A couple of months back I had to opportunity to check out the Blackberry Z10. At the time It was Blackberry’s first device back on the market running Blackberry 10. Blackberry was hanging on by a thread trying to just stay afloat. Blackberry has been on the fritz for the past couple of years because of all the smartphones coming out.
Back when the Z10 came out in March of 2013 it was priced at $200 on contract and $630 off. Now you can get this phone for free! It definitely shows how successful this phone was. The reason this phone didn’t sell well may have been because of the lack of apps on the Blackberry 10 app store. There were maybe 10 good apps I used throughout the 2 weeks I had the phone.
The specs of the Z10 are like any other phone on the market, nothing too impressive. It’s sporting a 4.2 inch 1280X768 15:9 display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. The storage is expandable up to 32Gb with a microSD card. The Z10 also features an 8 megapixel camera with a single flash on the back. The photos are decent, definitely not anything to write home about.
It’s nice to see that you can take off the plastic backing to reveal the battery, microSIM and microSD card slots. I love phones that allow you to swap out the battery. If you buy an extra battery or two and carry them around in your pocket, you can just swap it out with another 1,800mAH battery when the phones dies.
Buttons & connectivity
Most people that are familiar with the Blackberry PlayBook tablet will easily recognize the triple button setup on the right side. The volume rockers are seperated by a center key that activates voice control once it’s held down. I’m not going to talk about the voice control because it works just as well as any other voice control.
On the top of the device you’ll find a power/lock key located in the center, with a headphone jack to the left and a microphone to the right. The power button is placed in a weird place but after a bit of use, you get used to pressing it. On the left side you will find a microUSB port alongside a microHDMI port to connect the phone to your TV.
The BlackBerry 10 operating system is rather easy to get around after you use it for about an hour. If you’re used to the old BlackBerry OS it will take some getting used to for 10.
All your notifications will show on the lock screen along with the date, time, battery percentage, etc. What I really like is that it has a shortcut that once held down, takes you straight to the camera. It takes about 3 seconds for the app to launch which is about the time it took me to open the app from the regular shortcut.
Keyboard & Messaging
BlackBerry is known for having fantastic physical keyboards, but what about their touch keyboards? The keyboard is actually rather nice to type on, much easier than my personal iPhone. Keep in mind that I have average sized hands. The keys are nicely spaced out, not too close or too close together. I can actually type rather fast on it, about 70 WPM. Then again I do type about 80-90 WPM on my Corsair K95 keyboard. Messaging is just like Android and iOS except for the fact that you get a red led notification when you receive a message.
BlackBerry 10 does have a decent web browser built-in. Again, it’s nothing to write home about. I could compare it to the web browser on WIndows Phone. It has some nice features like the ability to add a short cut directly to that website on your home screen. Text appears nice and crisp thanks to the 4.2 inch HD display. If you want to be able to read easier, you can select the Reader option in the menu. Reader takes out the ads and images from the page to only display the text on the screen.
The BlackBerry Z10 features and 8 megapixel camera with led flash on the back. The photos are like most smartphones, decent in a pinch. The camera app doesn’t have all the features you would ever need like Android, but it does allow for you to take photos very quickly.
You can also take full HD 1080p video with the back camera, 720p with the front. Image stabilization is a nice feature for recording. You can also toggle on or off the led flash by tapping anywhere on the screen then on the flash button. You also get a mediocre 5X digital which greatly reduces the quality of the video. The video looks nice on the handset itself, and it looks ok on a TV or monitor.
The BlackBerry Z10 was a nice phone for its time. If you are still looking at this phone, I would say go with the newer Z30. The Z30 has a 5 inch display compared to a 4.2. It has a 1.7Ghz dual core, and the same 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, finally it has a 2880mAH battery for much better battery life.
The Z10 was an enjoyable phone to use when I had it. The only thing that I felt that made this a phone I couldn’t recommend was the app store. It didn’t have a large variety of apps to choose from because it was a brand new OS. Recently it has been rumored that BlackBerry is going to be allowing Android apps on the BB 10 app store.