final rating

reviewed on
this review has been viewed 1532 times

Criteria Comments Rating
  • Reception and call quality I have had no issues with dropped calls great!
  • Display Pleasant to view. The difference is only noticeable when you put it next to a flagship phone with a very high display. good
  • Battery life Lasts the whole day on a single charge which is more than most smartphones can manage these days great!
  • Camera Falls short of the amazing camera on the iPhone and most Android flagships. so-so
  • Ease of use The most intuitive OS if you spend your time learning it. Swiping is better than button pushing in 2014. great!
  • Design and form factor Very comfortable to hold, attractive glass weave on the back, much improved over the cheap feeling and image of the Z10. great!
  • Portability (size / weight) Good heft and feel in the hand, and a good competitor to the S4/G2/Xperia phones. Not as light however good
  • Media support Plays most file formats. Netflix works as of the latest OS. Does not play nice with Chromecast. Supports Miracast and USB On-The-Go good
  • Durability Has had no issues so far great!
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.) As of OS 10.3.1, you can download Android apps through an app similar to Google Play. Android application compatibility performs at a near-native capacity. great!
Detailed review
This is not a bad phone and I feel reviewers were too harsh on it, just for the fact that it is meant to be a 2013/2014 flagship and that it is underspecced compared to its competitors. The phone has not been sufficiently judged under its own merit, where one will find that it is a decent performer with a very intuitive and forward thinking user-interface, a market-leading keyboard which learns your words and where users can flick up to complete words quickly that rivals the useability of Swype/Swiftkey, and a powerhouse when it comes to multitasking and Flash performance. Chief amongst its advantages, and one that many users of Android and iOS have told me they wish they had, is the extremely useful integrated hub to answer and respond to my four connected e-mail accounts (work, personal, side-business and spam), along with messages on SMS, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, BBM, WhatsApp and WeChat. No opening of each individual app is required. The "no apps" comment is no longer valid or applies to BlackBerry 10, as users with just a little work can install Android apps directly onto the device through a method similar to just by simply downloading through Google Play. Like I would with an Android phone, the first thing I did on the device was install the apps I wanted. Now, with OS10.2.1, I have both the BlackBerry app store to choose from as well as the Google Play store, and I can access the likes of Instagram, Netflix, Skydrive and Tumblr which are not natively available.

The phone is not perfect, and falls short in several categories compared with the leading phones of Android and Apple. iOS's ecosystem is by far the most mature and the 5S is a gorgeous and luxurious device to behold. Android flagships have some of the most cutting edge smartphone technologies available and the best integration of Google services. Apps, while largely resolved in 10.2.1, are still not BlackBerry's forte because of the weak integration with Google/Apple ecosystem services, i.e. Chromecast just doesn't work as well as it would on Google or on iOS. The camera also leaves something to be desired. Despite these flaws, this phone is a solid 9.0 for useability and messaging-focused smartphone users, and I have edited the review to give it a 10.0 as I find the "expert"/"professional" reviews to be heavily biased in favor of iOS/Android devices and they honestly haven't given this phone the legitimate shot it deserves.

There is a lot to like about BlackBerry 10, and smartphone users tired of iOS or Android should not be dissuaded from trying it from a few negative comments they find online. Given that apps should no longer be the issue, prospective buyers should weigh whether a good keyboard, multitasking, gestures and the integrated hub is worth the switch to BB10 and the Z30.
review history
Edited comment on Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.)
Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.) rating changed from 4 to 5
Updated detailed review
Updated detailed review
Media support rating changed from 3 to 4
Durability rating changed from 4 to 5
Edited comment on Media support
Edited comment on Portability (size / weight)
Updated overall rating
Updated detailed review
Design and form factor rating changed from 4 to 5
Edited comment on Design and form factor
Updated overall rating