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What BlackBerry 10 device are you getting? Here’s why you should get a full-touch BB10 device

I’ve been a long time BlackBerry user and ever since I got my first one, I’ve had nothing but the traditional BlackBerry phone. By traditional I mean the small screen with the standard keyboard below. It did exactly what I needed it to do, allowing me to communicate with people that matter and be productive with my time. But things have changed since I got my first BlackBerry and more consumers have embraced touch, that’s where mobile is and will continue to grow. So here’s the question that many traditional BlackBerry users are struggling with. What BlackBerry 10 device should they purchase; keyboard or full touch? I think current BlackBerry users should get a full touch BlackBerry 10 device and here’s why I believe it will help RIM be successful long term.

Strong need to change the BlackBerry perception

There is a strong need for RIM to change the perception the average consumer has of a BlackBerry, RIM has started the change on the corporate side already. Instead of listing a bunch of words consumer may use to describe a BlackBerry, I simply want to point out that most of the negative words that might come to mind are more or less caused by one thing; the BlackBerry keyboard. Look, there’s no arguing BlackBerry is the best productivity and communication device. But what I see as productivity most consumer see as a boring user experience. Apple made the bet that productivity can be overcome because the vast majority of consumers are not getting 200 plus emails per day nor are they writing anywhere near that amount. What most consumers do have is a lot of free time that needs to be wasted. And since this is the case the typical things consumer want to do such as playing game or browsing suffer in experience because of the keyboard at times.

For example, gaming on a traditional BlackBerry is not as fun due to the keyboard. I have a PlayBook and I can guarantee you that if similar titles were available on my BlackBerry Bold, I wouldn’t play a single one. Why? It’s about the experience and on a Bold 9900 it’s as enjoyable.  Every time I attempt to play a game on my Bold, I feel like I’m trying just to prove to myself gaming is possible.

Touch is the new standard in mobile

The vast majority of OEMs have moved to producing only full-touch smartphones. While developing countries lag in touch screen adaptation, I believe this will eventually change as well. Apple is largely to be credited for this move and has largely become the gold standard for touch similarly to RIM becoming the gold standard for keyboard. RIM and loyal followers have been trying to convince the average consumers to switch to BlackBerry based on the keyboard and BBM. But today there are many alternatives to BBM and the user experience is harder to sell when a keyboard is attached. Keep in mind I am strictly talking about the average consumer here. When it comes to the power users a traditional BlackBerry is just simply the best tool in my opinion, period. But these are not the people moving away from RIM, it’s the average consumer so while RIM isn’t going to flat out say it, I believe the strategic choice has been made to focus more on a full-touch experience and adapting that for a keyboard form factor.

Full touch gives BlackBerry users some swagger

Who doesn’t want to have some swag? I often find it interesting that while BlackBerry users are perhaps the most passionate and dedicated group of consumers, when placed in a room filled with people who have other platform they often find themselves having to defend their choice for why have a BlackBerry and running out of “swag weapon” for a lack of better word. Why? It’s largely because there’s perceived lack of swag or flash to really throw back at other platform. That’s not the same as saying BlackBerry user a missing features, in fact, I would argue BlackBerry users have more features than other platforms then they even know about. But in today’s mobile world it’s not good enough to provide features; rather you need to present those features with some swag.

If you have a BlackBerry right now just think about how difficult it is for you to show your friends or family some BlackBerry swag. By getting the full touch screen BlackBerry that swag is possible. The fact that it’s an all touch screen phone mean half the battle is done as you’re not trying convince friends or family on the keyboard as well as the BlackBerry OS. The full-touch phone allows a BlackBerry user to focus on the OS and present those swag features and really show why RIM’s OS is different and offers a better experience. A BlackBerry user is not fighting against the standard norm of having a full-touch phone today.

So which phone will I be buying?

Yes, I will be making the switch from a keyboard to a full-touch screen BlackBerry. Trust me, as I write this I am crying inside but I also want to see RIM succeed. I believe it would be a disservice to us consumer should RIM not make it, they have made the changes at the company level to make me believe. I really think RIM has a great OS that people will love once they are able to see it and play around with it. I have a lot of friends who use other platform and while they are using it one common thing I am starting to hear more and more is they are not satisfied with them. Doesn’t mean they will all switch but the fact they are not satisfy is a good sign for RIM’s future OS.

But like a traditional user, I might relapse so just going to get a keyboard BB10 later in the year to be safe side. But don’t worry my primary phone going forward will be full touch BlackBerry because I truly believe the OS was designed for touch.  I also want to make clear I am not saying RIM needs to kill the keyboard because I would be the first person in Waterloo protesting. What I am saying is that RIM has the keyboard segment locked with no real challenger currently. It needs to focus on where consumers are going and where it is currently not competing in; touch segment.

31 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. no doubt i will be getting the one with a physical keyboard. i don’t want a full touchscreen phone, i got my tablet for that.

  2. Full Touch BB10 for me!

  3. While in theory I am a keyboard guy. I do not foresee myself being able to prevent myself from NOT buying the first all touch device

  4. I was a keyboard diehard. Pearl, Curve (hated keyboard), Tour, Bold. Then I got the Torch 9850. LOVE IT. Have had it for a year and a half. I will never go back to a keyboard. I do believe the Playbook keyboard needs some work. Sometimes it doesn’t come up, sometimes it goes down with typing. SO if they fix that, all touch screen phones from BlackBerry will be a step in the right direction for BB10

  5. I have my Playbook for the BB10 apps and full touch experience.
    Physical keyboard on my BB10 phone is not negotiable! lol

  6. Right now, I am sold on the Aristo. Doesn’t really matter to me if it is or isn’t a full touchscreen. It’s the “gonna feel safe and covered on getting updates” sensation I’m going for.

    But I agree. BlackBerry 10 will be much easier to show off on a 4.3 screen. And I do plan on showing it off. Big time.

  7. Gotta say the full touch does have an appeal to it with the keyboard… but one of the reasons I’ve stayed with BlackBerry is because of the wonderful keyboard. Some things are just easier and quicker with the keyboard than a touch keyboard.

  8. I too am “crying inside” but am buying the full touch. Giving it an honest try.

  9. I just wanna say that I’m always reading articles on berryreview, I have it in my Social Feeds, but I never comment. Just wanna say that this was a very well written article and I couldn’t agree with you more. I am in the exact same position, love my 9930 to death and will probably shed a tear when I get the full touchscreen BB10, but I often wish that I could just shrink down my PlayBook and use that as my phone. I pump out tons of emails a day, but I use my phone a LOT to read articles and use the internet, and its sad that I have to give up so much screen in place of a physical keyboard (although I am in LOVE with it, I am actually typing on it now, I can hit 70+ WPM when I get going.. No touchscreen keyboard can do that). And yes, BB10 was totally created for touch, I’m interested to see how the physical keyboard phone works with it or if they are going to modify the OS slightly to accomidate it better. So I’m going to the full touchscreen no matter what *tear* but I couldn’t be more excited for BlackBerry (RIM’s) future! :)

    Great articles, and just wanted to say, keep it up! :)

    • +1. Well said. The only time I migrated from the full keyboard was when I got myself a Torch 9800, didn’t enjoy the experience and dumped it as soon as the 9900 came out and absolutely enjoy using it. My kid got the fairly new Torch and would trade for 9900 in a heart beat.

      Having said all that I am getting a full touch, pre ordering as soon as it opens up. I might go back to the keyboard, but I like what I see of the full touch keyboard.


      • Yeah, my cousin has the torch, and there are some things that I like about it, (notably the extra screen real-estate) but the keyboard and extra thickness just doesn’t do it for me. There is also something about having more than 26 keys that function as instant shortcuts that I am most definitely going to miss when I get the full touch BB10, and other things too that I can’t even think about now… CTRL+F for find in the browser, “t” for top, “b” for bottom.. There are just SOOOOO many things that are great about having a physical keyboard, awe.. I’m getting even sadder the more I think about what else I’m giving up when I get the full touch.

        Oh well, I’m totally with you, I’m gonna be pre-ordering it at midnight the day that it comes out, did that for my Bold 9930 and for the Bold 9650, this is by far the most excited that I have ever been though, and I was pretty damn pumped about the 9930 :)

    • Thanks for the kind words flip4life I will pass them along to the team.

    • Flip4life you are the reason why I love the BlackBerry community. Smart and passionate community. And I agree with you, I couldn’t be more excited for RIM’s future too.

      • Awe, thanks, that means a lot, and I totally agree :)

        But yeah, I feel like the BlackBerry community is more passionate than the other communities out there, without being offensive. We aren’t quick to write off RIM’s competitors either, we accept what else is out there, that other OS’s do some things better, whereas many of the communities such as Apple and Android are much quicker to judge and write their competitors off, not giving much of a reasoning as to why they don’t like them.

        I am glad that I stuck it out through RIM’s bad times and have continued to support them 100%.. I honestly cannot wait for people to finally see the strength that RIM has in the smart phone world, just need a few more months to go by :)

        BlackBerry fan boy until the end!

  10. I may end up waiting for a BB10 Torch but I will more likely give full touch a whirl. Maybe I can get used to it.

  11. I don’t think I will ever buy a phone to try and save a platform. Without a keyboard bb ceases to have any value for me.

  12. I will go with the cheaper phone…
    I like the keyboard but i’m not too crazy about the square screen.
    Also, I suppose the touch screen version will be more compatible with the playbook because it’s the same resolution (correct me if I’m wrong but this is what I remember it was).
    Also, since navigation is coming to BB finally, the bigger the screen, the better and more practical it will be, no?

  13. For me? I won’t need to show off swag. My needs are physical keyboard. Period! You can buy all touch. Even if one was gifted to me that was all touch, I would trade or sell!

  14. Loving all the positive energy here! The BR faithful are smart and well informed which is why I enjoy the feedback so much.

    I am hoping to grab the first BB10 device released. I am sold on all touch especially with RIM’s continued focus on keyboard excellence.

    I am beyond excited for BB10 to be launched. I truly believe it will be very well received.

    TeamBlackBerry and BerryReview for life!

  15. I’ve always loved the physical keyboard of the Blackberrys, especially with my current 9900. I’ve had iPhones and Android touch screen phones in the past and I’ve hated them mainly because of the keyboard, besides other things. But this time round I will be getting a full touch screen BB10 device because this keyboard will be awesome!

  16. In the end. I will probably actually end up buying both lol

    • Agreed! I’m addicted to my 9810 physical keyboard and it is one of the main reasons I’ve tried and hated both iOS and Android devices because I’m just not as productive with an on-screen keyboard. I also ended up desperately missing all of the keyboard shortcuts. However, I’ve been (im)patiently waiting on BB10 for so long that I will probably end up with both new devices because I will not be able to wait for a keyboard version to debut. Either that or I’ll have to get a micro-SIM to SIM adapter so that I can revert back to the 9810 when I’m jonesing for faster input. :-)

  17. Thanks for that great article.I will go for the keyboard version of BB10, I got the Playbook for the bigger full touch screen.That’s the main reason why I switched from my Torch to a brand new 9900 a few months ago (and because I was tired of sliding in and out to have the quickness of the keyboard).

  18. I’m probably going to get both, until rim makes a decent slider. I haven’t found yet a full touch phone which lets me get things done like on a 9900. A keyboard and a trackpad are more precise, more efficient.

  19. will any bb7 devices be upgraded to bb10

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