Review: The Z10 Does BlackBerry Proud

Written by Tony Ibrahim     27/03/2013 | 00:49 | Category name i.e.PHONES

Can BlackBerry's infant Z10 compete alongside Apple and Google's mature smartphones?

Review: The Z10 Does BlackBerry Proud

Design

 


Click to enlarge

On the outside, the Z10 finds a healthy balance between honouring the BlackBerry legacy while modernising it. The hard-keyboard has been digitised into one of the most intelligent iterations yet and the free space has made room for a 4.2 inch 768-by-1280 resolution touchscreen.

Modelling the form factor of a touchscreen, the Z10 pays homage to its ancestors by way of the materials used. The patterned back, which carries the infamous BlackBerry insignia, brings to mind the texture of BlackBerry's Bold smartphone, while the overall styling will appeal to professionals. The Z10 oozes charisma and on looks alone is the definitive business accessory.

 

- Page Break -

BlackBerry 10


Click to enlarge
BlackBerry has spent years developing BlackBerry 10 and it shows. For first generation software, it is more complete than the first generation of Apple's iOS and Google Android. Smooth transitions, detailed menu options and inviting gestures work together to create a genuinely enjoyable smartphone experience.

Sifting through the operating system requires an understanding of basic gestures, much in the same way Nokia's MeeGo-running N9 did. Swiping left directs users to BlackBerry Hub, one interface responsible for unifying social and messaging communications, whereas sweeping right will cycle through an aesthetic application drawer. Also sharing some semblance to MeeGo is the active task manager residing between BlackBerry Hub and the app draw. The task manager is one of the best on offer yet as many of the thumbnails have their own informative animations. Take the file manager for instance, which alternates to a widget-like storage view when idly resting in the task manager.


Click to enlarge
If it wasn't for the immature application market, you'd barely notice BlackBerry 10 was such a new operating system. The only other real tell-tale sign comes from the browser as it strains under websites riddled with flash animation. It's in areas like this BlackBerry suffers as Apple and Google's offerings have been refined to the point where they handle intensive sites with ease. 

- Page Break -

HardwareThe Z10's innards might not lead the market, but the hardware competently handles the efficient operating system. The Z10 features a dual core 1.5GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory and hosts an expandable memory slot. It also features superfast 4G LTE internet, Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, GPS and WiFi.

Multimedia

An 8MP camera capable of Full HD video recording punctuates the back of the Z10. It resides alongside a single LED flash and has an aptitude for capturing rich colours. The camera is proficient and the snapped photos are viewed in a refined gallery that comes complete with rich photo and video editing suites. My only gripe with the gallery stems from it grouping my entire collection into one album, despite the 800 or so photos being organised in separate folders.


Click to enlarge
Audiophiles will appreciate the clarity and volume of music playback. The simplistic interface makes using the BB10 for music a pleasure. The fact the player is void of internet connectivity is a small disadvantage, but the Z10 finds salvation in a music widget populated whenever the volume is tweaked. 

- Page Break -

ConclusionCredit goes to BlackBerry for producing a sincerely unique smartphone experience. Old BlackBerry smartphones promoted an experience BlackBerry users became addicted to. If they can cultivate a strong application ecosystem, the Z10 will ensure many CrackBerries fall off the wagon.

Whereas previous BlackBerry's were resigned for advanced users, the Z10 would ironically be a great phone for a beginner looking for an iPhone alternative. Unfortunately it will fail to resonate with users who have been spoiled by Apple and Google's rich app store.


Click to enlarge

Top Ranked Reviews

  • REVIEW: New LG G3 A 5/5 Android Smartphone

    REVIEW: New LG G3 A 5/5 Android Smartphone

    The smartphone is cluttered with major technology Companies such as Google, Samsung, Apple, Sony and Microsoft spruiking a host of new offerings, so it was refreshing to get our hands on the new G3 which is a very impressive smartphone.
    Product Rating 5

  • Aldi's Smartphone A Mid-Range Android

    Aldi's Smartphone A Mid-Range Android

    Aldi's Bauhn branded Android smartphones have always represented mid-range power at affordable prices, and that's what you get with the Bauhn Sphere B5.
    Product Rating 3

  • Review: Fitbit Flex Wearable Fitness Tracker

    Review: Fitbit Flex Wearable Fitness Tracker

    Testing Fitbit's wrist-band wearable fitness tracker over the past couple of weeks has been an interesting experiment that sees me wanting to continue the tracking and reaching the daily 10,000 steps goal - but I wish it also told the time.
    Product Rating 3.5

  • New LG 65

    New LG 65" 4K Ultra HD TV with webOS

    Radical improvements in content functionality and style are the defining features of the latest Smart TVs and this is especially noticeable with LG's new 65" 4K Ultra High Definition UB980T TV that comes with slick new software called webOS.
    Product Rating 4.5

  • Dick Smith Jump Into Bed With Vodafone

    Dick Smith Jump Into Bed With Vodafone

    As tipped by ChannelNews, Dick Smith hooks up with Vodafone, eyes mobile expansion
    Product Rating 0

Pros & Cons

Pros:

Cons: