Europeans and Canadians prepare to welcome the first "proper" BlackBerry 10 device, while America gets ready to buy the new Galaxy S4 by the million, not letting some less-than-stellar review comments get in the way.
The Galaxy In Your Hand
Just about every tech site has put up their Samsung Galaxy S4 reviews in a neat web-based harmony, and most of them reflect the main flaws in the otherwise superb device. The various reviews are hinting at poor ergonomics, cheap design aesthetics (compared to the HTC One) and a device that is bloated with Samsung's own layer of gimmicky software, notably duplication of video and music stores, multiple music and video players, two calendars and browsers all pre-installed.
It is also "only" powered a quad-core monster Exynos CPU in the U.S. version, while some territories will be getting an octo-core device of unfathomable power. On the positive side, the device appears to be tough and durable, despite the plastic, shiny low-grip, comes with an amazing screen, high quality camera, expandable memory and it comes with a replaceable battery.
Users can also customize the heck out it, removing that unwanted bloat and creating their own perfect little mobile world, thanks in part to the slot for additional memory and the freedom of the latest Android 4.2.2 OS. The S4 hits AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint (note, those last two say they won't have stock for the weekend, as they'd hoped) next week, with Verizon picking up the slack during May.
The Q10 For Real BlackBerry Users
There has been some debate that BlackBerry should have launched the Q10 first to reward its loyal customers first, rather than trying to play me-too with an all-touchscreen smartphone. But, for those that waited, the Q10 with a proper keyboard is almost here, going onsale in Canada and the U.K. in the coming days.
Prestigious store Selfridges in London will get first go with the phone on offer for £580 SIM-free. In Canada, the Q10 will go on-sale from 1 May at Rogers, Bell and TELUS with prices starting at C$199 with a three-year service agreement.
The QWERTY-keyboard smartphone still has space for a 3.1-inch 720p touchscreen, inside is a 1.5GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4470 processor, 2GB of RAM, NFC, a microSD expansion slot and an 8-megapixel rear camera. The keyboard has been updated with a wider layout and larger sculpted keys.
So, with Apple seemingly relegated to the sidelines until the Fall, if you fancy a new smartphone, you have plenty of choices on the way. Will HTC trump Samsung, and will business users fall in love again with their BlackBerry? We'll find out soon enough.