First Impressions of BlackBerry 7: Great Performance, Better Web Browser and More


blackberry 7

BlackBerry 7 looks just like OS 6 but the software performance is tweaked and the overall experience is much faster. When you’re browsing the homescreen and switching between screens, the device performs really well. One of the downsides of OS 6 was the lag you experienced when perusing the apps; but this is gone now. BlackBerry 7 also brings with it the new APIs that will help developers make more engaging apps such as Augmented Reality apps. Another major advantage in BlackBerry 7 is the updated web browser. Browsing on a BlackBerry 7 device is much faster and the browser is around 40% better than the browser with BlackBerry 6.

The real downside to all of this is that there are still a few major issues we have with the BlackBerry Platform and its user experience that are simply not addressed in the latest OS. For example, the devices still take a long time to boot up and downloading apps still makes your device nearly unusable. Alsop, while it’s great to see new APIs being released for BlackBerry 7, there doesn’t seem to be any news around improving the developer tools. BlackBerry developers are still stuck with some major frustrations such as having to use the awful simulators.

Click through for a few reasons why you should or should not care about BlackBerry 7.

Why you should care:

  • If your device can upgrade, you should be able get the benefits of better performance.
  • The web browser is much better with BlackBerry 7. The checkerboarding is almost completely gone.
  • Augmented Reality APIs and Wikitude make for a really fun BBM experience.

Why you shouldn’t care:

  • It’s not QNX and it’s still feels a lot like OS 6.
  • BlackBerry 7 devices will not be able to upgrade to QNX.
  • Performance still negatively impacted when downloading apps.
  • Apps still require a reboot after installation.
  • BlackBerry Maps didn’t seem any better. It was hard to test because the maps didn’t even load (could have been a network issue).
  • The device still takes too long to boot.

Still want to know:

  • Will themes be any better on BlackBerry 7?
  • Also not sure if performance is any better when handling many apps.

What else do you want to know?

  • Guest

    I agree with you. I think these device though will sell well until RIM moves over to QNX. It’s important to note that well we all know there is no major changes the average consumer will love the upgrade and will keep them locked in until the QNX platform grows. Business wise they just could not afford to not release any new product. I would expect these device to ship around a low of 15million units and high of 18million units. They are moving in the right direction but it just takes time.

  • Joseph Loria

    RIM has already said that NO existing devices will be upgradeable to OS7.  There are lots of references to this on the Web.

  • Kyle McInnes

    Forgot about that…you’re right. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome … who needs OS 8 !

  • Hardened

    Our guest seems to have it right. To be honest I think the Bold 9900+Torch 9810+9850 along with Rogers Wireless, AT&T Wireless, Vodafone and MoviStar’s advertising push … these will come close to 21 million units in the next 2 Quarters. This can be easily achievable with much more powerful, interactive, and intuitively fast navigable and efficient applications; along with NFC apps. 

    NFC - I’d LOVE to have a security profile ring that will unlock the unit (with ability to security lock via manual manipulation). The ability to use NFC for a purchase, payment and a bank transaction to deposit a business cheque into my accounts and immediately confirmed via NFC on the 9900 and in my account and an application to quickly tally the transaction to a log & a cloud based service - taxes isolated for reporting to the gov at the end of the term. 

  • Anonymous

    Why would anyone buy this if QNX is even half of its hype?

  • Kai

    They have already lost market share by not releasing any new phones this year. We are in month 8. People’s contracts are up and they are going DROID or IOS in droves. Hopefully this will stop them from losing more and allow them to stabilize before QNX hits which hopefully is a game changer.

  • Samuel M

    Kyle — Could you test this: AutoText entries being pulled into BB7 from a Backup file (ipd) created in Destktop Manager, from a BB5.X version. Have a 9700 BlackBerry with many AutoText (Word Substitution entries) Would probably go for another 9700, if the 9900 BB 7 does not “restore” the AutoText entries from a bb5 backup file. Thanks,

  • guest2

    I think they have the infrastructure in place to sell 20 M in the next quarter and they haven’t even released their curve and curve touch yet!

  • JB68

    Great news,

    Your tutorial works on OS 6