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BlackBerry Z10 review

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

Our Verdict

Will it be supported for long? Maybe not... but the superbly low price makes this a decent alternative to the Android / iPhone monopoly.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 16 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 10 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Great web browsing
  • Expandable storage
  • Decent camera
  • Messaging hub

Against

  • Plastic case not premium
  • Lack of apps
  • UI not for everyone
  • Some apps lack features

The BlackBerry Z10 comes sporting BlackBerry's new internet browser which it has developed specially for BlackBerry 10, and one that's touted to be fast, really fast.

BlackBerry Z10 review

To keep up with that speed promise the Z10 not only comes equipped with Wi-Fi b/g/n but also 4G connectivity for super fast mobile data on the move.

During our time with the handset we only had a 3G SIM to hand, but we still experienced some impressive browsing speeds on the BlackBerry Z10.

Full-fat TechRadar loaded in just five seconds on the Z10, fancy ad banners and all over 3G, while the mobile version turned up in a flash with two seconds on the clock.

Load speeds are pretty similar over Wi-Fi, but a strong connection can see a second or so knocked off the desktop sites.

The layout of the browser on the BlackBerry Z10 reminded us of the setup of IE on Windows Phone 8 which also has a black toolbar located at the bottom of the display – compared to Android and iOS which both stick with the more traditional location at the top.

BlackBerry Z10 review

Text and images appear crisp and clear on the 4-inch HD display of the BlackBerry Z10, making browsing websites – even those which are content rich – a pleasing experience.

Text doesn't automatically reflow when you zoom which can lead to a lot of sideways scrolling if you need to zoom in a fair bit to be able to read what's on screen.

You can make the reading experience easier by selecting Reader in the menu, which strips out all the images and ads from an article to display just the text on the screen, allowing for an easily digestible read.

There is a simple text size tool at the bottom of the screen making it easy to increase or decrease the font for an even better reading experience.

Sadly there's no offline mode, so you won't be able to save pages to read later when you may not be in signal – it's not a big issue in what is otherwise an excellent browsing experience.

BlackBerry Z10 review

Tabbed browsing is supported on the Z10 browser, just hit the panel icon in the bottom left corner and a menu will slide in, with an option to open a new tab.

Also in this menu are options to view your bookmarks and browsing history.

Bookmarks are easy to add, just navigate to the desired page, hit the settings key in the bottom right and then select Add to Bookmarks – it's as easy as pie.

Interestingly while Google is phasing out Adobe Flash support, and with Apple never supporting it, the browser on the BlackBerry Z10 does provide support for the dying web format – meaning you can view all the videos and websites which still rely on it.

While fewer and fewer sites are dependent on Adobe Flash there are still some notable exceptions, and it's great to see the support on the new BlackBerry 10 OS.

All in all the BlackBerry Z10 offers a fantastic browsing experience, with some of the fastest speeds we've witnessed on a smartphone.

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
Backlight TechnologyLED
Operating System VersionBlackBerry OS 10
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log, Call Timer, Conference Call
Pixel Density355 ppi
Height130 mm
Width65.6 mm
Depth9 mm
Radio TunerYes
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