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Blackberry Z10 review

We take a look at Blackberry's last hope
Fri Feb 08 2013, 14:05

Product Blackberry Z10
Website Blackberry
Specifications 4.2in 1280x768 356 ppi capacitive touchscreen, Qualcomm MSM8960 dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, 2G Network GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G Network HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100 - STL100-1 HSDPA 850/900/2100 - STL100-2, 4G Network LTE 800/900/1800/2600 - STL100-2, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0, 8MP autofocus rear-facing camera with LED flash and HD 1080p video, 2MP HD 720p front camera, BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system, 130x66x9mm, 137.5g
Price From £440 SIM-free


IT'S NO SECRET that Blackberry has had a rough time of it in recent years.

Forced to delay the release of its shiny new Blackberry 10 operating system (OS) for close to a year, the company's share of the smartphone market has dwindled to an all time low.

Even its core business base turned its back on the Canadian firm in favour of more consumer friendly Apple and Samsung devices.

Because of this, pressure for its Blackberry 10 flagship Z10 smartphone to succeed is high, with Blackberry's future pretty much hanging on the phone's ability to reignite interest in the brand.

Design and build
Visually Blackberry has tried very hard to make the Z10 look more appealing to the consumer market. It looks far more like Apple's iPhone 5 than previous Blackberry handsets. Were it not for the silver Blackberry logos emblazoned on its back and front you could easily be forgiven for thinking the Z10 was made by Apple.

While this means that the Z10 isn't visually very original, it has a certain charm, especially when compared to the fairly archaic looking Pearl and Bold handsets that came before it.

The similarities with the iPhone end the moment you get up close and hold the Z10. Initially this is simply because the Z10 is slightly larger and heavier than the iPhone 5, measuring 130x66x9mm and weighing 138g. The iPhone 5 by comparison measures 124x59x7.6mm and weighs 112g.

Blackberry Z10 backplate

However, with prolonged use the Z10's underlying business focus becomes far more apparent, showcased via its impressive number of ports and button layout.

The Z10's primary microUSB and microHDMI ports are housed on the left side, while a 3.5mm headphone jack lies on its top. Also included are microSIM and microSD card slots, nestled closely together beneath the Z10's textured, removable backplate.

The Z10 features four physical buttons along its sides and three capacitive buttons on its front. The physical power button is on its top, while volume controls line its right hand side. Its fourth button, surprisingly, isn't a shortcut to the device's camera. Instead, the button acts either as a play and pause button when listening to audio files or as a shortcut and toggle button for Blackberry's new Siri-like Voice Control feature.

Next: Design, display and software.

 

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