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BlackBerry Z10 Review

BlackBerry Z10 is the latest smartphone launched by company. It runs on the latest BlackBerry 10 OS and the first device announced by RIM after getting rebranded as Blackberry. With the Z10 company is trying their best to regain the lost market share.

BlackBerry Z10 review

So does the BlackBerry Z10 has what it takes to beat the other flagship devices such as HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, Lumia 920, Sony Xperia Z etc or it would loose its charm in front of these beasts. Read on to find out.

Display & Design

The device measures 130 x 65.6 x 9 mm and weighs 137.5 grams. So it is not the thinnest or the lightest smartphone in the market but it certainly not the heaviest one. There are mobile phone such as Note 2 and Lumia 920 which weighs over 180 grams. So if you compare this device with them in terms of wight it feels quite light.

In the front of the device you have a 4.2 inch touch screen display and there is a sizable gap above and below the screen. The display has a resolution of 768 x 1280 pixels and a pixel density of 355ppi. The display has great viewing angles, good contrast and decent brightness. There are no touch or physical buttons present below the display since Z10 offer gesture controls to perform the functions of these buttons.

BlackBerry Z10

Above the display you have an earpiece, 2 megapixel front facing camera, ambient light and proximity sensors and a notification LED.

BlackBerry Z10 above display

Below the display there is just a small microphone present beneath the BlackBerry branding. As we mentioned earlier there are no physical buttons present below the display.

BlackBerry Z10 below display

On the right side you have volume keys separated by voice command button. There is no dedicated camera key present on the device.

BlackBerry Z10 volume rocker

You would find a microUSB and a micro HDMI ports on the left side of the device.

BlackBerry Z10 side ports

At the bottom of the phone you have a small notch to remove the back panel.

BlackBerry Z10 bottom

On the top you have a secondary mic for noise cancellation, power key and a 3.5mm audio jack.

BlackBerry Z10 top

The device has a textured back which gives a slight rubberized feel. The textured back makes it easy to hold the device. You have a 8 megapixel camera at the back along with LED flash. You also have a BlackBerry logo at the center on the back.

BlackBerry Z10 back

Once you remove the back panel you found find a NFC chip on the panel. Underneath the panel you would find a 1800 mAh removable battery, microSIM card slot and the microSD slot. The microSD card is hot swappable.

BlackBerry Z10 back panel removed

You need to remove the battery in order to insert the micro SIM card.

BlackBerry Z10 microSD and microSIM card slot

BlackBerry Z10 has good build quality and design but it does not have a design which has a wow factor in it. So in terms of build quality and design it does not have any additional advantage over other smartphones available in the market but it does gets beaten by few smartphones in terms of design.

Hardware & Performance

BlackBerry Z10 comes with a 1.5GHz dual core processor coupled with 2GB of RAM. The phone comes with Adreno 225 GPU and 16GB of internal storage which can be expanded using a microSD card slot. The phone is capable of doing multitasking with ease. You would be able to enjoy all the games available for BlackBerry 10 devices on Z10 without any lag or problems.

Talking about the connectivity features Z10 supports 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and GPS. Currently there are no benchmark tests like Antutu and Quadrant available for the device so we cannot measure the performance of the device. But while using the device we did not face any lag while navigating through menus or while running various apps.

Software

Z10 is the first device running BlackBerry 10 OS and we were also experiencing the OS for the first time. It took us sometime to get use to the device but after that initial learning phase we enjoyed using the device. The gesture based controls are fun to play with and once you learn these gestures you would find how easy it is to navigate in the new BlackBerry Z10.

You just need to swipe up from the bottom to unlock the device and it works even if the display is off. You just need to take care that the swipe should start from just below the screen. On the lock screen you can see various notifications such as messages, twitter notifications etc.

blackberry z10 screenshot (8)

A swipe down from the top would launch a red clock with dark background where you can check the time and tap on the screen to bring up the option to set an alarm.

blackberry z10 screenshot (7)

The app drawer takes up the most of the home screen panes and you can arrange the apps according to your preferences. A long press on any icon would start the edit mode where you can rearrange the apps as well as uninstall them.

blackberry z10 screenshot (3)

Once you have atleast 1 running app you would find a screen on the left of the app drawer which contains all the apps which are currently running on the device. This screen shows the thumbnail of the running apps and you can resume any app by simply tapping on it. It can store up to 8 active frames. You can close the apps by simply tapping on the cross button on the lower right corner of each active frame.

You can just swipe up from the bottom in order to get back to the active frames screen and pause the currently running app.

blackberry z10 screenshot (5)

If you swipe from left to right from the active frames screen you would see a screen called as BlackBerry Hub which contains all the notifications from your different social media and email accounts.

blackberry z10 screenshot (2)

You can access the BlackBerry Hub from any app. All you need to do is swipe up from the bottom and then from the middle of the screen swipe towards the right side (L shaped swipe). This would allow you to check the notification without closing the current application. If you don’t find the notification important you can just reverse the swipe gesture to go back to the application. This feature is called the Peek. I personally love this feature and i keep playing with it all the time.

blackberry z10 screenshot (4)

A swipe down from the top would bring down the notification bar which can be used to access the settings, turn on or off the WiFi, Bluetooth, Alarm, Rotation Lock and notifications. While in apps it would open the app specific options just like the menu key present in most of the other smartphones.

blackberry z10 screenshot (9)

The settings option offers you a lot of controls. You can adjust the notification settings, set up email accounts, manage voice control and much more.

blackberry z10 screenshot (10)

One of the coolest feature present on Z10 is the unique prediction mode where you get auto completed worlds on the keyboard itself you just need to swipe up those words to use them in your text. It is one of the best auto complete feature I have seen on smartphones and the learning curve of this software is quite good. It know what you want to type depending upon your recently used words.

blackberry z10 screenshot (6)

Overall, BlackBerry Z10 has a good software on board and you might face some problems while using the device for the first time. One thing which might bother you is the lack of apps for the BlackBerry 10 devices. Though there are over 100,000 applications available for the BB 10 users but still some of the famous games and apps are missing.

Camera

BlackBerry Z10 comes with 8 megapixel auto focus camera at the back along with LED flash. The camera is capable of recording full HD videos (1080p@30fps). At the front you also have a 2 megapixel camera for video calling which supports HD recording (720p@30fps).

BlackBerry Z10 camera

The interface of the camera is quite simple. The device offers 3 shooting modes, Still, Video and Time shift. You can capture the images by simply tapping on the screen. You can focus at an object by long pressing on the screen. In case burst mode is turned on you can tap and hold on the screen to capture multiple shots.

BlackBerry Z10 camera interface

Here are few sample images taken with the 8 megapixel camera present on the BlackBerry Z10.

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Here is a full HD 1080p video recorded using the back camera of the Z10.

The camera quality of the Z10 is quite good. We were really impressed by the macro shots captured by the camera. We have shared 2 of those shots with you in the above sample images. The quality of the captured images is good but there is bit noise in the images in case of low light conditions.

Battery Life

Z10 comes with a 1800 mAh removable battery which has a rated talk time of around 10 hours on 3G.

BlackBerry Z10 battery

With moderate usage the battery would easily last for a day. We used the device for an entire day and at the end of day there was still some charge left in the battery. During the day we made few calls using the device, browsed internet, played few games, captured some images using the back camera, played music and our 3G connection was on during the entire day.

Conclusion

BlackBerry Z10 is available in India at a price tag of Rs 43,490 which is bit expensive. Z10 have the potential to beat other smartphones in the market but the price factor might be a problem for the buyers. The phone has good build quality and design. Talking about the performance of the device, you won’t be facing any issues while performing your daily tasks such as reading emails or sending text messages or while running any game or app on the device.

The camera present on the device is quite powerful and you can capture amazing macro shots using the device. Image quality is one of the best we have seen in the smartphone cameras. The device also has a decent battery life so you don’t need to worry about carrying a charger with you as you just need to charge the device once a day. BlackBerry needs to work more on the app ecosystem.

Pros:

  • Decent build quality & design
  • Good Camera
  • Unique Gesture controls
  • Good Display

Cons:

  • Lack of apps
  • Bit expensive

Author: Akshay Aggarwal

Akshay is a Tech Enthusiast who loves to write about Technology and Gadgets. He is very passionate about blogging and has been blogging since 2009.

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