BlackBerry Z10 hands-on
In the last several weeks, we've been seeing plenty about the all-touch device in the BlackBerry Z10, but finally, it's here in the flesh ready to kick start this next chapter for BlackBerry. And wouldn't you believe folks, the leaks were dead on with this one, not surprisingly. Of course, an all-touch BlackBerry evokes long forgotten memories about the company's first attempt at the form factor – the BlackBerry Storm. Thankfully this time around, there's more relief in knowing that the platform it's running has been refined and tweaked, to accommodate all of the modern functions and styling we crave.
Frankly speaking, the BlackBerry Z10 reminds us a lot about the iPhone 5, but obviously, the design is taking a backseat and letting the platform get its time under the spotlight. For a BlackBerry, the design is undeniably different, since we're all so familiar with their tried and true recipe of pumping out QWERTY based handsets. With this, though, there now are enough stylish elements littered throughout its design to make it a tangible and appealing offering – like it's uniform and clean flat surfaces. However, rather than employing sturdier materials, like some kind of metal, it's resorting to sticking with a plastic body. In the rear, however, it has a textured surface that gives the handset a good contrast balance between the slick front casing.
Naturally, the first thing we see is the display – a 4.2-inch 1280 x 768 IPS LCD display that happens to also feature 4 point multi-touch. Considering that the interaction with the platform is mainly done through the display, we're happy to report that it works rather well with its responsiveness. When it comes to visual appeal, we definitely like the sharp details and vibrant colors it's able to produce, but the size is a tiny bit underwhelming, especially when everyone is going super big. Nonetheless, it's appealing enough to do justice to the more astounding platform experience it's going to provide.
Without further delay, the most exciting part about this handset is the brand spanking new BlackBerry 10 experience – quite fittingly, of course. Not too long ago, we got a small preview of the new UI running in action during CES, but we're finally seeing every morsel of its totality today! Quite simply folks, it's dreamy, yet differentiated enough from everything else out there. In terms of visual appeal, RIM has done a bang up job keeping things simplified in the home screen, where it's still laid out in a grid-like view, but they've added plenty of eye candy in the form of slick transition effects that tastefully breathes life into the interface. Additionally, there are a variety of gestures employed by the new platform, which at first, brings a higher learning curve to the platform. Regardless, we're able to quickly adapt and find ourselves quickly being able to differentiate them all.
After the dust settled at today's unveiling, we have to give RIM some praise for really taking the time out to deliver a quality product – more on the platform, obviously. Visually, BlackBerry 10 seems unrivaled at the moment due to the stark amount of consistency we see with its performance. Everything simply flows smoothly! In fact, there's a lot of attention paid to the smallest details in the platform, which seemingly goes to show the kind of love they've placed in forging the platform from the ground up. Sure, some will argue about the lengthy time, which is undeniably exorbitant in the tech world, but at least the end outcome is filled with quality elements to make the wait more than worthwhile. Hey, for $200 with a 2-year contract, we’re not all that surprised by the pricing structure.
17. PhenomFaz (Posts: 1098; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)
the phone or the RIM/Blackberry brand :)
2. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1052; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)
As an Android and WP8 fan, I'm not that impressed with the design. Just too much bezel to make me really look into this as my next device.
15. MC1123 (Posts: 1247; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)
the bezel is needed for BB10 to do its work, due to the fact that it is a guesture base OS...
3. flipjzn (Posts: 184; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)
They could have just inked the brand "Blackberry" on the bezel instead and used the space to expand the screen/monitor to 4.5!
I'm not buying it!
13. jay47 (Posts: 6; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)
that what i was saying also but they want people to know its a blackberry just like any other phones out there that have there name posted on the phone.
4. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 2004; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)
Needs bigger screen...and As a previous wp8 owner (lumia920), I have to admit , this looks better, than windows phone 8.. But I never did like BB phones.. So yea.....
5. remixfa (Posts: 14080; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
looks promising. Bigger screen, smaller screen... there will be different sizes. 4.2 is a little on the "small" side for an android user, but you have to remember, a blackberry user has NEVER broken the 4 inch screen size. Also if they are trying to bring back some business from people that left for iOS, its still a screen size upgrade. I dont think android Note2 lovers are the initial audience. :)
Looks like a solid intro to the platform. Glad to see there's no crazy amount of bugs at launch (cough cough storm). Who knows, WP8 might be in trouble for 3rd place after all. Time will tell.
9. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4340; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
I have to agree. Black Berry will not threaten the BIG 2, but Microsoft DEFINITELY needs to look over its shoulder. RIM put out 2 very nice devices & from the get go they look & can do just as much as WP8 devices.
This year the battle for 3 place will be VERY, VERY exciting. lol
12. sniper1087 (Posts: 408; Member since: 31 Dec 2011)
Well true that, the only thing to correct now is that RIM no longer exists, they rebranded to blackberry which is the new company name
18. XPERIA-KNIGHT (unregistered)
"a bit on the small side for android users"
sorry bro im an android user and a "high end" 4.2 inch android IS WHAT IVE BEEN DYING FOR ............but sadly were to busy following samsungs "perverted" trend which is "bigger is always better" :( but the size AND platform on blackberry just may be the switch ive been looking for from droid world so I will be both watching and fighting for their success :)
16. MC1123 (Posts: 1247; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)
android became smooth with its projsect butter on 4.1, it took them 5 years to do so, while BB10 just take a year! and it dont need quad core or octacore to do so!
20. Secondhead (Posts: 18; Member since: 30 Jan 2013)
i agree with this statement, android took a long time to get smoth like now (i'm a android user too) but this blackberry? looks promising for me, and i love the design, not small and not really big.. i've been looking for this device available in my country :)
10. TeamSamsung (Posts: 2; Member since: 30 Jan 2013)
proud of blackberry for stepping up their game although it took a while one thing i wish they kept on the phone was a home button
11. Yassham (Posts: 28; Member since: 09 Jan 2011)
It's all about Barack Obama in the contact list in that image !
14. HyperM3 (Posts: 8; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)
Great review, thank you John. I for one as a die-hard Nexus fan am looking forward to this device. I'm ready for an operating system change. I also think the screen size is perfect. I'm tired of the gargantuan sizes phones are growing to. I want something more pocketable and this is it.
21. Lboogey6 (Posts: 269; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)
I like it I'm still Android fan. But i like that they made changes besides creating an app drawer and squares they stepped out of the box software wise screen is a bit small but bigger than the ip5 so people will still like it. But i have to say it brings more innovation than wp sorry guts windows just can't do it for me if i want simplicity and Boredem I'll get an iphone and im no fan lol all in all black berry is here to stay
22. Jonathan41 (Posts: 532; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)
Looks cool for someone coming from an older Blackberry or especially iOS. I still don't see any real advantage over Android. Though I can think of a quite a few reasons to stay. It's good to see blackberry finally making moves. Wonder why it took so long? I'm also impressed by the way they took the spec sheet seriously.