A new Blackberry Z10 is displayed at a branch of UK retailer Phones 4U in central London, January 31, 2013. (Photo : Reuters)
The BlackBerry Z10 was just announced this week, but Research in Motion's new smartphone running the new BlackBerry 10 operating system is already available in the UK. Here's what reviewers have to say about it.
The Wall Street Journal's tech guru Walt Mossberg is somewhat impressed. "I've been testing the Z10 for about a week and decided to approach it as a new entry from a new company, because it is so different from past BlackBerrys. Overall, it worked fine in my tests, but I found it a work in progress," writes Mossberg.
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"I found it felt good in the hand," he said. "The Z10 keyboard is the best and fastest out-of-the-box virtual keyboard I've used. Master BlackBerry thumb typists might not find it as fast as the traditional physical keyboard, but, for a one-finger typist like me, it was faster and more accurate than either the native keyboards on the iPhone or Android."
But Mossberg laments the small proprietary app store. "RIM claims it will have 70,000 apps at launch. Others are promised shortly afterward. That sounds like a lot, but Apple is approaching 800,000 and Android has over 700,000."
The Verge says the Z10 is a competitive, but not outstanding, smartphone. "Frankly, it's a better smartphone than I expected from RIM at this stage in the game. The problem with the Z10 is that it doesn't necessarily do anything better than any of its competition."
And that's the problem. Joshua Topolsky at The Verge says there's nothing to woo consumers away from Android or the iPhone, which are doing just fine by themselves. "The Z10 is a fine device, well made, reasonably priced, backed by a company with a long track record," Topolsky writes.
"But it's not the only device of its kind, and it's swimming against a massive wave of entrenched players with really, really good products. Products they figured out how to make years ago. Products that are mature. The smartphone industry doesn't need saving."
Gizmodo is mostly unhappy with the Z10's camera. "The Z10 didn't even hold the dimmest, most-pathetic light to the other cameras in our test," writes Mario Aguilar.
"We haven't seen something so crummy as the Z10 in a long time. The Z10 even has a 'night' setting that was completely useless."
Pocket Lint says the Z10 will please RIM's typical corporate customer. "When it comes to enterprise customers, Android and iPhone don't come near it," says Stuart Miles. "The BlackBerry Balance feature will be applauded by system admin guys around the globe, while BlackBerry Bold users who are brave enough to ditch the keyboard will now own a device that means they won't have to carry two phones with them."
But there's nothing new here for younger or more casual users, he says. "Those disappointed with the Android experience are likely to go iPhone orNokia's Window Phone 8. BlackBerry is having to fight a battle on many fronts and we're just not sure this is the device to give them the power to survive that fight."
But more reviewers are sure to weigh in once more people get their hands on the BlackBerry Z10. Check back for more updates.