The secret has been out for a while. BlackBerry OS10 is Android-compatible. To an extent. Nope, it doesn’t run an iteration of Android. Rather, OS10 can run an emulation of Android within its own operating system in the same way that a Macintosh can run Windows using Parallels. A huge number of Android apps are compatible with the Z10 and this is done through a method known as “side loading” the apps into the phone. To side load means to install applications from a USB cable from the computer as opposed to “OTA” or “over the air” which is the typical way we download apps from the Android Play Store or the iTunes Store. CrackBerry has a detailed guide if you are interested (for Mac and PC).
From the paragraph above I was able to install Instagram and make it work successfully.
The BlackBerry Q10 is really the same beast. Although instead of 16 icons, it can only accomodate 12 given that 50% of its real estate is allocated to the QWERTY keypad. Here’s a stumping moment as I used it: I hated touch screen keyboards but was forced to use them because of the advent of Android and iOS. My non-Android phone before I switched was a Nokia E72 which was pretty much the form factor of the Q10. My fingers trembled when I tried to press the buttons. And that sucked. Was I just too used to a touch screen? The journalist beside me also experienced the same thing, so it was like a road trip to nostalgia and then my efforts were challenged by phone use behavior that I used to swear by. Mind blowing. This definitely isn’t a minus for the Q10 because a physical keypad is something we definitely need and with due practice, I can get my texting fingers back.
Other than that, it’s essentially the same phone with great features listed below and it won’t take much convincing to get a BlackBerry fan back into the action. And hey, LTE. That’s always welcome. Again, read my Z10 review because the features are essentially the same. The Q10 just has a very well crafted keypad.
On a related note, BlackBerry Philippines now has a service center (which I happened to pass by) located near the fire house in Makati. This is welcome news. It took me 2 years to have my BlackBerry Pearl serviced about 6 years ago because they had to ship it to Canada. At least now, service is really just nearby.
If you still need a slight nudge to fully convince you to jump into the Q10 experience, SMART Infinity has the Q10 for you at the following plans: Aspire 3500, Prestige 5000 and Premium 8000.