samsung’s phones. This 4g phone comes to Sprint on April 22, 2012 for $199.

The main technical features of the smartphone are the following:

Platform: Android 4.0 (also known as Ice Cream Sandwich).
Processor: 1.2GHz dual-core.
Display: 4.65” HD Super AMOLED touch screen; 1280 x 720 pixels resolution.
Cameras: 5 MP rear-facing camera, zero-shutter lag, 1080p video capture, digital zoom, LED flash; 1.3 MP front-facing camera for video chat.
Connectivity: 3G/4G mobile hotspot capability (supports up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices at the same time).
Memory: internal 32 GB (ROM); 1 GB RAM.
Other features: single-motion panoramic picture capability; full-featured photo editor; face unlock feature which enables unlocking the phone with no typing or swiping; GPS; different Google Mobile services; instant messaging via Google Talk; Android Beam to share by tapping the compatible phones together; NFC (Near Field Communication) technology to read smth. embedded with the NFC chips; Google Play; Google Voice.

Battery: Li-Ion 1850 mAh which is 7.5 hours of talking time (according to the specifications on the official Sprint website) and about 6 days of standby time.
Size: 2.67 x 5.33 x 0.37 inches or 67.94mm x 135.5mm x 9.47mm.
Weight: 5.1 ounces or 144 grams

In general the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is a rather highly rated 4g phone and at first sight the same specifications as the Verizon’s version. Though look at our recent article about Galaxy Nexus pros and cons according to Amazon customers’ reviews.

With the following you can see the overall picture of the customers feedback for this 4g phone:

“There are phones with bigger screens (like the Galaxy Note with its 5.3″ screen), faster CPUs and GPUs (HTC Rezound), thinner profiles (Motorola Droid RAZR), more memory and longer battery life (Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX), but the Galaxy Nexus puts a respectable amount of everything together into one package, and leaves me practically nothing to complain about. It’s big, but comfortable to hold, though begs to be used with two hands. Screen is awesome (bright and crisp) and keyboard is accurate. No problems with signal coverage. Average volume levels. Smooth and fluid Android interface feels polished. Camera very good, but video camera has a lot of issues. “Typical” LTE battery life, variable depending on usage, at best a whole day on one charge”.

See also related articles:

Best cases and covers for Galaxy Nexus
Screen protectors for Galaxy Nexus
Galaxy Nexus accessories: chargers and batteries
Battery packs for mobile devices

Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX Outside the US May, 2012

Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX came to the US in the beginning of 2012 as the next upgraded model of the Droid RAZR. The difference between both models mainly concerns the battery capacity which is higher in the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX. So this is the only 4g phone with the highest battery capacity of 3300 mAh on the market. Remember, the very popular now Galaxy Note has 2500 mAh battery which set a record when it was released.

Outside the US Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX will appear in May 2012. Those will be select markets in Europe and the Middle East as the official press release of the Motorola’s media center says.

The RAZR MAXX with its high battery capacity, dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, large enough and very durable 4.3” Super AMOLED Advanced qHD screen with the 540 x 960 pixels resolution, two cameras of 8 MP and 1.2 MP with the opportunity of the full HD 1080p video capture can offer remarkable experience with the smartphone.

Summarizing the available information about customers’ feedback for this 4g phone, we’ve recently presented the review of the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX pros and cons. In general, the RAZR MAXX 4g phone provides with a lot of advanced features for a smartphone, so advantages overweigh possible disadvantages. The unlocked version of this 4g phone has already gained many positive reviews of Amazon customers.

The feeling of using the RAZR MAXX by one of the customers can be expressed in one sentence:

“Fantastic battery. I was so conditioned by my old phone – and even by two days with the Galaxy Nexus – to constantly worry about the battery, but I worry no longer. I easily get through a day with moderate to heavy use, and the battery has yet to go below 30%. For me, it’s worth it”.

 

See the related articles about Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX accessories.

 

Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX Pros and Cons

Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX was released in January of 2012 as an enhanced model of the Droid RAZR concerning the battery life.

The main technical features of the RAZR MAXX are the following:

Operating system Android 2.3, but the next Android 4.0 OS (Ice Cream Sandwich) upgradeable.
Processor dual-core 1.2 GHz processor
Display 4.3-in.; Super AMOLED Advanced qHD; 540 x 960 pixels resolution; touch screen
Cameras 8 MP rear-facing camera; full HD 1080p video recording; 8x zoom; autofocus, image editing tools; 1.2 MP front-facing camera with 720p HD video recording. HD 1080p video capture; 1920 x 1080 resolution, up to 30 fps. Corning Gorilla Glass.
Memory internal 16 GB, pre-installed 16 GB microSD card, up to 32 GB microSD support.
Connectivity 3G/4G LTE enabled; stereo Bluetooth.
Battery 3300 mAh, Li Ion, up to 380 hours of standby time, up to 21.5 hours of talking time
Dimensions 130.7 x 68.9 x 8.99 mm (5.15 x 2.71 x 0.35 inches)
Weight 145 grams (5.1 oz)
Price with a two-year agreement with Verizon Wireless it costs $299.99. Unlocked Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX costs $729.99 now.

Here we’ve tried to summarize all the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX pros and cons which are mentioned by the phone’s users.

Pros

- This 4G phone is thinner than most of the smartphones (8.99 mm or 0.35”), but provides with more battery life (3300 mAh). Compare, e.g. with the Samsung Galaxy Note battery which capacity is 2500 mAh. So, one of the Droid RAZR MAXX pros is that you do not have a lump sticking out of the back due to an extended battery.
- If compared with the Droid RAZR, the RAZR MAXX has the same features, but has a larger battery.
- Gorning Gorilla Glass is a very strong material, so you don’t need to buy any screen protector in order to protect the screen against scratches.
- Rear-facing camera allows to record video with full HD 1080p quality.
- Ice Cream Sandwich upgradeable.
- Verizon 4G LTE speed enabled (fast performance in the Internet along with the dual-core processor).
- Hotspot capability for up to 8 Fi-Fi devices with 4G LTE connection.
- Micro HDMI port.
- Audio nice sound and player.
- No slide out keyboard.

Cons

- Screen size of the RAZR MAXX (4.3”) is less than of any current or upcoming 4g phone. The resolution is also not so high (540 x 960) as compared with the Samsung Galaxy flagship 4g phones, like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (4.65” with the resolution 1280 x 720 pixels).
But if to compare with the phones with less screen sizes, like the Samsung Galaxy S2 (AT&T version with the 4.3” display and the international unlocked version of Samsung i9100 Galaxy S2), the resolution of the Droid RAZR MAXX is better. That means you can see more information on the page without scrolling it.
- Some users mention poor Verizon’s customer service (note this is not the only case for the discussed 4g phone).
- 1.2 GHz processor (the upcoming 4g phones usually have 1.5 GHz processors)

Conclusion

Summarizing the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX pros and cons, you can see the RAZR MAXX offers much more advantages than disadvantages to its users. And it has already proved to be a highly positively reviewed 4g phone by Amazon customers – only 2 reviews were 1 star valued. The rest reviews are 4 to 5 stars and most of the customers tell you will not be disappointed if you buy the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX 4g phone.

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