• Operating System: BlackBerry 10 OS
  • Processor: 1.2GHz dual core processor
  • Frequency: HSDPA 2100/900 EDGE / GPRS / GSM 850/900/1800/1900
  • Screen: 4.2 inch LCD (1280x768)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB, WiFi, NFC
  • Others: 8MP rear camera,
  • Dimensions: 130 x 65.6 x 9 mm
  • Pros:
  • BB10 offers great new features
  • Good hardware performances
  • A breath of fresh air
  • Cons:
  • Slow at startup
  • Some touchscreen inaccuracy

A Step In The Right Direction

BlackBerry is on a mission to return to its former glory and the BlackBerry 10 OS is set to do that. The BlackBerry Z10 is their first ever BB10 smartphone, which begs the question: is it any good?

The BlackBerry Z10 features a 4.2-inch touch screen with a resolution of 1,280 x 768 pixels, powered by a dual core 1.2GHz processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD. Good specs, and what do you know? The Z10 runs smoothly without any hitches.

The Z10 also brings with it a wealth of new features, the most important being BlackBerry Flow. With no back or home button on the device, you utilise the bezel at the bottom to gain direct access to either the BlackBerry Hub, where all your messages are located, or the active frames, which you can then instantly select to do your next intended task.

This also ties in with Peek, a feature that allows you to Peek into the Hub to see what messages you have just received without exiting the app that you’re using.

The new BBM has also been improved with features such as BBM Call and Video, along with improved app integration and NFC support. Your BB ID now functions as your BB Pin as well, and your contacts and messages are carried with the ID, instead of the device pin.

Battery life of the Z10 is pretty standard as they come, with one full charge being able to last until evening on moderate usage. The 8-megapixels camera is not a world-class one, but it does take fairly decent pictures. Timeshift, which lets the phone take a blast of photos before the actual shot, lets you cycle through individual faces for the best one. It works wella and is very interesting.

That said, however, the Z10 is not without some faults of its own. Starting up the phone can take up to a minute, and there isn’t any notification of it being turned on until the BlackBerry screen pops up. The touch display’s accuracy is also slightly off, with careful presses required at times to avoid typos or wrong presses.

CHIP CONCLUDE: There will be initial hurdles in using the BlackBerry Z10, but the flagship phone is undeniably built with quality and BB10 is a refreshing new experience. Overall, it’s a big step in the right direction for BlackBerry, and we look forward to see where they’re heading with future iterations of the OS and devices.

(previously published in issue April 2012)