BlackBerry launched a major offensive against the big boys of the smartphone world on Tuesday morning with the unveiling of its touchscreen-only Z10 phone.
Can the Z10 hang with the iPhone 5 or the Galaxy S III? If you look at the specs below, it certainly seems it can: BlackBerry (nee Research In Motion) has loaded its flagship phone with great hardware. It has a speedy 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 2GB RAM, and a screen with a higher pixel density than that of the newest iPhone. Call quality and reception is still excellent, per the initial reviews.
What will likely determine the success or failure of the Z10 is the performance of its software and reimagined operating system. While iOS and Android have been building on their software for five or six years, BlackBerry was forced to build features from scratch to satisfy what has become the baseline expectation among smartphone users. The reviews of some of these functions have been mixed -- we're essentially comparing first-generation software to veteran products. BlackBerry's keyboard, browser and camera are all new. Additionally, the entire layout and operation of the system has been completely fabricated from the beginning, and it's rolling out now for the first time.
Some of that is good news: According to some, the device's keyboard should be automatically crowned the best typing experience of any touchscreen phone. But there are also, of course, a few red flags that have popped up -- notably surrounding the new browser and the image quality from the phone's camera.
There is also a perceived app gap, and not just in quantity. Despite RIM's best efforts to scrounge together 70,000 apps at launch, the app catalog will still lag far behind the offerings Apple (almost 800,000) and Android (700,000) currently have. Apps also won't be as refined as those on competing platforms (again, because of that first-generation issue).
As for the phones, though, you can look below. We've compared specs of the two hottest-selling smartphones out currently to BlackBerry's new offering. The company says the phone will be available on all four major U.S. carriers.
How BlackBerry's new superphone matches up.
|BlackBerry Z10||iPhone 5||Galaxy S4|
|Network||4G LTE||4G LTE||4G LTE|
|Display||4.2-inch LCD display, 1280 x 768 resolution, 356 ppi||4-inch Retina display, 1136-by-640 pixels, 326 ppi||5.0-inch Full HD Amoled, 1920x1080, 441 ppi|
|Operating System||BlackBerry 10||iOS 6||Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, with Samsung TouchWiz|
|Rear Camera||8 megapixel with LED flash, 1080p||8 megapixel with LED flash, 1080p||13 megapixel with LED flash, 1080p|
|Front Camera||2 megapixels, 720p||Less than 1 megapixel (720p)||2 megapixels, 720p|
|Special Camera Features||Tap screen to snap, touch-to-focus, editing suite, TimeShift face choice||Increased noise reduction, shared photo streams, improved low-light shooting, face detection, touch-to-focus, geo-tagging, HDR||Dual Shot / Dual Recording/ Dual Video Call|
|Storage/Memory||16GB (expandable with SD card), 2GB RAM||16/32/64GB, 1GB RAM||16/32/64GB, 2GB RAM|
|Talk Time||Up to 10 hours**||8 hours, 45 minutes*||None yet|
|Web Browsing Time||Unlisted**||9 hours, 56 minutes*||None yet|
|Weight||136 grams||112 grams||130 grams|
|Price||9 on contract||9 on contract||9 on contract|
|Killer Features||Predictive keyboard; BlackBerry Peak and Hub for one-thumb use; work and personal profiles||Siri; iCloud; Lightning connector; huge App Store||NFC suite, including S Beam and Buddy Share; Google Now|
|Carriers||AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile||AT&T, Verizon, Sprint||AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile|