July 5, 2013  ·  design  ·  tech

Still no perfect phone

You're looking at the Blackberry Q10, the world's only high-spec smartphone with a physical keyboard, and brother is it a thing of beauty. The keyboard lives up to the hype, with perfectly scalloped and wonderfully tactile keys interspersed with elegant strips of stainless steel. The square Instagram-ready screen is bright and rich, and don't believe the haters—square is the new 16:9. Another strip of stainless on the back gently lifts the camera optics from whatever surface it rests on, and the smooth, solid case feels wonderful in the hand. Man is it a joy to handle, take photos with, and type on a Blackberry Q10.

Unfortunately the phone is saddled with the Blackberry operating system, which means terrible navigation, limited apps that (when they exist at all) will lag equivalent offerings for other platforms, a clumsy interface dependent on awkward gestures, and crippling limitations like an inability to manage mail more than 30 days old or to interface with Google calendar.

One of two things needs to happen before power users will finally have the phone we all want:
  1. Someone who makes great hardware, like Sony or Apple or Samsung, can decide to build a state-of-the-art phone with a good keyboard.
  2. Blackberry / RIM can start selling phones that run the Android operating system.
We're not betting on either happening, but option 2 would sure be swell.

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