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BlackBerry Z10 review

Tasked with saving BlackBerry, can the first BB 10 handset deliver?

So is the BlackBerry Z10 the smartphone to save BlackBerry? Well it in short it hasn't. BlackBerry is still in a lot of trounle and the Z10 didn't take off in the way it was hoping.

That said, the Z10 isn't a bad device and at it's new, lower price it's actually a very good deal.

We liked

The BlackBerry Z10 is a decent all round phone sporting a pleasing 4.2-inch HD display, a camera which can take some good shots and a messaging hub which could be the envy of some other platforms.

Web browsing deserves a special mention as we were seriously impressed with the speed of the BlackBerry Z10 when it came to loading pages.

It's great to see a free mapping and navigation solution on board the Z10, even though it may not be the best service on the market.

The expandable storage, removable battery and Adobe Flash support are all small wins for the Z10 and will help as it tries to stand out in a crowded market.

We disliked

The jury is still out on BlackBerry 10. On one hand it's great to see an exciting new operating system but on the other it's a completely new learning curve for everyone, and some may not be willing to learn.

BB 10 came across a little confusing a times, with the lack of a clear back button leading us to question how we return to the previous screen, while gestures took some time to fully grasp.

As the BlackBerry Z10 is set to be the flagship phone for BlackBerry and its new BB10 platform, we were a little disappointed with its obviously plastic case, which doesn't exactly exude premium quality.

BlackBerry said that the BB10 keyboard is the best typing experience on a touchscreen smartphone, but we weren't bowled over by the offering on the Z10.

It's a perfectly serviceable option, but in our eyes it doesn't quite hit the mark in the same way as the likes of SwiftKey on Android.

The lack of apps in BlackBerry World will remain a concern until we see the big hitters turn up, while some of the stock BlackBerry 10 apps seemed to lack features such as the camera, music and video applications.

Final verdict

The Z10 is a decent smartphone offering up a strong range of features and a fancy new operating system that may catch the eye of the technologically adventurous.

It does pretty much everything we'd expect from a high-end device and there are no major flaws to go running to the presses about.

In terms of specs the Z10 still struggles to rise up above the likes of the iPhone 5C, Galaxy S4 Mini and HTC One Mini, but at just £150 it's considerably cheaper than its rivals and finds itself being a relatively attractive budget offering.

The unproven operating system and lack of headlining applications will turn a lot of consumers off at point of sale, and it's the image of the BlackBerry brand as a whole which needs to be worked on fast if it stands a chance of winning back the hearts of the general public.

First reviewed: January 2013

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported64 GB
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSUPA, HSDPA, HSPA+, UMTS
SAR Value0.87 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedLTE 700, LTE 800, LTE 900, LTE 1800, LTE 2600, GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourCharcoal Black
Operating SystemBlackBerry
Brand NameBlackBerry
Battery Talk Time10 Hour
Product ModelZ10
Screen Size10.7 cm (4.2")
Screen Resolution1280 x 768
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)137.5 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Backlight TechnologyLED
Operating System VersionBlackBerry OS 10
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density355 ppi
Height130 mm
Width65.6 mm
Depth9 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time312 Hour
ManufacturerBlackBerry
Product NameZ10 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass, Gyro Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Magnetometer
Manufacturer Part NumberPRD-49737-018
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.uk.blackberry.com
Marketing InformationMeet the BlackBerry Z10

Experience BlackBerry Flow
Introducing a completely new way to use your smartphone. A new experience where features and apps work together seamlessly and share your train of thought to help you complete tasks faster and with ease. Discover BlackBerry® 10, designed to keep you moving.

Create. Organize. Act.
Managing a busy project? Planning this weekend's party? The BlackBerry Z10 has the tools you need to get things done on the move. Group relevant photos, lists, messages and web links into one place with BlackBerry® Remember - then sync tasks with your Microsoft® Outlook® calendar. Plus, with Documents To Go™ and Adobe® Reader® built in, you can update spreadsheets, documents and presentations on the move.

Powerful, responsive, fast
Discover a BlackBerry® Browser with speed, simplicity, powerful page rendering and built-in sharing to your favorite social networks. Found something you want to show your friends? Send a link through email or post it to the social app of your choice - all it takes is a couple of gestures.

Over time, your BlackBerry smartphone remembers how you like to share - just another example of how BlackBerry® 10 adapts to you and fits your life.

Turn words into action
Send a BBM™ message, schedule a meeting, update your social networks, or open an app when your hands are full - just by using your voice.

Voice Control recognizes natural speech patterns, so you can talk naturally and always be understood. You can use Voice Control anywhere you can type, so it's easy to dictate a document, compose an email or search your smartphone.

One device for work and play
Use your BlackBerry® Z10 smartphone for work, and access email, apps and documents without compromising your personal content.

BlackBerry® Balance™ keeps your personal information separate and private from your work data. Switch between your profiles with one simple gesture.

Stay secure
You don't want to worry about whether your stuff is safe. BlackBerry is famous for ensuring your messages, photos, apps and content stay private.

Plus, with built-in features like BlackBerry® Protect™, a lost or stolen smartphone doesn't have to be the end of the world. You can simply lock or wipe your smartphone remotely so your data can't be accessed.

Capture every moment
Take great shots with the super-sharp 8MP camera, or switch to the front facing camera and be part of the scene. Crop, enhance and apply artistic filters, then use the Story Maker app to weave those moments together and create the perfect movie.

Display your masterpiece on the big screen for all to see. Simply connect to your TV via HDMI or tap 'Play on' to link wirelessly through DLNA. You can share with your social networks too just by using a few simple gestures.

Do more. Manage less.
Spend less time managing schedules and tasks - BlackBerry® Calendar makes managing your busy schedule simple.

When you create a new appointment, BlackBerry Calendar suggests who to invite based on your existing events and who you invited last time. It will even show you friends' recent messages and social updates - so instead of 'How are you?' you'll know to say 'How was your holiday?'
Limited Warranty1 Year