BlackBerry Launches First Firmware Update for Z10
March 1, 2013 9:00 AM
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Battery tweaks and more in BlackBerry 10's first update
BlackBerry has a lot riding on the success of its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones. The company has already seen some moderate sales success with the new BlackBerry Z10 smartphone by selling
three times better
than previous BlackBerry models in the UK. While these devices have only recently launched, the manufacturer has already offered up its first firmware update for BlackBerry 10 devices.
The software update brings BlackBerry 10 to version 10.0.10.85 and the manufacturer says that the update is based on customer feedback. The update is available right now on some carriers and BlackBerry says it's working with all carrier partners to get the update available as soon as possible.
BlackBerry has a list of the top five improvements in the updated operating system. First of the top five improvements is improved performance for third-party applications. BlackBerry promises that this improvement will allow developers to build apps that run fast and smooth for end-users. The second update includes improvements to the phone, calendar, and contacts features including fixes for Gmail calendars.
BlackBerry has optimized the camera for better photos in low light situations, getting better performance in instances where users don't use the flash. Another important update in the firmware is tweaks to the browser and media functionality of BlackBerry 10 devices. BlackBerry has made improvements to the software and the way the browser handles video playback to provide an improved user experience.
The final and perhaps most important change in the new firmware update is a number of new battery life optimizations. BlackBerry says that it has added over 60 battery saving improvements since BlackBerry 10 devices launched. The manufacturer also says that heavy phone users should see longer average usage per charge cycle.
The download is about 150 MB in size and the software is available over the air. Users can manually check to see if the update is available under Settings/Software Updates/Check for Updates.
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3/1/2013 7:05:13 PM
I have a Z10 on order. Its to replace a Philips X523 dual-SIM feature phone. The main thing I lose going to the Z10 is the dual-SIM feature. But, the Z10 has some other things going for it, as noted below.
But, before I get to that, I'll mention that I also keep a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 nearby. But I bought that as a back-packable tablet, not to use as a phone. It is excellent, but not portable enough to wear.
Mine is single-SIM (N7100), but the N7102 dual-SIM is now available from China and I will probably eventually upgrade to that model or a dual-SIM Note 3 for international travel, once available. Dual-SIM keeps carrier costs low and lets you do 2nd factor authentication in multiple countries quite easily.
Ideally, the Z10 would do everything my Note 2 does, sans the larger display. As mentioned, since the Z10 doesn't do dual-SIM, I will still need to carry 2 devices, the other being the Note 2. There is really no way around carrying 2 devices until an MS Courier style clam-shell dual-screened device with dual-SIMs become available (Microsoft was oh-so-close before they canceled the Courier, but it wouldn't run Windows, so it got axed).
Other than the gorgeous, large display, the key to my satisfaction with the Note 2 hinges around the Micro-SD slot. It is Micro-SDXC capable and so far it works flawlessly with the largest mSDXC chip that I can find (a 64GB UHS-1).
I have a 260GB lovingly curated collection of high bit-rate music. Most of it is in WMA Lossless format.
With the Note 2, I can pop out the hot-swappable mSD chip, plug the chip into a USB adapter, and then plug the adapter into my PC. I can then use WMP to sync my favorite files and folders of my music collection (about 50GB worth) onto the mSD chip. Then I can just pop the mSD chip back into the still running Note 2 device and it recognizes everything instantly.
This lets me bypass the clunky PC client software interfaces that seem ubiquitously mandatory on modern devices. In fact, with this method, if I desire, I can just use Windows Explorer to manually copy whatever data and media that I want to the mSD chip. I can even just copy a higher level folder including all of the subordinate folders and files - once the chip is returned to the device, everything is automatically recognized for what it is (music files as music; video as video) no matter where it resides in the folder structure.
Of course the best solution would be for the device manufacturers to enable their devices to be seen by a PC in USB mass storage mode. I think we might be waiting for hell to freeze over on that one though.
So for now, mSDXC compatibility is hugely important to me, as is native WMA Lossless format compatibility. Other than that, standardization is important.
Both the Note 2 and the Z10 are mSDXC compatible.
Both the Note 2 and Z10 are WMA Lossless format compatible.
Both the Note 2 and Z10 have a standard 3.5mm audio out connector.
Both the Note 2 and Z10 have a standard micro-USB charging port that works with standard USB cables and chargers.
The Note 2 easily fits in my backpack and in the top front pocket of a standard business casual oxford shirt or either front pocket of a pair of chino / khaki pants. It won't fit in a normal sized phone holster on a belt.
The Z10 will fit in a normal sized phone holster on a belt.
The Z10 is the only flag-ship level, 4" class phone with a micro-SDXC slot that I know of. For what it's worth, I don't count anything larger than 4.3" as being 4" class. Others may feel differently, but for me, anything larger is too large to wear on a belt.
Once I have it, the real experiments begin. But, that's what I know so far. And, that was enough to get me to buy it to try it out.
All of my devices are international unlocked versions.
I'll forgo the r*ping the contract carriers apply to their victims... ughhh... I mean customers.
3/2/2013 9:50:39 PM
Thanks for the honest feedback and info on the dual sim that's a good catch. I would rate you up if I didn't already post. Curious to see how you like after a few month usage and how it holds up.
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