Entertainment

Tuesday 23 January 2018

DVD reviews

Ronan Price

Ronan Price

Perhaps one day BlackBerry will be a business case study in how to throw it all away. Paralysed by hubris and lack of vision, BB maker RIM went from being king of the hill in corporate cool to an also-ran tired old horse.

It's simplistic to pitch its latest phone as a last-ditch bid for survival, but executives must surely be nervous about the reception for the BlackBerry Z10.

A complete rethink of the email-centric BlackBerry experience, the Z10 abandons the physical keyboard and roots itself firmly in the touchscreen iconography of iPhone/Android/ Windows Phone. Not that it hadn't tried something similar – unsuccessfully – before, but finally BlackBerry has an interface of which to be proud.

Email fiends will be most pleased with how BB has created an excellent touchscreen keyboard – together with intuitive word suggestion to save on typing. It combines that with a smart notification system grouping all texts, emails, Facebook, Twitter and calls in a Hub screen just a couple of swipes away from any app.

Such gestures are at the heart of the new BlackBerry set-up, one that will be familiar to iPhone/Android users. You couldn't call it overwhelmingly better – in some cases, it's worse than Apple/Google's efforts – but at least it's competitive.

It's all housed in an understated (think: corporate) phone that's reliably built, pleasingly fast and on a par with rivals spec-wise.

Unfortunately, BlackBerry may have left its comeback too late in terms of persuading developers to support the platform.

App makers are already under pressure to develop for iPhone/Android/Windows Phone, so BB may never get the same breadth of choice.

Corporate customers may not care because the Z10 probably hits the mark for information warriors. But ordinary consumers will take a lot more persuading that BlackBerry can keep up with Apple and Google.

The Z10 is exclusive to O2 for March, costing €280 on a €50pm 18-month contract or €560 on pre-pay.

Irish Independent

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