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Z10: good, but not unique

The youngest kid from Blackberry’s stable is easy to use and has great features, though a high price may play spoilsport, Vivek Sinha reviews BlackBerry's Z10. HT Verdict

tech reviews Updated: Mar 09, 2013 01:25 IST
Vivek Sinha
Vivek Sinha
Hindustan Times
Vivek Sinha,hindustan times,blackberry

If looks are anything to go by, the Blackberry Z10, the latest BlackBerry smartphone is attractive enough to match the other smartphones in the market.

The hype around the Z10 was built when the struggling Research In Motion (now renamed BlackBerry) decided to launch a brand new operating system, BB10, for the smartphone. So, we decided to check the device for its smartness.

Press the power key at the top of the device and the phone comes to life in a jiffy. A slow finger swipe from the bottom of the screen to the middle takes users to the home screen. A swipe to the right and BB10 takes you to the Hub that pulls all notifications from e-mails, messages, BBMs, Facebook, Twitter at one place. Tap on any notification and it takes you instantly to the details. The Hub actually gets all notifications at one point.

Typing has been BlackBerry’s plus point with its physical Qwerty keyboard. The touch-based Z10 remains true to form. The BlackBerry 10 typing experience is good enough to appeal to traditional two-thumb BlackBerry typists. This reviewer quickly came to love the BB10 keyboard, especially its auto correct/suggestion functions that allows even single finger typing without significant loss of speed (after you get used to it).

The menu of predicted word floats is a delight to use and much more user-friendly than what is available in competing phones.

Importantly, the new Z10 does away with a specific BlackBerry plan and, instead, needs only a 3G SIM card to offer push e-mail services and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. However, the quality of 3G connections can hamper your mail experience.

The back of the phone sports an 8 MP camera with a single LED flash. On the rear cover itself you'll notice the NFC pad, which enables the BlackBerry Z10 to interact with other compatible wireless devices. There is also a front facing 2 MP camera to help you with video chat.

Both camera and video offer an experience comparable to that offered by competition.

The phone comes with micro-SIM and micro-SD slots, with the latter capable of supporting upto 32GB cards.

At Rs. 43,490, it appears a tad overpriced, especially as Apple has introduced an EMI scheme to push sales.

Katayayan Gupta, an analyst with research firm Forrester Research, said BlackBerry has positioned itself in the leagues of Apple. “Z10 is a good device but at this price point, generating bulk sales could be challenging.”

However, Sunil Dutt, BlackBerry’s India MD said his company has positioned the new Z10 as an aspirational product and does not want to compete in the mass market segment.

First Published: Mar 08, 2013 21:33 IST