RIM has a new name and a new flagship phone. To say that there is a lot riding on the success of the BlackBerry Z10 is to hugely understate the situation. As it stands, if the new BlackBerry Z10 and the keyboard-equipped BlackBerry Q10 fail – so too will BlackBerry.
Announced at a press event in New York last week, the BlackBerry Z10 features some impressive specs and a brand new OS, but it’s also headed straight up against some extremely stiff competition from the likes of Apple, Samsung and Google.
BlackBerry Z10 Design
Design-wise, the BlackBerry Z10 is the definition of playing it safe. That’s not to say that the Z10 is an unattractive handset – the BlackBerry Z10 features clean lines, solid build quality and overall has a very professional appearance.
Whether BlackBerry choose to admit it or not, the BlackBerry Z10 takes a lot of design cues from the iPhone 5. In fact, it is so similar that one has to wonder if Apple’s lawyers are already preparing to file suit. It is only slightly larger than the iPhone 5, at 130mm tall and 9.3mm thin and packs a 4.2-inch display compared with the 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5. Compared side-by-side, similarities can be seen in everything from the width of the bezel to the angles at the corners.
As you can see in the image above, the BlackBerry Z10 features ‘BlackBerry’ branding front-and-centre, but there’s no home button. The volume rockers can be found on the right side of the phone, while there’s a micro HDMI and micro USB on the left. The rear case is made of a plastic material with a rubberized soft-touch coating and, unlike the iPhone 5, is completely removable, allowing you to change the SIM card, battery and microSD card.
BlackBerry Z10 Features
The display is almost without a doubt the most important piece of equipment on any smartphone, and the one that ships with the BlackBerry Z10 doesn’t disappoint. The screen resolution is stated to be 1280 x 768, with a pixel density of 356 ppi. Colors are bright, blacks are black and the viewing angles are exceptional.
Inside the BlackBerry Z10 are the guts of a modern, capable smartphone. At the heart of the Z10 is a 1.5GHz dual-core processor – the same one used in the Z10’s keyboard-equipped counterpart, the BlackBerry Q10. The able CPU is backed up by 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage, which can be expanded to 48GB via the addition of a microSD card. The BlackBerry Z10 features the same bevy of necessities as other market-leading devices such as Wi-Fi, GPS and NFC.
Every modern smartphone also needs a solid-performing camera, and the BlackBerry Z10 comes with a strong-performing 8-megapixel rear camera and flash capable of shooting 1080p video. The front-facing 2-mega pixel camera is primarily for video calls via BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) but can also take the odd still shot or selfie.
From all reports thus far, the Z10’s battery life unfortunately falls well short of what you could describe as ‘adequate’ for a handset in 2013, with the device running down from a full-charge to dead-flat in under 10 hours.
BlackBerry Z10 Release Date
The BlackBerry Z10 price will be $199 on contract in the U.S., and the BlackBerry Z10 release date is slated for March with availability across all four of the major carriers – Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. The Z10 went on sale in the UK last week.
The QWERTY-equipped BlackBerry Q10 isn’t expected to launch in the U.S. until April, and carrier availability is still yet to be announced.