It’s been a week since I got the Blackberry Z10 for review. As usual, I love talking about my first impressions before I give the complete review of the exterior and the entrails of the device. Launched on the 30th of January, the Blackberry Z10 was the mark of a turn-around by RIM which on the same day was renamed to Blackberry. Blackberry Z10, together with the Blackberry Q10 were to be the first devices commercially available running Blackberry 10 Operating system.
Of-course the OS was previously available on Developer Alpha devices but what was there was a thinned out version of the OS devoid of several features like the call function, this was just to enable developers test their applications. The Blackberry’s Z10 and Q10 then proceeded to roll out gradually in several markets and have since been made available in the Kenyan market through mobile carriers, including Safaricom.
Now the Blackberry Z10 and the Blackberry 10 OS marks another new thing, the end of Blackberry Internet Services (BIS) for future Blackberry OSes. Blackberry 10 came with no support for that cherished subscription model that was heavily relied on by users in markets where data costs are high, like Nigeria and South Africa. Blackberry is yet to show financials that include these markets as the recent results that had 6.8 million devices for Q1 don’t include them. By then the devices were selling only in North America, Europe and parts of Asia and Middle East.
Back to why we are here. This device is actually good to the eye, I included it here as one of the 5 well designed devices in 2013.
For starters, here are the Blackberry Z10 phone specifications:
- 2G/3G and 4G options, the latter one which is market dependent
- Data speeds at 21Mbps down and 5.76 up
- OS is Blackberry 10
- 4.2 inch screen with 768 x 1280 pixels, giving it an impressive 355 ppi density
- Screen is capacitive Multitouch and there is no front buttons
- Screen is operated by gestures
- 1.5 GHz Dual-Core Processor Krait Snapdragon MSM8960
- Adreno 225 GPU
- Storage is 16GB with microSD support of 32GB
- 2GB RAM
- 8MP camera with continous Autofocus, LED flash
- Front camera is 2MP
- Video at 1080p @30fps
- Bluetooth 4.0, Wi0Fi, NFC, microUSB 2.0, no Wi-Fi hotspot
- HTML5 Browser
- Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
- BBM v6
- Dimensions: 130 x 65.6 x 9 mm
- Weight: 135g
- Battery: 1800 mAh Li-Ion
The Blackberry 10 is a gesture-based OS, and so the Blackberry Z10 is a gestures phone, no button on the face of the phone. Even the power button at the top is needed for just that, power on/off. To get off the idle screen you swipe up to reveal the homepage. This is an advantage and also a disadvantage in that you are able to swipe into any of the menus or notifications, the app drawer is two swipes away. On the other hand pocket dialling is quite easy, the Z10 is developed in a way that you can use it with gloves, so some slight touches within your pocket will have the screen unlock and you doing things you are not aware of.
Beyond the screen, we have the front camera, ear piece, mouth piece and the polycarbonate curvy tops and bottom. The glass spans across all of the phone’s front with a very thin bezel. At the bottom we have the external speaker which can also be accessed via the battery cover at the back. On the left we have the microSD slot and the micro HDMI slot. On the right we have the volume rocker and the voice command button between it. At the top we have the 3.5 mm jack slot for the earphones, the power button at the centre and extra noise cancelling pinhole microphone. The rear is all rubbery and textured with the unmistakable Blackberry Logo at the middle which doubles up as the NFC tag. At the top we have the 8MP camera and an LED flash.
The battery cover is removable to expose the battery, microSD slot and microSIM slot. The latter requires the battery to be out to fit in the microSIM. So far the battery is a good performer with ability to take you through most of the day. I will discuss this in the review that is coming in a few days time. Stay alert. In the meantime, enjoy the various photos I took of it below. Oh! Did I mention that this is the LTE version I have with me? I will be doing some tests around some areas I understand have set-up for LTE in Nairobi.