Hi! Remember BlackBerry?
It's back, with two new phones.
This is how BlackBerry hopes fans see the new phones.
Whoa, this guy is into it. (But if you weren't already a BlackBerry superfan, you can leave now.)
This is the Z10.
It's got a 4.2-inch, 1280 x 768 touchscreen. Also: A 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 8-megapixel rear camera (2-megapixel front), and 16GB of storage. It is, in other words, a standard high-end smartphone.
There's no official price or date yet. Suuuper annoying.
And this is the Q10.
It's got a keyboard AND a touchscreen. The screen's a 720x720, 3.1-inch display. Otherwise it has the same specs as the Z10, so it's pretty good, hardware-wise.
They're running new software called BlackBerry 10.
- Moving around is totally gesture-based. There aren't any buttons. You swipe up to go home, for instance.
- Third-party services get to be really deeply integrated, like Dropbox. Totally unlike iOS, kinda like Android. This is good.
-It has this weird camera thing, called TimeShift. And movie-making software, called Story Maker, which sounds neat and iMovie-like, but not very BlackBerry-like. (Which is a good thing!)
-And of course it has BBM. Duuuuh.
The Big BlackBerry Feature is this new hub that collects all of your messages in one place.
It has a lot of apps you'd want, but not everything.
Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Rdio, and Angry Birds, yes. The bare minimum, in other words. But Instagram, Snapchat, Spotify, or other signs of a deeper catalog? No.
I suspect (unfortunately) the app situation is going to wind up a lot like Windows Phone. It looks good on the surface, with a lot of the essentials, but the catalog never totally fills out, and a lot of the major apps wind up neglected and kind of shitty. You end up with a phone that does less. This is already being borne out.
Even though BlackBerry superfans like CrackBerry's Kevin Michaluk love the new phone — "If you're fan of the BlackBerry experience, when the Z10 becomes available on your carrier RUN, don't walk, and pick it up" — I probably wouldn't.
On top of cooler assessments from the likes of The Verge — "The problem with the Z10 is that it doesn't necessarily do anything better than any of its competition" — there's the very real possibility that new BlackBerry goes nowhere, as hard as the company formerly known as Research in Motion is trying to nudge it forward. RIM is betting so hard on the BlackBerry that the company changed its name to match its most famous product. But I can't think of anything more symbolic: If the new BlackBerry fails, RIM — sorry, BlackBerry — has nothing left.
Do you really want to take that bet?