BlackBerry Z10 Review


BlackBerry Z10 Review

BlackBerry Z10 Review


BlackBerry Z10 is the brand spanking new BlackBerry phone in the town that does not run the usual BlackBerry Operating System that we are familiar with. The previous generation of BlackBerry’s touch-driven smartphones felt a more like Nokia’s early attempt to knock Symbian into shape for touchscreen. However, with new BlackBerry Z10 the company has thrown everything out and has started fresh. And, one cannot exaggerate the position of this phone upon which the fate of BlackBerry (formerly Research in Motion) hangs.

The company has been on the rocks for the past year or so and it is no secret as the company admits that it has not been in the best shape of late and the 4G toting Z10 is the start of what is hoped to be a successful revolution. This time BlackBerry has also added a dash of fun.

On the whole, the phone may not wow you with its new design but it is a definite sturdy handset with a very decent build quality and functional layout that makes it easy to use. The phone is equipped with a 4.2" WXGA screen which is slightly bigger as well as sharper as compared to the iPhone 5's retina display. However, the company kept the overall package quite compact with all the connectivity features, hardware ports and slots.

Unboxing the BlackBerry Z10

When you unbox the Z10, you will find that the package contains these following things:

  • MicroUSB Cable
  • Wall Charger
  • Sleeve Case
  • Stereo Headphones
  • Micro Fabric Cloth
  • Start Guide
  • Safety & Product Information Guide

Design And Build Quality

You may think that there will be a huge emphasis on the design since the BlackBerry Z10 is the device that is meant to showcase the brand new platform for the very first time, but unfortunately this is not the case with the BlackBerry Z10. It comes with an understated design statement that falls flat when you compare it with some of the eye catching and trendy designs that we have seen so far with other handsets. The understated design is available in either all-black or a slightly more eye-catching white on black. BlackBerry has done a good job with the BlackBerry Z10 design and crafted a handset with enough character but obviously without making it over designed.

The patterned plastic back of the Z10 is something that you may like particularly as it does not only look cool but it also feels very nice to the touch as well as it provides great grip. Moreover, the front of the Z10 is also not bad either, although certain similarities to the iPhone will have some people impressed for the wrong reasons.

Weight wise the BlackBerry Z10 discovers a happy medium – weighing 137.5g (4.85 oz), the weight provides it a comforting presence in the palm and at the same time as the chassis is noticeably plastic, the handset's weight at least restores some form of premium feel.


Analogous to its underwhelming design, the Z10 offers an underwhelming display as well, although the BlackBerry Torch 9850 had the honor to launch the largest display on a BlackBerry smartphone, but this is not the case in the Z10 as it only makes a minimal increase. However, the resolution has been amped up in the BlackBerry Z10 and thus it produces a very sharp looking pixel density of 356 ppi as it comes with a 4.2 inch 768 x 1280 LCD screen.

To be precise, this display offers plenty of details as well as the clarity that our eyes crave for. Furthermore, it relies on good old LCD technology and therefore colors remain on the neutral side. You will not have any problem in viewing the screen even with the sun present because of its strong brightness output along with decent viewing angles.


With the BlackBerry Z10, the company decided to put in some serious time developing and tweaking its new platform. Obviously, they took a risk on this one, which is apparent by the lack of BlackBerries released in the past year but finally they have come up with a modern touch-friendly interface. The company has paid a great deal of attention to all the visual aspects of the platform and has added some neat looking transition effects in order to sprinkle some love to the new user interface, for instance the cool fading effect while unlocking the phone.

Talking about personalization, you will be allowed to change the wallpaper and the layout of the app panel only same as in iOS. Unlike Android and Windows Phone, the BlackBerry Z10 lacks in those personalization elements with which you can make the look and feel of your handset different from others.

The BlackBerry 10 operating system is the key selling point of the BlackBerry Z10 that may explain the unassuming design of the handset as the manufacturer main focus was more on the software inside. Precisely, BB10 was launched alongside the BlackBerry Z10 and it signals a whole new era for the company.

The new operating system was designed to drag BlackBerry into the here and now of the mobile world with a system that can challenge the operating systems like Android Jelly Bean, iOS 6 and Windows Phone 8. The BlackBerry 10 operating system is very different from the one found on previous BlackBerry handsets i.e. BB OS7. This means both new and current users of BlackBerry will require a steep learning curve.

BlackBerry made up its mind to move away from the physical buttons like in many Android devices and iOS, and settle on a gesture-based system as the main form of navigation. The new gestures in play are also responsible for the steep learning curve for the users which might detract some of them.


When you look at the phone, you will not find any home button or icon that many of us are familiar with rather the home screen of the BlackBerry Z10 is comprised of three distinct panels which are the apps panel, active frames panel, and the Blackberry Hub. You can swipe left or right at the home screen to get into any of these three panels. However, executing a swipe up gesture from the bottom bezel and then releasing your finger “minimizes” the app when you are in an actual app and this will place the app as an Active Frame in the home screen.

Following the same premise, you can also get into the “Peek View”, that is you simply have to swipe up from the bottom bezel, but make sure that you hold on your finger on the screen and do not let it go.

Well, the hardest gesture to master is the one that gets you into the “BlackBerry Hub” that aggregates all notifications, emails, text messages, and missed calls. Fundamentally, it’s a swipe up from the bottom bezel, then while your finger is still touching the screen, you swipe right to uncover the BlackBerry Hub. The last gesture to master involves swiping down from the top bezel in order to bring up different settings that depend on what app you are currently running.


Now, let us discuss about the functionality of the BlackBerry Z10. In this section, we are not going into great detail about how the core organizer apps work because their functions and layouts are no different than other organizer apps found in other mobile phones. The core organizer app includes the following apps: Calendar, Clock, Compass, Docs To Go, File Manager, Print To Go, Weather, and BBM that now features video chatting. This feature will surely please businessmen and entrepreneurs more than anyone else and they will be glad to know that video chatting is now enabled with BBM.

Syncing contacts and calendar with the account being set up is also there which is an appreciated feature to find. Moreover the on-screen keyboard is also designed well. After all, BlackBerry smartphones are known for their messaging prowess. Though the Z10 is an all touch device but the keyboard is quite impressive as well as responsive enough. Keyboard can also be used to play with the gestures such as doing a swipe down gesture on the keyboard will get access to its different layouts.

The Auto-correct feature is simply tremendous as BlackBerry has an interesting way of going about predictive text. Based on context clues in what you’re typing, different words will begin to appear over certain letters on the keyboard – so all you need to do is a swipe up on the specific letter to automatically throw the word into what you’re typing.

Voice control feature is also there that allows you to speak up your words. The voice control on the BlackBerry Z10 is pretty accurate and somewhat faster.

Emailing with the BBZ10 is no different. Accessing your emails will require to get into the BlackBerry Hun to access them. Though, we do not find the layout and functionality of the email experience with BlackBerry Z10 as comprehensive as Android’s Gmail experience yet it gets the job done quite well.

Processor and Memory

BlackBerry’s set of smartphones in the past were never seen sporting hardware that were viewed as cutting edge but this time in the case of BB Z10, they are finally able to bring something respectable to the table. The new BlackBerry Z10 comes with a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus processor coupled with 2GB of RAM. It is the same chipset you can find in many of today’s flagship smartphone devices.

Far from being as nerve-wracking as a quad-core processor, it’s effective enough in giving the handset one consistent performance in everything. From basic tasks to more complex things like gaming, we rarely find the BlackBerry Z10 exhibiting any signs of sluggishness.

Furthermore, the handset offers 16 GB of internal storage but that translates to 9.9 GB of free storage space out of the box. But fortunately its microSD card slot allows you to add cards up to 32 GB in size in order to supplement its internal tally.

Internet and Connectivity

The BlackBerry Z10 is the first BlackBerry smartphone that features 4G LTE connectivity so it definitely is worth mentioning. We run our unit off of AT&T’s LTE network, and find that it can load even complex pages in an instant. Moreover, the BlackBerry 10 web browser is designed to deliver a phenomenal experience to its users. The browser can handle the most multimedia intensive sites with little effort.

The handset does not only offer instant page rendering on the fly but also that same lovable and consistent fluid performance is also incorporated well enough with the web browser. With its navigational control – both pinch zooming as well as page scrolling you will be able to handle even the most complex websites. Furthermore, sites with heavy Flash content are handled fairly well.

In a nutshell, the BlackBerry Z10 is armed with all of the connectivity arsenal that we would expect to find in a smartphone these days. These include options like GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, 5GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, mobile hotspot functionality, and NFC.

Camera – Photos & Videos

BlackBerry makes it very easy to get access to the camera app when it comes to taking photos. Simply press and hold down your finger on the camera icon in the bottom right corner, this will launch the camera app. Alternatively, you can click on the camera icon in the app panel as well.

The camera interface is also easy to use and simple to operate. Towards the right edge, there’s an icon in the upper right corner that enables us to switch between photos, videos, and its new Time Shift feature. The phone offers 8 megapixel auto-focus camera although its quality is not more spectacular than some of its esteemed colleagues in this category. Quality wise, photos that are taken outdoor with plenty of lighting are decent enough with enough details and subtle saturation. Colors are sharp with sprinkle of a bit of vibrancy to its shots.

Video quality is also nothing that really jumps at us. With BlackBerry Z10 you will be able to record 1080p videos. The video quality is of average level with gradual exposure and steady frame rate that it delivers.

Should I Buy The BlackBerry Z10?

The BlackBerry Z10 no doubt is a good choice for businessmen with all the features that make it such a capable work phone. This new phone from BlackBerry will certainly win over BlackBerry fans if the company can steal back even more users if they would release some big apps soon. Although, we cannot see it winning over iOS and Android and WP8 phones.

The phone can manage to fight through the noise by being quietly efficient in a world where everything is quad-core and next-gen.