There’s something rotten in the state of mobile phones. It saddens me a great deal.
I’ve had yet another problem with my keyboard on my BlackBerry Q10. The A key has given out again and the C and K keys insert 0’s when I type.
Now, you’re not going to know this by reading it, but I type relatively quickly. By no means am I the fastest out there, but my typing speed is limited only by the speed of extruding thoughts from my brain. Yes, that makes me about 10 words per minute. Hardee har har.
However, when I got my Q10 you’ll remember that I was really, really thrilled with it and typed an entire blog entry on that very keyboard. The responsiveness is fantastic. My BlackBerry doesn’t dick around with the words I type trying to autokorrupt what I type into senseless stream of consciousness. (Or, quite literally according to my work phone, “A senseless stream of the year and a half hours of sleep and I have to be a good day to be a good time to get a new one.”)
I can actually put two thoughts together in my head and I do not want a phone getting in the way. Nor do I want to press glass hoping the phone can anticipate what it is I’m trying to express. My BlackBerry stays out of my way and for the bargain I can get those thoughts out quickly and efficiently.
So I am now in a quandary. I have to choose to pay to fix my Q10 or look towards getting a new phone. My choices are bleak, and I’m finding it very depressing.
My first criteria is a physical keyboard. They’re faster to type on, I’m a great speller who is not reliant upon auto-correct, and they give great physical feedback and I prefer them greatly to pushing glass. That leaves me… The BlackBerry Classic or the Priv. Crap.
The Classic leaves me stuck on the Dead Horse BlackBerry 10. By no means am I ignorant of what my beloved BB10 has on offer, but the developers have dropped it in droves and although I need very, very few apps that don’t come with my phone the ones that I do need now are quite important to me. So I’m looking at the Priv.
It looks pretty good on the face of it and I’m impressed with the camera (although perhaps less so after reading a bunch of reviews), but I really don’t think I want to buy a slider. I’m concerned about build quality (remember, this is my second keyboard failure in my Q10) and my concerns double with a phone that’s meant to move over it’s keyboard. I really wish BlackBerry stuck to the Canadian persnicketiness they used to be famous for.
However, the real problem I had with the Priv is that my Thumbs of Thunder simply mashed against the edges of the slider and it was uncomfortable to type on the Priv’s keyboard. I gave it my best shot and I really wanted to love the keyboard, but I hated it. I hated the slider. I hated the onscreen keyboard that just wasted space. Can I get a physical keyboard there instead? Please?
If I give up on the physical keyboard, I could go with the DTEK50 I guess, but I may as well go with any other phone. My son has a Samsung S4 and seems pretty happy with it so far, so I spent nearly two hours tonight comparing the Priv against the S7 and S7 Edge. No, sir, I am not in the market for a middling BlackBerry phone. So I think I’m stuck in a waiting game hoping they produce something that doesn’t suck soon.
And here, in a nutshell, is the horrible situation BlackBerry has been stuck in for years now.
People who need 10,000 apps that do nothing have jumped long ago. People who were willing to accept atrocious battery life in favour of big, shiny screens have been gone for ages. People who don’t mind mashing glass or those that actively disdained the physical keyboard have already left the station.
But there’s a whole lot of us who are fiercely loyal to BlackBerry for the very reason that a physical keyboard is efficient and conducive to communication. The Hub remains fantastic and a glorious point of contact with all things important to me. Can I not get what I love with software that isn’t horrendous to use? Apparently not.
So, Mr. Chen, we need to have a serious discussion. I’m one of your loyalists that really wants a new BlackBerry.
I want a physical keyboard as good or better than my Bold 9900.
I want a great camera - not just a big megapixel number, the entire camera needs to be responsive and workable.
I demand my phone accept an SD card. Size is less important to me, I can buy two cards.
I want a replaceable battery. I shouldn’t have to take it into the shop when the battery goes bad.
I know I can’t have BB10, but I’ll settle for Android with the Hub.
And I need to know if this is coming down the pipe or not. I have to make a decision now, damn it.
You’ll note what I’m not asking for is the cost. Give me the great phone that I want and I will happily pay full cost. A good BlackBerry is worth it. Unfortunately, it seems a good BlackBerry is pretty hard to find these days.