BlackBerry Q10 Review: The Full QWERTY Keyboard Returns

by Reads (2,363)
  • Editor's Rating

    Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

      • Design
      • 8
      • Performance
      • 7
      • Total Score:
      • 7.50
      • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10
  • Pros

    • Excellent keyboard
    • Solid battery life
    • Great build
  • Cons

    • Average camera
    • Display is small, dim, and lacking in sensitivity
    • Hardware is mid-range

Quick Take

For habitual smartphone typists, the Q10 is an absolute dream. But for those who don't find themselves needing a keyboard all that often, there are more powerful, higher-specced devices out there.

The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone brings back the feature BlackBerry is known best for – the full QWERTY keyboard, and that keyboard’s performance is excellent as always. Brighthand calls the Q10 “the best of both worlds,” with a full keyboard that offers smooth typing, and a modern set of features. The Q10 is a great option for users who find themselves typing often and long for a full physical keyboard, rather than the on-screen options that dominate the current smartphone market.

\"BlackBerryThe smartphone’s keys are sloped with rounded corners, and a metal fret separates each row of keys. The keys are large enough where hitting more than one at a time isn’t a common occurrence, but the device is still compact enough that it’s comfortable to type with one hand. The phone is also lightweight at 4.9 ounces, but Brighthand did find it was a bit too thick at .41 inches, making the device feel a bit chunky. The Q10 also features a stainless steel band across the back top of the device, creating a modern aesthetic.

The Q10 also has a 3.1-inch Super AMOLED touch display with 328 dpi resolution and a 9:16 aspect ratio. Despite the odd ration for the screen size, the content is scaled accordingly. Brighthand found the screen to be of “decent quality” and noted the display produces vibrant colors. However, Brighthand was disappointed in the display brightness, noting even at its highest setting, it’s a bit dull, which makes the screen especially difficult to use in outdoor sunlight. Brighthand also experiences some sensitivity issues when using the touch-screen.  The Q10 has the same port layout as the Z10, including a three-button rocker, micro USB port, micro HDMI port, power button, headphone jack, LED indicator light, rear and front-facing cameras, flash and microSD and SIM card slots.


A dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor runs the BlackBerry Q10 and Brighthand noted the smartphone “performs admirably.” The device comes with 16 GB of internal storage, which is expandable via microSD, and 2GB of RAM. One major drawback is the limited availability of apps in BlackBerry World.

As always with BlackBerry, Brighthand found the keyboard experience to be an “absolute dream.” The Q10 runs the BlackBerry 10 operating system which Brighthand notes is “efficient and intuitive” and the suite of preloaded apps are “generally handy.”

Brighthand noted the overall performance of the camera is decent, but there are faults with the focus and its barebones options are disappointing. HDR mode helps with low-light situations, but images come out dim and grayish, especially in outdoor photos. Brighthand found the battery life of the device to be very good, getting three full days of casual use out of a single charge.

Overall, Brighthand noted the biggest selling point of the BlackBerry Q10 is the full QWERTY keyboard, which is “done right.” Brighthand was also impressed with the battery life and overall build, but found room for improvement with the camera, display and hardware. The Q10 will make a great smartphone for users who spend a lot of time typing and doing work on their devices, but Brighthand said there are better smartphones out there for users who don’t desire a full keyboard, noting the Q10’s hardware puts it closer to being a mid-tier device, rather than a flagship smartphone.

Head over to Brighthand for the full review, including detailed specs.



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