It's time for a PhoneDog Snapshot Review, where we take our typical two-part review and condense it down into a tiny little video that's loaded with information!  Today, the BlackBerry Z10.

Is this new model better than the last?

The BlackBerry Z10 is a substantial improvement over previous BlackBerry smartphones.  Packing the all-new BlackBerry 10 operating system, Z10 brings a ground-up overhaul of everything you once knew about BlackBerry.  The hardware is better, the software is better, and the multi-carrier availability (once it lands in the States) will be quite nice.

What changes were made?

It's almost easier to ask "what changes weren't made?"  This is a ground-up overhaul for BlackBerry, and they're hedging the entire company on the success of this new platform.  Among some improvements:

  • The Z10's hardware is a giant step forward.  It packs a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, 4.2-inch HD display, 2 GB of RAM, a 1,800 mAh battery, and 4G LTE connectivity (in most markets).  The hardware itself is well-designed, and still retains a corporate look and feel for those legacy BlackBerry users.
  • The camera is improved and offers new features like TimeShift, which allows you to take multiple pictures and choose the best face(s) - all without modifying the existing picture.  
  • The on-screen keyboard is a huge improvement from the Storm days, with fantastic prediction software.
  • BlackBerry 10 exudes a far more modern feel, though the exact gestures will take some time to get used to.  The personalization isn't quite to par with other OSes on the market, and the file system needs some work.
  • It's new!  For those fatigued with Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, this could be a device to turn to.

How's the hardware?

The BlackBerry Z10 is a beautifully designed piece of hardware.  Featuring a 4.2-inch HD display, Z10 is packaged in a body that looks very similar to the iPhone 5.  You'll find HDMI and microUSB ports on the left spine, and a volume rocker on the right spine.

How's the software experience?

BlackBerry 10 is a marked improvement over BlackBerry 7, the company's antiquated former operating system.  It brings the company once known as RIM into the spotlight with new gestures, apps, and more.  The BlackBerry Hub is the new place to get all of your information - BBM, email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, text messages, and more.  I like the organizational flow of the OS, but find that the gestures are hard to learn and often fail.  The software also has quirks.  In the time I've been working with it, I've experienced more than a few random errors, force closes, and freezes.

What's great about the BlackBerry Z10?

The hardware is very solid, and revisits the age-old "can smaller smartphones exist in today's market?" question.  It's easy to hold in the hand and packs some fantastic specifications, proving that huge size and incredible performance don't have to go hand-in-hand (ahem, Android).

What should be changed?

The all-gesture approach of BlackBerry 10 is solid, but the learning curve is immense, which I expect will turn off those used to Android and iOS.  In addition, the young app store is better than ever before, but both it and the overall ecosystem still pale in comparison to others.  Battery life is also an issue.  As the former battery champ of the smartphone space, overall usage time could be much higher.

What's the real verdict?

The BlackBerry Z10 is a substantial leap forward for BlackBerry.  It brings the company into the 21st century with a modern smartphone with a dual-core processor, HD display, LTE connectivity, and an improved camera.  The software is much improved, and unlike the BlackBerry Storm series, it's a solid smartphone with a few really nice features.  The problem?  It's too little too late.  There aren't enough BlackBerry 10 choices for consumers to choose from, the Z10 is launching too late in the United States, and the app selection is still behind.  Given the price point, it's hard to see anyone choosing this over the Android and iOS options out there - right now.

Stay tuned for the full review, and let me know what you'd like to see covered in the comments below!

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Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the BlackBerry Z10 Black (CDMA)

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Comments & discussions  

18 Reactions to this post

"It's a BlackBerry Z10 Snapshot Review! What do you think of the new BlackBerry?"

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Jude Fils-Aime need too see a unboxing aaron!
Jeff Seaver Not much can tell after BB being absent from market for 2 years then want come back after Android and IOS dominating the market. No way
Marcus NinersEmpire I still say blackberry keep there old looks and a keyboard with the ball it's not even a blackberry anymore
Brandon Holley I really enjoy what blackberry is trying to do, I'll wait for the Q10 before purchasing one. Unfortunately because people use their phones for fun instead of production i doubt it'll catch on until "quality games" get involved.
Juan Carlos Munoz 90% of consumers are to stupid to understand this.
Juan Carlos Munoz Very unique and innovative. Reminds me of my favorite mobile OS WebOs. But people don't want ease of use and productivity. They want apps and customization. I'd rather have stability.
Anthony Lasam Cant tell you until March...
Jim Sowell It's no competition to the Note II
Sheeraz Sarwar Screen size is too small
Cool'n HotAnd Juice I would like to see nore devices from bb this year and updates every couple of months.
Derek Lombardi Honestly? It looks like it needs some serious work.. Aside from the design looking like an iPhone rip off.. The touchscreen didn't seem all that responsive and the OS looks half baked.. Couple that with a lack off apps and issues with battery life and you have a stillborn device.. Back to the drawing board.. Small gripe.. The micro usb on the side.. What's with that? I'll stick with my Note II
Gordon Christie It's a good phone had a look at one in O2 nice looking phone
Demetria Brown i retired my blackberry a few years ago and switched to android. but i must admit this phone has piqued my interest.
Jesse Ling it's good but like any OS it has to have time to grow and work out its kinks.android and iOS didnt start off very differently and look at them now.
Johan Neethling Good snapshot thank you.
Anthony Evans Jr Won't improve there share at all
Tabib Rehman nice but no match for android
?????? ???????? Like that.

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