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Review: BlackBerry Z10 “He said, She said” (Video)

I don’t know if I can remember another device that held a companies future in its hands more than the Z10 for BlackBerry. We could sit here and go over the timeline of events that has lead to BlackBerry’s missteps and misfortunes but it has been done a millions times and we’re here talk about BlackBerry’s so called “Phoenix”, rising from the ashes!
We’re going to do this review a little differently. Similar to our Galaxy Note Review we’ve done a “He said, She said” take on the Z10. This way you can help convince or deter your signification other into buying this device, it’s up to you!!

She said
SCREEN/SIZE:
I have to say it was kind of like Christmas getting to try out the Z10. We were THOSE people on the street this week! That cool family that received deliveries from courier trucks. A special thanks goes to Bell Mobility for giving me this review model. Unfortunately I was so excited to see what the packaging and phone looked like that I didn’t take the time to show you guys the “unboxing”. It was pretty neat.. I’m pretty sure the phone turned on
by itself when I lifted the box off and spoke to me.. ok, well maybe it didn’t speak to me – but it was pretty cool. My initial thought was that the phone was bigger than I was expecting but not too big that it would be a hassle to put in my clutch (translation for the guys – clutch = fancy small purse.) (Wait a minute…I’m a mom of 2.. I don’t go “out” anymore. I don’t get to use clutches anymore.. Correction – the phone fit nicely in my stroller pouch and diaper bag pocket.) The display (@ 4.2”) is large, bright and beautiful! LOVED IT!

He said
SCREEN/SIZE:
At 4.2″ this is the biggest BlackBerry screen to date, however it’s not too big that it won’t fit in your pant pockets or your shirt pocket. I have to agree with my female colleague on the look of this screen…. amazing! With 1280 x 768 resolution, at 356 PPI 24-bit color depth everything is quite sharp. Dark colours show up very nicely as do bright colours. I didn’t find it difficult to see the screen when under direct sunlight either.
KEYBOARD:
I was really wondering how BlackBerry was going to make a better keyboard then the one that they already have. As you can imagine, it just isn’t quite possible to for a touch screen to be more efficient then a physical keyboard. BlackBerry did however take a shot at making a “best in class” virtual keyboard, and if you ask me they succeeded! 4.2″ is a great size for the keyboard. It’s small enough where as you can easily do some one thumb browsing, but it’s not too small where if you want to get down to business and fire off an email with some speed using two digits you can pull it off.

She said
CAMERA:
The first app that I gravitated towards was the awesome 8 megapixel camera(on the back of the phone) The autofocus seemed to be a little touchy – mostly in video mode but if you found the right lighting the pictures turned out great. The option to have the flash turned on and off during filming was pretty useful as well. (See some of my shots below)The Z10 also comes with some really great built in instagram”ish” capabilities. (Some of the photo examples included in this review have been edited with the BBZ10’s Picture Editor. The editing options include: Cropping, Filters, Enhancing and Sharing.Unfortunately I completely missed the “Time Shift” feature. (Looking at Blackberry’s website – this feature is genius.. The person who came up with it definitely deserves a raise…) Check it out, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Video One

Video Two

Video Three

He said
CAMERA:
Smartphone cameras in general have made leaps and bounds in the past few years, and the Z10 is no different. This 8 megapixel rear facing camera takes great indoor as well as outdoor shots. BlackBerry has done a great done increasing their cameras quality starting with the original BlackBerry Torch. As you can see, the photos taken with the Z10 do not have that washed out look. The Z10 does a great job at adjusting its lens automatically to let the right amount of light in.

Time shift:
OK, so this feature basically allows you to take a sequence of shots (6?). This would come in handy if someone that you were taking a photo of continually blinked their eyes or if you dog wouldn’t stay still long enough when you were taking his photo wearing a baseball hat. I’m still not quite sold on this feature… Little too gimmicky for my liking. It’s a digital camera for Pete’s sake! Just take another shot! As a matter fact, the only time I used this feature was to show it to people. I never actually used it in a real situation.

She said
BATTERY LIFE:
I am fairly easy with my phones and don’t have a ton of apps going or a lot of talk time, so I was a little disappointed that the battery life didn’t live up to its listed 13 day standby time. I will say though that I did only have to fully charge the phone approx 4-6 times in a 2 wk period.

He said
BATTERY LIFE:
I on the other hand am NOT easy with my phones. I used this as a mobile hotspot as much as I could and really put battery to the test on Virgin Mobile’s LTE network. I also never went out of my way to close any “live tiles” and the battery life was on par with many other LTE devices that I have reviewed. I could easily make it 8 hrs without needing a charge.
She said
WEB BROWSER:
I don’t generally do a lot of web browsing on my phone – maybe it’s because I find it too small to read and maybe because I need glasses..(whatever you do, don’t tell my husband I just admitted to needing glasses..) I found that most sites rendered with no issue, however I did run into an issue where dropboxes/drop downs were hard to select from and get the to work properly.
He said
WEB BROWSER:
I agree! Websites rendered nicely. I did a couple of benchmark tests and the Z10 did AMAZING! With the HTML5 test it scored 485 out of 500 and 11 bonus points, putting it in first place out of mobile browsers! That test just gives you an idea of how well your phone, pc, or tablet will open and operate a HTML5 website. Just to give you an idea, Apple’s iOS 6 browser score 388 with 9 bonus points, and Android’s chrome browser scored 417 out of 500 with 11 bonus points. The Z10 scored 100 out 100 on the acid3 test however it did have some difficulty rending some colours in the top right corner of the page.
She said
APPS:
I did find it nice that the phone came preloaded with very useful business apps such as Dropbox & Excel/Word. Most of the preloaded apps are business related, however Facebook and Twitter do come preloaded as well. Unfortunately the apps section is where I they lost me with the Z10. I use A LOT of everyday apps on my other device, so this is where I was pretty dissatisfied. I use on a daily basis:TD (Banking), Gmail (Email), Pinterest, MLS
(Real Estate), Instagram & Etsy to name a few. These apps were not available in Blackberry World to download. (The Z10 did earn brownie points with my toddler when we found a hand full of free books and little kid games for him to test out.)
She said
Messaging HUB:
With so many different social media and email accounts and ways to stay connected it was pretty smart for Blackberry to create the Hub. Basically the thought behind the Z10’s Hub is to have all messages, notifications and conversations in 1 spot. (Easily viewed with a swipe of the finger.. this is where I would recommend reading the quick start manual to figure out the “swipes” that get you there.) Although the Hub is a great idea… I did find myself getting lost in messages that I had started in the Hub and for whatever reason ended up completing in the actual app or vice versus. The Hub would keep the draft if you left the screen, causing a little confusion if you were to come back to it a day or 2 later.
He said
Messaging HUB:
There is not much I can add here. I completely agree! The Hub is a great feature though, it is quite easy to get turned around and forget how to get back out.
APPS:
Bottom line….. In order for BlackBerry to compete with the likes of Android, Apple or Windows, they need developers to buy into their platform and start making quality apps, and for my own sanity! Stop charging for apps that everyone else gives away for free!
She said
SUMMARY:
I really enjoyed my time with the Z10, the phone is big, bright, slick and moderately easy to learn and use with minimal instruction. I do strongly recommend reading the quick start manual to get started. I generally use my phone/mobile devices for more fun than business, however anyone looking todo more business related mobile sharing – this is definitely the device for
you!
He said
SUMMARY:
This new BlackBerry is extremely well built and feels solid it your hands. You feel like you got what you paid for. With an amazing screen and a camera that is easy to use this phone is a lot of fun. The operating system and User interface are well thought out with only a couple of minor concerns in terms of the navigation of the Messaging Hub. Forget what you remember about web browsing on a BlackBerry. BlackBerry has been listening to your concerns and are trying to take the lead from the likes of Apple and Android. Apps are a huge sticking point for me. This is what makes smartphones so much fun! If they can’t figure out a way to major developers interested in their platform then I can’t really recommend buying this phone. I say, wait a couple months to see what the app world looks like. If they start adding apps such as NETFLIX or Skype then I would recommend buying this phone in a heartbeat!
She said
OVERALL:
Pros:
Large Bright Screen
Business Apps
Camera and Photo Editing tools
Cons:
Lack of Free Apps and “Everyday” Apps
Battery Life
He said
OVERALL:
Pros:
4.2″ screen
“best in class” Virtual Keyboard
Messaging Hub
Battery life
Camera
Cons:
Lack of quality APPS

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