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Review: BlackBerry Q10, the keyboard strikes back

April 24, 2013 • Business


A BlackBerry Q10 smartphone is displayed in Toronto, Tuesday, April 23, 2013. In the Q10, the keyboard and touchscreen work together. On BlackBerrys, the keyboard has always been about more than filling in text fields, and the new operating system takes that further. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graeme Roy)

NEW YORK (AP) — The BlackBerry has finally caught up to the world of touch-screen smartphones. It took time — six years, from the launch of the first iPhone — and it may be too late to save the company that makes it. But the BlackBerry deserves to be taken seriously again.

Why? Because the new BlackBerry Q10 from Research In Motion Ltd. is a successful marriage of the modern touch-screen smartphone and the iconic BlackBerry keyboard.

Though it can be hard to remember, the keyboard used to be a standard feature on smartphones, before the iPhone wiped our minds with its vision of touch-screen Utopia.

Since then, keyboards have been disappearing from smartphones. Physical keyboards just didn’t fit into the design mold set by the iPhone. Palm Inc. created a credible, innovative smartphone with a physical keyboard, but it was a slide-out version, which made the keyboard seem like a burden and an afterthought. There have also been Android phones with physical keyboards, but they haven’t been very good, and they’ve mostly disappeared.

Meanwhile, RIM has continued to make well-designed phones with physical keyboards. But until now, it hasn’t gotten the software running them quite right. Even with physical keyboards, modern phones need touch screens to control movies, games and other tasks beyond the BlackBerry’s roots in messaging. RIM has Login to read more

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