BlackBerry Q10 review

Is the keyboard the key to BB 10 success?

TODO alt text

The BlackBerry Q10 comes equipped with the same rear facing 8MP snapper with single LED flash and 2MP front facing lens which adorn its fully touchscreen brother, the BlackBerry Z10.

Although in terms of hardware there's nothing to pick between the two handsets, the Q10 has the upper hand when it comes to software as the BlackBerry 10.1 update brings some new features to the camera app.

First up though is the business of actually getting into shooting mode. You can launch the camera app direct from the lockscreen by holding down on the camera icon in the bottom right of the display.

BlackBerry Q10 review

Alternatively you'll find a shortcut to the camera app in the tool bar which you see when viewing your apps or the active frames page.

The app takes around a second to boot up, which means you can be ready to snap almost immediately after hitting the camera icon.

There's auto-focus available as standard and while tap-to-focus isn't possible due to the view finder also being an active shutter if you tap it, you can drag the focus square around the screen if there's a particular object you wish to draw attention to.

We found that having the whole screen - bar the menu buttons and gallery link in the bottom corners - as an active shutter was a little cumbersome, with accidental presses regularly occurring resulting in a lot of unwanted pictures.

Luckily you can also use the volume keys on the right of the Q10 to snap pictures, although we're a little disappointed there's no way to turn off the on-screen shutter function.

In terms of new features in the camera the BlackBerry Q10 has a couple. First up is the addition of an extra aspect ration, allowing you to now shoot photos in 1:1 as well as 16:9 and 4:3.

While this new ratio works best for the square screen of the BlackBerry Q10, viewing them anywhere else makes them look a bit odd, so we'd recommend sticking with one of the other two options.

The second new feature - and something which the Z10 will also benefit from once it gets BlackBerry 10.1 - is HDR mode, which can be found in the shooting section of the camera app's menu.

HDR offers the ability to enhance photos - especially those with variable lighting or large areas of shadow - and it does give some rather pleasing results on the Q10.

In terms of other features the camera app is relatively limited, with a toggle for the flash, option to switch between front and rear cameras and a selection of four scene modes, although we opted to keep it on auto most of the time.

Shutter speed was generally very quick and you'll be able to take pictures consecutively without to much hassle, although if you don't give the auto-focus enough time to settle you'll end up with some rather blurry results.

In terms of results image quality was variable, with the BlackBerry Q10 capable of taking some good shots - not great - providing conditions were favourable, although it places when lighting was less forgiving it was unable to stand up to the likes of the HTC One, Nokia Lumia 920 and Samsung Galaxy S4 - which with its high price tag is the sort of competition it has to compete with.

Results were sometimes pretty grainy and colours often lacked the vibrant pop we've seen with other smartphone cameras, meaning our images didn't look quite so attractive.

BlackBerry Q10 review
The Q10 struggled to light photos properly in normal mode

Click here to see the full resolution image

BlackBerry Q10 review
Moving the camera too quickly can easily lead to blurry images

Click here to see the full resolution image

BlackBerry Q10 review
Inside the Q10 does ok, but images are a little grainy

Click here to see the full resolution image

BlackBerry Q10 review
Without HDR mode images can look a little dark

Click here to see the full resolution image

BlackBerry Q10 review
Turn HDR on and things improve

Click here to see the full resolution image

BlackBerry Q10 review
In a large inside venue the Q10 struggles to cope with the various lighting situations

Click here to see the full resolution image

BlackBerry Q10 review
Once again HDR comes to rescue

Click here to see the full resolution image

BlackBerry Q10 review
Moving water isn't too much of an issue for the Q10

Click here to see the full resolution image

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen, QWERTZ
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported64 GB
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemBlackBerry
Brand NameBlackBerry
Battery Talk Time13.50 Hour
Product ModelQ10
Screen Size7.9 cm (3.1")
Screen Resolution720 x 720
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)139 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerTexas Instruments
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionBlackBerry OS 10
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density330 ppi
Front Camera Resolution2 Megapixel
Height119.6 mm
Width66.8 mm
Depth10.4 mm
Battery Standby Time355.20 Hour
Product NameQ10 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeGyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass, Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberPRD-53409-052
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

BlackBerry Balance

Access your work email and apps on your BlackBerry® Q10 smartphone, without compromising your personal experience and use.

BlackBerry® Balance™ technology keeps your information secure by creating two profiles, one for work and another for personal use.

BlackBerry Remember

Managing a busy project? Planning your next holiday? Collect relevant photos, lists, messages and web links, and group them all in one place.

BlackBerry Hub

Stay close to what's important to you without stopping what you're doing.

Simply peek into the BlackBerry® Hub from any app with just a swipe and flow effortlessly in and out of your messages and conversations.

Limited Warranty1 Year