AT&T has sent us the BlackBerry Z10, and, as promised, I am going to put down my Windows Phone and use the Z10 for the next two weeks.
The device officially releases tomorrow, so, we decided to give you a tour of what is in the box as well as why we feel from a hardware standpoint, many people will really like the Z10.
From the awesome feel in your hand, to the gestures that are used to operate the phone I think BlackBerry made a good start to hopefully recovering some of the “coolness” factor that RIM has lost.
Incase you have not come across the specs on the BlackBerry Z10 here is what the device will ship with. At the end of the day, the specs only need to be good enough to run the device and so far I have not seen any lag when opening and closings applications nor when switching between them.
Height 130 mm / 5.12 in
Width 65.6 mm / 2.58 in
Depth 9 mm / 0.35 in
135.4g / 4.78 oz
1280 x 768 resolution, at 356 PPI
24-bit color depth
15:9 aspect ratio
Dual Core 1.5 GHz
You can see the full stats on blackberry.com.
What’s In the Box
The contents of the Z10 are what you would expect them to be with the box containing the instruction manual, a headset, and of course a charge cable.
The charge cable is detachable and can be used to connect the Z10 to your computer. Nothing spectacular here but, my only wish was that I prefer the plug to have foldable or retractable prongs as it is just slightly easier to travel with.
I have to say that the BlackBerry Z10 is a very sleek phone and just really a pleasure to hold. The phone can not be considered heavy at all and has a cool look and feel.
I love devices that have the soft rubberized shell and this is exactly what RIM has implemented on the Z10. I love the amount of bezel that is left over from the glass which is done well because it looks better when the glass covers most of the screen without looking like it is a picture frame.
Furthermore, there is plenty of room left over to initiate the gestures that are important to operating the Z10 which are initiated from the bottom and the top of the screen.
Connections and Controls
As far as controlling the Z10 there is not anything too special although there are a few things that just by glancing at it you will not necessarily know that they are for. RIM choose to put the USB charge port on the left hand side but at first glance there is an additional connector there that not everyone will recognize. The additional port is for an HDMI connection that will require an adapter which is not included.
The bottom of the phone really only houses the speaker but is indented so that you can push your finger in there to pull off the back panel and expose the battery compartment. Behind the cover, you can also place you SIM card as well as a Micro SD card.
The right side of the Z10 features the volume rocker but again, there is a middle button that just does not jump out as to what it does. As it turns out, it is actually a hardware mute button which can be used to initiate voice commands by pressing and holding it.
The 3.5mm headset jack and the power button sits on top of the phone. The power button is actually placed in the middle of the phone which takes some getting used to because most phones have it placed to the right or the left fir easier single handed operation.
The easiest way to hit the button is with your pointer finger however this is where the BlackBerry 10 gestures come into play. You can actually wake the phone and unlock it by sliding the screen up from the bottom. A half slide wakes the phone while a full slide wakes and unlocks it to reveal the start screen.
Finally, there is a tiny whole at the top that I just have not figured out what it does yet but I am guessing maybe noise cancellation.
Under the Back Panel
Under the back panel we mentioned earlier exists the battery compartment and SIM card housing? The battery is rectangular in shape and removable which will make many business travelers happy. There is also the Micro SD Card slot which will be great for folks wanting to travel with their music and videos.
If you wonder what the BlackBerry looks like next to the iPhone and Windows Phone it actually sits right smack dab in the middle in both and weight.
So far I really like the build and the quality of the BlackBerry Z10 which probably comes as no surprise to anyone as RIM is known for making great hardware. I seem to picking up the UI pretty quickly but I am not sure how intuitive it is for new users to the platform but I get the feeling BlackBerry users will fit right in.
The first things that I find pretty cool is the ability to peak at your notifications as opposed to having to commit to opening it. Also, the flick to wake up and unlock the phone is also a rather awesome feature. I also like the informational lock screen which is something that I am used to coming from Windows Phone.
If I had any initial complaints it would have to be that scrolling is not as smooth as other phones and the browser is taking me some time to get used to. Aside from those two things so far I like the BlackBerry Z10.