Recently, BlackBerry has unveiled its new operating system, BB10, along with two new phones; the touchscreen Z10, and the Q10 QWERTY. We tried out the Z10 to see whether it might tempt people away from Android or the iPhone.
The Z10 has a plastic case with a textured back, making it easy to grip and comfortable to hold. It weighs 137g, has a 4.2inch screen, and is smaller than the Nokia Lumia 920 and Samsung Galaxy S3, so it’s easier to use with one hand.
The screen’s 1280 x 768 resolution is higher than that of the S3 and iPhone 5, but its LCD display does not have as much sharpness and colour clarity as the S3’s Super AMOLED screen or Apple’s Retina display.
The dual-core Z10 doesn’t handle multi-tasking as well as other high- end phones, most of which now have quad-core processors. It often lagged when we tried to do more than two things simultaneously.
Moving onto the OS, BlackBerry 10 looks and works like a hybrid of existing systems. Its notification shades reminded us of Android, while the homescreen app tiles brought to mind Windows Phone. There’s also a nod to the Ubuntu beta, with the use of edge menus. All these elements make it difficult to get used to.
BlackBerry said there would be more focus on apps in BB10, but there are still only 70,000 available, just 10 per cent of Android’s offering. Notable omissions include Skype and WhatsApp. That said, the Z10 does come with a handful of useful apps built-in, including Maps, which is streets ahead of Apple’s attempt.
It also has a redesigned browser which opened quickly and loaded image-heavy webs ites, such as Pinterest, in seconds. It allows tabbed browsing and comes with support for Adobe Flash.
The Z10 is a vast improvement on some of BlackBerry’s previous handsets, yet it still falls short in some areas. It costs the same as other high-end phones, from Rs 43,490, but doesn’t quite match up in features or performance. If you love Android or your iPhone, you won’t want to move.