BlackBerry has not been having the best of times of late, but we won't call you insane for investing in a BB just yet. We give you a 7-point rationale.
A few years ago, it was pretty much the master of all it surveyed in the smartphone business and synonymous with an "enterprise phone," but today BlackBerry finds itself in a spot of strife. The past couple of years have been tough for the company, leading to many people writing it off to an extent. The fact, however, is that for all its problems, the company still is coming out with some decent handsets, and thanks to a series of price cuts as well as the launch of the mid-segment Z3 (which is priced at Rs. 15,990), is more affordable than ever before. But would it make sense to invest in a BlackBerry today, in the age in which the likes of Windows Phone, iOS and Android are ruling the roost?
A Blackberry Z3 smartphone is shown by a model during its launch in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Z3 is priced at (US$200) in the country. Photo: AP/Achmad Ibrahim
Well, we think so. And this is not pure sentimentalism – a BlackBerry device still can deliver a lot of value if you are looking for a good smartphone. Here are seven reasons why you should still (STILL) consider investing in a BB.
The build and design
Whether you are looking at the QWERTY-laden Q series or the touchscreen Z series, one thing you can be assured of is rock-solid design and build quality. There are no rough edges or compromises – your BlackBerry will still turn heads, even the Z3 did with its clearly etched logo on the back. And yes, based on experience, it certainly can take a fall easily.
You can have all the SWYPE keyboards in Android land and even the superbly crafted keyboard on the iPhone, but nothing really comes close to the 'real' iconic QWERTY keyboard on the Q series or even the predictive text on the Z series, which predicts words so accurately (even in Hindi) that after a while, you can write entire sentences by just hitting a few keystrokes. If you like typing long messages and mails, you will love the BBs.
Blackberry's new Z3 smartphone is displayed during its launch in Jakarta. Photo: Reuters/Beawiharta
Messaging, mail and social networks
Android might be a wiz at handling social networks and e-mail, but it is still not a patch on BlackBerry, whose hub integrates all your messages from social networks and your mails in one screen that is only a swipe away from your homescreen. The Facebook and Twitter apps are made by BlackBerry and work very smoothly, and the notification system is effective too.
Terrified of losing the data on your device or of malware? A BB remains one of the most secure platforms around. Their CEO even took a poke at Android's security features recently.
Visitors try the newly launched BlackBerry smartphones Z3 "Jakarta Edition" in Jakarta. Photo: AFP / Adek Berry
Not too many people seem to know this, but the browser on BlackBerry OS 10 is one of the best around in mobile devices. No worrying about Flash compatibility and the like. You will more often than not end up getting Web pages just the way you see them on your desktop.
Want a reasonably powerful smartphone that can comfortably get through a day of use with social networks and mail buzzing merrily? All the devices in the BlackBerry Q and Z series will deliver that.
…and the apps too!
Yes, BlackBerry was lagging behind the competition in the app game initially, but with recent updates, BlackBerry 10 OS devices (the Q and Z series) can run most Android apps, provided you can get the APK files for them (not a very difficult task, really). Round that off with the fact that the next update of the OS will also give you access to Amazon's well-regulated Android app store and you can confidently assert that BlackBerry is indeed bridging the app gap between it and other platforms.