Since its introduction on Jan. 30, Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s BlackBerry Z10 has been one of the hottest topics in the tech spheres. Where the bears have been absolutely skeptical about the new product’s pricing vs. features story, bulls have made up some strong arguments that suggest that the product might be a hit, especially given its superior features as compared to rival products.
The initial impressions of the Z10 have been favorable: Users have been impressed with the device build quality and overall usability. The 4.2” display size imparts a convenient one-handed usage experience. The Flow, Hub, and Active Tiles features have made the OS quite fluid and responsive. Users have suggested that Z10 has a superior set of keyboard, camera and browser than Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone5 and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Nexus 4 (currently considered as the best Android phone)
For context, the Ringmark test, created by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), tests a mobile browser for how well it supports the capabilities that modern mobile web apps require. Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) BlackBerry’s browser is one of the first browsers to pass the first two rings (0 and 1) of this test.
Keyboard: Z10’s keyboard is clearly the best. While the error rate is not much higher on the Nexus 4 or iPhone5 keyboard, the speed of typing is definitely higher on the Z10. The predictive feature on the keyboard is quite accurate and useful. Moreover, with continued use the keyboard’s predictive capabilities improve by customizing to the user’s linguistic nuances, something not offered by “Swype” and other similar features on other keyboards. One-handed typing was quite convenient on the Z10, unlike the experience on other two devices. The keyboard also integrates well with the Flow concept of the OS, making the overall user experience very smooth and fluid.
Maps: The maps feature is the only feature that the users have found better in the other two devices. According to a test run, the routing and navigation information on the Z10 was in line with Google Maps. However, the traffic information wasn’t exactly accurate on the Z10, while Nexus 4 and iPhone5 were a lot closer to actual conditions. It is interesting to note that Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) BlackBerry’s native map application uses TomTom data, similar to iPhone5, while Nexus 4 uses Google Maps.
Camera: The Z10’s camera packs a couple of interesting and differentiated features. First and most notably, the Time Shift feature enables the user to separately edit each individual in a photograph, by moving forward and backward in time in fractions of a second to select the best shot. This adds to the “cool” factor on the device and is a significant differentiator in the market today. The second interesting feature is that the camera allows the user to shift the positioning of the focus by dragging the viewfinder on the screen. In addition, the editing software has Instagram-like features, which somewhat makes up for the fact that Instagram is currently not available.