Touch of class

Black­berry ditch keys to take on iPHONES

Midweek Sport - - GADGET BOY -

Flash

BLACK­BERRY Z10 – www. car­phoneware­house.com – £379 – Sim Free BLACK­BERRY have de­cided to ditch the QWERTY key­board in favour of a touch-screen of­fer­ing set to take on the might of the iPhone 5.

And in terms of the way it looks, you’d be for­given for con­fus­ing the two. In fact, five beers down the line you may even end up walk­ing out of the pub with your mate’s mo­bile.

Both sport a sim­i­larly-sized screen: the Black­Berry’s 4.2-inch dis­play is only the tini­est of frac­tions big­ger than the iPhone’s four-inch of­fer­ing but, as we all know, big­ger is bet­ter.

And short of the word ‘Black­Berry’ be­ing writ­ten on the front, and the metal­lic logo on the back, they could be iden­ti­cal.

But while the Berry is clearly ap­ing the iPhone’s style, as a gadget in its own right the Black­berry still has plenty to of­fer.

Its 16GB in­ter­nal stor­age is bol­stered by an SD card slot, which can add an ex­tra 32GB of mem­ory. That’s roughly an ex­tra 8,000 songs!

Its rear-mounted cam­era of­fers a top-end eight me­gapix­els with 1080p HD video record­ing. It’s got a proper flash, too.

And the pic­tures and videos you do take will look crisp and clear on the screen, as it of­fers 1280 x 768 pixel res­o­lu­tion.

That amounts to 356 pix­els per inch, which is one of the high­est avail­able on any mod­ern smart phone. That screen clar­ity means that you can make out minute de­tail eas­ily and ev­ery­thing will still be vis­i­ble in all but the bright­est of sun­light.

So your home-made sex tapes will never have looked bet­ter!

It’s 4G ready, which is “Totes Amaze­balls” – to quote that bloody Kevin Ba­con ad­vert – but if you’re not with the net­work EE that’s still okay, be­cause 3G works fine.

And with the Black­Berry 10 op­er­at­ing sys­tem you prob­a­bly won’t no­tice the dif­fer­ence any­way. De­signed es­pe­cially for this phone, the plat­form of­fers quick and seam­less menus and faster in­ter­net brows­ing.

Part of the rea­son for this speed is the Qual­comm Snap­dragon S4 pro­ces­sor that lives un­der its skin. It’s quick, ef­fi­cient and rel­a­tively re­li­able.

It also uses the now stan­dard Mi­cro-USB port, which is present on pretty much ev­ery smart­phone bar the “look how bloody unique we are” iPhone.

This is fan­tas­ti­cally ben­e­fi­cial, be­cause you can bor­row your mate’s charger no mat­ter what brand they have.

But de­spite the many pos­i­tives, there is one area where Black­Berry STILL seems to lag be­hind – and that’s the all-im­por­tant apps.

Both Ap­ple and An­droid phones have ac­cess to over 800,000 games and gad­gets to down­load. Black­Berry and Win­dows lag well be­hind that.

In March, a study was car­ried out which dis­cov­ered that out of the top 100 apps avail­able on Ap­ple App Store and Google Play only 34 per cent were avail­able for Black­Berry users.

That’s not a good re­turn, and it’s an is­sue that Black­Berry is des­per­ately try­ing to ad­dress.

In the first five months of this year they added over 50,000 apps to their ros­ter, in­clud­ing big names like Skype and An­gry Birds.

The Black­Berry Z10 is a step in the right di­rec­tion, then, a truly fan­tas­tic bit of kit that puts a grin on your face the sec­ond you start play­ing with it.

But is it any good to have a phone that works seam­lessly if you don’t have the apps to make the most of it? Only time will tell.

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