I was checking BlackBerry Z10 prices in Kuwait to see who sells it for the best price;
Eureka: Printed price is KD249 but cash payment gets 20% discount .
X-Cite: Pre-order started at KD199
Viva: Starting KD129 + KD20/Month for yearly contract, they say subscribers will get 1 GB Internet and KD8/Month free local calls.
Wataniya Telecom: Starting KD144 through yearly contract but not sure about exact offer details.
Zain: KD199 (only the device) or starting KD14.5/ Month for 1.5 years contract.
Electrozan: KD199 (16 GB) and is available in white and black colors.
Personally I prefer to wait for a few weeks or a month before I decide to get one, I’m sure prices will significantly drop plus it will be available from other places. I overheard BlackBerry 10 BBM doesn’t require the BlackBerry Internet package to work and WiFi is enough just like WhatsApp, anybody can confirm?
I got my hands on BlackBerry 10Z, by the way I’m not liking the name at all they could have come up with a more creative and catchy name don’t you think? Actually I happened to be at the Avenues when X-Cite just displayed it for testing so I grabbed it and started playing around with the features and options to get my first impression since I still got a BlackBerry and this was like a cross-road for me, so either continue using BlackBerry or simply abandon it for good.
I must say BlackBerry 10Z felt somehow light, it weighed around 136 grams so almost like Samsung Galaxy SIII. It was also workable (or should I say grabbable?) with one hand since the dimensions 130 x 65.6 x 9 mm are slightly bigger than say iPhone 5. The 4.2″ LCD display looked sharp and bright, it was even sharper than iPhone 5 and this is because the screen resolution 1,280 x 768 is high to begin with, another factor here is the higher PPI (356 PPI) which I think is also helping. The material was a combination of Aluminum/Hard Plastic and it felt durable against falls, there was a micro USB and micro HDMI sockets on one side and charger socket on the other side. There were no buttons, just volume buttons and power/screen button on the top so I guess BlackBerry and trying to imitate Apple style.
BlackBerry camera sucks big time! It was like 50 years old technology but as I said in my previous post [link], the camera has undergone a major improvement and now it’s 8 MP (front camera) capable of producing decent still shots and 1080p HD videos. Another good thing is that BlackBerry has finally added a front-facing 2 MP camera for video calling and chatting, goodness what took them so damn long? Beats me. Hardware aside, in my humble opinion, the whole new OS 10 is where the real deal is, it’s totally different from the current ancient OS and to me it looked like it’s an intermix between Apple iOS and Android OS. Switching between applications has become easier and menu navigation is a lot friendlier now. Also BlackBerry has introduced new feature so called Hub which supposedly functions as a central control room for everything.
Though I found that touch screen was not as sensitive as my Samsung Galaxy Note II, on occasions I needed to click or scroll several times. Apps-wise, BlackBerry claims that over 70,000 will hit AppWorld shortly but I’m not sure if app developers are now fully comfortable with BlackBerry platform to develop cool apps as in iPhone and Android. The bad news is that WhatsApp stated before that they won’t support BlackBerry 10 and no news about Instagram either. My little conclusion here is that BlackBerry 10Z and OS 10 do represent a big step forward but this should have been done ages ago, so will BlackBerry be able to catch up with dominating iPhone & Android or not is the real question here.
Note: BlackBerry 10Z will be available in Kuwait in less than a week and it will cost around KD199.
So the BlackBerry Z10 was finally unveiled today by Canadian company RIM (now changed to BlackBerry), which many are describing it as the New Hope for dying BlackBerry while others describe it as The Last Stand for RIM to stay in the phone market. I’ve witnessed many of my friends who used to own BlackBerry abandon it and switch to either iPhone or Android and terminate their BlackBerry subscription, my BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) list was getting smaller and smaller. So RIM was obviously under pressure to come up with something revolutionary to regain people faith and trust in BlackBerry smartphones. Interestingly, the new BlackckBerry Z10 looks very similar to the leaked photos, many are also claiming that it’s a copycat of iPhone design and expecting that Apple may actually file for a lawsuit against RIM just like they did with Samsung before.
I was reading about the launching event and the specs of the BlackBerry Z10 and I gotta admit that for the first time ever BlackBerry does bring new cool features plus the new OS 10 is a lot better than the previous ones. So now let’s talk more detail, shall we?
Specs & Design: The BlackBerry Z10 measures 130mm x 66mm x 9.3mm and weighs 138 grams, now that’s clearly bigger than iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 but still can be grabbed with one hand I suppose, it has 4.2″ screen with 1,280 x 768 display. They say it was made of Aluminum and plastic which is supposed to help with scratches, inside it has 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 2GB RAM, a removable 1,800mAh battery, slots for micro SD with up to 32GB capacity, and it uses micro SIM (like iPhone 4S). There’s also Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, WiFi and there’s micro USB, micro HDMI. Now technically speaking, that’s not bad even though I wish if the processor was faster and RAM was higher.
Though one of the biggest improvements in my humble opinion is the new camera, 8 MP rear camera (for shooting pictures and videos) and 2 MP front facing camera (for video calling and chatting). Also there was major improvement to BlackBerry OS, they say it will integrate Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Foursquare (sadly no Instagram yet) but they are saying thousands of apps are underway. According to videos that I saw, the new BlackBerry OS is very user-friendly and has a nice interface, I liked the idea of BlackBerry Hub which helps users jump from one application to another easily. Also the new BBM was improved a lot, it will now support video chatting, finally.
Price & Release Date: BlackBerry Z10 will be available starting tomorrow but I suppose it will arrive to Kuwait within a couple of weeks. They haven’t announced the cash price yet but they say it will be around £480 (around KD220), I expect it will be around KD250 in Kuwait too. So, will you consider buying the new BlackBerry Z10 and do you think it will bring a new hope?
I just found that Apple has released iOS 6.1 update to fix some bugs and make iPhone 5 users in Kuwait capable of using 4G LTE network which is only available from Zain at the moment, this is especially good because with LTE the speed is really high so you can browse the web, stream content, or download movies at blue streak speeds, according to Zain the download speed is up to 45 Mbps. However, I believe only those who got iPhone 5 model A1429 (GSM model) can use the 4G LTE with following frequencies:
1 (2100 MHz) 3 (1800 MHz) 5 (850 MHz)
To download the new update go to your iPhone 5 settings then go to “General” then click “Software Update” and finally click “Download and Install” and voila. Now we are waititng for 4G LTE for Android smartphones.
A reader to our blog sent us email informing us that iPhone/iPad version for Grand Hamra Cinema App was just released and it’s available on iTunes store, several readers were asking about it. Get it here [link].
Speaking of Grand Cinemas I saw they will release new big movie hits such as Jurassic Park 3D, Oz the Great and Powerful, Hansel and Gretel, Jack The Giant Slayer among others in the next few months. I’m guessing many blockbuster flicks are coming up I’ll make a separate post to talk about the big movie hits for 2013, stay tuned fellas.