The BlackBerry Z10: video review

We take a look at the new BlackBerry Z10 – and find out how it stacks up again its iPhone and Android rivals...

The first thing you’ll notice about the Z10 is how much it looks and feels like the iPhone 5. There’s little difference in weight or thickness - it’s thin and light. The front feels quite premium, like an iPhone, but the back feels quite plasticky, but it means you can remove it to replace a dead battery.

But the Z10’s screen is a bit bigger at 4.2 inches. You turn it on with the power button at the top, but then it’s not clear at first how to unlock it. Touch the screen a few times and it’ll give you a hint though.

This is BlackBerry’s new operating system, BlackBerry 10. You can see all your apps arranged as you’d expect them to be, just like an iPhone or Android phone. You swipe left and right between each page of apps.

The screen, as you can see is pretty sharp. On paper it’s sharper than the iPhone’s Retina Display. As you just saw, you pinch to zoom, just like any other phone. As you just saw, you swipe upwards to exit an app. BlackBerry 10 is built around these kinds of gestures, which feel a bit alien at first.

When you exit an app, it sticks to this screen. You can keep up to four of these here at a time, and you can run up to eight apps in the background at a time. If you want to close an app, you tap the little cross in the corner.

One of BlackBerry 10’s big features is BlackBerry Keyboard, which cleverly predicts your next word. You just have to swipe up when the suggestion you want appears. It’s automatically correct your mistakes, and BlackBerry says it will learn your most common errors and correct them in advance! Swipe left from the homescreen and you’ll get BlackBerry Hub, another new BlackBerry 10 feature. This puts all your calls, texts, BBM and social network notifications in the same place. Basically, if someone’s trying to get in touch with you – you’ll see it here. Pull the homescreen down from the top and you can change all your settings, like ring and call volume, brightness, wifi etc.

BlackBerry fans will be pleased to know BBM messenger is back, and that you can now make video calls using it. The new BlackBerry World app store is pretty nicely designed and well stocked with around 70,000 apps – but some notables are missing. Speaking of Instagram, the z10 has an 8Megapixel camera on the back. It looks really sharp. It’s got this Time Shift feature too, which takes a quick burst of shots and picks the best one for you. The camera can record in HD too, at both 720p and full 1080p HD.

It’s a 4G-ready phone, so if you live in a 4G area you can get lightning fast download speeds. Follow the link below this video to see where you can get 4G with EE. MoneySupermarket HQ isn’t in a 4G area unfortunately, but we got a solid and constant 3G signal. Apps downloaded fairly briskly, and call quality was consistently good.

I’ve had iPhones and Android phones, but this is my first try of a BlackBerry. I can’t say how it compares to older BlackBerries, but the operating system feels very similar to Android, but perhaps not as user-friendly as iOS, even if it does have some nice touches.

Follow the links below this video for a more in-depth review of the Z10, and check out the tariffs available over on our mobiles channel.

>> Read Mark Hooson's full review here

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