Why I chose a BlackBerry Q10 over an iPhone 5s

BlackBerry Q10

BlackBerry Q10

Against all odds, advice and prudent wisdom, I got a Q10 instead of a 5s. From Day One, it has received nothing but constant abuse. I now set out my reasons below.


1) The Q10 has a physical keyboard.

This is the quintessential reason (and also my most convenient response to people asking me) why I got a BlackBerry. I missed the days of SMSing under the table without looking at my screen. While I have hardly reached that level in 3 days, I have great hope that I will be able to blog entire articles through my phone in 2 months time.

(i.e. I will tell you in 2 months time whether I regret my decision to buy this phone.)

2) The underlying philosophy – creation and communication; not consumption. 

I will be getting an iPad Mini – for ebooks, for surfing, for videos and pics, for travel maps and info – for portable content consumption. So that covers BlackBerry’s dearth of apps and the Q10’s small screen.

But, I hear you say, I will not have the iPad with me everywhere I go. Sure, it is small and light enough to bring it around on many occasions. But I will only really ever have my phone with me all the time.



I want a device that I can type on anytime, to create and to communicate anytime (and not just when I have the space to use a bluetooth keyboard). And that is all I want. Amidst my ever-replenishing stacks of books, my need for creative space and my desire to live fully in the present, I really don’t need more content and distractions so obsequiously accessible.

That being said, I do have major gripe with the Q10’s music player. My music quality has dipped, and I cannot sync my music metadata =( Ah wells tradeoffs~

3) It was a leap of faith. 

  • I have never used a BlackBerry before.
  • I am not sure if I will get used to the keyboard to make this worth it (see point (1) above).
  • I did not play around with the Q10 before buying it. The retail stores only had a non-functioning demo available.
  • See point (5) below.

4) This wonderful ad/branding campaign that Neil Gaiman was a part of.

A part of me knows that an ad campaign is done for promotion and profit. But watching the ads, a part of me understood this too:

BlackBerry’s launch party for A Calendar of Tales, which I had the pleasure of attending, was equally humble. I came, expecting to be shuttled into a room with a couple hundred journalists and listen to BlackBerry press representatives preach about the strength of the platform, with a quick appearance by Gaiman. Instead, I found myself in a room with fewer than 30 people, most of whom were Calendar collaborators and lucky Gaiman Twitter followers who had won a spot via email… I realized I hadn’t been invited to a press briefing at all. The event was a celebration of the work, and the few BlackBerry representatives there spoke only of their admiration for Gaiman and his collaborators. No leading questions about how essential his BlackBerry Z10 was to the process. Not a hint of forced product evangelism. Just respect for the process.

Was that a little too subtle? Let’s try that again: NEIL GAIMAN USES A BLACKBERRY #fanboy

'A Calendar of Tales' has some awesome writing and artwork

‘A Calendar of Tales’ has some awesome writing and artwork.

5) I have a baseless suspicion that BlackBerry will rise from the ashes. 

“Why do you think that?” Soo asks.


Besides, Apple is rotting after Steve Jobs passed. And my systems are too tightly centred around Apple. If Apple does plummet in a few years’ time, at least I would have taken a small step out of Apple’s let’s-integrate-all-our-devices-with-and-only-with-each-other-and-screw-open-source trapdoor.

Until BlackBerry goes bankrupt, Apple’s shares rise above $600 again, or Apple comes up with more than a slimmer/faster/bigger/smaller/S product, I will probably continue to feel justified.


On the Third Day, I christened my phone Daniel. It is a reference to:

  1. Daniel Hall, the new Sandman, who is named after
  2. Daniel, the biblical prophet who interpreted dreams; and
  3. Wang Lee Yip, the only guy I know who used a BlackBerry (I might have named my phone Jess if I thought the Q10 was more a girl than a guy haha).

With that baptism, I fell a little more in love with my phone.


2 thoughts on “Why I chose a BlackBerry Q10 over an iPhone 5s

    1. Hello Michael! Yes, I am. Unfortunately, I am quite ready to swallow my pride and revert to Apple once the new iPhone is out. The two reasons are (1) lack of apps; and (2) Apple’s integrated ecosystem is too attractive.

      That being said, the Q10’s keyboard has been awesome and I will miss it. And the new BlackBerry models (Passport?) sound promising. Plus there is BB’s security, which remains unchallenged among mobile devices.

      But those factors still don’t outweigh the seamlessness and elegance of Apple’s ecosystem, as much of a trap that it is. So it is really a balancing exercise. The balance might work out for you. It isn’t working out for me now.

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About Mel

I dreamt I was a whale. https://melvynfoo.wordpress.com/about-mel/