BlackBerry Z10 Review
BlackBerry’s failure to create innovations made it hard for the company to be in pace with the others in the smartphone market, thereby leading to its death as a phone manufacturer. The fact that a smartphone’s quality relies so much on its hardware makes it easy for a lot of OEMs to create something that is respectable. BlackBerry insisted on sticking to its ultra-feature phones, which, before the rise of the iPhone, was actually the preferred choice of a lot of people because of its renowned QWERTY keyboard and a great instant messaging feature. As an attempt to regain its place in the market, BlackBerry produced the BlackBerry Z10 – a surprisingly okay phone, in fact. Here’s a quick peek at what the phone has to offer.
1. Design and build quality
- The BlackBerry Z10 looks It has a hard chassis made of premium matte plastic. There is a stainless steel plate supporting it internally, so you know that despite being a plastic device, it is as durable as an aluminium phone.
- It is a joy to hold. The aluminium buttons are clicky and the rear cover is removable. Plus it is rubberized with a very soft texture.
- The phone does not have weird noises.
- On the downside, the Z10 is slightly heavy as it weighs 137.5 grams. This makes it 7.5 grams heavier than the Samsung Galaxy S4 and 25 grams heavier than the iPhone 5.
- The 4.2-inch screen has a display with a 1280×768 resolution and a DPI of 335.
- Brightness is good even in the absence of an automatic brightness option. The panel provides good colors with amazing viewing angles.
- The display is sharp and the details are excellent.
- The earpiece speaker gets loud so you won’t have to worry about making calls.
- On the contrary, the external speaker is too quiet, which could be problematic for people who like to use it.
- The BlackBerry Z10 has an impressive battery life. The standby life lasts long especially if you need your phone just to check e-mails and have some phone calls.
- The BlackBerry Z10 has an average camera. The photos turn out okay when you take it in good lighting.
- A con of the Z10’s camera – and other BlackBerry devices, for that matter – is that it tends to overexpose the shots.
Performance and other features
- The Z10 has a Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor.
- The removable rear cover gives you the ability to swap your battery when needed.
- There is also a slot for a microSD card and a microHDMI port is also present.
- The OS allows for smooth navigation, but there are some parts that lag extensively such as the Settings menu. It also has difficulties in registering your touch actions. Other features that have the same problems are the quick action bar, the Phone app, and the Camera app. The third party apps also have problems with performance.
- The BlackBerry’s OS 10 would leave Android users really frustrated. It does not have Google services and they are unable to provide quality replacements for this loss.
- The good point is that OS 10 is an attractive one, plus it is usable in a lot of ways and is relatively nice to navigate.
- BlackBerry loves When you pull down from the top of an app¸ you will be brought to the settings menu. When you pull down from the bottom, the device would bring you to the home page. It will be confusing for a lot of people.
Some good features of the Z10
- BlackBerry’s organization of e-mails is very helpful in terms of productivity for people who receive a lot of e-mails each day. The default e-mail view is arranged chronologically and displays the inboxed messages and the sent messages (shown with a check mark). This lets you to easily track all your e-mails without going through the pain of scrolling endlessly such as in Google Mail. If you don’t like to view your e-mails this way, Blackberry also gives you the option to: (1) hide the sent messages, or (2) use conversation view.
- BlackBerry has a hub sidebar that displays notifications from your accounts like your e-mail, Facebook, and the like. These notifications are separated into different categories. The list only clears once you go to the actual notification pain of that account. It’s a good alternative for the Android notification panel. The e-mail and account notification app can be seen on the left side of the home screen.
- The multitasking is a point of debate for people who have reviewed the Z10. The BlackBerry Z10 has the multitasking feature as the default home screen, so when you do the home gesture, the device will show you what you were last doing.
- The SwiftKey of BlackBerry is slow and a bit of a nuisance.
- It has a sleep mode, which sleeps all noises, notifications, and ringtones of your device. You have to pull down the black tab on top of the device, then a watch appears and will let you set an alarm. To deactivate it (or to wake up your phone), you just have to swipe up from the bottom. This is a very remarkable feature.
- Swiping from the bottom of the screen when the display is turned off automatically wakes up your phone and displays the lock screen. The phone will be unlocked when you do a long swipe. Another great feature.
Blackberry Z10 features that are not so good
- The maps feature only shows the addresses. It is usable only for turn by turn navigation and if you need a direction to go to a specific address.
- BlackBerry has a search button found on the home screen. It takes a long time to load and it finally appears, it only does a universal search. The search app is very inefficient and slow.
- BlackBerry had to develop third party apps for a lot of services such as Adobe Reader, Facebook, Yahoo Messenger, and Dropbox. This would disappoint people who regularly use those apps – and that’s a lot. Third party apps just have limited functionality.
- OS 10 only sort of supports push e-mail. It works well if you have a Gmail account, but if you have IMAP, deleting, moving from folder to folder, and the like would be troublesome.
- Those using a Google Apps account without Exchange Active Sync will have trouble with syncing as BlackBerry will sync only the e-mail, but not the calendar, contacts, etc.
The BlackBerry Z10 comes out surprisingly fine in a lot of ways. This is probably because people already have low expectations when it comes to BlackBerry phones, so it’s great to see that the company is finally able to produce something that people could like. It’s also remarkable that BlackBerry was able to move from OS 7 to OS 10 in just a short period. The only downside of that OS 10 not fully done yet – still a lot of improvements that can done with it.
The Z10 demonstrates Google’s capability to provide a pleasant smartphone experience that is useful for everyone. The search function and voice recognition technology of Android are clearly ahead of the game. There are also a lot of people who are using Google services, be it Mail or Maps or Chrome or Hangouts – things that are not fully functional in BlackBerry’s OS 10.
The BlackBerry Z10 offers a lot of good stuff, but there are also a lot of things missing. In short, this device is great for those who are hardcore-BlackBerry enthusiasts and are already invested in it, but it’s bad for those who are more invested in the Android platform.
Would you consider trying the BlackBerry Z10?