The phone starts with a wizard and a short tutorial, after which one can set up email and other accounts similar to the way one starts up the PlayBook. The tutorial also explains the gesture-based interface. The controls are fairly simple. Swipe up from the bottom bezel to wake up a smartphone, swipe down from the top bezel to access settings and swipe up from bottom to minimise any open app, which then minimises into an Active Frame.
In standby mode, the phone displays date and time, as well as message notifications. One can also access the camera via a button on the screen. Swiping in and out is smooth and while the gesture interface might take some time getting used to, it saves time. Thanks to my experience with the PlayBook and Windows 8, I felt at home with this UI.
The Phone, Universal Search and Camera button are always accessible on the home screen while the BlackBerry Hub icon appears on the far left of the screen. When applications are running in the background, the Active Frame icon also appears alongside the Hub icon. The four-point multi-touch display is a boon for touch junkies, though for a QWERTY fanboy like me, it takes time getting used to.