BlackBerry Z10 specs review


With today's announcement of the BlackBerry 10 platform and the high-end Z10 smartphone, BlackBerry (formerly RIM) showed that it doesn't have the slightest intention to play the silly specs game. The BlackBerry Z100 will neither have an octa-core processor, nor will it feature a 5" screen. Instead, the new flagship will keep things nice and compact, while still being powerful enough in order to deliver a perfectly smooth user experience. We approve.

Still, this is a specs review and our goal here is to take an in-depth look at what the Z10 offers in the hardware department, as well as how its whole specs sheet compares to those of the other platforms' top representatives.

Design

We like that BlackBerry has taken its time do design a beautiful product. The design of the Z10 is both modern and strict. For that reason, it may not appeal to all consumers out there, but it will certainly be appreciated by those who want a more neutral-, yet stylish-looking smartphone. Everything in the external design of the device exudes class. Sure, the Z10 is made of plastic, but it seems like a pretty good example of a plastic phone done right.

Display

Here is where it gets interesting. The Z10 has a 4.2" LCD touchscreen with a resolution of 768 x 1280 pixels, which puts it in HD category. We shouldn't really miss the Full HD resolution here, because it would have been a giant overkill for this 4.2" screen. The current one is enough to deliver a very solid 356 ppi, so you can be sure that everything will be extremely sharp and easy to read.

BlackBerry hasn't announced a pompous name for the specific tech used for the display, like 'Super True HD IPS Plus Retina Screen', but judging by the quality of the screens of previous Berries, we are willing to believe that it will be very good.

If we pit the Z10's 4.2" display against something like the Galaxy S III's 4.8" display, it's apparent that the latter will be better suited for enjoying content such as pictures, movies and games, though other areas like web browsing won't necessarily suffer that much from the 4.2" size, because the way the software works is of bigger importance there. And hey, 4.2 inches aren't a bad size at all!

Processor and Memory

The silicon ticking inside the BlackBerry Z10 is a dual-core 1.5 GHz of an unknown type. We won't be shocked if it turns out to be a Snapdragon of some kind, but we can't be sure. The fact that it's a dual-core doesn't bother us much, because the system is very well optimized and everything runs quickly and fluidly. However, a quad-core solution might have helped BlackBerry achieve a better battery life.

In terms of system memory, the Z10 will sport a healthy amount of 2 gigabytes. With all of this focus on system processes running in real time in BB 10, we are sure that users will be thankful for the 2 gigs of RAM. This is one area where the Z10 is perfectly comparable to its rivals from other platforms.

Internal storage will be 16GB - a good, but not great amount, so we hope that BlackBerry will add options with bigger storage spaces to the portfolio. Still, the device does have a hot-swappable microSD card, so storage space shouldn't be a big concern.

Camera

An 8MP camera will be taking the photos on the BlackBerry Z10. Of course, it's got all the needed goodies like autofocus, 1080p video recording and an LED flash. We can say anything about the image quality right now, but we sure hope that it will be above average. The good news is that BlackBerry has taken the time to add various software features like Time Shift, which is like the Burst Shot options that became so popular lately. Basically, it allows you to take a quick succession of photos and then choose the one that you like most. The cool thing is that this is all done in an intuitive way, and with a good-looking interface. This is the kind of stuff that we want to see (especially in the work of Android manufacturers)!

Since BBM will now support video calls, the Z10 naturally features a front-facing camera as well. You'll be able to make video chats using a 2MP FF shooter with support for up to 3x digital zoom and 720p video recording. Once again, the Z10 is as good as any other competing handset in this area. On one hand, this is good, because it shows that BlackBerry has put a lot of effort into its new platform, but on the other, we would have liked it more if there was some thing to leapfrog the competition.

Software

BlackBerry 10 is an operating system that is, in a way, similar to Windows Phone. It is similar because it gets a good number of features and functionality types and offers them in a new, different way. For example, there's more focus on multitasking, on that so-called natural "flow" of things withing the OS. It utilizes gestures for some of its key features to work, like having to swipe up and then right in a single motion in order to get to the BlackBerry Hub or some particular message that you've just received. This can be done from wherever you are in the OS - you could be watching a movie, and then with a single gesture you can simply peek into the messaging app. A cool thing is that if you don't lift your finger from the screen, but reverse the gesture, you'll get right back to your video, like nothing has happened. The other "popular" gesture in BlackBerry 10 is the 'swipe up' movement which is used for unlocking the device and returning to the homescreen.

There are some pretty cool ideas in BlackBerry 10, but, at least for now, we just can find something so awesome in it that would make us abandon our current platforms. Of course, it's too early to draw any conclusions about BB 10 and the Z10, plus, we do hope that BlackBerry will be quick to update its new OS with even more new features.

Release date

There isn't a specific release date for the BlackBerry Z10 yet, at least not for all markets. In the UK, for example, the phone will be available on January 31, which is great, but other countries like the US will have to wait until sometime in mid-March. Pricing info is also unavailable at the moment, but it's relatively safe to assume that the subsidized Z10 will cost $199 on a two-year contract, which we think is fare.

How do you guys find the new BlackBerry Z10? Do you like it? Are you planning to buy one?


Related phones

Z10
  • Display 4.2" 768 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Dual-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 1800 mAh(10h 3G talk time)

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29 Comments

1. henrickrw

Posts: 408; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Impressive. Mostly impressive (Darth Vader)... The best deal was to get rid of Lazardis & the other one. Thorsten Heins have prooved that when you get down & eat mud, you can stand up & keep walking. Go RIM!

9. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

impressive indeed!!! but RIM (but BlackBerry now) need to take note that they are damage in the US market, and this BB10 devices needs an additional plan for its BB add-ons, so a BB plan with $199/2 year contract + another $99 for BB plan is not a good idea! they should start the plan with $99/2 year contract + just $50 for BBplans just like what nokia did with their flagships, the 900 and 920 coz they know they might not get their market share back if they price their devices similar to iPhone and android royalties! but im not from the US anyways so im sooooo in with BB10 here in my country!

13. thatdude1 unregistered

BlackBerry no longer requires a specific data plan with BB10. You can use any smartphone data plan.

17. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

oh, i see, thats nice!! im so getting one!!!

21. Nadr1212

Posts: 741; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

A LOT of screen space is wasted on the phone, hope they fix this issue in the future

29. MobileKicker

Posts: 212; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

It is used for the gestures: The black glassy part

23. Mittal

Posts: 494; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Is that true ?? That is one thing i had against BB... Good move!

25. Mittal

Posts: 494; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

what about the graphics on this device ?

2. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1246; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

Seems like a solid choice but I don't see it stealing many users from Android or the iphone.

7. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Yeah but Microsoft should look out because I can see many WP8 users jumping ship. +1

11. papss unregistered

Right... I see many android users jumping ship due to the shear numbers there will be many more from that camp.

15. CardiWPfan

Posts: 129; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

I highly doubt that. I mean seriously you would ditch a Nokia phone with full specs for a Blackberry 10 Midrange phone???? I will consider grabbing a BB10 device, but I wouldn't necessarily jump ship from windows phone!!

3. noim1

Posts: 297; Member since: May 15, 2012

UI is a rip off of android and iOS

24. Mittal

Posts: 494; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Android and iOS are a rip off of each other ...

4. centurion

Posts: 25; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

this l hope will be the killer apple phone love it for my daughter birthday

5. mclifford81

Posts: 90; Member since: Jan 26, 2010

Unfortunately I have to be the negative Nancy here and say that this is too little too late. If you look at the actual os and not just the specs of this phone its missing some major polish. The entire point of blackberry releasing bb10 was to be innovative and new. Not rehashingon the old and trying to make it sort of a mash up of other operating systems. It ddoesn't even do that well. Missing things like actual on screen notifications, battery life andssignal and some other major pieces needed to have a great os. I have to say it's not looking good for rim right now.

6. apiskula

Posts: 578; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

Garbage...garbage..garbage. I will never own another blackberry again. I am happy to report our company is blackberry free

8. Kevin12

Posts: 7; Member since: Jan 30, 2013

Blackberry 10 stills sucks.. WP and Nokia go for it!

27. chaoticrazor

Posts: 2347; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

shut up, go cheer like an idiot somewhere else if you cant stick to the article

10. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

i actually think this is not the real flagship BB, since there was a leak that they are also making a quad core phone.... and besides its not a worthy flagship coz its plastic(hey you s3!)! unlike the Q10 with made of premium materials!

12. ChafedBanana

Posts: 409; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

What a disappointment. There is nothing even a little bit interesting or unique with this phone. By the time it releases in the U.S., think how outdated the specs will be. They're already mediocre. As long as Android exists, why would anyone in their right mind consider a Blackberry? There's just no competing with Android.

14. thatdude1 unregistered

It makes me laugh so much when I see comments like "there's no competing with android". Android is a good OS, but not even all the other Android oems can compete with Samsung. Samsung is the only android manufacturer making money off of android. HTC, Sony, lg, Motorola and all the rest make no real cash using Android. BB10 will succeed. It may take a while, but it is in a much better spot than Windows currently is in. If not for Nokia, and they are barely making money as is, Windows would not even be on the map. The specs on BB10 are good for the OS that runs on the hardware. The BB10 phones are fast and fluid. Android needs quad-core and huge screens because of it being such a heavy OS. And look at HTC, Sony and others. Where are those phones with uber-specs getting them? Absolutely no where, especially compared to Samsung. BlackBerry will be just fine. And in the eventuality that blackberry does come out with a quad-core, 4.7 inch beast, the nay-sayers will still say nay. I say rock on, BlackBerry.

16. CardiWPfan

Posts: 129; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

Its not a question of if but a question of when will Blackberry release the next Killer BB10 spec device.

28. RomeoJDR

Posts: 245; Member since: Dec 09, 2011

And how long did it take them to come out with this? I'm no BB hater, but you cannot afford delay after delay when your platform is already hurting and expect to remain relevant in the most competitive market with multiple competitors with unlimited resources. BB has their faithful fan base similar to Apple but unfortunately on a much smaller scale.

18. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

finally, someone that has real brain!!! not all android manufaturer make money with android OS! blackberry will be ok, and it will have its own market, but the z10 might not have the killer specs as most of the android are now, but 2013 is still long so a killer spec phone will arrive!

19. RomeoJDR

Posts: 245; Member since: Dec 09, 2011

So after being delayed numerous times to extend a year beyond its original launch date and this is what they come up with. A phone that is up to par with MOST, but not all the specs the best of the other platforms have to offer. Dual core is ancient history in today's top tier phone world, wireless charging is the newest handy feature in the latest offerings and lets face it; The phone looks like a iPhone minus the premium craftsmanship. Good luck BB as you duke it out with Microsoft for the 5% market leftovers from Android and iOS

20. chezy

Posts: 20; Member since: Dec 29, 2012

well I don't know why most of you are crying over its specs. it is a midrange phone. the A series is suppose to be the high end devices...

22. N-fanboy

Posts: 543; Member since: Jan 12, 2013

Its good and all but its not something of a breakthrough like the lumia 920 and Htc butterfly j. And if you ask me (or anyone) to pay 200$ a month for the Z10 when i can snatch up the L920 for 100$ my answer will always be NO! but it would have been a serios challenger if it came out like a year or two ago.

26. soshi

Posts: 154; Member since: Mar 08, 2012

Beautiful phone, I want it but other BB user problem taken me back from buying BB. There are many complain that software hang, BBM eror, pending BBM and contact lost which is potential to destroy bussiness relation. Will they improve their service? I'm gonna watch for moment

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