BlackBerry Q10 review

Is the keyboard the key to BB 10 success?

BlackBerry Q10 review
It's got keys, they're multiplying

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The BlackBerry Q10 comes equipped with Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities ensuring you'll be able to get online anywhere, but it also packs the superfast 4G technology too - allowing you to utilise the blisteringly quick network, if it's available.

Every Q10 sold will come with 4G capabilities, but it will only be switched on for networks which actually use it. This means if you purchase a Q10 via a network which doesn't currently offer a LTE service, its functionality will be disabled.

BlackBerry Q10 review

Don't fear though, as BlackBerry has told us that when networks launch their 4G services a simple software update will be sent to Q10 handsets enabling the tech inside the phone.

When it comes to actually browsing the web on the BlackBerry Q10 you'll unsurprisingly find yourself heading to the Browser app which offers a one stop shop of web surfing ability.

Like the BlackBerry Z10, the Q10 offers up an impressively quick browsing experience - managing to load up mobile sites in two to three seconds, while full blown web pages usually take less than 10 - including the content heavy TechRadar which we were able to start browsing in a half loaded state after just four seconds.

BlackBerry Q10 review

There's very little difference in browsing speeds when you switch over to 3G, with perhaps an extra second or so required for the Q10 to get its head around sites - but you certainly won't be hanging around.

We didn't have a 4G enabled handset to hand during our review period so were unable to test the 4G speeds of the BlackBerry Q10, but on this showing we'd easily settle for its impressive 3G speeds.

In terms of layout the BlackBerry 10 client keeps things simple, sporting a look which reminds us of Internet Explorer on Windows Phone 8, with a white on black URL bar located at the bottom of the screen.

BlackBerry Q10 review

There's a quick link to tabbed browsing to the left of the URL box, allowing you to easily manage multiple windows - something which is a little more tricky on Windows Phone.

The 720 x 720 3.1-inch display means websites look great on the Q10, with a high level of clarity making text easy to read and images appear sharp and defined.

Once again though the peculiar size of the screen gets in the way, adding additional vertical scrolling as less of a page can be displayed at once.

BlackBerry Q10 review

The viewing experience is further hampered by the lack of text reflow, meaning you'll be sliding sideways as well as down to read zoomed in text.

To counter this display issue BlackBerry has included a Reader mode in its browser, which strips out all images, ad banners and fancy formatting to provide you a clutter free and easy to digest page of text - there's also a simple tool at the bottom of the page to increase/decrease the size of the words to make reading even easier.

It could do with an additional offline reading mode as well, where the Q10 could store a web page for consumption later when you're out of signal - but we guess you can't have it all.

BlackBerry Q10 review

The Q10's QWERTY keyboard also comes into play on the browser with short cuts available to enhance the browsing experience.

You can hit "L" to reload a page, "R" to enter reading mode and "S" to open up the "find on page" function - all of which are quicker than opening up the browser menu and selection the option on screen.

Meanwhile "K" will send you into your bookmarks and "H" will take you to your browsing history.

BlackBerry Q10 review

iOS has never supported flash and Android is slowly killing it off, but BlackBerry is staying true to the dying format in BB 10, with support for it embedded in the Q10.

This means you can watch various Korean pop artists prance around in music videos and view overly elaborate websites without the fear of getting the dreaded "Flash is not supported on your device" message.

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.