BlackBerry Z10 preview: First look
Telephony and phonebook
The BlackBerry Z10 has no hardware buttons so the quickest way to get to the dialer is by tapping the Phone shortcut in the bottom left corner (it's visible on all homescreen panes but the Hub).
The dialer has three tabs - Calls, Contacts and Dial pad. We were a little disappointed to find out that you can't swipe between those two (after all, you can swipe between almost anything else so far).
The Dialer has been pushed to third place because it's not very useful - with no smart dial, you have to enter the number manually. There is a feature called "Smart dialing" but it's not the usual "find as you type" feature. Instead, it only automatically applies country and area codes to the numbers you dial.
A nice option for those still using cellphone holsters is the option to automatically answer and hang up when taking the Z10 out of the holster and putting it back in again.
Anyway, you're better off using the Contacts tab. It's an alphabetical list of contacts indexed by their first letter. There's a search field and an alphabet index available for quickly jumping to a specific contact. A tap on a contact expands into a list of all assigned phone numbers.
The Call log features three shortcuts on top - Voice Mail plus two contact numbers. You can add more quick-dial numbers here, but the more you add, the further down the actual call log gets pushed.
The call log itself displays either all calls or just missed calls (there's a toggle just above it). Calls are grouped together to save space, e.g. two outgoing calls to the same contact are displayed as one item with a call counter.
The Phonebook looks a lot like the Contacts tab of the phone app, except it doesn't have the alphabet index on the right (but the search field on top is still there). Tapping on a contact here brings you to the contact info, which is split into three tabs.
The first tab is details - this is where all the phone numbers, email accounts, web site, birthday and other info (including Facebook friends and Twitter followers count) are listed. If the same contact uses multiple services, you can link the entries and have everything in the same place.
The second tab is Updates. All social networking updates are listed here chronologically, along with automatically generated entries under the Company News heading. If you've entered a company name (or the phone can guess it from the social networking accounts associated with this contact), the phone will search the web for new relevant content and give you a four line preview. A neat feature for sure.
The third tab is Activity, a list of phone calls and messages between you and the contact.
Just like in the Hub, you can swipe right to view a list of all services that provide contacts - your phone, the SIM card in it, BBM and BBM Video, Gmail, Twitter, you name it. You can use this to browse contacts coming from a specific service only or go into the settings to hide contacts from services you don't need.
We found this bit to be a bit buggy - we'd switch off a service (say Facebook) and the contacts from it will still be visible. We had to go through the swipe-right interface to a single service (any will do) and then back to All contacts for the list to refresh. The same thing happens when enabling a service back again.
Yet another trick from Hub is the long press - this gives you an easy access to several options straight from the contact lists. It's especially quick if you do it as one gesture (press and hold on a contact then move your finger to the option and release).