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BlackBerry Z10 review

Tasked with saving BlackBerry, can the first BB 10 handset deliver?

BlackBerry Z10 review
The future of BlackBerry looks like this


  • Great web browsing
  • Expandable storage
  • Decent camera
  • Messaging hub


  • Plastic case not premium
  • Lack of apps
  • UI not for everyone
  • Some apps lack features

The BlackBerry Z10 is the first handset from the company formerly known as RIM, now renamed BlackBerry, to run its new operating system BlackBerry 10, and there's much more on the line here than simply making a few pennies - arguably the company's survival rests on the success of this device and the BlackBerry Q10.

It's no secret that BlackBerry has been on the rocks for the past year or so, with the company even admitting that it hasn't been in the best shape of late, and the 4G toting Z10 is the start of what is hoped to be a successful revolution.

Read more: Google Home Hub

Since its launch a few months ago the BlackBerry Z10 has received a software update which has seen things become more stable, plus the app store has also witnessed some new arrivals, so we've taken the time to update the keys parts of our review with the latest information.

The US was only treated to the BlackBerry Z10 in late March, available for around $199.99 on contract and about $630 SIM-free.

Sporting a 4.2-inch 1280 x 768 display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and its steep price tag, the BlackBerry Z10 finds itself jostling for position with the Nokia Lumia 920, Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5.

Lock eyes on the BlackBerry Z10 and you'll notice it's an unassuming slab of black glass and plastic that mimics the general aesthetical design of many a smartphone these days.

The Z10 is a little bezel-heavy with a sizable gap above and below the screen, and that's before we even get to the additional plastic chunks stuck on both ends of the handset.

BlackBerry Z10 review

It all seems a little unnecessary but luckily it doesn't make the BlackBerry Z10 overly cumbersome, with the handset measuring a comfortable 130 x 65.6 x 9mm (5.1 x 2.6 x 0.4 inches).

Weight wise the BlackBerry Z10 finds a happy medium - weighing 137.5g (4.85 oz), it's nowhere near as heavy as the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, yet it's not as feather light as the iPhone 5.

BlackBerry Z10 review

The weight gives it a reassuring presence in the palm and while the chassis is distinctly plastic, the handset's heft at least restores some form of premium feel.

Around the back you're greeted with a textured plastic rear that is slightly rubberized, providing a decent level of grip.

BlackBerry Z10 review

There are only a couple of things to note on the back of the BlackBerry Z10: the 8MP camera with a single LED flash, sat in the top-left corner, and the shiny metallic BlackBerry logo in middle.

We were pleased to find that the rear can be removed easily by placing a finger in the indented speaker grill at the base of the Z10, enabling us to simply peel off the plastic.

BlackBerry Z10 review

Underneath you'll find microSIM and microSD slots, with the latter capable of supporting cards up to 32GB in capacity, although we've been told that a future update may see this support boosted to the 64GB variants.

This means you can build nicely on the already decent 16GB of internal storage, which will appeal to many who have been put out by the likes of the iPhone range and HTC One, which don't offer storage expansion.

BlackBerry Z10 review

An added boon is the removable 1,800mAh battery, enabling you to switch out a dead battery for a fully charged one if you're someone who likes to carry multiple power packs around.

On the rear cover itself you'll notice the NFC pad, which enables the BlackBerry Z10 to interact with other compatible wireless devices.

BlackBerry Z10 review

On the right-hand side of the Z10, anyone familiar with the BlackBerry PlayBook will instantly recognize the triple button setup, with volume rocker switches separated by a central key - used for playing/pausing music and activating voice control when held down.

Up top you get a centralized power/lock key next to a 3.5mm headphone jack, while on the left there's a couple of handy connectivity ports.

BlackBerry Z10 review

The metal finish of the keys gives the handset a touch of class - if not a little sharp when you catch your finger on them - and all are well positioned, enabling us to reach them easily when using the Z10 one-handed.

The now standard microUSB port that features on pretty much every phone these days (bar the iPhone) is present, alongside a miniHDMI port. This enables you to connect the BlackBerry Z10 directly to a TV for big screen viewing.

BlackBerry Z10 review

There's no HDMI cable in the box so you'll need to pick one up separately, but there is at least a USB cable so you can hook the Z10 up to your computer.

The BlackBerry Z10 doesn't wow us with a new design, but it's a sturdy handset with a decent build quality and functional layout that makes it easy to handle.