BlackBerry’s Z 10 has now been officially launched. It’s the first full touchscreen BlackBerry, and that pits it directly against some of the most popular smartphones on the market. The new BlackBerry operating system and the Z10 were both lauded by industry experts when it was launched last week, but how does it stack up against one of the most popular Android devices around – The Samsung Galaxy S3?
Design and build
These two phones are quite different in appearance. The Galaxy S3 has a larger screen and measures in at 71 x 137mm, compared to the Z10 which measures just 66 x 130mm. However, offset against that is the fact that the Galaxy S£ is thinner, measuring just 8.6mm, compared to the Z10 which measures 9.2mm. In terms of weight there’s little to choose between them: the Galaxy weighs 133g, whereas the Z10 weights fractionally more at 135g. Both phones sport flimsy plastic rear covers, but generally the Galaxy S3 feels more solid and robust.
By today's standards, the Z10's 4.2inch display is quite small. The S3 screen is larger, as already mentioned, and measures 4.8 inches. Both phones have similar resolutions: the Galaxy boasting 720 x 128o, and the Z10 768 x 1280. However, the Z10 is superior in terms of pixel density. It weighs in with a handsome 355 ppi, compared to the S3’s 306ppi. In fact, it’s currently has the highest pixel density of all the smartphones available, but that will more than likely change when full HD phones come on to the market.
Processor and performance
Even though the S3 has been around for some time, it still has a more powerful processor - a Exynos 4 Quad, a quad-core chip clocked at 1.4GHz, based on the ARM Cortex-A9 architecture.
The Z10, on the other hand, only has a mid-range 1.5GHz dual-core processor. However, the handset has twice as much RAM as the Samsung at 2GB so this balances things up. Performance on both phone handsets is roughly comparable, but experts are tending to agree that the Galaxy S3 is marginally quicker.
Samsung has a distinct advantage in this department as the S3 comes with a variety of storage options: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. The new BlackBerry Z10 has only been launched in a 16GB model. Both, however, have the same potential for adding more storage, with each smartphone providing a microSD card slot capable of accepting up to 64GB memory cards.
Both phones are evenly matched in this department. The Galaxy S3's regulation 8Mp resolution is matched by BlackBerry’s Z10. Both record video in up to Full HD 1080p and both have similar software features. The front cameras are effectively the same too: the S3 boasting 1.9Mp, and the Z10 2Mp. Both can also shoot video at up to 720p.
The Galaxy S3 runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, which is near enough the latest edition of Google's operating system. However, Samsung uses its own TouchWiz user interface which delivers a number of exclusive features you won't find on other Android handsets. BlackBerry's Z10 is pre-loaded with the firm's brand new mobile operating system, BlackBerry 10. BlackBerry 10 is a smooth and intuitive piece of software, however, it doesn’t offer anything different or unique. BlackBerry has created an OS similar to that of Android and iOS, but laid out differently.
The Galaxy S3's 7.8Wh (2100mAh) battery typically lasts two days in power saving mode. Unfortunately the 6.7Wh (1800mAh) battery of the BlackBerry Z10 apparently only just lasts a day, which is disappointing.