BlackBerry 10 review

BB10 has had its first major update, but is it any better?

BlackBerry 10 review
It's simple, BB10 needs to be a hit for BlackBerry

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BlackBerry 10 is a solid smartphone operating system offering up all the functionality you'd expect, wrapped up in a package that does set it apart from the likes of Android and iOS.

It's not yet at the stage to challenge these two big players, but BB 10's firm foundations means it's more than capable of taking on Windows Phone 8 for the coveted third spot.

We liked

The BlackBerry Hub is an excellent messaging manager tool, giving you total control over all your accounts and it makes it quick and easy to respond to urgent things, while allowing you to ignore others without disrupting what you're currently doing.

We're also seriously impressed by the BlackBerry 10 which offers super some super fast surfing speeds which puts in on par with the best.

The gesture based interface provides an attractive and novel way of controlling the smartphone, but BB10 risks confuses customers as it requires users to operate their handset in a very different way.

We disliked

Applications will be a big sticking point for many, since most people will take the vast offering on Google Play or the Apple App Store over the undernourished BlackBerry World.

Of course it's still early doors for BlackBerry 10 and the app store has seen significant growth since its launch, but its late arrival to the market has seen rivals amass libraries which could be almost impossible to match.

It's great to see Skype and Whatsapp finally land on the BB 10 platform, but there's still many big name apps missing from the line up, and that could be its undoing.

While BB10 provides the Canadian firm with a good start it's still a work in progress and minor niggles which crop up around the operating system can jar at times, reminding you that this is still a fledgling offering.

Some areas of BlackBerry 10 appear to be lacking in terms of features, with budding photographers likely to be disappointed about the lack of options in the camera app, while the ability to set just one alarm is baffling and rather frustrating.

Final verdict

The way you navigate round BB10 is very different to its rivals, and it requires the user to spend a decent amount of time with it to fully understand its complexities.

Once you get to grips with BlackBerry 10 you'll find it's a quick and fluid user experience that enables you to get to the main features quickly without getting lost in various menus and settings.

The thing is, it just doesn't feel as complete an offering as iOS, Android or even Windows Phone, and we reckon BlackBerry 10 has a bit of an uphill struggle if it's to steal users away from those three.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.