I’m usually a man of my word. If I say something, I stick to it and don’t change what I’ve said in any way. But it seems that for the very first time, I’m going to have to change my mind on something I said some time ago.
It was only mere months ago that I wrote a blog post about how excited I was for the BlackBerry Z10. I had been using an old BlackBerry Bold at the time, and I was certainly due for an upgrade. After patiently waiting for a week after the Z10 was revealed to the press, I got my hands on one and I couldn’t get my SIM card into it fast enough. I marveled at the new BB10 OS, the slim profile of the device, and how zippy everything was compared to my previous device. I didn’t worry so much about the availability of apps – I just wanted a new and faster phone and the Z10 seemed to be my golden ticket.
That was of course, a couple of months ago. Now I can’t seem to stand using my Z10, so much so that I’m ditching it by the end of this week for the familiar waters of Android. Don’t me wrong, I thought I could get used to the phone and stick with BlackBerry, but apparently I can’t. Here are five quick reasons I’m binning my Z10:
BBM: Out of the 20 contacts I have on my BlackBerry Messenger, I’ve only recently chatted with about five, and three of those were people in my office! I hardly rely on BBM to send someone a message anymore – I just call them instead. I’ve got WhatsApp on my Z10 to contact other people, and I seem to be spending more time on WhatsApp than on BBM. And with BBM coming to Android and iOS soon, I can still message old BBM contacts from a swanky new Android phone if I need to.
Data plans: For the longest time I held on to my previous BlackBerry because it was cheap to use it when I travelled. I could make and receive phone calls, texts, tweets, and of course emails. Data was never an issue since I was on an International BlackBerry plan, so wherever I went, it would work. But on a recent business trip, I took along my HTC One because the battery life on the Z10 can be really terrible at times, clocking in at a paltry 6 hours on some days of heavy use. So armed with my HTC One, I just stepped into a mobile phone store after I landed and bought a local SIM card with plenty of data on it. The entire process took less than eight minutes, and afterwards I was armed with a phone that could do whatever I wanted it to do, and with no worries about eating up my data. So I swap my expensive International Plan for a regular Local Data Plan, and just swap my SIM cards when I travel.
Apps: BlackBerry may be touting that they’ve got an impressive number of apps in their store, but given that a majority of them seem to be Android ports, I’m not convinced. Plus, the ones that I do download don’t always seem to want to work. I’ve been using the official Twitter app for BB10 since day one, and as of two months ago, the app refuses to upload any photos. Removing and reinstalling the app doesn’t do the trick, so now I have to get into the Hub and upload it from there. I could of course pay for a Twitter app such as Blaq, but why pay for an app that’s using a free service when the native app should work out of the box? I’ve also become somewhat of a frequent Instagram user, and running the Android version of the app on BB10 is almost idiotic. The app doesn’t recognize the BB10 keyboard when leaving a comment, so I just end up having to log onto the Instagram website to tell my friend how unappetizing his lunch looks.
Camera: I do admit that I tend to take a few too many photos with my phone. I’ve been doing it since the days of my archaic Nokia, so at least I’m being consistent. The camera on the Z10 is decent, I’ll give you that, but its flash in low light is absolutely blinding, and trying to focus quickly on a person is easier said than done; you have to drag the focus ring on the screen rather than simply tapping on the area you want to focus on. Daytime photos seem to be fine, but any photos taken in the evening or at night are hard to do, since I can’t focus properly on what I’m trying to take a photo of.
A first-generation OS: My biggest gripe with the Z10 is that I was an early-adopter. BB10 is a new OS, and because of that it’s still got a number of things to sort out. Like for example how I can’t seem to find a contact through the Phone app, but he shows up correctly in the Contacts app. Or that every so often my Z10 decides it wants to dive off the deep end and reboot automatically. For someone who relies on their phone so much, these little annoyances start to build up. Heck, I was even contemplating going back to my old Bold – it may be running an outdated OS, but at least that did what it was supposed to do.
So at the end of this week, I’ll be packing up my Z10 and making the comfy move back to Android, in the shape of the lovely HTC One. Even though it hasn’t been my primary phone so far, I do enjoy using the HTC One every so often, so I’m itching to make it my main phone and give it my undivided attention.