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First Look: Blackberry 10’s Z10 handset – already outspecs iPhone 5

Allan Swann
January 30, 2013

After nearly 3 years in the making, Research in Motion’s long delayed BlackBerry 10 operating system, and the smartphones that will run on it, has been unveiled. The specs unveiled are impressive, and already beat the iPhone 5.

The London event is currently underway, and What Mobile can finally reveal to you the details of the new BlackBerry Z10 – the smartphone it hopes will bring the company back to the battle for smartphone supremacy worldwide.

As you can see from the images posted, the rumour mill wasn’t far off the mark. The device is a very tidy looking, professional smartphone with sharp black lines. Its dimensions are 130mm long, 66mm wide and 9mm thick. Its screen size is 4.2-inches with a 768 x  1280 resolution screen – at 356 pixels per inch (PPI) that’s better than Apple’s own ‘Retina Display’.

By way of comparison, the iPhone 5 is 124 x 59 x 7.6mm with a 4-inch screen and just 640 x 1136 resolution (or 326PPI). While that might not mean much for the non-tech aficionado’s, it is a big deal for RIM to get that jump on Apple’s newest phone. It means that text, images and the new BB10 OS itself will present exceptionally clear viewing – especially for email, which will be a corporate device’s focus.

On the inside, the Z10 boasts a dual core Qualcomm 1.5GHz processor with 2GB of RAM- details surrounding the GPU are unclear as of yet (stay posted!). The model announced today has 16GB of onboard memory, and  – most importantly – it has a MicroSD slot, so that can be expanded.  The rear camera is 8 megapixels, with 5x digital zoom (and LED flash) and full 1080P video recording. The front facing camera is at 2MP, with 2x zoom – which should make video calling easier.

The iPhone 5 has a weaker 1.2Ghz dual core processor with just 1GB of RAM, but otherwise it matches the the Z10’s camera. The iPhone 5 does only have a 1.3MP front facing camera however, so the BlackBerry will be better for video calling. The iPhone is also non-expandable storage wise (it has no SD slots of any kind), but does offer 32GB and 64GB for a price premium.

Otherwise the Z10 boasts Bluetooth 4.0 – the new standard which uses less power. It also supports all the standards of Wi-FI and is 4G compatible. It will, of course, be completely 2G and 3G compatible, so will work on all the UK’s existing networks.  The Z10 will also have an HDMI out and USB (which version is unspecified).

Down to the brass tacks – how does it perform as a phone? Well What Mobile is still testing the device to determine the truth, but RIM is boasting 11 hours of talk on 3G, with 408 hours on standby, and Audio and Video playback times of 60 and 10 hours respectively. This is quite a leap on the iPhone 5, which has 8 hours of talk time on 3G and 225 hours on standby, plus 40 hours of music play. RIM have not released the details of the device’s battery size, or whether its removable.

As always, Apps will be a premium, and BlackBerry has been working to bring developers to the platform (see What Mobile’s stories here and here) – whether that will be enough is still to be seen. Already surveys are showing that perhaps RIM’s time has passed. What Mobile will be featuring a full review of the BlackBerry here soon – so stay posted.

A run down of the launch event is available here and details about the Z10 launch in the UK are here.

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