iPhone 5 vs. BlackBerry Z10

Yesterday, RIM, which is now known as BlackBerry, unveiled its brand new all-touch smartphone dubbed the BlackBerry Z10, a BlackBerry 10 device it hopes will keep pace with the juggernauts of 2012 and 2013. One of those competitors is of course Apple’s iPhone 5, a device that is currently one of the most popular smartphones on the market.

Read: iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S4: Round Two.

Last year, BlackBerry opted to take the year off and instead of releasing its BlackBerry 10 software or high-end smartphones pushing the launches into the first part of this year. The culmination of the company’s hard work was revealed yesterday in the form of BlackBerry 10, the company’s new operating system, and two new smartphones dubbed the BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry Q10.

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The iPhone 5 will be matched up against the BlackBerry Z10 when it arrives.

The BlackBerry Q10 is BlackBerry’s first BlackBerry 10 QWERTY smartphone while the BlackBerry Z10 is the company’s latest stab at the all-touch world. Its first all-touch smartphone, the BlackBerry Storm was met with terrible reviews and the BlackBerry Z10 represents the company’s biggest all-touch launch since then.

It’s a device that the company is aiming squarely at the big name devices either on the market or coming to the market including the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC M7, the Galaxy S3, and also, the iPhone 5.

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The iPhone 5 is Apple’s current generation iPhone and it’s a device that has proven popular with consumers around the globe. Those looking to snag a new smartphone are likely to have it near the top of their wish list and that’s not a surprise. Love it or hate it, there is no denying that it’s a high-quality smartphone, worthy of shoppers attention.

The competition is fierce though, even in the first month of 2013, and we imagine that wish lists are chock full of devices. For many, one of those devices is likely to be the BlackBerry Z10. So how does the BlackBerry Z10 match up against Apple’s current iPhone? Here, we pit the iPhone 5 versus the BlackBerry Z10 in terms of features, release date and more.

Release Date

One of the advantages that the iPhone 5 has over the BlackBerry Z10 is the fact that it’s already out on shelves. That means that those looking to get a new smartphone have access to the device both online or in physical retail locations. That wasn’t always the case though.

The iPhone 5, launched back in September of last year, was met with quite a bit of demand in the United States, so much so in fact that it was difficult to find all the way up until December when Apple was able to get its supply issues under control.

Today, the phone is widely available not only through Apple but also through a variety of carriers that host it on its network.

The iPhone 5 will have a bit of a head start on the BlackBerry Z10 as the device won’t arrive in the United States for several weeks. At the launch event, BlackBerry announced a release window for the BlackBerry Z10, however, it left the individual release dates up to the carriers, which means that it could be weeks before we see official release dates emerge.

BlackBerry revealed that the BlackBerry Z10 will arrive in the U.S. starting in March. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, the carriers that have confirmed support for the Z10, still have not revealed exactly when the device will be released though we imagine that all three will likely offer release dates that take place during the month of March.

If true, it could mean that the BlackBerry Z10 will arrive in the same month as the HTC M7 release, rumored for early March, and the Galaxy S4 launch date which has been pegged for March 22nd.  Needless to say, Z10 and iPhone 5 aside, the sheer amount of options on the table for potential buyers will likely be staggering in just a few weeks time.

Design

The first thing that shoppers will notice about the iPhone 5 is its industrial design which includes metal, aluminum and a bit of glass to hold it all together. The iPhone 5 also features a new anodized aluminum back, different from the glass backs of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.

Due to the larger 4-inch display, the iPhone is now taller than its predecessors, but it also cuts down the weight and thickness. The iPhone 5 is extremely thin, measuring in at 7.6mm in thickness. That’s slimmer than most smartphones on the market right now including the Galaxy S3 and yes, the BlackBerry Z10.

It’s also extremely lightweight, so light in fact that consumers were complaining about it being too light when the phone first arrived. Specifically it has a weight of only 112 grams. That’s much lighter than the iPhone 4S and lighter than just about every high-end smartphone on the market, again, including the Blackberry Z10.

The BlackBerry Z10 is an extremely sleek looking device as well, and fits in well with the modern look of smartphones. Unlike the iPhone 5 though, the BlackBerry Z10 is made of plastic. That should help to keep it durable and easy to grasp while making a call or text.

As we mentioned, the BlackBerry Z10 is heavier and thicker than the iPhone 5. It weighs 136 grams which is reasonable for a phone and measures in at 8.89mm which is about as thick as the Galaxy S3.

Display

Prior to the iPhone 5’s arrival, Apple’s iPhone always came with a 3.5-inch display. With the iPhone 5 though, it seems Apple caved to the demands for a larger display and decided to increase the size of the iPhone’s display to a 4-inch Retina Display, .5 inches larger than the display that was previously found on the iPhone.

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The iPhone 5 sports a 4-inch Retina Display.

The iPhone 5′s display uses 1136 x 640 resolution, which isn’t HD, but boasts a high 326 pixels-per-inch count which make for crisp images, video and text and keeps it in the conversation for best smartphone display.

It also sports a 16:9 aspect ratio, different from the 4:3 aspect ratio on the iPhone 4S, and it offers widescreen resolution for content like television shows and movies. It also helps for those that might consume a lot of YouTube content on their phone as it gets ride of the pesky black bars that popped up on previous devices.

While the 2013 crop of smartphones, including the Galaxy S4 and maybe even the iPhone 5S, are looking to usher in a new era of display technology, BlackBerry’s Z10 display will unfortunately be stuck in the past. That doesn’t mean that the display is terrible though.

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The BlackBerry Z10 offers a 4.2-inch 720p display.

The BlackBerry Z10 will house a 4.2-inch display that has 1280 x 768 resolution and 356 pixels-per-inch. That will make for a fantastic viewing experience in terms of images, video and applications.

Those looking for a 1080p display however will not find it here and instead will have to opt for one of the many Android devices that appear poised to launc with that technology a little later in the year.

Camera

The iPhone 5 possesses one of the best all-around rear cameras in the business with its 8MP iSight camera. It handles itself well in most environments, though low-light environments still leave something to be desired and it offers quality video footage as well for those that are into capturing moments on video.

The iPhone 5 also features an HD front-facing camera that produces high-quality video chats for those that need to take advantage of them for school or for work.

For those that wish to go more in-depth, have a look at our hands-on with the iPhone 5 camera.

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iPhone 5 camera sample.

The BlackBerry Z10 also features an 8MP camera in the rear but a 2MP camera in the front as opposed to the 1.9MP camera in the front on the iPhone 5. Already though, we have heard that the BlackBerry Z10 leaves something to be desired as a camera shoot-off in low-light between the iPhone 5, Lumia 920, Galaxy S3 and the BlackBerry Z10 left the Z10 in last place.

Read: BlackBerry Z10 Camera Loses Low-Light Test.

Of course, that isn’t the nail in the coffin but it isn’t a good sign. For the average user, the BlackBerry Z10 camera should be perfectly fine but for those looking to get a top-of-the-line rear camera, the BlackBerry Z10 isn’t going to be the one to have it.

Specs

Of course, both of these phones offer specifications beyond just the camera, design and display. Here, we want to break down the rest of the specs for the iPhone 5 and the BlackBerry Z10.

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The iPhone 5 sports quality battery life. Reviews for the BlackBerry Z10 suggest it doesn’t.

First, the iPhone 5.

  • 4-inch Retina Display with 1136 x 640 Resolution
  • Apple A6 Processor
  • 16GB/32GB/64GB models (No microSD Card Slot)
  • 8MP rear camera/HD Front-Facing Camera
  • 1440mAh Battery (Non-Removable)
  • 1GB of RAM

Next, the BlackBerry Z10.

  • 4.2-inch Display with 1280 x 768 Resolution
  • 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Dual-Core Processor
  • 16GB Model (microSD Card Slot)
  • 8MP Rear Camera/2MP Front-Facing Camera
  • 1800 mAh Battery (Removable)
  • NFC
  • 2GB of RAM

There are a few key differences here so let’s point those out. First, the BlackBerry Z10 comes with NFC support which means it will be compatible with things like mobile payment services. The iPhone 5 does not have NFC.

Second, the BlackBerry Z10 has a removable battery which makes it easy to replace in case something goes bad or if a user needs more power. We imagine that companies will release battery packs for the BlackBerry Z10 after it launches. The iPhone 5 unfortunately does not feature a removable battery.

Speaking of the battery life, the BlackBerry Z10, according to many reviews, does not sport fantastic battery life. The iPhone 5 on the other hand gets high quality battery life for a 4G LTE smartphone.

The iPhone 5 also doesn’t have a microSD card slot for expanded storage, opting for three non-expandable storage options instead. The BlackBerry 10 only comes in 16GB form.

Software

Apple’s iPhone 5, at the moment, runs the company’s iOS 6 operating system which arrived alongside the smartphone back in September. iOS 6 features 200 new features over iOS 5, many of which can been seen in the video below.

To mention a few features, iOS 6 brings the new Apple Maps, Passbook which allows users to store gift cards, airline tickets, sports tickets, Do Not Disturb, Facebook integration, and of course, new features for the iPhone’s virtual personal assistant, Siri.

A few days ago, it was updated with the first big update to iOS 6 in the form of iOS 6.1 which brings the ability to purchase movie tickets through Siri, new lockscreen music controls and more. The new feature in Siri can be seen in action below.

Read: iOS 6.1 Review.

One other benefit of the iPhone 5 is that it will get updates long into the future, including an update to the rumored iOS 7 which should be announced in June at WWDC. An example of the iPhones longevity is the fact that the more than three year old iPhone 3GS just got updated with iOS 6.1, just like the iPhone 5.

We can’t say what the future holds for the BlackBerry Z10 but we do know that it will be running brand new software right out of the gate. In addition to the hardware announcements, the company formerly known as RIM also unveiled its new BlackBerry 10 software.

The software represents the company’s biggest software release in quite some time and it’s a modern update to the BlackBerry system which brings a gesture based operating system to the BlackBerry Z10.

As noted by RIM CEO Thorsten Heins, the software was designed with the Hyper-Connected in mind, Hyper-Connected of course meaning users who want to get things done in their personal and professional life.

In addition to the UI overhaul, BlackBerry 10 introduces a number of interesting features for both work and casual use. The first important features are the new gestures which can been seen in our hands-on video below.

Read: BlackBerry 10 Features You’ll Actually Care About.

BlackBerry 10 also includes a plethora of stock applications including BlackBerry Balance for those who use their device for enterprise, BlackBerry Hub which delivers email, calendar and social networking accounts in one place, a new BlackBerry virtual keyboard, BlackBerry Flow for switching between applications, the standard BBM, and more.

Instead of Siri, BlackBerry 10 will feature Voice Control capabilities. As a whole, the new software is a vast departure from the old BlackBerry 7 software and it looks poised to bring the BlackBerry Z10 up to speed with devices like the iPhone.

We should also point out that the BlackBerry application market will be limited, including the lack of Netflix and Instagram, and will host 70,000+ applications at launch. That opposes the iOS App Store which already offers well over 700,000 applications for download.

Carriers

When it comes to shopping for a phone, choosing the right carrier is extremely important. And very fortunately, the iPhone 5 gives consumers quite a bit of choice when it comes to selecting one.

In addition to the three largest carriers in the U.S. including AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless, the device is available on a number of smaller operators including Cricket Wireless as well as several regional carriers.

We’ve also heard rumors of the iPhone 5 heading to Virgin Mobile USA and T-Mobile has confirmed the iPhone for its network for later this year though it remains unclear if T-Mobile will be hosting the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 5S, the rumored successor to Apple’s current-generation iPhone. One thing is clear though, whichever iPhone T-Mobile launches will be on its 4G LTE network and not just its HSPA+ 42 network.

The BlackBerry Z10 on the other hand has only been confirmed for three carriers in the United States including AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. Sprint, the nation’s third largest carrier, appears set to only carry the BlackBerry Q10, the company’s QWERTY handset. That of course could change but things are looking bleak.

BlackBerry’s smartphone will indeed run on the 4G LTE networks of AT&T and Verizon and it will also run on T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network which will be launching shortly.

Pricing

The nice thing about the iPhone is that its pricing has mostly stayed constant throughout the years. Apple found the sweet spot $199.99 starting price and it hasn’t looked back since. The iPhone 5 is no different, commanding a $199.99 price tag through the big three which includes AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. That’s the price that consumers will also find through the Apple Store.

For $199.99, customers will snag a 16GB iPhone 5 which is the model with the least amount of storage space.

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The iPhone 5 starts at $199.99.

Here is how Apple’s on-contract price for the iPhone 5 breaks down:

  • iPhone 16GB – $199.99 on-contract
  • iPhone 32GB – $299.99 on-contract
  • iPhone 64GB – $399.99 on-contract

It’s unclear whether or not the iPhone 5 will be heading to T-Mobile. The carrier confirmed that the iPhone would be heading to its network later this year, but it did not say whether it would be the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 5S. If it is the iPhone 5, expect pricing to be more expensive up front as the carrier is moving to offer devices off-contract instead of with a subsidy.

That likely means that the pricing will fall more in line with the price of an unlocked iPhone which is as follows:

  • iPhone 16GB – $649.99 off-contract
  • iPhone 32GB – $749.99 off-contract
  • iPhone 64GB – $849.99 off-contract

Unsurprisingly, the one carrier that has priced the BlackBerry Z10, which oddly enough is Verizon, has placed a price tag of $199.99 upon the device. That will likely be the price of the device at AT&T though where T-Mobile stands is unclear. It all depends on how quickly it moves to start offering its Value Plans only.

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That BlackBerry Z10 pricing is of course for the phone on-contract through Verizon.

Comments

  1. K Taylor says

    This is a pretty crappy review obviously written by an iPhone junkie. The author talks more about the iPhone than he does the Z10 by a long shot. The “vs” in the title is entirely misleading. While the author does talk about the Z10 and mentions features which have been in the wild for months, he does not do much comparisons of browser speeds, phone usability or any kind of realistic test on battery life – only suggesting that the iPhone 5’s batter will outlast the Z10 despite the Z10 having a larger capacity battery in the specs he himself posted.

    There was also no mention whatsoever of how Apple’s iOS interface is getting tired and old, and hasnt changed much since 2006.

    Overall I give this review a thumbs down because it appears to be merely an Apple loyalist doing his begrudging best to not appear to be a fanboy and to make an attempt to appear neutral.

  2. Larry says

    Blackberry has had a bad rap for a while now and I think they finally stepped up to the plate and may prove a great device in march apples iPhone 5 should been last years model and a 6 this year with all the rumored stuff this year so I think apple slipped off the hill, to many devices that beat ip 5 now if the 6 and rumored stuff this year apple still would lead but they don’t!!

  3. Jason says

    And here we see the obvious demise of the iPhone, where the loyal few post blinkered reviews of their favourite toy up against far superior hardware, yet somehow conclude that the iPhone is still the best smart phone ever. You used to be cool if you had an iPhone, now it’s kind of dorky.

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