Juiced-up BlackBerry after a slice of Apple [Mirror (UK)]
(Mirror (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) JUST when it looked like BlackBerry was running out of steam, it ramps up the smartphone war with the launch of its slick new handset.
For a change, Britain is the first country to get its mitts on the Z10. The US will have to wait until March.
Minutes after it was unveiled the iPhone comparisons began and while BlackBerry admits it was ready for the copycat debate, it argues the BB10 device "gives an entirely new mobile experience".
Since it's rock star launch last week with pop diva Alicia Keys as the face of the new smartphone, BlackBerry says the response to the Z10 has been positive.
With tariffs starting from Pounds 36 a month for a two-year contract, it is no cheaper than an iPhone5 and costs around Pounds 10 more than a Samsung Galaxy S3.
So what sets it apart from the two best-selling smartphones as SHOPTALK put one through its whizzy paces and found it has a new bag of tricks.
Two years in the making, the Z10 has ditched BlackBerry's now iconic qwerty keyboard for a 4.2-inch touch screen which traditional BB users will find difficult to adjust to but everyone else will find a breeze.
UNIQUE FEATURE The thumb-friendly handset has a unique Peek feature which lets you check emails and social network sites like Facebook and Twitter while using other apps.
he right of Just drag your thumb to the right of the screen, pull back the app you have open, and you can peek behind it to see at a glance new emails, tweets and your Facebook page.
The phone can also run eight apps at once, four of which are active on the screen at the same time. So we could check the news headlines, weather, Twitter and Facebook in one glance.
BBM video chat - which is similar to iPhone's Facetime - lets users share photos, web pages and anything else that grabs their fancy while chatting. This is a plus for business users who want to show graphs and charts as well as those who are more interested in letting friends see what they have just bought. b t e r The company which ditched the name Research in Motion (RIM) and rebranded itself simply as BlackBerry at the launch, says the Z10 will bring business and personal files together.
Its BlackBerry Hub acts like a communications HQ with all messages from emails to tweets under one roof.
And the Balance feature can separate business from pleasure, reducing the risk of sending news of your latest crush to the boss or a spreadsheet to your mates.
Blackberry boss Thorsten Heins said: "People run around with two phones, a private one and a personal one. We wanted to address that and people can with a flick."
One great addition is the clever Time Shift - take a photo and the camera will automatically take one before and after yours.
Then just scan across the set of snaps and choose the one you like best where no one has blinked, pulled a funny face or is just looking glum.
The new model also boasts access to 70,000 apps and the BB10 browser is fast and responsive with easy slide or tap movements to access what you want quickly.
ta wh ALTERNATIVES lit ooa Predictive texting takes a little getting used to with the over-smart technology offering several words as alternatives.
t"as For example, if you are typing "wh" it will offer you "what, why, whatever, when and who" on the touchscreen keyboard. If you want any one of those, just put your finger or thumb on the word and flick it and it appears on the screen.
Away from the state-of-the-art technology, the challenge for BlackBerry is to woo the iWant generation away from Apple with a handset that looks like an iPhone, functions in a similar way to the iPhone but crucially costs the same as an iPhone.
We think existing BlackBerry users will love the "wow" factor and disgruntled BB users who moved away from the brand will be tempted back.
But Apple devotees and Samsung fans may take longer to persuade it's time to get in the Z bed.
COST OF A 24-MONTH CONTRACT Phone company Minutes Texts Data Cost of handset Monthly cost Vodafone Unlimited Unlimited 1GB Pounds 69 Pounds 37 O2 Unlimited Unlimited 1GB Free Pounds 36 T-Mobile 2,000 UnlimitedUnlimited Pounds 49.99 Pounds 36 Orange 600 Unlimited 1GB Pounds 29.99 Pounds 36 Carphone Unlimited Unlimited 1GB Free Pounds 36 (Orange) Warehouse Phones 4 U Unlimited Unlimited 1GB Free Pounds 37 (Vodafone) EE (on 4G) Unlimited Unlimited 1GB Pounds 49.99 Pounds 41 DIALAPHONE 900 Unlimited 1GB Free Pounds 36 (Orange)
Those who ditched BlackBerry could be tempted back as the Z10 has the 'wow factor' "two and
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