The BlackBerry Z10 Review

The BlackBerry Z10 smartphone had just been announced and is aimed at getting back market share lost by BlackBerry to iOS and Android. But the question is...will it be easy for BlackBerry to get back its market share? Well, ultimately, this will depend on the consumers and how well BlackBerry markets the brand. Hiring Alicia Keys as BB's newest Creative Director and endorser is a start. But what does the future hold for BlackBerry, BlackBerry Z10, and its BlackBerry 10 OS?

blackberry z10
Image by BlackBerry
This year will be a make or break year for the Canadian smartphone maker as it struggles to find a place in the already crowded smartphone and tablet market. Will its new design or new OS finally make up for lost ground? Let us find out what BlackBerry Z10 brings to the table and see for yourself if this smartphone is something you really need or just would like to have.

blackberry z10
Image by BlackBerry
The design of the BlackBerry Z10 is very minimalistic. While it does resemble the iPhone 5 at first glance, it has so much more going on in its design to differentiate it from the Apple smartphone. Yes, it is made of plastic but it does look sturdy. Like the iPhone 5, it will come in two colors: black and white. But the white one won't be available to the public yet. And yes, there's also the red version, which I actually like, but will only be available to developers.

blackberry z10
Image by BlackBerry
With a 4.2-inch, 1,280 x 768 display, it has a high pixel density of 355 ppi. In terms of waistline, it's not really the thinnest at 9.3mm (0.37 inch) but not that thick as well. The 2-megapixel front-facing camera, gunmetal speaker grille, and notification LED can be seen in front of the device. At the back of the device is the 8-megapixel camera that is able to record 1080p FullHD videos, accompanied by an LED flash. Physical buttons are limited to the volume rocker and sleep/wake toggle. It also has a hot-swappable microSD card slot, micro-USB (expandable up to 32GB only), micro-HDMI, and the 3.5mm jack ports.

blackberry z10
Image by BlackBerry
The LCD is officially rated at 800 nits, which is quite high for a mobile panel, making it easily visible outdoors in direct sunlight. Contrast and color saturation are said to be quite good and viewing angles excel when you're looking at the phone on either the left or right sides. As mentioned, it has an 8-megapixel primary camera that is capable of shooting 1080p videos with video stabilization. Engadget describes it as a decent shooter, but not a world-class one. The camera is reasonably quick to focus and even quicker to capture images, letting you capture roughly one shot per second.

blackberry z10
Image by BlackBerry
The BlackBerry 10 OS is a huge leap from BlackBerry OS 7, which makes it more or less equal to iOS and Android when it comes to functionality. According to Engagdet, "it's heavily gesture-based, with a swipe up from the bottom bezel bringing you to the main interface, where you can select between up to eight concurrently running apps for multi-tasking. All installed apps are listed in a grid, not unlike iOS, which you can drag and drop to re-arrange or create folders." The most important gesture, however, is swiping up and to the right. This exposes the BlackBerry Hub, which aggregates all your forms of connectivity into a single, overpowering list. Through here you can keep up on everything that's going on. Other new stuff include the very smart BlackBerry Keyboard, BBM Video with Screen Share, BlackBerry Balance, BlackBerry Remember, and Voice Control (which is similar to Google Now and Siri).

blackberry z10
Image by BlackBerry
There are a number of pre-installed apps that come with the Z10. There are the calculator and compass apps. They also have a Maps app, which is worse than that of Apple's iOS 6 Maps. But wait, Z10 also manages to include popular ones such as Dropbox and Angry Birds. Some major entertainment apps still missing in the BlackBerry World include Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and Spotify.

blackberry z10
Image by Engadget.com
From software, let's move on to hardware. The Z10 is powered by a 1.5GHz Qualcomm MSM8960 dual-core CPU paired with 2GB of RAM. Most apps launch promptly and, once launched, are snappy and responsive. Web pages load in short order and pinch-zooming and other common navigation tasks won't keep you waiting. Battery life is merely average but is user-replaceable. The 1,800mAh battery battery pack that comes with it may be insufficient thought and you may consider taking a second one with you. But if there's one thing that will stop you from wanting to ever pull the battery, it is the incredibly slow boot-up time. The Z10 takes more than a minute to boot up after the battery is removed and it sometimes took up to 30 seconds just to shut itself down.

blackberry z10
Image by GSMArena.com
The BlackBerry Z10 is BlackBerry's best phone to date. With its QNX-based OS, removable battery, 2GB RAM, and other software tricks, there are many things to like about the smartphone. The sad part is that BlackBerry World still trails iOS, Android, and even Windows Phone, when it comes to the number of applications offered in the store. And this reason alone is given importance by many consumers. To be fair with BlackBerry, having 70,000 apps at launch is actually good, but is it good enough? To say the least, the Z10 will surely be loved by BlackBerry loyalists all over the world. And on that level, it will surely be a success. However, I'm not sure if this phone will be able to lure iOS, Android, and Windows Phone users away from their chosen mobile platform. Only time will tell and the time starts now. Did the Z10 arrive too little, too late? Or will BlackBerry rise from the ashes and slay formidable foes? Again, only time will tell.

blackberry z10
Image by BlackBerry
Source

Til then...

xoxo Nash

2 comments :

Blake B said...

One of the best reviews I've read. AS a BB9900 owner, 1 minute reboot would be heaven.

I think you hit the nail on the head that the Z10 will be a hit for current BB users.

So how fast BB can get apps natively ported to the Z10 OS will determine its success to non-BB users.

Anonymous said...

Thanks!

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