Notebookcheck

Review RIM BlackBerry Z10 Smartphone

Michael Moser (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 03/26/2013

The return of the BlackBerry. After two years of development behind the scenes, the Canadian firm BlackBerry comes back on the market with their brand new BlackBerry 10 OS and their new Z10 model. Outfitted with a high-resolution 4.2-inch display, a powerful Qualcomm S4 SoC and useful extras, the smartphone finally steps onto the stage. Is that enough for it to hold its own amidst the long-established competition?

For the original German review, see here.

Two years is a long time for developing a new operating system, and the competition hasn't been asleep. The Canadians at BlackBerry, formerly named Rim, want to win back part of the market with their freshly christened BlackBerry 10 OS and its corresponding new top model. They've softened up a bit on their previously strict focus on business customers and are now aiming at the private market as well. The BlackBerry Z10 is the pioneer model in this new endeavor.

The features certainly stand out. A bright 4.2-inch TFT display with a resolution of 768x1260 pixels sits in a stable, thin case measuring only 9 mm. The Z10 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 SoC with a clock speed of 1.5 GHz. This CPU is no stranger to the market - it can also be found in competing models like the Nokia Lumia 920 or the Samsung ATIV S. The Canadian manufacturer combines these attractions with a tasteful mix of a micro USB 2.0 and micro HDMI, as well as features like NFC, LTE and WLAN a/b/g/n. The 16 GB of internal memory can be upgraded up to 64 GB using micro SD cards. The intriguing device is to be had for 629 Euros RRP (~$806) in classic black or stylish white. Do the iPhone 5One X+Galaxy S3 etc. now need to dress up a little more?

Case

At a measurement of 130 x 66 mm (length x width) (5.1" x 2.6") and a weight of 145 g (5.1 oz), the BlackBerry is one of the heavier smartphones in its class, though subjectively it doesn't feel bulky. With a thickness of 9 mm, the device is on level with the competing Samsung Galaxy S3Samsung ATIV S and HTC One X+. The more compact iPhone 5 is just a little smaller than our review device, while the Nokia Lumia 920 is thicker and heavier. The Z10's case is stable and comfortable to the touch. The frame is made of black plastic; the removable back cover is coated with rubber and is embossed. With those features the device is easy to grasp and hold in your hand. The switchable battery, a micro SIM card slot and a micro SD card reader are all accessible behind the back panel. The 4.2-inch LCD panel lies under a pane of glass, which gives slightly under strong pressure, provoking errors in the display. However, this wouldn't be a problem in normal use.

Connectivity

Left side: micro HDMI, micro USB 2.0
Left side: micro HDMI, micro USB 2.0
Right side: volume keys, voice control
Right side: volume keys, voice control
Bottom side: speakers, space to assist in opening
Bottom side: speakers
Top side: microphone, power, 3.5 mm jack
Top side: microphone, power, 3.5 mm jack
Inside: 6.8 watt battery
Inside: battery
Inside: SIM card slot, micro SD slot
Inside: SIM card slot, micro SD slot

At work inside the BlackBerry Z10 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 SoC with a clock speed of 1.5 GHz, with an abundant 2 GB RAM for a sidekick. A Qualcomm Adreno 225 graphics card with a clock frequency of 400 MHz takes care of the graphics. The internal flash drive holds a total of 16 GB, with about 11 GB open for storage. Using a micro SD slot under the back cover the storage space can be expanded to up to 64 GB. There, you will also find a micro SIM card slot and the removable battery.

The breadth of connectivity options on our test device exceeds that of most competitors. On the left side of the case you'll find both a micro USB 2.0 port and a micro HDMI connection. The obligatory 3.5 mm audio jack is located on the top side.

Besides the power button, the BlackBerry Z10 is outfitted with further conventional keys: Two buttons for volume regulation flank a button for activating voice commands.

Geekbench 2 system info
Geekbench 2 system info
BB World
BB World
Homescreen 1
Homescreen 1
Homescreen 2
Homescreen 2
Compass
Compass
Telephone app number block
Telephone app number block
Telephone app main screen
Telephone app main screen
 

Software

Our device's operating system is the BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.0.10.261, though at the beginning of our test we were offered an update to the version 10.0.10.90. For business customers the extensive business software BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 is also available, which enables the device to connect with a company network. Smart: BlackBerry Balance allows the user to switch between a private and a business interface, including individualized apps.

The manufacturer guarantees that the Z10 will operate fluidly with three essential swipe gestures and interconnected applications through the so-called BlackBerry Flow. We've listed more information about the operating system here.

We found lots of useful software on our test device. For instance there's Docs to Go, a word-processing app compatible with Microsoft Office, which enables the user to display, edit and create Word documents, Excel tables and PowerPoint presentations. Social media portals like Facebook or the business portal LinkedIn are included alongside YouTube and Dropbox. According to the manufacturer, in the BlackBerry World app store you can find over 70,000 downloadable applications. There you'll find some familiar apps that are popular on other operating systems. For instance, we found apps for the Deutsche Bahn (Germany's railway system) and Lufthansa, as well as WhatsApp and Sportschau (a German sports program). Still, to be competitive in today's market the app store will have to grow considerably.

Communication & GPS

The BlackBerry Z10 is a fully furnished communication center. How about Wi-Fi? WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n, check. Bluetooth 4 LE (low energy)? Check. Quadband GSM and UMTS? Double check. Even LTE (Long Term Evaluation) is on board, with three frequencies at that (including the 900 MHz band). A-GPS and NFC (Near Field Communication) top off the comprehensive offer.

What's great about it: The wireless receiver is one of the strongest we've ever seen. Since the "GPS Test" app isn't available for BlackBerry, we measured the GPS module's reception strength with the built-in compass. A connection was found quickly and the device verified a precise location. This was verified by the navigation app "Maps" as well, which enables the user to find exact directions based on Google Maps.

Telephone Function

The BlackBerry Z10's telephone app is simple and integrated into the overall system well. Calls, contacts and a number block are all available, as per usual. In the calls tab, next to the call list there are also three customizable short-cut buttons.

Cameras & Multimedia

Our review device is outfitted with two cameras. The front camera has a decent resolution of 2 megapixels and produces satisfactory photos in good lighting situations. The main camera shoots pictures at a resolution of 8 megapixels and has both auto focus and an LED flash at its command. With those features the camera takes attractive, sharp photos. The poorer the lighting situation, the higher the level of noise in the image. With the use of flash this problem worsens disproportionately. All in all, the image quality from both lenses is more or less average. The fact that the cameras shutter sound can't be deactivated - even in silent mode - is very bothersome. On the other hand, it's nice that the volume buttons also function to release the shutter. Curiously, the optional image stabilizer cannot be used in conjunction with the flash. Like the brand new Samsung Galaxy S4, the BlackBerry Z10 also offers possibilities during phone calls like picture-in-picture or transfer of the main camera's content to the call recipient.

Front camera with 2 MP
Front camera with 2 MP
Main camera with 8 MP, AF and LED flash
Main camera with 8 MP, AF and LED flash
Front camera 2 MP
Front camera 2 MP
Main camera 8 MP
Main camera 8 MP
Main camera 8 MP with flash
Main camera 8 MP with flash
Reference camera: Nikon D3100 14 MP
Reference camera: Nikon D3100 14 MP

Accessories

Alongside the smartphone and a 1,800 mAh battery, you'll also find a few brief guides, a standard stereo headset, the modular 3.75 watt power supply and a 1.2 meter (4 foot) USB data cable in the black cardboard box. Unfortunately there's nothing more. On the BlackBerry website you can order further accessories like various protective covers, external stereo speakers or replacement batteries and cables.

Warranty

BlackBerry only offers a 12 month warranty for the Z10 and its accessories. There is no option to extend the warranty beyond that time frame.

Input Devices

Touchscreen
Touchscreen

The touchscreen reacts quickly and precisely to any kind of input. Scroll and swipe gestures are easy to perform on the low-friction glass surface. Automatic rotation of the picture content is very quick.

The BlackBerry Z10's virtual keyboard follows in the footsteps of BlackBerry's previous hardware keyboards. Without the key feedback it doesn't work quite as quickly and flawlessly, of course, but it gains points for its comfortable key size and clear QWERTY layout. The keys are easy to hit and make for a quick typing experience. It goes even faster with the word suggestions displayed above the letters as you type. If you want to use the suggestion, you simply swipe it upwards in the direction of the text box.  Since these suggestions are also adaptive and become progressively more relevant over time, this effective feature continually improves with use.

Given a little time to adapt, nothing stands in the way of fluid work on this phone. The intuitive operation soon becomes second-nature and delightful, just like the central BlackBerry Hub, a collection of conversations of all kinds, and BlackBerry Flow, the concept that intelligently interweaves all the device's functions. The well thought-out multi-tasking helps here as well. Open apps can be minimized with an upward swipe gesture, then up to four active applications are displayed - altogether the Z10 processes up to eight open apps. When a ninth is opened, the app that has been inactive the longest is closed.

Finally, the built-in physical keys are persuasive with their clear action-point and relatively deep key-stroke.

Display

4.2-inches with 768x1280 pixels
4.2-inches with 768x1280 pixels

The BlackBerry Z10's LCD display measures 4.2-inches and has a resolution of 768x1280 pixels in 15:9 format. Only the Nokia Lumia 920 offers so much; users of some competing devices have to make do with much less. The iPhone 5, for instance, only has 640x1136 pixels at its disposal. The pixel density of 356 PPI and the display's sharp image are also persuasive. Here also the competition has less to offer (iPhone 5: 326 PPI, Lumia 920: 322, Samsung ATIV S & HTC One X+: 312.5 PPI).

The display's glass surface is strongly reflective, but this problem is essentially resolved by the maximum brightness of 706 cd/m². On average the display glows at a bright 656 cd/m². The class comparison shows: No competitor does more. The iPhone 5 comes in second with 487 cd/m², followed by the One X+ and Lumia 920 with 322 cd/m² each. The ATIV S is thoroughly beaten with its 244 cd/m². It should be mentioned that the built-in light sensor on the BlackBerry Z10 can't be turned off, though it does regulate its brightness level based on the environmental lighting very accurately. In every lighting situation, the test device's brightness was always more than sufficient. Only in the area of illumination distribution does our review device fall behind: At a measurement of 84%, the competition speeds ahead with about 4 to 11% more. But in everyday use this is inconsequential.

644
cd/m²
705
cd/m²
670
cd/m²
655
cd/m²
706
cd/m²
621
cd/m²
643
cd/m²
664
cd/m²
595
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Gossen Mavo-Monitor
Maximum: 706 cd/m²
Average: 655.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 84 %
Center on Battery: 706 cd/m²
Black: 0.52 cd/m²
Contrast: 1358:1

Also impressive is the LCD panel's high contrast of about 1358:1 and a respectable black value of 0.52 cd/m². Due to the unbeatable values reached by the AMOLED screen, the ATIV S is the undisputed champion in this discipline. However, the Z10 trumps all the other competition when it comes to contrast, and it's on par with the rest in the area of black value. Subjectively, the BlackBerry Z10 displays content sharply and with vibrant color.

Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Outdoor use with direct sunlight
Outdoor use with direct sunlight

The BlackBerry Z10 is easy to use outside. The high brightness level effectively works against the strong reflections on the glass surface and makes the content readable even when light directly hits the display.

The Z10's viewing angles are very stable. Although there is no built-in IPS or AMOLED panel, our review device does an excellent job of keeping the image stable at any viewing angle. The brightness only decreases noticeably at angles irrelevant for normal use, and the image remains free of inversions.

Viewing angle BlackBerry Z10
Viewing angle BlackBerry Z10
Extreme viewing angle BlackBerry Z10
Extreme viewing angle BlackBerry Z10

Performance

In the BlackBerry Z10, a team comprised of a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 SoC with a clock rate of 1.5 GHz, a Qualcomm Adreno 225 graphics card with a 400 MHz clock frequency and an ample 2 GB of main memory work together to offer good application performance. The Z10 also contains 16 GB (net: 11 GB) of internal flash memory, which can be expanded to up to 64 GB with a micro SD card. In addition, data can be stored online and synchronized via Dropbox.

Due to the fact that the BlackBerry 10 OS is still fresh from the factory, the store is practically devoid of benchmark programs. The only program we were able to use was Geekbench 2, which at least provides a comparison with Android smartphones and the Apple iPhone 5. All in all, at 1755 points our test device performed very well. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is on par with the Z10 (1816 points), while the HTC One X+ and the iPhone 5 fall behind.

Geekbench 2 - 32 Bit
Total Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Z10
1755 Points ∼12%
Samsung Galaxy S3
1816 Points ∼13% +3%
Apple iPhone 5
1648 Points ∼12% -6%
HTC One X+
1566 Points ∼11% -11%
Integer (sort by value)
BlackBerry Z10
981 Points ∼6%
Samsung Galaxy S3
1633 Points ∼10% +66%
Apple iPhone 5
1261 Points ∼8% +29%
HTC One X+
1236 Points ∼8% +26%
Floating Point (sort by value)
BlackBerry Z10
2783 Points ∼16%
Samsung Galaxy S3
2917 Points ∼17% +5%
Apple iPhone 5
2114 Points ∼12% -24%
HTC One X+
2509 Points ∼14% -10%
Memory (sort by value)
BlackBerry Z10
1849 Points ∼21%
Samsung Galaxy S3
783 Points ∼9% -58%
Apple iPhone 5
1867 Points ∼21% +1%
HTC One X+
1193 Points ∼13% -35%
Stream (sort by value)
BlackBerry Z10
681 Points ∼7%
Samsung Galaxy S3
677 Points ∼7% -1%
Apple iPhone 5
940 Points ∼10% +38%
HTC One X+
169 Points ∼2% -75%

Legend

 
BlackBerry Z10 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, Qualcomm Adreno 225, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S3 Samsung Exynos 4412 Quad, ARM Mali-400 MP4, 16 GB SSD
 
Samsung ATIV S Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, Qualcomm Adreno 225, 16 GB SSD
 
Apple iPhone 5 Apple A6, PowerVR SGX543MP3, 32 GB SSD
 
HTC One X+ NVIDIA Tegra 3, NVIDIA GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 64 GB SSD

The browser-based benchmarks provide a good option for comparing our review device with its competitors. Here the BlackBerry 10 browser demonstrates run-of-the-mill performance. In Mozilla Kraken V1 and the Google Octane V1 benchmark the BlackBerry Z10 lands in the second-to-last place; only the Samsung ATIV S does worse. The Peacekeeper benchmark paints the same picture, in which the Z10 comes out with a meager 361 points. The competition's performance is up to double as high. The Google V8 tests and the Sunspider 0.9.1 further attest to the competition's superiority in this domain.

In Browsermark 2.0 the test results turn around. The ATIV S and the One X+ lie 22 and 10% behind, respectively. The Galaxy S3 comes in at the same level as our review device. Only the iPhone 5 dashes the Z10's hopes with a 25% lead.

It should be separately mentioned that BlackBerry took a significant step in the direction of consumer friendliness by discontinuing fee-based, proprietary internet services and adding HTML5 support.

Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
BlackBerry Z10
361 Points ∼6%
Samsung Galaxy S3
664 Points ∼11% +84%
Samsung ATIV S
338 Points ∼5% -6%
Apple iPhone 5
863 Points ∼14% +139%
HTC One X+
667 Points ∼11% +85%
Sunspider - 0.9.1 Total Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Z10
2446.7 ms * ∼23%
Samsung Galaxy S3
1477.8 ms * ∼14% +40%
Samsung ATIV S
1737.4 ms * ∼16% +29%
Apple iPhone 5
935.4 ms * ∼9% +62%
HTC One X+
1028.2 ms * ∼10% +58%
Browsermark - --- (sort by value)
BlackBerry Z10
1905 points ∼27%
Samsung Galaxy S3
1898 points ∼26% 0%
Samsung ATIV S
1494 points ∼21% -22%
Apple iPhone 5
2383 points ∼33% +25%
HTC One X+
1723 points ∼24% -10%
Google V8 Ver. 3 - --- (sort by value)
BlackBerry Z10
587 points ∼4%
Samsung Galaxy S3
1828 points ∼13% +211%
Samsung ATIV S
754 points ∼5% +28%
Apple iPhone 5
1702 points ∼12% +190%
HTC One X+
2201 points ∼16% +275%
Google V8 Ver. 6 - --- (sort by value)
BlackBerry Z10
857 points ∼7%
Samsung Galaxy S3
1982 points ∼17% +131%
Samsung ATIV S
770 points ∼7% -10%
Apple iPhone 5
1640 points ∼14% +91%
HTC One X+
2057 points ∼18% +140%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Z10
829 Points ∼5%
Samsung Galaxy S3
1978 Points ∼11% +139%
Samsung ATIV S
792 Points ∼4% -4%
Apple iPhone 5
1457 Points ∼8% +76%
HTC One X+
2136 Points ∼12% +158%
Octane V1 - Total Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Z10
925 Points ∼4%
Samsung Galaxy S3
1954 Points ∼9% +111%
Samsung ATIV S
616 Points ∼3% -33%
Apple iPhone 5
1663 Points ∼8% +80%
HTC One X+
2089 Points ∼10% +126%
Mozilla Kraken 1.0 - Total Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Z10
41401.5 ms * ∼24%
Samsung Galaxy S3
15411.3 ms * ∼9% +63%
Samsung ATIV S
45665.6 ms * ∼27% -10%
Apple iPhone 5
20380.2 ms * ∼12% +51%
HTC One X+
18124.1 ms * ∼11% +56%

Legend

 
BlackBerry Z10 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, Qualcomm Adreno 225, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S3 Samsung Exynos 4412 Quad, ARM Mali-400 MP4, 16 GB SSD
 
Samsung ATIV S Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, Qualcomm Adreno 225, 16 GB SSD
 
Apple iPhone 5 Apple A6, PowerVR SGX543MP3, 32 GB SSD
 
HTC One X+ NVIDIA Tegra 3, NVIDIA GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 64 GB SSD

* ... smaller is better

Games

Games clearly profit from the integrated Qualcomm Adreno 225 graphics processor. "BlackBerry World" is already stocked with well-known games like the classic Angry Birds Star Wars skill game, the tower-defense riot Radiant Defense and the jet-ski racing game Riptide GP. The more demanding ego-shooter Nova 3 is also available. The mixed-genre PinBowl 3D game, familiar from the Android store, and the action roll-play game Lemegeton are both accounted for as well. In terms of performance, all these games, representative of various genres and levels of hardware demand, run very well. Game-Check demonstrated a stable frame rate and a fluid gaming experience. The controls, composed of the touchscreen, position and acceleration sensors, functioned flawlessly.

Angry Birds Star Wars
Angry Birds Star Wars
Lemegeton
Lemegeton
Nova 3
Nova 3
PinBowl 3D
PinBowl 3D
Radiant Defense
Radiant Defense
Riptide GP
Riptide GP

Voice Quality

The speakers and voice quality for telephone use are very good. This is partly accomplished by the second microphone outfitted with noise cancellation. This feature is impressively reliable, even when the phone is surrounded by traffic noise or loud music. Another highlight is the speaker's low level of background noise and its high maximum volume. During test conversations, the partner on the other end  of the line attested to hearing an easily intelligible voice and good volume. The headset included in the packaging would only be useful in a pinch and should be switched out for a better set if needed frequently.

Emissions

Speakers

The built-in speaker's sound output is comparatively good, and it offers a high maximum volume. Despite the low level of bass and mid-tones the sound is full and clear; the high-tones aren't so prominent in the foreground as to be bothersome. Sound and volume transmission over the 3.5 mm jack function perfectly.

Temperature

The surface temperatures with practical use never exceed the comfortable range. In idle mode the BlackBerry Z10 barely reaches a maximum temperature of 32.2 °C (~90 °F). Even under load, investigated by playing a Full HD video, the temperatures rose to 36.3 °C (~97 °F) at most; on average we recorded 34.5 °C (~94 °F) on the top surface and 32.5 °C (~91 °F) on the bottom. Subjectively, the device gets about as warm as your hand.

Max. Load
 33.2 °C32.7 °C33.9 °C 
 33.0 °C35.2 °C36.2 °C 
 34.3 °C36.3 °C36.0 °C 
Maximum: 36.3 °C
Average: 34.5 °C
32.1 °C32.0 °C30.2 °C
32.3 °C32.9 °C31.3 °C
33.1 °C35.8 °C32.8 °C
Maximum: 35.8 °C
Average: 32.5 °C
Power Supply (max.)  36.4 °C | Room Temperature 22 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Energy Management

In comparison with the rest of its class, the power consumption is low. In idle mode the BlackBerry Z10 needs 0.3 to 1.7 watts. Under load it uses between 2.3 and 3.7 watts. With that value under load our review device doesn't quite match the power-saving iPhone 5 (at a maximum of 2.9 watts). In idle our device is markedly less power-hungry than the rest of the competition. Under load the lead is a little less pronounced (ATIV S: 3.9 W, Galaxy S3: 3.4 W, Lumia 920: 5.4 W, One X+: 4.4 W). All in all, a strong result.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.0 / 0.2 Watt
Idle 0.3 / 1.5 / 1.7 Watt
Load 2.3 / 3.7 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

The manufacturer claims that the smartphone's battery will last 408 hours in 3G standby, 10 hours running videos, and 60 hours playing audio files. Our analysis certifies that the BlackBerry Z10's battery is in fact long-lasting. At minimum brightness that device reaches a maximum run time of 15 hours and 57 minutes. In the load test, running a 1080p video, we used a simple trick to force the device to glow at its maximum brightness: In order to reach the maximum brightness despite the non-deactivatable brightness sensor, we beamed light from an LED lamp directly at the device. After 4 hours and 48 minutes the battery was exhausted. More closely resembling everyday use, in our Wi-Fi surf test the 6.8 Wh battery (1800 mAh) held out for a whole 6 hours – we adapted the brightness to 150 cd/m (10% of the maximum brightness) using the same LED method.

Compared with the competition, in almost all of our tests the BlackBerry Z10's battery had about a 20% shorter runtime, likely because the competitors also have stronger batteries at their command. The Samsung ATIV S reaches a maximum battery life 5 hours longer; the Lumia 920 and the iPhone 5 both last a whole 6.5 hours more. The One X+ manages 4 extra hours – on average 10 to 20% stronger batteries last 5 hours longer. The power-saving iPhone 5 with its 5.45 Wh battery (1440 mAh) is the exception to that rule. Curiously, this picture turns around in the load test. Here our review device holds out about twice as long; only the Galaxy S3 comes close to the Z10's result.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
15h 57min
WiFi Surfing
6h 00min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 38min

Verdict

Review Device: BlackBerry Z10 Smartphone
Review Device: BlackBerry Z10 Smartphone

BlackBerry is in a tight spot – the Z10 is the Canadian firm's only hope as they fight for their place amongst the established touchscreen competition. With all of our testing behind us, we grant that the smartphone has a good chance. Why? Well, first off, the Z10 has a timeless, dignified look, the more so as it is stable and well-manufactured. But the 4.2-inch device increases its powers of persuasion when you take a look at its inner parts: A powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 SoC with an Adreno 225 graphics card and an ample 2 GB RAM, along with good connectivity. Good connectivity meaning: Micro HDMI, WLAN a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, GPS and LTE are all on board – any other questions? Another attraction is the brightest smartphone display on the market, with a brilliant image and a quick and precise touchscreen. The smart, intuitive operation and the great multi-tasking and keyboard concepts score more points for the device. The application performance is also very good. Further plus factors are the respectable battery runtimes, a removable battery and the 16 GB of internal mass memory, which can be expanded via micro SD cards. That's not to mention the intelligent business features.

Admittedly, the camera modules are nothing spectacular, the accessories aren't extensive by any means and the glass surface could be a little more stable. Working with the new BlackBerry 10 OS operating system takes a little getting used to, and the BlackBerry store is very sparse at the moment. But on the whole, in our opinion these are not very serious points of criticism.

So, do we recommend buying the BlackBerry Z10? Let's put it this way: A current street price of about 530 Euros, ~$679 (RRP: 629 Euros, ~$806) is no joke. But anyone who's looking to call one of the latest flagship smartphones their own and is willing to try out the new operating system should definitely take a closer look at this device.

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In Review: BlackBerry Z10
In Review: BlackBerry Z10

Specifications

BlackBerry Z10

:: Processor
:: Memory
2048 MB
:: Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 225, Core: 400 MHz
:: Display
4.2 inch 15:9, 1280x768 pixel, 4-point multitouch, LCD, 356 PPI, 24 bit color depth, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
16 GB iNAND Flash, 16 GB Net: 11 GB
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm jack, Card Reader: microSD (up to 64 GB), Sensors: accelerometer, magnetometer, proximity sensor, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, Micro-USB 2.0, Micro-HDMI, GPS, NFC
:: Networking
802.11a/b/g/n (a b g n ), 4.0 LE (Low Energy) Bluetooth, UMTS, LTE
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9 x 66 x 130
:: Weight
0.145 kg Power Supply: 0.052 kg
:: Battery
6.8 Wh Lithium-Ion, 1800 mAh, 3,8 V
Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 10 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 10 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 397 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 408 h
:: Price
629 Euro
:: Operating System
Blackberry 10
:: Additional features
Webcam: rear camera 8 MP incl. LED-Flash and AF, 1080p Videos, Front camera 2 MP, 720p Videos , Speakers: Mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual, Docs To Go, Maps, YouTube, Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN..., 12 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
The BlackBerry Z10 smartphone...
The BlackBerry Z10 smartphone...
The button between the volume controls activates the voice command system. The system is well-made and can keep up with Siri.
The button between the volume controls activates the voice command system. The system is well-made and can keep up with Siri.
...on the top side. The noise cancellation during phone calls works impressively well.
...on the top side. The noise cancellation during phone calls works impressively well.
Underneath the BB logo there's a microphone in hiding. Number two is located...
Underneath the BB logo there's a microphone in hiding. Number two is located...
The display is very bright and has a great level of contrast.
The display is very bright and has a great level of contrast.
The Z10's inconspicuous speaker isn't bad and is located in the grip indentation for opening the back cover.
The Z10's inconspicuous speaker isn't bad and is located in the grip indentation for opening the back cover.
...a changeable 6.8 Wh battery. SIM card and micro SD slots are found here as well.
...a changeable 6.8 Wh battery. SIM card and micro SD slots are found here as well.
Under the removable back plate you'll find...
Under the removable back plate you'll find...
The backsides in comparison: Rubberized plastic vs. aluminum.
The backsides in comparison: Rubberized plastic vs. aluminum.
...at about 8 mm it's also 1 mm thinner, and at 112 g it's more than 30 g lighter.
...at about 8 mm it's also 1 mm thinner, and at 112 g it's more than 30 g lighter.
The 4-inch device from Cupertino is not only more compact than the Canadian 4.2-inch challenger...
The 4-inch device from Cupertino is not only more compact than the Canadian 4.2-inch challenger...
...in direct comparison with the Apple iPhone 5.
...in direct comparison with the Apple iPhone 5.

Similar Devices

Devices with the same GPU

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Links

  • Manufacturer's information

Price Comparison

Pro

+Stable manufacturing
+Great display
+Lots of connections
+High-performance
+Battery times
+Intuitive OS
+Ease of one-handed use well thought out
+Operational controls
+Business extras
 

Cons

-Glass surface could be stronger
-Cameras only average quality
-Takes time to become familiarized with the OS
-App store selection is limited at the moment

Shortcut

What we like

The intuitive, one-handed operation and the strong display.

What we'd like to see

A real highlight to set the device apart from the masses, and of course, more popular apps transferred from other operating systems.

What surprises us

That BlackBerry managed to adapt their excellent keyboard from other devices for a touchscreen.

The competition

As BlackBerry's flagship, the Z10 comes up against the competition's top models. That includes the Apple iPhone 5, the HTC One X+ and the Samsung Galaxy S3. From the Windows Phone 8 camp that would be the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Samsung ATIV S.

Ratings

BlackBerry Z10
08/05/2013 v3
Michael Moser

Chassis
89%
Keyboard
51%
Pointing Device
93%
Connectivity
48%
Weight
100%
Battery
95%
Display
87%
Games Performance
37%
Application Performance
50%
Temperature
90%
Noise
100%
Add Points
82%
Average
77%
88%
Smartphone *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review RIM BlackBerry Z10 Smartphone
Author: Michael Moser, 2013-03-26 (Update: 2013-06- 6)