This is BlackBerry’s first full touchscreen device and it runs on the latest BB10 operating system. It has a 10.7 cm (4.2 inch) WXGA touchscreen that is suitable for multimedia social media and is crisp enough to read email. To wake up the device, just swipe your finger from the bottom of the screen to the top. You can also use a button near its 3.5 mm jack. The phone features an 8 mega-pixel shooter, which has burst capability and can also shoot full HD videos. The handset has 16 GB internal storage, plus a microSD card slot. It also has a function key with which you summon its voice control assistant. You can speak to it and order your BlackBerry to send out messages or search the internet.
It is good, but it is not a typical BlackBerry. A lot of the hardware that defined these phones is missing here. The functions performed by the BlackBerry key, scroll wheel and touch pad are now performed with touchscreen gestures. You will be offered the lowdown on these once you boot the Z10 for the first time.
All your messages—be they from LinkedIn, Facebook, email or other app reminders—now land in the BlackBerry Hub. To open it, swipe left-to-right in any application and read your messages off the hub. To go back to the application you were using, just swipe the screen right-to-left. The new-message LED indicator has been retained.
It also has an HDMI output (though you will need to buy a cable separately) to hook up with an HDTV. There is Bluetooth and Wi-Fi too. But what is extra is that it also supports 5 GHz Wi-Fi. Other features include support for NFC, VPN, and internet tethering.
Its plastic phone case is rather thin on the rear, but I must say that it survived my drop test rather well. You will need to take its cover off to change SIM cards, microSD cards and even to reboot the phone—just in case. Its sound quality is nice.
And despite its plastic case, it feels rock solid.
The clincher is that BlackBerry says it offers 11 hours of talk time on a 3G network, and I managed to get through the day without having to look for a charger.