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Blackberry Z10 Test Review


Well-made plastic box

The Z10 is striking: in a white plastic housing lies a deep black screen that stretches across the entire width. Between the display panel itself and the edge of the case, however, remains much space - and the first releases of incomprehension. Really compact the BlackBerry smartphone with a footprint of 130 x 65.5 mm is not. Google Nexus 4 about exceeding these dimensions by only 3 or 4 mm, but accommodates a significantly larger 4.7 "display, the Motorola RAZR i measured with a 4.3 "screen just 122.5 x 60.9 mm. However, the lush surface of the housing allows the already low height of 9 mm look even flatter.

There is little to complain about in the processing. Despite plastic housing, the smartphone feels valent, the processing is on high level. The back cover creaks slightly below minimum pressure and springs after. For a smartphone with a removable battery which is however completely in the ballpark.


High quality display is a tad too dark

The question must be a smartphone screen as large, can be difficult to answer at least in terms of user preferences. The one sellers - iPhone - currently limited to a panel with a 4 "diagonal, the other blockbusters, the Samsung Galaxy S3 (the development of the Galaxy S4 must first be awaited), puts a monstrous 4.8" display in housing. BlackBerry also has appeared for a relatively small screen, the "measures a diagonal of 4.2, but here with 1280 x 768 pixels resolution has a great as a.

This ensures a high pixel density of 356 ppi, and ultimately for a more than decent image quality. The contents displayed on the LCD look sharp and are strong but not overly colorful. But even here there is a fly in the ointment. On sunny days you wish for a stronger fluorescent display. The measured beam power of 321 cd / m², although not so bad, in bright environments the display still looks dark quickly and fights against the tedious reflections - LCD should be able to shine in the blazing sunshine in the optimal case already with 400 cd / m².


Good phone with a bad headset

A phone that already with his first name to appeal especially to business customers must not only make a good impression as a media device. Just the classical core function of telephony may not be completely neglected, finally are noisier environments around train stations and airports not necessarily rare.

The BlackBerry Z10 looks good here. Unlike many competitors, the smartphone at all three interview situations like - on your ear, when free speech by speakers and internal microphone or headset.

The speaker of smartphones are good for media enjoyment mostly only as a last resort. The Z10 is no exception, with the mono box that is installed on the bottom side of the housing generally presents a fairly good sound, which is something only the shrill treble. However, we wanted a second box at the top for a more balanced (stereo) sound. The headset, however, is a disappointment. Here the sound is too dull and heavy bass, treble at best be indicated. At this point the user should be from a 500 euro device can expect a little more attention to detail.

BB10 can keep up with the competition

If the technology does not differ from that of other smartphones, it is the operating system, what makes a BlackBerry device. Without a doubt, the manufacturer is with his current BB10 an operating system succeeded that can compete with the competing systems of Apple, Google or Microsoft, but without the approaches to borrow excessively.



For BlackBerry is much different, even if the surface at first glance, somewhat reminiscent of the iOS, because the individual apps are also here on the home screen. Is somewhat spartan but classic-appears when you wipe away the lock screen. Then also the view of the applications that are currently in operation is enabled on a separate screen, so that between them can easily be changed. The clarity is the great strength of the operating system. The entire surface consists of only five individual screens, including the BlackBerry hubs, which ensures an overview of the communication activities. Anyone who has ever run on the plurality individual screens and app lists its Android smartphones, will appreciate the "restriction" of this system.

For this approach to the essentials fits that the user does not have to deal with too many extra buttons. Although the BlackBerry Z10 has power button and volume rocker, the classic home button, with which you will return to the home screen with the other mobile operating systems out of every situation, is missing. It wipes instead of top to bottom. While that is a bit unusual at first, but after a short business not even miss being the home button.

Offer limited App

In principle, the operating system offers everything you would expect as a user. Although it traditionally had business customers in sight, even social media applications such as Facebook are now pre-installed; urge the networking of business user assumes the LinkedIn app account. However, the apps can be found for the necessary professional life, such as a mobile office program. Much writers should at this point surely love the excellent software keyboard. Are properly installed from the house of ways to protect the appliance.



But if you just want to upgrade from an Android smartphone, you realize quickly how much easier the pre-installed services make life if they have a corresponding performance. This begins with the mapping and navigation software. Especially frequent travelers love to be blind guide you through cities, in the confidence that it brings their smartphone already on the shortest path to the right target (even if in some cases may lead to you but ends up in another street). While the BlackBerry has a maps app that locates the user and the ambient environment. Navigation is different, however. In addition, it is relatively slow.


Probably also the displeasure of many a comparatively limited range of applications mentioned in the BlackBerry World Market. You may at this point be argued that much of what is offered but in the Google Play Store and the App Store from Apple, not only superfluous, but in many cases is simply junk, but it will be just as well for each situation the right helpers.

The operating system brakes the hardware

The Chosen BlackBerry SoC is not unknown, but in fact have a comparatively elderly processor: the Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM 8960 already came to the MWC 2012 featured HTC One S to use and is therefore almost one and a half years old. However, use both manufactured in 28 nm cores that operate at a clock frequency of 1.5 GHz, the current Krait architecture of the manufacturer and are therefore not necessarily slow. The SoC also support Adreno 225 GPU and a 2 GB of RAM.

However, with the power available in current high-end processors, they have nothing to do, although you at least do not get to feel in everyday life in this case. Here are the two cores and the GPU always offer enough steam so that the individual applications can run smoothly. It certainly plays a role that savvy mobile gamers are not happy with a BlackBerry only because of the comparatively small selection of games.

That the hardware of the smartphone is its age, shows a view of the results achieved in the browser benchmarks. Here, the services are only average. This BlackBerry had at this point can certainly get out of their device more, because unlike Android, the manufacturer could match its operating system optimized for the hardware. Here, however, not all potentials seem to have been used, because the brand new release 1.0 SunSpider Javascript benchmark itself could not be performed with the likewise brand-new 10.1 update.

The network itself, however, the smartphone beats everything else as bad. For example, the mobile page of Tom's Hardware built in two seconds if you call this from a WLAN network out. The same applies if a video is streamed on Youtube. A ten minute HD movie plays after 3.5 seconds. However, the play is occasionally interrupted by between temporal reloading for several seconds. Breaks must also accept, if we rewind over long distances forward or backward. Here you can quickly pass 8.8 seconds and more.

Just be patient, you have to also bring along when you tampered with web apps. Thus, for example, the app of the day show up to 12.7 seconds, until the offer is fully established. Better it makes the competition from Spiegel Online. Here starts the app after 8.1 seconds. Yet, here: Quick is something else. The moderate results of the benchmarks are confirmed here. At this point it is all the more puzzling why the manufacturer did not put a little more focus on optimizing.

Trouble in the car: The BlackBerry Z10 does not support rSAP

Although BlackBerry is with its new operating system will also turn to the private users, the focus is still clearly on a professional use. However, these often high-powered clientele would show disappointed by the BlackBerry Z10. Because this would use the smartphone in the car.

The Bluetooth standard provides for a coupling with the body at just about. To get a full functionality, but the Bluetooth Daten├╝bertragunsprotokoll have remote SIM access profile , briefly rSAP support. This allows the sending and receiving devices of the respective vehicle full access to credentials and privileges, while the smartphone is switched to standby mode. The protocol is used by car manufacturers like Mercedes and the various brands of the Volkswagen Group, which in this country make up the bulk of the fleet of business travelers. BlackBerry it supports the interface while in his old equipment, but not the Z10.

To be fair, one must note, however, that the manufacturer that is not the only one: Apple's iPhone, but neither can handle the standard, such as devices with Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 With Android rSAP can be retrofitted on some HTC devices, but Samsung implemented the standard in a number of top models. The Google operating system also offers the advantage of relative openness. Here you can the rSAP protocol also subsequently downloaded from the Play. However, the phone must be rooted before Installation.

Memory can be expanded to 64 GB

With a data memory of 16 GB BlackBerry beats not just about the severity, but represents a configuration that the entry of many flagships - which operating system they are quite the same way - marked. And even if the app offer the BlackBerry world can not keep up with the play of the app or stores to find enough opportunities vollzubekommen memory.

Nevertheless, memory-hungry users come with the Z10 more than a comparably equipped Android smartphone, because the manufacturer to the user leaves more space: Of the 16 GB only 3 GB are reserved for system data. Is also located under the cover of a slot for microSD card, the slot also supports the SDXC standard, so that memory cards can be used with a size of up to 64 GB.

Exemplary is beyond that can be accessed just as easy as with an Android device to memory: After installing the driver, the BlackBerry smartphone is recognized as a simple storage drive when it is connected by cable to a (Windows) computer, so that the data can easily be pushed to and fro. Unfortunately, the driver that his love troubles, at least with Windows 8: however true it could not access the smartphone directly after installation to a later time. After installing the 10.1 update, the device was no longer recognized.


Battery life is not a parade-discipline of the Z10

Not particularly could inspire the battery performance. Those who want to use the BlackBerry extensively should consider purchasing an extra battery, just when the day lasts a little longer, the Z10 is the last meter quickly run out of steam. After an hour, the surfing level indicator - at full brightness - only a value of 78%. More clearly bagged the value play. After an hour of gaming pleasure remain display, according to 55% in reserve.

That this relatively poor values ​​do not find their justification in a bad-tempered level indicator shows an endurance test: The test film "Sita Sings The Blues" was indeed played as Full HD version without complaint, however, was after 4 hours and 46 minutes, the air out and the device switched off.

From a smartphone, that just want to score points with business customers, one would have expected at this point just a decent performance, just because frequent travelers rely on long battery life. Especially since the SoC itself has already shown that he certainly is good as long runners. The SoC has finally been installed in the HTC One S of last year and this was reflected quite respectable.

8-MP camera makes solid work

As with the other components omitted Blackberry even with the camera of the Z10 on a real highlight. Because with eight megapixel camera sensor provides a resolution for still images, which in demanding smartphones rigueur heard. True high-end cars such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 or LG Optimus G outdo here but clearly and provide either much higher resolutions. But it is precisely the latter led once more clearly demonstrated that the image quality is not necessarily correlated with a high pixel density.

The photos of the Z10, however, are by no means beyond doubt. Although like bright colors, although they are almost over-subscribed, but not unusual for digital images image errors are not to be overlooked even at normal zoom level and fall with increasing magnification always more weight, the images still remain presentable at half magnification.




Moving images with vibrant colors

The video function is the specification of the unit do justice. With a Full HD resolution, the picture quality on the level of competition and in practice, the quality of the video image is acceptable in principle, although the colors are somewhat overstated as with the photo function.

Offs must be made nevertheless. This begins with difficulties in very bright light and ends at the leisurely Adjusting image sharpness when shooting out from the movement, not least also applies when enlarged. When the zoom function is also used with BlackBerry Z10 property to a day which unfortunately is also a common sight in many competitors: When enlarging it bounces through the levels, which leads to ugly cracks in the film.


BlackBerry Z10 test video

Why a Blackberry?

With the Z10 displays BlackBerry that you understand how a smartphone should look to succeed between all the Androids and iPhones. In a well-made housing sits a little dark geratenes but useful display, which would, however, still greater can fail - the place would have been enough. The SoC provides an appealing performance, total memory not skin off your feet, but goes not least in view of the extensibility in order, and the 8-MP camera takes decent pictures.

Nevertheless, the BlackBerry Z10 is not the big hit that is now driving the user to flock back to the former leader. This may have the hardware that is to be settled in the upper middle class, does not inspire enough, although that certainly is not the decisive criterion for the target customers.

Equivalently, the software behaves: The BB10 operating system and provides a solid base of the main house application for everyday life. Much of what might be needed in addition, can be found even in the BlackBerry market. Special requests but one should not cherish. Overall, however, the software platform makes a good impression and especially appeal to users who want to escape the app's overkill, which is operated at the Apple and Google systems. The individual communication channels are in place, but not as staged as the competition - and this is likely one or the other users surely love, especially if a business use is paramount.

It is unclear, however, why this BlackBerry customer base, the Z10 by an incomplete Bluetooth support soured in the car, although at least based on generation 4.0, but lacks rSAP.

However, this method does not ultimately the reason to exchange the iPhone 4 or the aging years androids to a BlackBerry. It would not be the same a "killer feature", look for the marketing departments so much, but it lacks in the end, a function that can not provide the competition for at least the familiar forms. A final knock-out criterion is finally the high price. Comparable Android smartphones, like the models mentioned here already HTC One S or Motorola RAZR i, are offered at prices of around 300 Euros.

Genuine BlackBerry fans should look at the Q10 with a hardware QWERTY keyboard, which is a real highlight, especially the keyboard model is better processed. However, you have to live with a somewhat small screen above the keys, the no fun for multimedia applications.
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