BlackBerry Q10 keyboard-touchscreen hybrid Launched in Malaysia (Update: On Sale NOW)

Me with the BlackBerry Q10

Last Tuesday, on 30 April 2013, BlackBerry Malaysia invited BlackBerry Elite members and members of the print and digital media in a multiple session, day-long event to introduce BlackBerry Q10 to Malaysian market. The BlackBerry Q10 is a keyboard and touchscreen hybrid device, the second flagship smartphone running BlackBerry 10 OS.

The event was held at The Bee in Publika and I attended the last session of the day at 7.30pm which was the Online and Bloggers session.

BlackBerry Q10 Launch in Malaysia
BlackBerry Q10 Launch Event in Malaysia
Giant BlackBerry Q10 mockup
Giant BlackBerry Q10 mockup

The venue was decorated minimally, but with enough branding elements to showcase the BlackBerry experience, with special attention to showcasing the new BlackBerry 10 OS.

Lots of "10" lettering around the venue
Lots of “10” lettering around the venue
Showcase of BlackBerry phones over the years
Showcase of BlackBerry phones over the years
Some old BlackBerry phones that brings me back in time
Some old BlackBerry phones that brings me back in time
Even the seating benches were actually BlackBerry keyboard
Even the seating benches were actually BlackBerry keyboard

 

Introducing the BlackBerry Q10

BlackBerry Q10 in hands
BlackBerry Q10 in hands

For most BlackBerry lovers, this is the smartphone that they’ve been waiting for from BlackBerry, as it incorporates the best of the much loved BlackBerry hardware keyboard with the gesture friendly touchscreen interface of the new redesigned OS.

BlackBerry Q10 Malaysian Launch

Here’s a quick specifications overview of the BlackBerry Q10:-

  • 3.1″ AMOLED touchscreen display (720 X 720)(330 ppi) with QWERTY keyboard
  • 1.5 GHz dual core processor
  • 16 GB internal storage (expandable up to 32 GB microSD) + 2 GB RAM
  • Powered by new Blackberry 10 OS
  • 8 megapixel auto focus rear camera (1080p HD video recording), 2 megapixel front facing camera (720p video recording)
  • 2,100 mAH removable battery (up to 13.5 hours 3G talktime)
  • Connectivity : HSPA+/4G LTE, micro HDMI out

For more information and features list, check out BlackBerry Q10 Product Page HERE.

Let’s have a quick look around the hardware of the device.

The highly anticipated keyboard and touchscreen BlackBerry Q10
The highly anticipated keyboard and touchscreen BlackBerry Q10

BlackBerry makes a lot of emphasis that the keyboard on the device has been improved. All keys are the same size and has been optimised for improved typing. It was weird at first,  to get used to hardware keyboard after not owning a BlackBerry for awhile. But it doesn’t take long to remember how much I (and I’m sure a lot of you) loved the BlackBerry keyboard experience.

As you can see, there’s no more optical trackpad above the keys. That’s because the screen is now a touchscreen. You can navigate with different gestures and swipe actions with the new BlackBerry 10 OS.

See Also : CNET Asia : BlackBerry Z10 – The “Make It or Break It” smartphone from BlackBerry

See Also : CNET Asia : No-nonsense Productivity At Its Best With BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry Q10 - Front and Back hardware
BlackBerry Q10 – Front and Back hardware

The device fits nicely in my hands, almost the same size as the bigger BlackBerry Bold series. The backing was a nice weave design, which, like the BlackBerry Z10 creates a nice non-slip texture that sits comfortably in my hands.

I have to point out though that it’s not exactly a slim device. Nevertheless, it’s not that bulky to be a deal breaker. It’s hardly noticeable with so many other good points going for this smartphone.

Side profile and ports on BlackBerry Q10
Side profile and ports on BlackBerry Q10

As with the BlackBerry Z10, the sides of the phones are pretty much the same. You have your Power On/Off button in the middle at the top, your volume rocker and function key (for music  play/pause, etc) on the right, the micro USB and micro HDMI out ports on the left and the speaker and groove at the bottom to remove the back for the replaceable battery.

See Previous Post : All Touch BlackBerry Z10  Launches in Malaysia

See Previous Post : BlackBerry Z10 Now On Sale in Malaysia (With Hands On Pictures & Updated Roadshow Info)

BlackBerry Q10 Accessories on display
BlackBerry Q10 Accessories on display

There were some flip cases and hard back cases on display in a perspex box at the Demo Stations during the event. Unfortunately though, not much information was provided on their availability or pricing.

 

Pricing and Availability

BlackBerry Q10 Available for Sale on 15 May 2013
BlackBerry Q10 Available for Sale on 15 May 2013

The BlackBerry Q10 will be on sale next Wednesday, 15 May 2013 with Celcom and Maxis for a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of RM 2,388 outright, without any plans. Sometime at the end of May 2013, the BlackBerry Q10 will be available at other authorised BlackBerry dealers and distributors for outright purchase.

BlackBerry Malaysia told us that the Malaysian availability is the FIRST IN ASIA!!!

Yes, we’re the first country in Asia to launch and have the device on sale in the whole of ASIA region. Feels good to be earlier than Indonesia (undoubtedly the biggest BlackBerry market) and the privileged early adopter.

(Image Source : TechnologyGears.com)

There will only be the Black coloured version in the market initially, with the White coloured one coming soon after. Yes, Malaysians will be getting both the Black and White colour device. However, the White version of the device doesn’t come with the weave textured back like the Black version, as confirmed by BlackBerry and seen in image above.

Yes, the pricing of RM 2,388 seems a little pricey, considering the BlackBerry Z10 was only selling for RM 2,188. BlackBerry Malaysia responded that the Q10 has much more premium build quality and material, as well as a more ergonomic design and form factor than the Z10. Errr…. OK.

BlackBerry Q10 Pre-order with Celcom starts TODAY, 8 May 2013
BlackBerry Q10 Pre-order with Celcom starts TODAY, 8 May 2013

In case you didn’t see my posting on my Facebook Page or Twitter, Celcom has opened the Registration of Interest page to start the Pre-Order process for the BlackBerry Q10 TODAY!!!!

Pre-order BlackBerry Q10 with Celcom starting TODAY!!!
Pre-order BlackBerry Q10 with Celcom starting TODAY!!! Click HERE

Once registered, you’ll get a FREE Bluetooth speaker with your BlackBerry Q10, as well as a RM200 rebate off your monthly bill. Start your Pre-Order of the BlackBerry Q10 with Celcom at http://www.celcom.com.my/bb_q10pre/

UPDATE : Today, on 15 May 2013, the BlackBerry Q10 is officially available for sale with Celcom from RM 1,388 (check out Celcom plan details HERE) or Maxis from RM 1,178 (check out Maxis plan details HERE).

 

Reviews for the BlackBerry Q10 and Conclusion

Here are some good reads if you’re considering getting yourself a BlackBerry Q10:-

So, now we wait until I get my hands on a review unit from BlackBerry Malaysia to do my personal user review of the BlackBerry Q10.

Until then, remember to check out the BlackBerry Q10 Product Page for all the features, gallery of pictures and specifications at http://www.blackberry.com.my/smartphones/blackberry-q10-contingency/overview.html?

Me with the BlackBerry Q10
Me with the BlackBerry Q10

Based on pure first impressions alone, when I got to play around with the device at the demo  station during the launch event, I really like it.

Got some cute (and delicious) BlackBerry shaped macarons
Got some cute (and delicious) BlackBerry shaped macarons

Not because BlackBerry Malaysia gave all attendees some cute BlackBerry Q10 shaped macarons to take home.

There’s really no denying how the hardware QWERTY keyboard has been such a huge selling point for BlackBerry. You sometimes forget that not everyone likes touchscreen keyboards. BlackBerry Q10 brings back what everyone loved about their BlackBerries. This Q10 is gonna satisfy those needs. On top of that, you still have a touchscreen display to make the most of the newly redesigned BlackBerry 10 OS that works very well with gestures and swipes.

Keyboard. Keyboard. Keyboard.
Keyboard. Keyboard. Keyboard.

Personally, I think this will more likely be the bigger seller compared to the BlackBerry Z10 all touchscreen smartphone. I also think BlackBerry knows this, too. How else can you explain the higher pricing of this Q10?

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  • juan tomas

    i using Q10 now..simple, elegant…is a phone for adults..

    • “A phone for adults”. Hmm. Interesting. Never heard anyone use that term…