The Karbonn K10 is just one more BlackBerry rip-off. But this handset takes it to a slightly deeper level and just makes me wonder how really lazy designers are becoming. The lack of creativity is appalling. Nevertheless these ‘clones’, as they were, are out there, but just remember if you can’t afford the original the ‘clone’ is in no way the next best thing. Other than similar looks these are not smart phones. Take a closer look at the K10.

Form Factor

Brutal honesty says that the K10 is more than a cheap rip off of the older BlackBerry Curves sans the Pearl trackball. The 2.0 TFT LCD display may be smaller than the Curve 8520 but it does sport the same resolution i.e. 320 x 240 pixels. The navigation system is simple, no issues here. The QWERTY keypad seems quiet small and although it wasn’t difficult to use, will take a little while to get used to. Once you have it’s a breeze. A 3.5 mm handsfree socket is located on one side above the mini USB port. One serious issue that came up was with the 3.5mm socket. Even with the bundled handsfree, audio still streamed through the speakers even though it was playing via the handsfree. I had to keep plucking at the pin to adjust it. It was the same with any other set of earphones I used. This could, however, be attributed to the test piece being faulty.

So even though the K10 is another BlackBerry clone, it’s not a bad looking device and is quite user friendly.

Features and Performance

The K10’s UI is identical to any of the new BlackBerry’s. From the desktop scene with shortcuts at the bottom, the option of changing the Profiles to the menu icons and background colors the K10 could be easily confused with a BlackBerry. The difference is in the sub menus, where the Java OS becomes clearly evident. There was a bit of a lag while navigating through the menus. Response was not instant. Other than that everything else was just fine.

The audio player was a problem. As I mentioned earlier, there seemed to be an issue with the socket as it required quite a bit of ‘giggling’ before I was able to hear clearly. Audio quality is not too good. The volume is too low and the in-ear handsfree has a very hollow sounding tone. The EQ presets make an insignificant difference to overall quality. On the plus side the handset’s FM radio with recording functionality worked just fine providing a decent amount of clarity in reception in most places. Videos will only play properly if the resolution is dropped way down and they still ended up framing a bit. But with the resolution so low, the quality was quite shoddy obviously. For short clips it’s ok, but I don’t recommend watching full length movies.

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