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printed October 19, 2014
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Review: BlackBerry Q10 for AT&T

Form Performance Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  

Screen

The Q10's screen measures 3.1 inches across the diagonal and has 720 by 720 pixels. It's the exact same width as the display on the Z10. This was a conscious design choice made by BlackBerry for app continuity across the different form factors. The Q10's screen is an OLED panel that I thought looked good. It is bright and and colors look deep and rich. Viewing angles are excellent, and there's no color shift or brightness loss when you tilt the Q10 back and forth. Outdoor viewability is OK, but could be better.

Signal

The Q10 performed very well on AT&T's network in and around the greater New York City area. I had no trouble connecting calls on the first dial, and the Q10 didn't miss or drop any calls during my review period. It worked better than average in areas with weak HSPA+ coverage and was able to maintain a download even when the Q10 showed no bars. Data speeds were consistent over LTE, but never wowed me. The best download speed I got was about 16Mbps in an area where I've achieved much faster speeds on other devices.

Sound

The Q10 is an average phone when it comes to call quality. The majority of calls were good, but not great. I often heard scratchiness and voices dropped out here and there. Earpiece volume is also good, but not great. With the volume set all the way up, I was able to hear calls in a quiet coffee shop, but not in a noisy bar. People I spoke with through the Q10 said I sounded a little robotic. The speakerphone offered the same call quality as the earpiece. The volume was acceptable, but I'd have preferred it to be much louder. Again, it will work in a quiet office or home, but probably isn't going to cut it in the boardroom. Ringers and alerts are plenty loud, however, and the vibrate alert is exceptionally strong.

Battery

The Q10 did well in my battery tests. It routinely lasted an entire waking day with no trouble at all. In fact, most days the Q10 had about 30% battery life left when I went to bed. It did not last much beyond breakfast the following day, however. Most people will be able to use it all day without worrying about having a charger handy. You will most likely need to charge it each night.

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