It’s been a tough 2 years for Blackberry users. Around 3 years ago, Android and iOS were really starting to eat into Blackberry’s market share. 2 years ago, Blackberry (then known as RIM) promised to deliver their next generation OS. Since then, the shipping date was postponed multiple times while Blackberry's market share plummeted.
Heck, things got so bad that there was a point when I figured we’d never see the new version of Blackberry. Either RIM would get carved up and sold, or they’d go out of business, or maybe they’d even adapt another operating system.
So, I’m really pleased to present to you my Blackberry Z10 review. The first phone running the new Blackberry 10 operating system.
While its body isn't made of aluminum like the iPhone 5, or even the glass enclosure of a LG Optimus G, the BlackBerry Z10 feels nice and solid. It does not flex or creak when you squeeze it. The textured back has a nice rubberized feel, providing a more secure grip with less slip.
I like how the Z10 has a removable battery. The battery cover has numerous snaps on it similar to the Samsung Galaxy S III. Unlike some previous BlackBerry’s the Z10’s cover probably won’t get loose over its life.
It has an understated look to it. It’s not excessively glossy-looking like the Galaxy S III. That said, with the exception of the back, the finishes could look a little richer.
I find that the gap between the screen and the rest of the phone looks a little dated. Then again, it may be part of BlackBerry’s signature designs.
Speaking of signature designs, many previous BlackBerry’s had a ‘slope’ on the forehead of the phone. This is missing from the Z10. The Z10’s speaker hole is shaped like the 9900’s. I like how the 9900 has some distance between the flash and the camera sensor. They’re side-by-side on the Z10 - this can result in more red-eye. Actually, aside from the button layout (3 on the side, one on top) the Z10 doesn’t pay much homage to previous BlackBerry models.
The screen measures 4.2” with a resolution of 1280x720, which yields a pixel density of 356ppi. Indeed, it’s a very sharp screen. While the pixel density is higher than the iPhone’s (326ppi) having used both screens side-by-side there isn’t a noticeable difference in sharpness.
4.2” screen doesn’t sound that much bigger than the iPhone 5’s 4” screen, but side-by-side there’s a big difference. Side-by-side, both are much smaller than the Galaxy S III. BlackBerry was trying to maximize screen size while making the phone easy to use with one hand.
As far as thinness goes the iPhone 5 wins here but as far as I'm concerned, they're all thin enough.
I was trying to compare the Z10’s maximum brightness with my iPhone 5, but I discovered that even though the Z10 lacks an ‘auto brightness’ setting it does have this feature. You just can’t turn it off.
Still, my observation is that the iPhone 5 is substantially brighter than the Z10.
Colour-wise, the Z10 is a bit warmer (red) than the iPhone 5. The Galaxy S III is much cooler (blue).
Viewing angles are excellent. While the brightness changes a tiny bit, there’s almost no colour shift.
I didn’t try it outdoors myself, but friends who have tried the same unit say it works well in bright sunlight.
Overall, besides the sharpness and viewing angle; the Z10 has an adequate display.