BB10 comparison

Comparing the Z10 to the Galaxy S3 and others

Now that BlackBerry has finally managed to get some new hardware out the door, it's time to put it up against the best of Android. The BlackBerry Z10 is your basic black-slab phone, not unlike what we've come to know and love (or at least accept as standard design) with Android devices the past couple years. 

The specs probably won't send your jaw toward the floor or anything, but then again they're not really supposed to.

After the break, we've got a full breakdown of the BlackBerry Z10 (and read CB's full Z10 review if you get a minute) versus the Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC Droid DNA, Motorola RAZR MAXX HD and the Nexus 4.

And be sure to hit up our pals at CrackBerry for all the latest BB10 news.

BB10 comparison


Reader comments

Specs battle: BlackBerry Z10 vs. the best of Android


That phone has a fivehead and a double chin. A smaller screen would be fine if it also meant a smaller device but it's barely smaller than the GS3.

Nice specs but they seem to be at least six months behind if April is the release months. It's an interesting looking phone though...

The US carriers are slow. The UK is getting it tomorrow and Canada is getting it next Tuesday. And the United Emirates on the 15th. April is the launch date for the Q10 (keyboard) the Z10 is early March.

A big step in the right direction for the OS. Enough to make BB a solid 3rd option, ahead of the mess that is WP8. RIM needs a 4.7ish touchscreen device ASAP.

Close to clicking unsubscribe from my RSS reader. I really don't want to hear about Blackberry hype. I know you need site sponsors, but at least be subtle about it...

The Blackberry is twice the price of the Nexus4, with worse specs and no apps... So please rein in the hype-train.

Worse specs? Huh? Smaller but higher resolution screen, removable battery, memory expansion, among other things. Sure price is a bit more but that's only because Google is selling it. Carriers will be selling the Nexus 4 for the same price as the Z10 (or near enough). The only thing the Nexus 4 has over the Z10 is larger screen (which is a plus) and I guess more apps (but the degree that matters depends on the user and which apps they want). Cores meaning nothing as it depends on the OS and the presentation showed that the Z10 is as fast or faster than anything else out there with its dual cores.

Oh well, why am I bothering commenting. Ignorance is bliss I guess.

You really think this is sponsored? They are simply providing a comparison and driving to their sister site, which is all Blackberry.

I still don't see this thing as all that impressive specs-wise, but I hope Blackberry has a hit on their hands. Would be a real shame to see them disappear.

This Samsung Galaxy S3 with 2GB of RAM, quad core processor and LTE only exists in Korea afaik. You either have a quad core with 1GB of RAM and HSPA, or you have a dual core with 2GB of RAM and LTE in North America. Please mercilessly correct me if I'm wrong.

Either way, I'm sticking with the Note 2.

You are wrong.

The international LTE version sold in Europe and parts of Asia has the Quad-Core Exynos and 2GB of RAM.

So you can have Quad-Core + 2GB of RAM + World LTE.

Blackberries have had these for a while. A lot of the cases or holsters had a magnet in it so when you put the phone in there, it would lock automatically, and unlock and screen on when you pulled it out.

Kinda nifty. I believe that's what it is.

Umm probably not best to answer questions if you don't know what you're talking about. What you said is true but that's not what a magnetometer is, its basically the sensor for a compass as stated above.

According to Wikipedia, a magnometer is a measuring instrument used to measure the strength and, in some cases, the direction of magnetic fields.

In a smartphone, it is used to make the compass application work

The gesture controls on BB10 are sick. I really like it. It is not all about the power, it is how the OS handles that power. I am not a gamer, so that does not bother me.

iOS has proved that for years, now WINPHO8 and BB10. This could get very interesting.

Where do these grids come from?

It has the release date and battery size wrong on the Nexus 4.

It calls the S4 "Snapdragon S4" but the S4 Pro "Qualcomm S4 Pro."

It calls Touchwiz and Sense "enhancements" but Blur "Motorola Software Services."

Off-topic - does anyone know the equation for calculating PPI?

The easy way?

# of pixels high divided by the screen height (in inches)


# of pixels wide divided by the screen width (in inches)

or if you want to get all fancy...

PPI = the square root of the total number of pixels divided by half of the screen diagonal (in inches) squared

Although what you run into the fact pixels are not exactly sqaure and that the spaces in between pixels vary on the horizontal vertical axes. Which is why people often report varying PPI on the same phone.

All of the above phones are good enough. Unless you plan on using looking at the screen with your portable microscope that you carry around in your other pocket.

Any concern over that tiny battery? It's a smaller screen and a different OS than Android (obviously) but 1800 seems kind of small for a new phone to have.

This could not be more like Palm/webOS. The OS looks awesome (a lot of webOS in there), make it open source and customization and it could be great (thought the same thing about webOS though too). However I have zero faith in BB every developing an app following, actually making it open source, or developing relevant hardware in a timely fashion.

So in other words, this is a 2013 non-open sourced Palm Pre

it wasn't born 2 hours ago though, it's been around for months, it was just announced 2 hours ago. If you notice, Crackberry Kevin already has one.

Also, consider what BlackBerry tries to accomplish. A device that is focused on providing you with all of your communications (whatever they may be) right as they come up. That is a sure fire way to drain a battery. I know on my S3, I turn off sync and tell my apps to never automatically refresh to notify me of anything. That saves a tremendous amount of battery life.

I must say however, the swiping gestures of BlackBerry 10 look pretty sweet. I love good innovation and risk taking. It keeps things interesting in the mobile device world. Kudos to BB.

BlackBerry is push everything though. And their phones have ALWAYS done this with great battery life in the past.

I think the real issue is they're using A9 chips and aren't power managing the LTE radio much. They might want to look in to using A7 chips.

Except that all those swipe gestures and more lived strong, then died, a couple of years ago on the webOS powered devices.

Not really breaking new ground with a swipe-up gesture.


Actually, the Z10 used during the launch was kept connected to MicroHDMI out for mirroring the phone's screen during the BBM, BBM Video, screen sharing, and other demos.

When they did the BBM video and screen demo, and they showed the shot of the guy in London holding his Z10, it had 2 wires coming out the side.. that was MicroHDMI and MicroUSB, so I would agree that one was hooked to power/charger.

You know, I just read somewhere that someone read somewhere that QNX requires less power than other operating systems...


It's not that is uses less power, it's that the BB10 implementation is (and I'm inferring from my experience with the PlayBook) tuned to offer a better, more responsive user experience than Android does on the same hardware. The PlayBook is still pretty usable, whereas a contemporary Android tablet (the Xoom, one of the original Galaxy Tabs) is frustratingly laggy. It's only with the current-generation handsets with signficant CPU and GPU power that allow Android to offer a UI that's on-par with what, say, the PlayBook (with nearly two-year old hardware) or single-core WP7 phones offer.

Windows Phone and iOS are similar: for the same hardware, both respond better than Android does. This doesn't show up in benchmarks, nor in computationally taxing tasks, but it is evident in typing, menus, scrolling and such.

QNX is part of this: it's a real-time OS and it's theoretically possible that you won't see the kind of inteface lag because the OS has to respond and act on interrupts and input without buffering the request, but you have to carry that design philosophy up to the UI as well. Android, famously, doesn't do this, even with the improvements in JB.

So to summarize: you could rip out Linux from underneath Android and replace it with QNX, but that's not likely to solve the UI event-handling lag that Android is (in)famous for. Nor is QNX some kind of magic-pixie-dust as BlackBerry's people believe. It's all in the implementation.

Android did respond a little slower, in previous versions. But I don't think your right that it's the hardware that primarily improved the response of Android, it sure didn't hurt. Their are multiple levels.

First manufacturer UI's are notorious for bogging and slowing down Android and producing lag.

But more importantly, google's code wasn't the fastest up through Honeycomb. Something all of those tablet's you mention ran originally.
Android 4.0,4.1 and 4.2 changed the game, even on slower hardware. My Galaxy S2 flies with 4.1.2 installed (Cyanogenmod)

Comparing most hardware on phones with a different OS seems pretty useless. I mean stuff like the screen and storage is fine, but things like RAM, processors and battery are mostly dependent on the OS. Then again it won't stop people from doing it...

Dead On Arrival. Someone said it's a good 3rd choice. I'd say it's a good 4th choice behind 2 dixie cups and some string.

The OS previews aren't bad, even the base specs are ok, even the screen size is acceptable for a blackberry, but then huge bezel on all sides is a big hardware design fail.

If your going for a smaller screen the device should be smaller. It's almost as big as the nexus 4, whose screen is half an inch bigger. With these devices they may keep more current blackberry users and even win a few back, but they've still got a long way to go to be any kind of real competitor again, dueling with WP7 is the best I expect.

I like it. It will do real well with anyone who wants a Blackberry and for others who maybe want a change. I am always curious about other platforms and this one is intriguing. I hope the platform does great, the Mobile business needs Blackberry, they can only help push innovation along and that is what we all want.

Wasn't it just a year ago that Torsten Heins criticized Android phones for their boring similarity of design saying "there is just no room for differentiation because they are all the same."

So what does Blackberry launch as their new wonderphone - a boring black slab with a butt ugly bezel.

Sorry, but I'm not impressed.

My biggest issue is with the hardware. Everyone else is trying to minimize the bezel and BB simply tries to hide it. When the phone is off it looks like it has a tiny bezel and huge screen then you turn the phone on and see a much smaller screen then you thought it had. That bezel is just way too big in this day and age. I suspect the next gen SG will have a smaller bezel then the S3. The idea is to maximize the screen and minimize the phone foot print. I just don't see anything that stands out with this phone to someone give up an Android, Windows, or iPhone to go with BB. Maybe if they license the OS so there is some competition on the hardware side to make better/slimmer hardware. JMO!

There's a difference though. On Android and iOS devices, the bezel is just space to hold the screen in, nothing more. In BlackBerry 10 and in Playbook OS devices, the bezels are full-touch gesture areas. They will probably get slimmer with time (hey, they're already slimmer than they were with the Playbook :P ), but for now, they're kinda necessary.

To give you an example of something the bezel would be used for, on the playbook if you swipe down diagonally from the top corner while in an app, you get your status bar (active connections, time, battery life, etcetera), however swiping straight down from the top will give the menu for that particular app. Yes, I'm aware that on Android there are screen-based gestures you can do, like pulling down from the top for notifications, but you're calling up that request from something already on the screen, as opposed to almost pulling from off the screen, leaving more space on screen for content and interaction with the app rather than having to reserve space to be able to pull things to the side at the edges.

Once you go Black...berry.....
You might like the taste of an Apple,
But then you just crave a Jelly-Bean

I think it's been confirmed that the z10 uses a dual-core Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 for the US market if you want to change your table.

EDIT: that would mean Adreno 225 GPU...

People gets too carried away by specs. If specs was all that mattered to make a great phone and smooth OS experience than by that logic Apple devices with only dualcore 1.2ghz CPU would have slow interface and lots of lags, apparently it isn't the case.

That is not to say I am terrible excited about BlackBerry10, but its better to more choices and competition, but I think its better if they license out their OS.

A black rectangle with rounded corners, and prominent bezel on the top and bottom?
Apple lawsuit in 3...2....1....

Just another entry I'll ignore.

S3 ftw, and now this luscious Note 2.

BB remnants will be sold soon. CYA