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30th January 2013 was a big day for BlackBerry as RIM announced BlackBerry 10 as their latest mobile operating system along with the first two devices: Z10 and Q10. Z10, the full touch BB10 smartphone priced at 43,490 INR, bundles a good build, 4.2inch display, and 8MP camera, but is it really worth this price tag? What’s so special about the phone? Thanks to BlackBerry India, we got our hands on the handset for two weeks and came to a conclusion. Want to know our final verdict? Find out below.

Build:

BlackBerry has been well known for building great phones. Remember the Bold 9900? No doubt BlackBerry has still got that and is depicted on their premium device. BlackBerry has no doubt done the best to keep the full touch experience. The 4.2inch display is perfect for one hand operation and even seems suitable for the operating system. We will talk more about the screen and OS later.

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The design of the BlackBerry Z10 is appreciable though plasticky. 130 x 65.6 x 9 mm (5.12 x 2.58 x 0.35 in) in dimensions and weighing 137.5 g (4.83 oz) makes it a good hold. On the top, we have the traditional LED notification along with the secondary camera, proximity sensor and earpiece.

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At the back we have the 8MP rear camera with LED flash, with a BlackBerry branding on the smooth finished panel. Top edge house the 3.5mm audio out jack with a standby/power key in the center.

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At the left edge we can observe a microUSB port and a HDMI out port whereas the right edge has the volume rocker.

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Hardware:

The BlackBerry Z10 runs on the Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon chipset, which has a dual-core 1.5 GHz Krait processor and Adreno 225 GPU. With 2GB RAM you generally won’t have any multitasking issues and 16GB internal memory with an expansion of up to 64GB makes sure the user doesn’t face any memory shortages.

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The 4.2inch screen with 768×1280 pixels with round up to 356 ppi is one of the highest at this screen size. Connectivity options include HSDPA 21 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps; LTE, EV-DO Rev. A, up to 3.1 Mbps with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual band and Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, LE along with NFC and microUSB v2.0. Sensors include Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass sensors, nothing fancy. The Li-Ion 1800 mAh battery runs the smartphone easily for a day on 3G services but it can vary depending upon one’s usage.

Software:

We were very much impressed by the redesigned, rebuilt, and re-innovated BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system, and we are sure it will grow up on its users too. The gestures controls aren’t that easy to understand but gives a completely different experience. Once you start getting used to it, you will find other operating system difficult to operate especially with the Android users. We had already posted about BB10, and what’s new with BB10 which can be found here.

The main USP of the operating system is the BlackBerry Hub. BlackBerry has always been the best for communication purposes rather than entertainment but with this major upgrade it has a combined both. BlackBerry Hub is extremely useful during multitasking. We loved the transitions bringing back some memories from the Harmatton UI and Meego project. In all this OS seems good, can be considered as an option if you are bored by the existing ones, but beware of the app ecosystem.

Camera:

The 8MP auto focus camera takes decent clicks in daylight whereas the low-light pictures aren’t any impressive. The rear camera shoots videos up to Full HD [email protected] with video stabilization enhancements whereas the front-facing 2MP camera shoots HD videos [email protected]

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Timescape have been the USP of BB10 camera software following which other platforms are too coming up with. Timescape takes pictures in burst mode and then we can choose different elements separately among them. The normal shooting mode includes Geo-tagging, face detection and image stabilization. There are different shooting modes too like burst mode, panorama etc.

Conclusion:

BlackBerry Z10 is a good device but is not worth the price. With the advancements of the the new operating system with clean looks and accessibility. Though the OS works just fine with this chipset, the quad-core processors are trending nowadays. People have this mentality that why not buy a quad-core phone for less. Pricing is a huge factor why it has not reached that limit even though it has the potential. We hope BlackBerry releases phones with reasonable prices in future and provide consistent updates building developer community.

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Recently at BlackBerry Live, BlackBerry announced BBM coming to iOS and Android which was quite shocking. BBM going cross platform will affect large number of sales of their handsets. What is BlackBerry up to? Are they moving towards a software oriented goal than what they had before? This might be a wise move stepping backwards in the competitive mobile OS war and get with the stream. Lets see what all they have left to surprise us.

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