Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) is no longer known as "RIM." Now, it's known as Blackberry, a name taken from the company's popular operating system and handheld devices that helped it become one of the most popular mobile phone . The company made the rebranding announcement at a special media event in New York today. Blackberry unveiled its new operating system, Blackberry 10, which will run on the company's new phones.
The Z10 and Q10 are the first Blackbery 10-based phones on the market. Blackberry is taking a page from Apple's playbook by a top-to-botom, closed-source smartphone. The company is trying to build on the success of the QWERTY keyboards featured on other phones released over the past decade by including on one of the new phones, the Q10. In an effort to show that the company is tapped into full-touchscreen smartphone preferences, Blackberry released a new smartphone that looks similar to the iPhone dubbed the Z10.
Here's exactly how the Z10 and the Q10 compare to each other:
Display: The Q10 looks exactly like old Blackberry devices -- such as the ultra-popular Blackberry 8890 -- and that takes away from the screen size. It has one of the tiniest screens of any smartphone on the market. The full-sized QWERTY keyboard is the primary distinguishing feature between the Q10 and any other phone. Since the keyboard is so big, the screen is only 3.1 inches. It has a 720 x 720 resolution and packs in 328 pixels-per-inch.
The Z10 has a 4.2-inch display with 768 x 1280 pixels packed with 355 pixels-per-inch. That means that the Z10 is significantly better in terms of pixel density and resolution, though it is worth noting that the phones have a different aspect ration. It will be interesting to see how apps will respond to the varied screen sizes. Of course, the Z10, being the first full-size touchscreen device from Blackberry, has a beautiful screen that's shockingly similar to the top phones on the market such as the Galaxy S3 or iPhone 5.
The Key Difference: The Q10 is for fans of traditional Blackberry fans that prefer a hard keyboard; The Z10 has the sharper, larger screen that's used as a touchscreen.
Performance: The Q10 has a dual-core processor that makes it capable of running basic tasks, but it's inferior to the most powerful processors on the market, such as the ones included in the Nexus 4, iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3. Since the Q10 only has a 3.1-inch screen, you can't expect much emphasis to be placed on processing power, but there's certainly enough to keep the phone running smoothly. Let's just say that the Q10 can handle most basic tasks without an problem. Don't expect much beyond that.
The Z10 has a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus. Qualcomm is one of the most popular brands among mobile processor-makers, especially following the excitement of the Qualcomm Keynote at CES. The Z10's processor is paired with 2GB of RAM, which makes it very responsive. The phone has 16GB of storage and a microSD card storage expansion of up to 64 GB.
The Key Difference: The Q10 isn't built for top-tier or high-end processing. Instead it tries to optimize all forms of messaging, mainly through the software. The Z10 is loaded with the same software, Blackberry 10, and functions in a similar manner. The Z10 has a distinctly faster processor, and given the nature of its screen, it has better performance capabilities.
Operating Systems: Both phones are running Blackberry 10, the brand new touchscreen-focused device from Blackberry. The operating system was originally called BBX, but the name of the operating system was changed after a legal dispute with BASIS International over the name. Some of the key features of the phone are the ability to adjust a photo by scrolling through a time bar, which shoots photos in burst mode. Blackberry 10 tries to aggregate information from your social media accounts, email and phone, then allow you to access that information in a clean space. You'll either love it or hate it.
The Conclusion: Before purchasing a Blackberry device, it's important to understand the risk involved. Blackberry has a long way to go before making a mark in the current mobile market, most of which is dominated by touchscreen devices. Blackberry will reportedly launch with 70,000 apps, but the launch apps have been called duds by most users. If you're going to purchase a Blackberry phone, do so with extreme caution. Hopefully you don't need access to the newest social media applications. If you do, you shouldn't purchase this phone.
The Q10 should be purchased by anyone that is absolutely in love with old Blackberry designs. If you absolutely need a hard keyboard, and you want the browsing capabilities of any Android smartphone or iPhone, you should purchase the Q10. The final option is the Z10, which is a phone that has a nice screen, decent processor, but lacks in app ecosystem. In our opinion, you shouldn't consider either phone until Blackberry proves that it can attract more developers.