BlackBerry Z10 detailed review

| September 18, 2013 | 0 Comments
blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

BlackBerry Z10 updated smartphone review

After months of waiting, the new BlackBerry smartphone is here to save the day – and therefore the company, for that matter. Pocket-lint has been messing with the new BlackBerry Z10 to seek out out whether or not the new phone and the new OS are going to be ready to for the launch date.

What follows are our first impressions is just a preview. We’ve stopped wanting to make a full-blown review of the product because the company just keeps improving them and all that we can offer is a preview on the developer unit they’ve sent us. We really don’t want you to get the wrong idea of this phone, especially because it might make or break Research In Motion.

What follows is simply the block. We’ll report what we find in the model RIM sent us and we’ll have full-blown reviews waiting for you in the future.

Design of the Blackberry Z10

The BlackBerry Z10 is the touchscreen flagship model, with a typewriter keyboard version coming back within the sorts of the BlackBerry Q10. It measures 130 x 65.6 x 9mm and comes with a 4.2-inch four-point multi-touch liquid crystal display with a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels, and a sharp 355ppi. The screen is not finished with Gorilla Glass as found in most top-of-the-range smartphones, however RIM guarantees USA it’s still scratch resistant and can endure severe punishments.

While the screen is barely a fraction larger than the iPhone 5, the phone is significantly bigger. It’s just slightly smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S3, even though that phone sports a larger 4.6-inch screen.

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

The front options a 2-megapixel camera and no buttons. Instead, you get a silver BlackBerry emblem at the bottom of your screen that detects when your finger presses on it. Like the company’s PlayBook, there’s a volume and voice activation button in a very simple configuration on the right side of the device, and a separate power button next to a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top.

The left side of the smartphone options a micro-USB port for charging, and a micro-HDMI dock so that you can use the Blackberry Z10 as a presentation tool and connect it to your laptop or projector, or just hook it up to your TV for movies.

The back comes with a 8-megapixel camera with a 5x digital zoom, 1080p HD video and semiconductor diode flash.

Unlike the iPhone or the Nokia Lumia 920 smartphones , the back plate can be removed to reveal the 1800mAh battery, the microSD card slot for increasing the memory, and micro SIM card slot. The skinny back plate also holds the NFC chip.

The design is straightforward, however rather massive, particularly after you look into what the competition has achieved within the same house. It’s just slightly smaller than the Sony Xperia Z as an example, however that phone packs a 5-inch screen.

There are plenty of issues concerning appearance, the back of the phone feels low cost, though not as low cost as the Samsung Galaxy S3 feels.

Inside the BlackBerry Z10

Specs ar specs, what’s vital is whether or not the phone will complete the tasks you want it to.

Here you get a dual-core 1.5GHz processor with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of memory, and the usual layout of Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, GPS, and 4G that will make your device a lot easier to use, and a lot faster. It additionally has all the standard sensors, as well as the rather funny named gaussmeter.

All that hardware powers the new OS that is not all that great. To boot the phone you will have to wait a while and the OS just seems slow in comparison to the other devices out there. It is slow but at least it’s not glitchy.

That process power will generally have an effect on apps too. The Z10 is slower to load Angry Birds Star Wars, as an example, than the iPhone 5 or the Samsung Galaxy S III.

Camera

The camera is one of the key focus areas for RIM and the Blackberry Z10′s camera shines. The Z10 sports an 8-megapixel camera with optical device. There ar 3 shooting modes: traditional, stabilisation, and burst; and 5 scene settings: motorcar, action, whiteboard, night, beach or snow.

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10 back plate

You can set the flash to automatic or manual and you can also modify the ratio from 16:9 to 4:3.  Unlike Windows smartphones or Android devices there’s no management over exposure, white balance, ISO, or the power to tap to focus either. You’ll pinch to zoom, and you’ll use the volume key to snap an image if you don’t want to touch the screen.

Where the BlackBerry Z10 and BB10 take note from Android and iPhone could be a feature referred to as Time Shift. This enables you to make an image, then rivet on different people’s faces to make the most effective frame for them. It means that if you were smiling, but Mrs Pocket-lint was blinking, you’ll fix it thus you’re each smiling, eyes open, within the same picture at the press of a button.

It’s a fantastic feature and one that you will see many of us using particularly if we take group photos of family and friends.

Video is recorded at 1080p, though you can downgrade the footage to 720p. You’ll additionally flip the flash on and use the digital zoom while recording.

Battery life

It’s too early to inform what the battery life would be like as we’ve not been ready to use the smartphone enough to offer you a full report, however this hasn’t been an issue. In our tests we’ve had NFC running, but didn’t use it, and had emails set to 15-minute intervals instead of push. We’ve used the phone in a very common manner (and we consider ourselves heavy users).

One of the large marketing points of the BlackBerry Z10 is that it has a good battery life: we’ve sadistically tested the battery from 8a.m. till 6p.m.

A disappointing feature is that there is no indicator of how much battery do you have left, not even a proportion one. The only thing you get is a small icon at the top left of the screen and you just have to guess how much power you’ve got.

RIM says it believes that the battery can last up to ten hours of non-stop calling and up to 305 hours on standby on 3G. It does not provides a 4G battery life claim, thus those that want to choose the Blackberry Z10 based on the spec sheet might have a shock.

BlackBerry 10

A new start, an opportunity, a different way to use your smartphone. That is a very accurate description of how it feels when using the BB10 for the first time, though you will soon begin to note a mish-mash of options from the previous BlackBerry in operating systems.

The main influence has been the BlackBerry Z10 PlayBook. BB10 has inherited the gesture management from the PlayBook OS. There’s no home button, for example, and the grid icon layout copies the iOS and the opened apps panel reminds USA of Android.

Swiping

Hit the ability button and you’re conferred with a lock screen that shows you many icons if you have messages be it email, text messages, or different notifications. It’s all terribly to the Windows Phone in its approach and this list of icons is visible at any time whether you use swiping or just drag the bottom-right side of the screen, as if turning a page.

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

Once you have unlocked the phone, there are 3 basic areas. The app grid is like many other several different app grid on the other OS’s out there. You’ll folder apps, you’ll re-arrange them, and just manage them as you’d do on the BB7, iOS or Android. Swipe across to your left and you get the open apps page, that is the list (it goes up to 8) of all the apps you’ve opened. These take up additional space on the screen – and with the Z10 you will get four per page with the choice to scroll right down to see another four.

Swipe to the left once more and you get your unified inbox listing of all incoming and outgoing messages, be it a text message, BBM, email, or maybe Twitter or Facebook messages. The thought of the integrated inbox continues to still be a great idea.

Swipe once more to the left and you’re given the navigation bar for the BlackBerry Hub, that allows you to go in the individual inboxes and you can split things out if you want to.

Swiping down brings you extra choices depending on where you’re at – settings if you view the apps grid, individual app settings, or something else – and if you make an L shaped motion on the screen it will take you back to the BlackBerry Z10 Hub.

The idea is that whatever you are doing you are only one gesture away from your inbox.

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

Once you have that motion down browsing the OS is really easy. The Hub has some fascinating tricks up its sleeve like swiping down at the top of your inbox to reveal your calendar appointments for the day. The look is clean and crisp, even though the action of deleting emails or contacts still remains a two button task (three if you do not shut down the make sure step). The look and feel still says BlackBerry, a thing that many users will be pleased about, but with a more contemporary feel

Keyboard

Powered by SwiftKey, the keyboard is one of the most vital components of the new touchscreen smartphone, even more vital if you are trying to convince all the other BlackBerry owners that you have the best phone on the block. Designed to seem indentical to the new typewriter keyboard of the Q10 (which itself could be a modernization of the keyboard) RIM didn’t actually manage to  make the keyboard easy to use and it didn’t even space it out properly.

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

There are 2 ways you can take advantage of this. The first one is that the more you type the more your phone will learn your typing style and it will start to quickly suggest words and correct mistakes-, this is a really neat feature and you can type a lot faster with a lot less effort.

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

If you want to type the “.com” part of a website the phone will learn what comes after some letters and all you have to type is “.c” and it will fill out automatically.

We didn’t like this new word fill option but we’ve enjoyed the advanced autocorrect feature on this phone. Yes, it does come with copy and paste and it feels almost the same as an Android keyboard.

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

Browser

RIM has done plenty to enhance the browser and even on a basic 3G network (via Vodafone), the speed was really spectacular, outperforming the iPhone 5 and the Chrome browser on the SGS3 we’ve been testing it against.

The browser still supports Adobe Flash, for people who still care, which means that you are still going to be able to use services like shotC iPlayer without the worry of there not being a support app (the one in BB World is simply a link to the website).

We’ve struggled to make the browser load properly some websites, but this might be a drawback because it’s a developer unit. One more reason this is more an active review instead of a full review.

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

BBM and different BlackBerry apps

BBM currently gets BBM Video line thus you’ll chat with people face to face, and there are a variety of core however not essential apps like a compass, the enduring BlackBerry timer once in sleep mode and a stopwatch if that is your issue.

Our BlackBerry Z10 smartphone was pre-installed with Box and Dropbox, though there isn’t any special treatment. Apps like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Weather are all preinstalled.

For people who wish to travel, there’s a Maps app that looks to figure as represented. It’ll offer turn-by-turn navigation, but it will not allow you to choose a better route, it’s RIM’s way or the high-way.

Importantly, the phone dialpad is nice and easy to use, though BlackBerry users are going to be mad because it’s a little different from what they’re used to.

 Apps

If you want apps and want to have your hands on the latest releases than the Z10 and BlackBerry 10 OS is not for you, however this can be only the start. As a brand new operating platform, it’s behind the curve for third-party support at the moment but it will no doubt catch on.

Developers and hardware makers are too busy building speaker docks or devices for Android and iPhone. Microsoft has been fighting constant drawback with Windows Phone, and it’s still not there nevertheless, 3 years down the road, thus BB10 can make it’s mark before the market expands.

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

Manufacturers and “hip” developers are making big plans for BlackBerry for a few time but miracles won’t happen over night. Yes, there are lots of BB10 apps if you’re a business client but the majority of them still have no BB OS support.

BB10 still has to prove a lot more, if you move from an iPhone or Android device you’ll feel you are stepping backwards in terms of app support, not forwards. If you’re still on the BlackBerry Z10 and want to upgrade to the BB10 and you don’t really care that much about apps then it’s the right thing to do

Verdict to this point

BB10 and thus the Z10 has some very nice options and considering the time we’ve spent with it to this point, we really love the keyboard, though we suspect Android users can get something just as powerful within the next update of SwiftKey, and we just like the Time Shift feature within the camera app.

While the electronic messaging part, or BlackBerry Hub, has remained the same and that’s really nice to see. It’s obvious that RIM did what it usually does with this phone, it made an incredible BlackBerry Z10 for its customers and nobody else.

That’s fine once RIM dominates the rest and has innumerable customers, however there’s nothing here that tells us it will woo Android or iPhone users who are the most important of all.

Those unsuccessful with the Android are probably going to switch tot he iPhone or Nokia’s Window Phone 8. BlackBerry Z10 has to fight a battle on several fronts and we’re simply undecided if this can be the device that users will go to.

But this is not the end of RIM though: once it will hit the shelves, Android and iPhone devices won’t come even close to it. The BlackBerry Balance feature is going to be praised by developers around the world.

The Z10 is not aiming to be attractive to teenagers, another of RIM’s core audiences, and it’s not meant to really turn heads either.

For some the Z10 is going to be superb, except for most, it will simply not cut it and won’t even stand a change against the fierce competition out there.

Some additional photos of the Blackberry Z10

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry Z10

blackberry Z10 review

Blackberry 10

 

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Category: Smartphone & Android Reviews

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