BlackBerry Z10 vs iPhone 5: Tech Specs, App Stores, And More In This $200 Smartphone Showdown
After more than six months of heavy speculation and development delays, RIM BlackBerry revealed the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphones during the company's BlackBerry 10 press event on Wednesday, along with news that the new phone would begin shipping to U.S. customers in March.
BlackBerry's latest attempt at staging a serious comeback in the smartphone market will be $200 when it lands in stores later this year, comparable to the market-leading iPhone 5, but which phone is the better buy?
Let's take a look ...
iPhone 5 vs. BlackBerry Z10 -- Computing Power
As has been the case for many high-end phones released after the iPhone 5, the BlackBerry Z10 will ship with a 1.5 GHz Snapdragon dual-core processor that should provide more processing power than Apple's 1.2 GHz A6 chip. The BlackBerry Z10 also wins the RAM comparison battle, sporting 2GB of flash memory to the iPhone 5's single gigabyte of RAM. While it remains to be seen just how well the BlackBerry 10 operating system will make use of the hardware at its disposal, it's hard to imagine the iPhone 5 topping BlackBerry's newest flagship device in many/any significant benchmarks.
Verdict: BlackBerry Z10
iPhone 5 vs. BlackBerry Z10 -- Display Tech
Few who regularly follow mobile news are unaware of the iPhone 5's still-stunning Retina display; in fact, even the most diehard Android fans typically struggle to find error with display tech found in Apple's latest flagship device, even if they aren't fans of the iPhone and/or iOS.
The BlackBerry Z10 is certainly no slouch in the screen department either, sporting a 1,280 x 768 HD display that packs 356 pixels into each inch. The 4.2 inch display is slightly larger than the iPhone 5's Retina display, which also adds a noticeable increase in the BlackBerry Z10's total size, though the fifth of an inch is unlikely to make much of a difference to most.
While we don't doubt that the BlackBerry Z10 screen will look fantastic when the phone lands in consumers' hands later this year, it's hard to side against the Retina display that millions are currently using on a daily basis. For now, the point goes to the (soon to be deposed?) sales champion, only because we feel like the BlackBerry Z10 came up short in an area prime for separating from the pack.
Verdict: iPhone 5
iPhone 5 vs. BlackBerry Z10 -- Camera Comparison
When it comes to rear-facing smartphone cameras, 8-megapixel sensors seem to have become the industry standard, and consumers will find one on both the iPhone 5 and BlackBerry Z10. Though the rear-cameras are virtually identical, the BlackBerry Z10 does edge out a slight victory courtesy of its front-facing shooter.
Unlike Apple's iPhone 5, which is limited to 720p video shot by a 1.2-megapixel camera sensor, BlackBerry saw fit to slap a full 2-megapixel camera on the front of Z10 that is capable of shooting the same HD quality footage. While we definitely recommend keeping an eye out for non-stock camera app replacements in the BlackBerry 10 store, thanks to the device's poor performance in low light situations, we'd be crazy not to give the BlackBerry Z10 the victory in this round.
Verdict: BlackBerry Z10
iPhone 5 vs. BlackBerry Z10 -- The Extras
Major bonus points go to BlackBerry for including external storage support in the Z10 via a microSD slot compatible with cards up to 32GB in size. We also like that the BlackBerry Z10 is completely devoid of front-facing buttons of any kind; however, it would have been nicer if BlackBerry had manufactured a device that was a bit smaller.
Though its 4.8-ounce plastic shell certainly doesn't feel terribly hefty in your hand, the BlackBerry Z10's larger-than-average screen components definitely add a noticeable girth to the body of the phone. Given that many consumers continue to look for smaller and smaller personal devices, we'd imagine that many will look at the size increase as a step back for a non-phablet. Then again, some may enjoy the slight increase in size, particularly if the iPhone 5 was just a bit small for your tastes.
Unfortunately, the BlackBerry Z10 also falls embarrassingly short in the battery department, only packing an 1800 mAh battery into a business-minded smartphone with an LTE adapter. As The Verge notes in their review of the device, many users are unlikely to get even a single day's worth of usage from a full-charge if they regularly access their provider's 4G/LTE network. This might have been acceptable six months ago, but adding a 2,000-plus mAh battery to high-end phones these days just seems like common sense.
Apple also retains dominance in the app arena, to say the least, with the iTunes App Store currently home to more than 700,000 different iOS apps as compared to the 70,000 apps that are expected when the BlackBerry Z10 lands in stores this March. The quality of the apps is also likely to be much higher, given that iOS development has existed for multiple years at this point, while BlackBerry 10 appears to be a complete re-design of the BlackBerry operating system, presumably bringing with it a host of new programming challenges and opportunities.
Verdict: iPhone 5
iPhone 5 vs. BlackBerry Z10 -- The Conclusion
While the BlackBerry Z10 is certainly no slouch, there just doesn't seem to be any significant reason for existing Android and iOS device owners to make the jump, particularly if they don't qualify for an upgrade at this time. There's little doubt that the BlackBerry Z10 will be able to grab at least a few points of the total market share, but it seems unlikely that this particular BlackBerry 10 device will be the savior of the company formerly known as Research In Motion.
Final Verdict: iPhone 5
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