With the recent release of the BlackBerry Z10, there have been circling arguments about the quality of the product and the future of the company that made it—Research in Motion. The new BlackBerry Z10 will not look radical to any consumer – it’s not some daring departure, a flash of color and playfulness like the latest crop of Windows Phone devices from Nokia and HTC. It is a safe, refined look and very similar to BlackBerry’s previous efforts in smartphone design.
The Z10’s general form mimics the iPhone in more than a couple of ways: the curved corners of the edges, the screens separated by a surface space on either end of the front panel, and a solid band of plastic that cases the phone. Differences includes its size (the phone has a 4.2-inch display), and the lack of a home button on the front of the device.
The BlackBerry Z10 has its Micro HDMI and Micro USB ports on the left side of the devices.The phone is powered by a dual-core CPU set to 1.5GHz. The device has a fat 2GB of RAM alongside 16GB of internal storage (that can be expanded up to 48GB with the use of a 32GB microSD card). And of course, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, an accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, and ambient light sensor are all here too.
The Z10 has two cameras, a rear-facing 8-megapixel shooter capable of 1080p video, and a front-facing 2-megapixel camera that can do 720p video capture. Both are reasonably clear and useful. The backside camera produces washed out looking shots, and focusing is a major issue. The camera also suffers from the pink blotch in the center of the image, which can make shots with lots of pale or white tones look off-color.
Performance on the Z10 is snappy and responsive. Springing around from one app to another, jumping into and out of messages, and managing content on the device functions very well.
However, battery life is another story altogether. The company has historically made much of the BlackBerry batteries long lasting, but those talents have not been on display on the new phone. During numerous testing periods, the device could not make it through an entire workday without requiring a battery swap or a recharge.
The problem with the Z10 is that it doesn’t do anything better than any of its competitors. There are arguments that could be made about how it handles messages or the difficulties of its camera, but no one can argue that there’s a “killer app” in there.
The Z10 is a fine device, well made, well priced, and backed by a company with an excellent track record in security. But it’s not the only device of its kind, and it’s roaming against a massive wave of established players with really, really good products.
If you love RIM and the BlackBerry brand and really want to keep supporting them, buying a Z10 wouldn’t be a mistake. But certainly, there are better phones on the market, and there is no compelling reason for buying this device. So why the Z10? Until BlackBerry provides a legitimate answer, there really is no rush in buying the Z10.