If you were hoping that the BlackBerry Q10 would be priced below the Z10 then you are in for shock. The UK pricing for the BlackBerry Q10 is out and at £579.95 (approx Rs 48,000) it is costlier than its full-touch sibling. While both the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 were announced on 30th January, only the Z10 was available until now with the Q10 scheduled for a late April launch.
The Q10 is a hybrid of sorts as it comes with a touch-screen and a physical QWERTY keyboard. Hardcore BlackBerry users have been clamouring for a BB10 phone with a physical keyboard and this is the first instance of a high-end smartphone of the current generation sporting one. In that sense the Q10 seems like an awfully huge punt for BlackBerry to make. BlackBerry, for its part, claims that Q10 will offer its consumers the best of both worlds. Its 3.1-inch Super AMOLED screen sports a 720×720 resolution at 328 ppi, which is marginally higher than that of the iPhone 5 but lower than many of the high-end Android phones like the HTC One and even BlackBerry’s own Z10.
The BlackBerry Q10
In terms of other hardware too the Q10 seems decently specced. It may not best the current crop of flagship phones in many benchmark tests but it seems to have enough under the hood to keep things going smoothly. The Q10 runs on a 1.5 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processor and has 2GB of RAM to ensure that those apps chug along just fine. The 2100 mAh battery too should prove sufficient given the relatively smaller screen size. But in the past most BlackBerry devices have been plagued by battery woes.
The phone will be running BB10 and to take advantage of all the new camera and BBM Video features of the OS, BlackBerry has slapped on an 8 MP primary camera capable of recording full HD videos at 1080p and a 2 MP secondary (front) camera that can record at 720p.
But the question is whether all of these features warrant a price tag as hefty as the one listed? Our opinion is that they do not. The Z10 too was perceived as expensive and after the initial enthusiasm the demand for the phone has slowed down. BlackBerry looks like it will commit the same mistake again. It is important to note that in UK, like in the US, phones are sold on contract and we could also see the prices crash as we did with the Z10, but in markets like India where handsets are purchased ‘SIM-free’ you can expect the BlackBerry Q10 to cost upwards of Rs 50,000 and as a consequence sink like a lead zeppelin.