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Blackberry Z10 review

Fri Feb 08 2013, 14:05

For example, Blackberry 10 comes with an overly simplistic Maps app that uses Bing Maps as its information source. While this might sound fine, previous users of Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system will know how big a problem this is.

Bing maps isn't great, regularly missing small side streets and taking forever to load. These problems have transferred over to Blackberry 10's maps service, with it regularly not displaying small side streets and taking woefully long to find and track our locations.

The same is true on a host of other apps. Testing the pre-installed Youtube app we regularly managed to stall the Z10 for a good few minutes simply by trying to skip forward, replay or rewind a video.

BlackBerry Z10 home

Worse still, the Blackberry World app store doesn't have nearly as complete an offering of apps as Android and iOS. The service is missing a host of apps, including Netflix and Spotify. Even by Windows Phone standards the app store for Blackberry 10 feels empty.

Performance
On paper the Z10 is a fairly nippy device, coming loaded with a Qualcomm MSM8960 dual-core 1.5GHz CPU and 2GB of RAM.

Running a new mobile OS, most of the major benchmarking tools aren't available yet, meaning that we haven't had a chance to technically test the Z10's speed. However from our own tests, outside of a few specific apps the Z10 is fairly fast. Navigating the Z10's menus was a fast and fluid experience and we found that the 2GB of RAM meant that it was more than capable of multitasking, remaining fast and responsive even when running multiple apps.

The only issues we encountered arose when using specific applications and turning the Z10 on and off. For example, occasionally when running Youtube or opening Maps, the OS could grind to a halt, taking over a minute to come back to life.

Additionally, we found that the Z10 takes an age to turn on. Everytime we turned the device on it took a good minute or two to boot up and just as long to turn off.

Battery and storage
The Z10's 1,800mAh battery is by far its worst feature. Testing the battery we regularly found that the Z10 died in less than nine hours.

Running the Z10 over 4G on the UK's EE network we found that the device never once made it through a full day on one charge.

On one particularly bad day when we found ourselves away from the office, using the Z10 for all our email, location finding and dictaphone purposes we managed to drain the smartphone's battery in less than five hours.

Next: Battery and storage, camera.

 

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