BlackBerry Z10 review
By Al Sacco | CIO US | Published: 11:41, 31 January 2013
The BlackBerry Z10 hardware is good-looking, well-built and functional. The display is top of the line, and it's big but not too large at 4.2 inches. It has a removable battery and expandable memory. The camera isn't the best I've used on a smartphone, but it should do the trick for casual mobile photographers.
The BlackBerry 10 software is smooth and snappy, and I've seen very little lag. It also feels like no other mobile OS, and that's refreshing. The new virtual keyboard is the best touch-screen keyboard on the market today. RIM packaged some truly unique and valuable multimedia features in BlackBerry 10, including the TimeShift camera setting and the Story Maker video-montage tool.
BBM, long one of RIM's most popular offerings, now supports video calling between BlackBerry 10 smartphone over Wi-Fi and cellular networks. But the OS and native applications are still a bit buggy, and that's really disappointing, especially when you consider the amount of time RIM spent working on the new OS.
BlackBerry 10 also lacks quality apps from big name developers and corporations. Many of these large developers probably feel as though they don't need to rush into development for BlackBerry 10 due to their success with Android or iOS application. So they could be waiting to see how well the platform is received before investing. It's possible that BlackBerry World could see an influx of quality, popular apps in the coming months. But right now I'm not impressed with the app selection.
RIM's biggest challenge right now is drawing users away from rival platforms, but the average consumer is not going to drop his or her iPhone or Android smartphone for the Z10 or X10 if they can't use the apps they've come to rely on. It's that simple.
I've asked myself repeatedly since I received the BlackBerry Z10: Could I ditch my Android phone completely and use only the Z10? The answer is no. Not yet at least. And that says an awful lot.
Yet the BlackBerry Z10 is a huge step in the right direction for RIM. If you're looking for a high-end, touch-screen smartphone that feels different than the iPhone, Android or any other mobile OS - and you're not too concerned with the lack of quality BlackBerry 10 apps - you'll find a friend in the Z10. But if you want a healthy selection of the most popular mobile apps and the best overall mobile experience available today, you probably want to look elsewhere.
The million dollar question: Can BlackBerry 10 save RIM and get BlackBerrys into the hands of the iOS-or-Android-toting masses? Yes, it could. But the Z10 alone will not save RIM, and even if it is well received by smartphone users, the X10 represents only the first step on the long and winding road to recovery for the BlackBerry maker.