final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Reception and call quality This device continues Blackberrry's tradition of offering premium antennas. It's as good as prior models, which is better than other smartphones I've seen. great!
  • Display Excellent screen. great!
  • Battery life Light use I could go 2 days with the OS update they put out. Typically I can make it through a 16 hour day and still have 25% left. This includes light gaming. good
  • Camera Haven't been as impressed with camera quality. I was expecting more, but still good enough for a smartphone. (Yes I carry a DSLR when I want real photos) so-so
  • Ease of use Once you learn the swiping system, it's a JOY to use. Still not perfect, and it's not "brain dead easy", so not full marks. To me that is a benefit. good
  • Design and form factor A little big, as I'm used to smaller devices, but has a sleek yet professional look. The screen makes up for any reservations. great!
  • Portability (size / weight) On the larger side, though it seems that Smartphones are getting larger and larger. Fits the hand nicely on a call, and can be used one handed easily. good
  • Media support No problems thus far. great!
  • Durability It's a glass slab design. It feels durable, more so than say an iPhone - at the end of the day it's a touchscreen and has the threat of screen damage as all do. good
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.) The apps out of the gate are plentiful and varied. Not everything is there yet, but it's got a great start. good
Detailed review
This is a device that is a pleasure to use. It's smart in it's operating system and well laid out. As a "physical keyboard" kind of guy, this is the first touch keyboard to win me over. The Blackberry Hub is efficient and the contacts app can blow peoples mind with it's integration with social media.

Blackberry is back in the running. App support will ultimately decide if they will survive long term, but they're leaning heavily on the developer community to make it easy to build apps for them.

As few as they are, any of the "lacking" items I'm missing are things that will be easy to add in future OS updates, which have been coming frequently and painlessly.