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BlackBerry Z10 review

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BlackBerry Z10 V3

A decent work smartphone with security services that make up for its hardware shortcomings.

Pros:

Responsive bright touchscreen, great security features, fast, BlackBerry Hub

 

Cons:

Poor app offering, software can stall, bad battery

 

Overall Rating:

4 Star Rating: Recommended

Price: £36 per month

Manufacturer: BlackBerry

The Z10 might just be BlackBerry's last chance to regain control of the enterprise smartphone market.

The first device to run the company's latest BlackBerry 10 OS, the Z10's release comes during Canadian firm's darkest hour.

With BlackBerry squeezed by Samsung and Apple, the Z10's road to release has been what at best can be described as a rocky journey. BB10 was originally pegged for release over a year ago and was meant to help the firm capture the bring-your-own-device smartphone market.

It hoped to do this by adding consumer multimedia perks to BlackBerry's existing business security features. However, since its delayed release other companies, including powerhouse Microsoft entered the fray.

With this in mind the question is: is the Z10 and its BB10 OS an enticing enough offer to reignite consumer as well as business interest in the firm's handsets?

Design and build
Visually BlackBerry's 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 BB 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 that 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 in at 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 micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports are housed on the left side, while a 3.5mm headphone jack lies on its top. Micro-sim and MicroSD card slots are also included, being 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 lies on its top, while volume controls line its right hands 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

Processor: 1.5GHz Qualcomm MSM8960 dual-core
Display: 4.2in 1,280x 768, 356 ppi capacitive touchscreen
Storage:16GB internal storage
Camera: 8MP autofocus rear camera with LED flash and HD 1080p video, 2MP HD 720p front camera
Connectivity: 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - all versions
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
Operating system:BlackBerry 10
Dimensions: 130x66x9mm
Weight: 137.5g

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Alastair Stevenson
About

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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