The BlackBerry Z10, running that shiny new BlackBerry 10 OS, is finally ready to make its way stateside. In this video review we take a look at the ATT version of the BlackBerry Z10, which will be available on March 22 for $199 with contract. In terms of both hardware and software it's nearly identical to its Canadian cousin, and only a small ATT logo on the back gives it away. Inside there are just a few carrier apps like Family Maps and a shortcut to the account management portal, making for a very clean experience.
The BlackBerry Z10 has a superb 4.2" 1280 x 768 IPS touch screen with 356ppi pixel density and it's one of the best looking on the market. It's right up there with the iPhone 5 and HTC One X for viewing angles, sharpness and colors. It's also bright enough to be easily viewable in sunlight. The smartphone's fresh new OS reminds us a bit of the PlayBook, which in turn reminds of us webOS. The icons have that signature BlackBerry styling as do menu fonts, but the swipe gestures are pure PlayBook (with a nod to webOS).
This is a pure touch screen phone with no hardware QWERTY keyboard. Instead a capable software keyboard takes care of your text entry needs. We found the keyboard easy to use and text predication was quick and rational. You can accept a suggested word with a swipe up, which isn't the quickest way to do things in terms of usability, but BlackBerry is clearly in love with swipe gestures.
The BlackBerry Z10 runs on a 1.5GHz dual core Qualcomm CPU with 2 gigs of RAM and 16 gigs of internal storage. Those are beefy enough specs to make the smartphone's pervasive multi-tasking smooth. The Z10 has a rear 8MP camera that can shoot 1080p video and a front 2MP camera that can shoot 720p video. Wireless is well covered with LTE 4G and HSPA+, dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and NFC. The phone has the mobile hotspot feature and very good reception.
As ever with a new smartphone OS, app selection is slim. Surprisingly, game selection is a strong point in the fledgling BlackBerry World that now also offers video purchase and rentals in partnership with Rovi and a music store. Apps like Netflix are MIA but WhatsApp, Flixster and Adobe Reader are there. The phone ships with a good starter set of apps including Docs to Go for your MS Office needs, a calculator, PIM apps, Adobe Reader, the tepid BlackBerry Maps, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Box and DropBox as well as a file manager, YouTube app, weather, a clock with alarms, mediocre voice command and a solid HTML5 web browser with Adobe Flash support. BlackBerry Hub brings text messaging, reminders, email and BBM together along with social networking updates.
Here's our BlackBerry Z10 video review. Our full review will follow.