Blackberry Z10 Review

Christopher Rath

2014-03-18 (updated 2014-04-14)

Background

For the past 4 or 5 years, I've been using a Blackberry Bold as my smart phone.  Since Blackberry released the Z10 and Z10, I have wanted to upgrade to a BB10 device; however, I have a grandfathered data plan with Verizon and their current policy is to push customers off those plans when they upgrade to a subsidised handset.  As a result, I have been holding off upgrading to a BB10 device until unsubsidised BB10 devices become more affordable.  In December, 2013, Blackberry in conjunction with US mobile operators began to sell Z10s for $299 USD. In January, 2014, after discussion with Verizon personnel, I opted to buy a Z10 for $299; upon the assurance that I would retain my grandfathered data plans (US unlimited and 250 MB per country international roaming).

Initial Purchase

Verizon shipped me a Z10—I chose a white version—which I received in early January. That device was running OS version 10.2.0.424 and during the initial configuration I allowed the device to upgrade to version 10.2.1.537. That Z10, running .537, never functioned properly: it had trouble interacting with my MS Exchange server, and it was unable to pair with Bluetooth headsets—both common issues with devices upgrading to version .537.

After several days of futzing with Bluetooth pairing, Verizon agreed to send me a new handset. That replacement handset was running version .424, and it had neither the MS Exchange issues or the Bluetooth pairing problems.  After 2 weeks of running the OS version .424, I used Blackberry Link (on Windows 7) to upgrade the OS in the handset. Following that upgrade, my Z10 continued to pair with Bluetooth devices, and it didn't have the MS Exchange issue I had previously seen.

Now to the Z10 Review

My Z10 Hopes

 I have been a Blackberry user for a long time. I particularly like the fact that my BB Bold (running BB7) changes its behaviour when I placed it in its holster. As well, I was able to sync my whole company's directory to my BB Bold. That said, the BB Bold didn't do a great job synchronising email with my MS Exchange account (deletions didn't flow both directions). My hope for my Z10 was that it would continue to deliver the distinguishing functionality of a Blackberry, as well as offering a faster processor, larger touchscreen, and the major apps of a modern-day smartphone.

Z10 Realities

The reality is that the Z10 is still only a beta-class product; that is, it's not quite ready for prime time. It does have some wonderful new features; but, it's missing some core BB7 functionality and it has a number of serious bugs. This section of the review documents both the plusses and minuses of the Z10 running OS version 10.2.1.537.

Plusses

Let's start things off with what Blackberry has done right on the Z10:

Minuses

Now let's talk about functionality that was present in BB7 and is missing from the Z10:

Finally, here are the bugs that I've encountered on the Z10:

Update 2014-04-14: Other than voice dialling, as noted above, OS version 10.2.1.2122 did not any of the Z10/BB10 issues I have noted in this review.

Conclusion

I cannot recommend the Z10 in its present form. If Blackberry can restore the missing functionality and correct the bugs, then I will be able to change my recommendation. I will be looking to change to another device (either a Windows 8 or Android handset) in the near to medium future.


©Copyright 2014, Christopher & Jean Rath
Telephone: 613-824-4584
Address: 1371 Major Rd., Ottawa, ON, Canada K1E 1H3
Last updated: 2014/04/14 @ 15:52:36 ( )