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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 well equipped in the camera department, with an 8MP rear snapper and a 2MP front-facing senor.

A single LED flash accompanies the camera on the back of the Z10, and the handset is capable of shooting 1080p video with the rear lens.

The camera app can be accessed in a number of ways, including the shortcut on the lock screen where you hold down on the camera icon to launch the app, by selecting the icon from the app list or by tapping the camera on the homescreen dock.

BlackBerry Z10 review

It takes less than a second for the BlackBerry Z10 to load up the camera application, and once there you're greeted with a simple setup.

It may not be the most feature-packed camera offering we've ever seen – there's no photo sphere technology a la Android here – but what the Z10 does provide is an easy way to quickly take photos. After all, that's what you're here for anyway.

Shutter speed is rapid, although you'll notice there's no shutter button actually on the screen.

BlackBerry Z10 review

Instead the whole screen on the BlackBerry Z10 is the shutter, which makes taking self portraits easy, but it can be frustrating when you accidentally hit it when trying to get to the settings.

This issue can be partly avoided as both volume rocker keys on the side of the Z10 can be used to take a picture, which is a handy feature, especially for those with clumsy fingers.

Autofocus is in play, and it can take half a second to settle at times, but there's no tap to focus as such. The focus can be changed by holding down on the Z10 display and moving around so the focus square follows you. Release your finger when you get to the point you want the camera to focus on and then tap the screen to capture the image.

It's certainly not as quick as the simple tap to focus method, but it's an effective one.

We pitted the Z10's camera against the iPhone 5, the results of which you can check out below.

Dive into the settings menu and there are slim pickings on offer, with a toggle for the flash, front/rear camera and aspect ratio (you've got the choice of 16:9 and 4:3) along with three shooting modes (normal, stabilisation and burst) and four scene modes (action, whiteboard, night and beach or snow).

There's a 5x digital zoom which is controlled by pinching the screen on the BlackBerry Z10, but picture quality is dramatically reduced the closer in you get, so it's best to steer clear if you want a half decent photo.

But wait, there is an ace up the sleeve of the BlackBerry Z10 – it's called Time Shift. Time Shift is a new feature for BlackBerry 10, and when you switch the camera to this mode and take a photo of a person or a group of people the Z10 will highlight all the faces in the picture.

Press on any face after taking the picture and a disc will appear on the screen with that person's mug in it and a slider below. Move the slider left and right and you'll see the BlackBerry Z10 has captured the face before and after as well as during the time the shutter was pressed.

This enables you to fine tune each person's face to ensure everyone is smiling and has their eyes open – giving you the perfect picture. It's an impressive feature, and we were surprised at just how well it worked.

Image quality is generally pretty good and even in near or total darkness the flash on the BlackBerry Z10 does a good job of lighting things up.

We did find quite a few of our snaps looked a little grainy though and means the Z10 isn't quite on a par with a lot of its rivals, but you can at least rest assured you've got a capable, if not slightly feature-less snapper in your pocket.

BlackBerry Z10 review

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BlackBerry Z10 review

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BlackBerry Z10 review

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BlackBerry Z10 review

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BlackBerry Z10 review

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BlackBerry Z10 review

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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