BlackBerry Z10 Review: The Last Hope

The BlackBerry Z10 is everything to BlackBerry - and I don't just mean for the platform or the rechristened company that has adopted the brand for which it is most known. The Z10, the first smartphone to run the BlackBerry 10 OS, is a sink or swim device that will likely determine if the company will manage to hold on to its dwindling market share and right the ship that sent it from first to worst in smartphone relevance.

The days of a BlackBerry being the definitive smartphone are gone. The BlackBerry Z10 debuts at a time when smartphones are as much about play as they are productivity, and this phone can thrive in this era only if it can strike a balance between entertainment and enterprise. Can the BlackBerry Z10 be the savior that BlackBerry - the company and operating system - so desperately needs?

Read: BlackBerry Z10 Smartphone Review
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I see complainst about the battery life. So lets see, the specs say it has a 1800mAH battery. Opening the casing, the battery takes up one side of the phone, much like inside the iPhone. But the iPhone 5 actually has a longer battery which means room for more cells. The iPhone 5 is using a 1440mAH battery.

So the BB device has a battery that is about 15% bigger and I am guessing. Either way, this device has a larger screen, higher resolution vs the iPhone, but being AMOLED it should use far less power.Also the CPU in the Z10 is unlikely to be any match for the A6X. So there is only one thing that is killing the battery...poor optimazation of BB10.

Its multi-tasking may not be optimized for more events to run in a single clock cycle. Where Android and APple have made huge strides, is optizing tasks so that tasks that use about the same ampunt of power, are optimized to work together.

In this case it is likely RIM hasn' done this very well and some of the apps are killing the battery. The social side of the OS is probably the issue. Just think. If a person has Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more and they are all pulling updates and constantly polling a server, that will make the WIFI or 4G chips works harder thus causing more drain...especially LTE/4G.

The phone should onlu use push notifications that way the device waits for the server to push new data, not have the phone pullign it all the time. Also without physical buttons, that means thoise actions are now replaced by gestures which means the software uses extra cycles to keep locations on the screen "hot" waiting for your gesture. This is a downside on a touch screen because that require the touch layer to always need to be ready for a touch.

The 4 biggest things that drain power is the screen, CPU, GPU and multi-tasking. iOS doesnt have the last one as a problem. The screen in this case shouldnt be an issue bec its AMOLED. if it was a LCD, then the battery life would be worse. Since there were no games played in the review that I could tell...its not the GPU sucking it up either. So either the CPU needs to idle down when doing lowend tasks, or the OS needs to be worked so that optimaztion is better.

excalpius said,
No OLED screen means no buy for me.
The Z10 has an AMOLED display. do you even read the specs? Or do you like posting uttered non-sense that you could have easily checked?

TechieXP said,
The Z10 has an AMOLED display. do you even read the specs? Or do you like posting uttered non-sense that you could have easily checked?

Actually, it has a LCD.

The Blackberry Z10 is a amazing smartphone. I love the new BBM. I usually do not make comments but after seeing some of the comments here I had to put my 2 cents in. One person comments '" The battery life in horrible " HAHAHA!!!!! it has a reconnected battery so you can stay on for as long you wish. I think it is a the best smartphone by far.... You can even make and edit a movie with it...

"Can the BlackBerry Z10 be the savior that BlackBerry - the company and operating system - so desperately needs?"

Nope. Android and decent hardware is their saviour.

If they made it so that the battery life was 5 or more times longer then other phones they might have a chance at regaining the market

What in the world is a "reconnected battery"?! Do you mean a removable battery, so you can have multiples to swap changed ones in and out?

matt4pack said,
So they were supposed to invent some magical battery or else they should die? Makes sense.

Or adopt a better multitasking model.
True multitasking buzzword is fine to call a feature but it's really a deficiency.

Could they make the god awful logos any more offensive on the front and rear? They are too big.

BB is dead. They have kept BIS in a world that doesn't need that horse ****.

BlackBerry isn't dead. They're in a better shape than they were a year or two ago. Also, BIS isn't required anymore. A regular data plan can be used for email and BBM.

I would be happy with Android as it seems it tries to be Android but with more and more complication.

Last of all, BlackBerry without their mighty qwerty and with Android style Battery Life ???

Thanks, but no Thanks, I have hundreds to androids from dozens of makers with every single price point a market can offer to chose from..

It isn't just about the hardware. The OS (BB10) is really good. The only downside I see is the battery life and that's why I'm waiting for the next wave of BB10 products.

Also, the Q10 will be released in April and it has a QWERTY keyboard.

I really hope this phone is a success. BB10 is way ahead of the competition. Then again the same was true of webOS.

I think BlackBerry is in a much better position than Palm when they released their first WebOS device. BlackBerry has a better OS, services like BBM, and a good relationship with carriers. And so far, the Z10 is selling well in Canada and the UK.

I call fail on Z10.

A BlackBerry that cannot make it through a single business day of heavy use is no better than what's already on the market.

Agreed, the battery would be a negative for me if I were in the market for the Z10. It doesn't have to be as crazy long lasting as the Droid Razr Maxx, but as a flagship (read expensive) product, it should do better.

deadonthefloor said,
I call fail on Z10.

A BlackBerry that cannot make it through a single business day of heavy use is no better than what's already on the market.

There is more to a handset then how long it's battery last.

Below are some good things Z10 can do.

1: It's stable (unlike lumina 920, iPhone 5 and Samsung S3)
2: it has a browser that scores the highest HTML5 support score and also has web gl support.
3: it's fast.
4: it has true multitasking. (Unlink android, iOS or windows phone)
5: it's updates are deployed directly from blackberry and not controlled by mobile telco (unlike windows phone or android where updates can months or years.)
6: it has a quick camera with time shift. (Nokia lumia 920 ha slow camera with time shift like app that does not work)
7: it can connect to office 365 or exchange out of box(unlike android what can not connect to office 365)
8: it can be plugged into tv where play games at 1080p 60 fps

Salutary7 said,
Agreed, the battery would be a negative for me if I were in the market for the Z10. It doesn't have to be as crazy long lasting as the Droid Razr Maxx, but as a flagship (read expensive) product, it should do better.

You must be thinking of another phone. The Blackberry Z10 has a reconnected battery so you can stay on indefinitely. It is a amazing little phone.

Anthony Muscat said,

There is more to a handset then how long it's battery last.
Below are some good things Z10 can do.
1: It's stable (unlike lumina 920, iPhone 5 and Samsung S3)
2: it has a browser that scores the highest HTML5 support score and also has web gl support.
3: it's fast.
4: it has true multitasking. (Unlink android, iOS or windows phone)
5: it's updates are deployed directly from blackberry and not controlled by mobile telco (unlike windows phone or android where updates can months or years.)
6: it has a quick camera with time shift. (Nokia lumia 920 ha slow camera with time shift like app that does not work)
7: it can connect to office 365 or exchange out of box(unlike android what can not connect to office 365)
8: it can be plugged into tv where play games at 1080p 60 fps

But it is no good if you cannot make calls all day as a busy person would do if the battery goes flat. I have a 9900 for that very reason - the battery does me over a day in normal use. My replacement for that the Nokia 920 ALSO does over a day in normal use - so therefore the fluff you list is of no use if the thing is flat if you've made a few calls.

And I would task you on #1 - How would you know for sure? Have you been running it for weeks in release form on a production handset in the wild? My Nokia 920 has not crashed or rebooted on me - and I know of others who also have had a good experience of WP8; same for IOS6 - but to say BB10 is "great" already is foolish.

Oh for the days of my 8900 moto-brick with 2800 battery, 5~6weeks standby and 3 or 4 days of normal use!

BB10 looks good, that is all so far.

deadonthefloor said,
I call fail on Z10.

A BlackBerry that cannot make it through a single business day of heavy use is no better than what's already on the market.

If you sit at your desk most of the day and you phone dies on you, then its really your fault. Most phones even the gigantic ones can last a full 8 hours which is a typical work day. If your work day is longer than that, I am sure you dont spoend a full more than 8 hrs away from a charge. If so, then consider battery packs or bigger batteries where possible.

If battery life whivh is so overblown now is your huge concern, then even tho you may want this device, you likely shouldnt buy it. Its that simple. Get something that has what you actually need.

Even phones like the HTC Thunderbolt which people complained had horrible battery life, laste dme a full day on a single full charge. I use my phone to view movies while in the rest room, u run live wallpapers, i get tons of alerts and tyhe LED blink all day. I dont have a huge volume of calls in or out, but I do suck wifi and 4g all day long. Most wifi. Right now its 12:35PM in chicago and I still have 83% of my charge on my Galaxy Note 2 which is the biggest phone sold. What am I doing right? Yes i dont make loads of calls and talkfor unpecedented amonts of time. But even when I did, when I go home I still have about 30% left at end of day as long as I had the phone in power save. Without, I have 20% charge at end of day.

But since I am in office most times and we have a small office where I dont have to get loads of calls, if I use the phone more than normal, like watching lots of movies, I have my USB cable. Why is that such an issue?

Defiant said,
BB10 looks good, that is all so far.

I can say more than that.
It looks great, feels great, typing on the on screen keyboard is amazing with flick and multiple language support.

BlackBerry fans however expect certain things which this phone doesn't live up to.

Anthony Muscat said,

There is more to a handset then how long it's battery last.

Below are some good things Z10 can do.

1: It's stable (unlike lumina 920, iPhone 5 and Samsung S3)
2: it has a browser that scores the highest HTML5 support score and also has web gl support.
3: it's fast.
4: it has true multitasking. (Unlink android, iOS or windows phone)
5: it's updates are deployed directly from blackberry and not controlled by mobile telco (unlike windows phone or android where updates can months or years.)
6: it has a quick camera with time shift. (Nokia lumia 920 ha slow camera with time shift like app that does not work)
7: it can connect to office 365 or exchange out of box(unlike android what can not connect to office 365)
8: it can be plugged into tv where play games at 1080p 60 fps

What a post with utter BS.

1. iOS and Android are stable and with nearly 500 million users, you can't really say anything vs an OS that has 0 users
2. This means nothing, all browsers are already lightning speed. The numbers you're talking about are meaningless in any real world test. Maybe Z10 is 5% faster than the latest Android / iPhone browser. I'd wait a few months till WWDC and GoogleIO to see otherwise.
3. Really.
4. What this means is beyond me. Truer multitasking! Truest multitasking! Multitasking! Keyword!
5. This is as good as iOS.
6. A gimmicky feature that all android / nokia phones will have.
7. Office 365 just came out, and it's an online service. Mind boggling how your logic flows.
8. I highly doubt that the BlackBerry can play 1080p games at 60fps (also what games?), furthermore most android phones have this capability

Your post is nothing but fanboy fanning the flames. The fact that it cannot stay working a whole business day is going to be its death kneel. Gimmicks doesn't sell a phone, you need to have some really solid features. Battery life is the basics.

So if I take the points that matter, and apply it all to iOS, it seems like iPhone is the best phone out there then. Better battery life. Stable. Fast. True Multitasking. Panorama!

Anthony Muscat said,
Below are some good things Z10 can do.
4: it has true multitasking. (Unlink android, iOS or windows phone)
5: it's updates are deployed directly from blackberry and not controlled by mobile telco (unlike windows phone or android where updates can months or years.)
6: it has a quick camera with time shift. (Nokia lumia 920 ha slow camera with time shift like app that does not work)
7: it can connect to office 365 or exchange out of box(unlike android what can not connect to office 365)
8: it can be plugged into tv where play games at 1080p 60 fps

4. Well I bet the battery life would be better if they followed the other vendors multitasking models.
5. Are you sure about that? (pssst. If i wanted to lose my job I'd tell you the truth).
6. WP8 Lenses enable all kinds of functionality to be added to camera by third parties.
7. Point BB10.
8. Hardly a must have feature.

Anthony Muscat said,

There is more to a handset then how long it's battery last.

Below are some good things Z10 can do.

1: It's stable (unlike lumina 920, iPhone 5 and Samsung S3)
2: it has a browser that scores the highest HTML5 support score and also has web gl support.
3: it's fast.
4: it has true multitasking. (Unlink android, iOS or windows phone)
5: it's updates are deployed directly from blackberry and not controlled by mobile telco (unlike windows phone or android where updates can months or years.)
6: it has a quick camera with time shift. (Nokia lumia 920 ha slow camera with time shift like app that does not work)
7: it can connect to office 365 or exchange out of box(unlike android what can not connect to office 365)
8: it can be plugged into tv where play games at 1080p 60 fps

What iPhone or S3 you ever used that wasnt stable? I have an S3 and I past it to my wife and I have the GN2 and both are very stable. So I know you're wrong.

That Z10 is dualcore, my GN2 is quadcore. So its faster.
Android has always had full multi-tasking from day one.
with my H+GN2 I an take 20 pics in the time it takes the Z10 to snap 3.
I dont use Exchange...but i can use my device with EAS.
All Samsung devices starting with the GS2 can offload full 1080 vi HDMI.


Now here is something my phone can do that the Z10 can't.
Not only do I have full multi-tasking, I can run 2 apps on the screen at the same time.
I can set my screen to turn off in 5 secs, but automatically stay on when I am looking at it without changing in settings. My device can automtaiclaly call the person I am texting by lifting it. I too have NFC for file transfer, I can do it by bumping or over wifi and BT. I have a bigger screen, a WACON digitized pen to write with that is very accurate and not slow.

Oh and the battery last all day and beyond. In fact my device has the longest standby time to date, the long video playback time and more.