Reinventing BlackBerry: BlackBerry Z10 Review

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The smartphone market has changed quite a bit over the past few years. Once a major competitor in the smartphone market, BlackBerry has lost much of its market share as many former BlackBerry users have switched to iOS and Android. Despite its troubled history, the company remains and is fighting to regain its stronghold in the smartphone market. Whether you’ve stayed loyal to BlackBerry through the years or are simply considering all smartphones on the market today, BlackBerry’s new Z10 may catch your eye.

The new Z10 is BlackBerry’s first device to run on the latest version of BlackBerry’s operating system, BlackBerry 10 (BB10). Needless to say, there’s a lot riding on the Z10, and things are looking somewhat hopeful. BlackBerry reportedly has already received an order for 1 million BlackBerry Z10 devices from an established partner. Not long ago, the company also announced its BB10 store reached a milestone of 100,000 apps.

Let's first give you a quick walk-around of the Z10 in action, with the BB10 operating system and then we'll dive in deeper to design, user experience and performance characteristics.


Before we dive into the full hands-on review to see what the Z10 and BB10 OS has to offer, let’s take a quick look at the specifications of the device:

BlackBerry Z10
Specifications & Features

Processor and memory
1.5 GHz Dual Core Snapdragon S4 Plus
2GB RAM
16GB Flash

Operating System
BlackBerry 10
Connectivity
Z10
Quad band LTE 2, 5, 4, 17 (700/850/1700/1900 MHz)
Quad band HSPA+ 1, 2, 4, 5/6, (850/1700/1900/2100 MHz)
Quad band EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
*Note: HSPA+ Band 4 (AWS) is carrier dependent

Z10 (4G - Verizon)
LTE Band-13 (700 MHz)
CDMA Cell-band and PCS-band (800/1900 MHz)
WCDMA Band-1 and Band-8 (2100/900 MHz)
GSM/EDGE Quad Bands (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)

802.11 a/b/g/n; 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz

4G Mobile Hotspot
Bluetooth 4.0
GPS
NFC
Ports and expansion
microUSB
micro HDMI
microSD

Display
4.2-inch 1280 x 768 resolution, 356 PPI
24-bit color depth

Size and weight
5.12 x 2.58 x 0.35 inches
4.78 ounces

Cameras and multimedia
8MP rear camera with LED flash, continuous and touch to focus, image stabilization; 1080p HD video recording
2MP front-facing camera with image and video stabilization; 720p HD video recording

Apps
BlackBerry Hub, Contacts, BlackBerry Browser, BlackBerry Calendar, BBM, Text Messages, BlackBerry World, BlackBerry Remember, Docs To Go, Pictures, Music, Videos, Story Maker, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, BlackBerry Maps, Games, YouTube, Voice Control, Weather, Clock, Calculator, Compass, File Manager, Box, BlackBerry Connect for Dropbox, Print To Go, Smart Tags, Settings, Adobe Reader, Phone, Camera/Video Camera/Time Shift, Setup, Help, SIM Toolkit, Search
Battery
1800mAH removable battery
Up to 10 hours talk time (3G)

Up to 13 days standby time
Availability
AT&T $199.99 after discounts and with a 2-year contract
Verizon Wireless $199.99 after discounts and with a 2-year contract

The Z10 features a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus processor, 16GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM, an 8MP rear-facing camera, 2MP front-facing camera, and a 1,800 mAh battery. Although some users may miss BlackBerry’s famous hardware QWERTY keyboard, BlackBerry decided to mimic its competition by giving the Z10 a traditional candy-bar form factor with a 4.2-inch touchscreen (1280 x 768) and an on-screen predictive keyboard.

 

The BlackBerry Z10 is available from AT&T (left) Verizon Wireless (right).

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