BlackBerry Z10 in-depth review: Good phone, truly great OS

BlackBerry's new smartphone has a superior display and navigation, making it a device worth checking out.

By , Computerworld |  Mobile & Wireless, BlackBerry, blackberry 10

There are other similarities among the three devices. For example, all three have an 8-megapixel rear camera; however, the Z10 boasts a 2-megapixel front-facing camera , while the iPhone 5's camera is rated at 1.2 megapixels and the Galaxy S III's at 1.9 megapixels. All three have fast processors, with both the Z10 and Galaxy S III running the 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4. The iPhone 5 runs the Apple A6 processor. All three support LTE and up to 802.11n Wi-Fi.

The Z10 offers NFC for file sharing and mobile payments, something the Galaxy S III also includes (but not the iPhone 5). BlackBerry didn't talk about NFC features at the launch of the Z10 beyond a mere mention, possibly because NFC has already been available in BlackBerry 7 smartphones.

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins made a not-so-subtle dig at the iPhone when he told reporters at the January launch that the Z10 uses a removable 1800mAh battery and an industry-standard micro USB port, in contrast with the iPhone's non-removable battery and proprietary Lightning connector. (Apple doesn't reveal its non-removable battery's rating in its specs, while Samsung's Galaxy S III has a removable battery rated at 2100mAh.)

Another question, this time of storage flexibility: The iPhone 5 is sold in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB internal capacity versions, while the Z10 has 16GB storage and a microSD slot that can handle memory cards up to 32GB. Samsung also sells 16GB or 32GB versions for the Galaxy S III along with a microSD slot. I tend to favor the expansion slot approach partly because it just feels more open -- and because I know that I can continually add more SD cards for storing an infinite number of songs and videos if I want.

The BlackBerry Z10 (center), compared to the Samsung Galaxy SIII (left) and the iPhone 5 (right)

In summary, the Z10's hardware features show it to be very close or superior to leading smartphones on the market. But that means nothing without great software and a great OS, and BlackBerry seems to understand that.

BlackBerry 10 OS

BlackBerry 10 is built on QNX, a Unix-like operating system widely used in vehicle telematics and other embedded systems; BlackBerry (then Research in Motion) acquired the company of the same name that developed QNX in 2010.

QNX is known to perform message handling by automatically setting thread priority, which means a high-priority thread receives I/O service before a low-priority thread.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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