So is the BlackBerry Z10 the smartphone to save BlackBerry? Well it's still too early to say, and it's not just this handset which will make or break the Canadian firm over the coming year.

That said, the Z10 is a promising start to the BlackBerry 10 era, we just hope BlackBerry can build on it - and quickly.

We liked

The BlackBerry Z10 is a decent all-round phone sporting a pleasing 4.2-inch HD display, a camera which can take some good shots and a messaging hub which could be the envy of some other platforms.

Web browsing deserves a special mention as we were seriously impressed with the speed of the BlackBerry Z10 when it came to loading pages.

It's great to see a free mapping and navigation solution on board the Z10, even though it may not be the best service on the market.

The expandable storage, removable battery and Adobe Flash support are all small wins for the Z10 and will help as it tries to stand out in a crowded market.

We disliked

The jury is still out on BlackBerry 10. On one hand it's great to see an exciting new operating system but on the other, it's a completely new learning curve for everyone, and some may not be willing to learn.

BB 10 came across a little confusing a times, with the lack of a clear back button leading us to question how we return to the previous screen, while gestures took some time to fully grasp.

As the BlackBerry Z10 is set to be the flagship phone for BlackBerry and its new BB10 platform, we were a little disappointed with its obviously plastic case, which doesn't exactly exude premium quality.

BlackBerry said that the BB10 keyboard is the best typing experience on a touchscreen smartphone, but we weren't bowled over by the offering on the Z10.

It's a perfectly serviceable option, but in our eyes it doesn't quite hit the mark in the same way as the likes of SwiftKey on Android.

The lack of apps in BlackBerry World will remain a concern until we see the big hitters turn up, while some of the stock BlackBerry 10 apps seemed to lack features such as the camera, music and video applications.

Final verdict

The Z10 is a decent smartphone offering up a strong range of features and a fancy new operating system that may catch the eye of the technologically adventurous.

It does pretty much everything we'd expect from a high-end device and there are no major flaws to go running to the presses about.

That said, the Z10 also lacks any killer selling points. It's hard to find reasons why we'd recommend this over say the iPhone 5, Sony Xperia Z or Nokia Lumia 920 - all of which are around the same price as the Z10.

Things haven't been helped by the Samsung Galaxy S3 getting a healthy price cut after the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S4, meaning the more powerful, bigger screened and featured packed handset is now $156 cheaper than the Z10.

The unproven operating system and severe lack of headlining applications will turn a lot of consumers off at point of sale, and it's the image of the BlackBerry brand as a whole which needs to be worked on fast if it stands a chance of winning back the hearts of the general public.

The BlackBerry Z10 has the weight of a whole company on its plastic shoulders. It's holding up, but we're not sure for how long.