First Look: BlackBerry 10 vs. iPhone 5

It's no secret to anyone interested in smartphones. For the past couple of years, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has had some issues keeping up with the likes of iOS and Android. Now though, it's the moment BlackBerry fans have been waiting for. Today marks the release of the all new BlackBerry 10 OS and to go along with it, the announcement of two brand new devices running that OS. The first device, a full touch screen experience called the BlackBerry Z10 will soon be hitting the market followed up later this year by a full QWERTY version dubbed the BlackBerry Q10.

The fearless leader of CrackBerry Nation, Kevin Michaluk, has had a BlackBerry 10 device in his hands for the past week and just attended the launch event in NYC, bringing iMore readers back a first look at the BlackBerry Z10 device. It's still too early to say if this will be a home run for RIM, but competition in this market is good and it helps keep things balanced. Check out the video above and let us know your thoughts on it all in the comments. If you want to see more, be sure to head on over to CrackBerry and read their full review.

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Chris Parsons

Editor-at-Large at Mobile Nations, gadget junkie, energy drinker, ranter.

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First Look: BlackBerry 10 vs. iPhone 5

63 Comments

Interested to see what changes IOS comes out with now that we have companies exploring new user interfaces.

That tiny screen will get to you lol. One thing I wish the iphone would have done is make the phone a little wider, and enhance their keyboard.

I agree whole heartedly on the wider screen. I'm still not a fan of the tall skinny design. I hope Apple finally gets a clue and realizes one of the reasons Android is popular is due to the larger screen sizes that are available. Not holding my breath, tho.

after reading a few reviews on different sites, crackberry included, the battery life seems like a major issue for the Z10.. excited to see what iOS 7 brings to the table in terms of (if any) UI changes. The more competition the better

Really? Where are you seeing that? You mentioned CrackBerry...Here's EXACTLY what they said....notice no where do they say "the Battery life is a major issue"

The BlackBerry Z10 has an 1800mAh battery, dubbed the LS1. I've been using the BlackBerry Z10 so much that it's been hard to do a proper battery test, but under normal use it looks like it should *hopefully* / maybe be able to get through the day, especially if you're around WiFi or in areas with strong coverage. Around the CrackBerry HQ we managed to pick one day to try and use the phone in a more "normal" manner, and we made it through the day. That said, flying into New York for the BlackBerry 10 Launch Event, we found once roaming and up on the 20th floor, the Z10 ate through battery life pretty fast.

In any case, we'll be keeping our eyes on battery life and do more battery tests soon. The good news is the battery door is removable, and power CrackBerry users will always keep a spare battery handy. The new BlackBerry Z10 Battery Charger Bundle also makes it really easy to both charge your phone and a spare battery at the same time.

What does that prove? They said it looks like you should hopefully/ maybe get through the day. Most people, especially iOS user aren't going to carry around an extra battery in their pocket. And hoping the battery lasts a full day doesn't sound like he's too optimistic that it will.

I will wait till the CB team do a proper battery test. Also, if you look at it's rating. It's rated for 10 hours of talk time vs 8 hours on the iphone 5

I wouldn't trust some of those posts about the Z10 battery. I've had mine since the first day it was released in Canada on the 5th and I can tell you it has a very, very good battery life. On a normal day of usage with emails, light web surfing, music via BT in my car and brief gaming, my Z10 lasts the entire day and even into the next morning. From what I read about the iPhone5, the Z10 battery life is way better.

it's pretty much impossible for a version 1 of any smartphone to topple iOS or Android, but it does appear to be a bit more polished than Windows. It will be interesting to see how much of the BB userbase switches over.

Doesn't matter what the OS is. If they put ports on the side of the phone like BB has, it's an automatic fail in my book.

Why is it stupid? Because Apple doesn't do it that way and if Apple doesn't do it that way, then it's the wrong way? Get out of Apple's distortion field... immediately!

WOOOW! You pathetic right-wing Goog sheep have already started to invade iMore.

It's stupid because:
-You can't dock it!!! Right now I can hop in my car, and drop my iPhone into my dock connecting both the power and sound.

-Cases will have holes on the side

-Trying to use your phone while it's charging will be a pain.

-Give me ONE reason why it's good to have ports on the side. JUST ONE!!!?

So don't even try to argue tech with me troll. I've been using smartphones when you were still in pre-school!

-There is a dock for the Z10, will be on sale soon.
- holes on the side of cases is subjective to the user's taste - doesn't make it wrong or right just because it doesn't suit you.
- I've used my phone while charging and it's not that bad. You also have the option of landscape mode if don't want the cable to interfere.
- I can give you 2 reasons why side ports are good: (1) the side gives more room to add more than one port (such as ports on the side will also let you connect via HDMI to your TV and charge at the same time). Whereas on the iPhone you only have one port at the bottom, (2) When you want to play games in landscape and still need the phone plugged into the wall to charge - if the port was at the bottom, holding the phone in landscape mode will be a pain.
- I can also add one more point: with the Z10, I don't have to dish out more money to buy a bunch of adapters to connect to my phone.

Looks pretty nice. I dont like that it defaults to the running apps screen though. I really hope iOS 7 changes their UI a bit. At least add some cool stuff on the lockscreen

If you mean defaults to running apps when unlocked, I think it actually goes to whatever screen it was on when it got locked.

I was probably confused since he first starts showing you when you open an app, then to go back to the homscreen, you swipe up and you are at the active grid screen or running apps.

What Apple should do in addition to making the lock screen more useful is repurpose the spotlight page. I bet it's the least used aspect of iOS. I'm always accidentally swiping to it and getting pissed at it. It would be better utilized as a quick settings page or a widgets page, which could have a settings widget. Apple is kind of lagging behind in usability of oft used settings. TOGGLES, TIM! TOGGLES!

That sounds like a fine idea. I'm all for it. If they do incorporate that though, some troll is gonna get up in arms because they can't customize it or do something meaningless to that page.

It's really nice to see Blackberry back in the mobile race. Android failed to impress me, Windows 8 phone is garbage but this BBOS10 looks amazing! I'm a content IOS user, but am thrilled to see innovation in the market. Step it up Apple!! I'm looking at you Jony!

Love the look. Love the screen size more. That's more what Apple should have gone with on the 5 IMO. That being said, the only thing that could make switching even a consideration for me is taking my iTunes purchased video content with me. I've got dozens of movies and a few tv series purchased from iTunes. I'm not going to a platform where I'd have to buy them all over again. I don't have to buy Blu Rays again if I go from a Sony player to and RCA player, why should digital content be any different? The MPAA is really screwing these other handset makers, and themselves to an extent (shocker!) in that they want more competition for iTunes, but their self imposed DRM is keeping people entrenched in the Apple ecosystem from switching because they've already made a huge investment. If DRM (which has only minor impact on illegal content sharing anyway) was dropped and I could transfer my iTunes purchases easily to the BB and still use my Apple TV with iTunes, I'd be more open to it (which is for me personally probably 1% from 0%, but I bought a 17" Windows laptop after Apple discontinued their 17" MBP, so stranger things have happened).

You can't put itunes music on anything else? Odd. I have done it. Most of my movie are ripped from the DVD's that I have purchased since the video quality of a DVD is still better than that of what a mobile version can do.

That in itself should make you want to switch. Why be with a company that limits you to their own proprietary format?

There are many free programs that will allow you to convert the files if needed to play on other devices. I would highly suggest you go this route immediately.

I really dislike how Apple imprisons you with their proprietary products. If you paid for music or movie, then you should be allowed to play it on any device you want. Bruce Willis actually sued Apple because he can't give his iTunes music collection to his kids. That speaks volumes with what Apple is doing.

Just saw that people can move all their iTunes purchases over to BlackBerry Z10 by syncing through the BB Link (seemlessly and no problems). So that isn't an obstacle anymore.

Hi claustin, I recently bought a Z10 (previously had iPhone 4 with a large library) and just had to set my Music Source to iTunes to be able to sync my music onto my Z10. Now that BB World (App Store equivalent) has music, TV shows and movies, I only use iTunes occasionally. :) If you prefer to sync wirelessly from your computer, there are wireless iTunes syncing apps in BB World.

I think they'll have a hard time gaining any momentum. It's a learning curve and there's no payoff for the masses considering android and iOS are simply much better and robust. At least MS has windows, office, and xbox to leverage.

RIP RIM.

Gotta say I like what I saw in that demo. Unfortunately, I think you're right. That is a very tough ladder to climb and I think the odds are against them. We'll just have to see I guess. I do hope they have some success, if nothing more than to at least keep iOS and Android in innovation mode. For me, the toughest part is convincing me to leave an ecosystem where everything works well together (from 1st party to 3rd party components) to take a chance on this.

Good luck BB.

Are you saying RIM/BlackBerry has nothing else in their portfolio? You do realize the QNX is the market leader in infotainment don't you? Not to mention everything else that QNX is involved in. If they had to QNX could care the rest of the company.

I'm simply saying there's no compelling reason to choose this Blackberry. It doesn't do things as well as the competition. The only push mail is exchange. Apps are dismal. Maps by Tomtom. It's a mosaic of bits and pieces from third parties.

I can't see RIM sticking around long enough to make any sort of dent here. It's basically a small playbook which basically already failed. This is what you give anyone left on RIM?? At least offer the qwerty phone first. Their only chance is reaching their existing base.

Well I haven't played with a demo or touched it yet so what it can or can not do in my opinion hasn't been decided yet.

Well I haven't played with a demo or touched it yet so what it can or can not do in my opinion hasn't been decided yet.

PlayBook = rushed to market and initially had little use, gained a bad reputation and a tainted name, BB10 = delayed so it was ensured that it was fully featured (they also seem to be separating it from the PB when it comes to advertising, so reputation not necessarily important). BTW, if you think only exchange is push, you have no clue. I'll grant you that apps are dismal, but not everyone needs so many apps. Apple maps are by Tomtom, guess that Apple are doomed, too? Siri was produced by another company that was purchased, so I wouldn't rush to say that Apple produce 100% 1st party stuff.

If Apple kept to their existing base, they would be lambasted by their investors. They changed the screen size to aim at a larger audience. BB made a different phone to aim at a different audience.

In short, I disagree and believe you to be either poorly informed and/or heavily biased, sir.

I wasn't talking about Apple. But since you mentioned them, how's Siri and their Maps apps looking now? Neither are very impressive.

'... it simply doesn't do things as well as the competition...' [continues to list numerous points which I addressed, with regards to Apple]. We are on iMore, remember, and you mentioned competition. The immediate conclusion was that you were talking about Apple, since they are an entrenched competitor in the mobile realm, and you also gave no specification of competition.

For your information, the Apple iMap is also by TomTom but Apple made such a mess of it that even the Australian authority declared it's dangerous to use.

At least with the BB map, I made it safely from point A to point B (...and didn't need to have to revert to a Google Map).

I'll wait and see what apple does with IOS7, but if it is more of the same boring old things apple did with IOS6 I would have no problem switching to bb or another platform.

It's good to see somebody copying my favorite OS, webOS. After switching from webOS (when HP killed it) to the iPhone and Apple, I've been very happy except for the outdated, frustrating UI on iOS.

So the new BB OS is cool as far as the cards and fast multitasking. C'mon, Apple, if BB can rip off webOS, why can't you? (Put down those lawyers, everybody!)

Apple and Blackberry OS' have been one of my favorites. It's nice to see BB OS as its fresh and different. Gotta love how all new phones are side by side with iPhone since 2007! ha. ;-) Love my iPhone! I love the blinking light for notifications...I miss that. ;-(

IMO the Hub looks really cool on BB10. I wish iOS had this. It's a pain to manage notifications by switching from app to app.

Damnit. I did not want to like this... so slick. Hooray for competition, though! How about the screen, H/W specs and the cameras? How do they stack up?

better. just not for me. It is however a big improvement. some cool ideas. moving around in it kinda confused me but that would change with using it. Still i'm sure many will like it and buy it. Granted blackberry to me is not special. it's just another maker like apple, samsung, android etc. I have no rooting interest in a given platform thus I'd still go ios for now as it suits my needs, then to android, then to this. but i'd easily do it before windows phone. What's with that grey stuff behind the icons? Is that a blackberry look? Not fond of it.

It's an improvement and a disappointment at the same time. Blackberry (weird not to say RIM anymore) had several years to watch the market and 2 years to develop BB10. In that time, what exactly have they accomplished. They borrowed some of Palm's webOS concepts and added a communications hub to placate their install base. Their hardware is nothing original and their dog and pony show that was on CNBC was derivative of Apple.

I honestly expected more from Blackberry. They had an opportunity to really leap ahead of the competition and seize the moment. They had the stage and everyone's attention and could have given Android and iOS users a true alternative that could have had folks putting down their devices and run to them. Instead they came up with something that can be copied in a point release.

Think about it. If you have content, apps and a web ecosystem from Apple or Google are you putting aside all of that to start over with Blackberry? No. I had the chance to try an Galaxy S3 at no cost to me when I started a new job recently and was offered a smartphone. I ended up with another iPhone 5 and could not be happier because with iCloud and the other Apple services everything I had could be added along with my business content.

Blackberry, congratulations on bringing your install base current and wish you luck in trying to convince a market happy with their devices to go your way in the future.

Wow... this is impressive and so many features were not even shown in the video. To think this is their first version of the OS compared to iOS6 is even more impressive.

Those clowns at BB corporate never cease to amaze me.....

All I hear from BB advocates is how great the physical keyboard is on older models and how they hate the touchscreen keyboard. And how does BB reward the hundreds and hundreds that have stayed with them while iOS and Android have left them in the dust? They launch with the touchscreen keyboard. WTF? Right when they have a captive audience and loyalists ready to go? Do they actually think happy and now loyal iOS and Android customers will drop everything and say, "I gotta have that?"

The leadership at this company has sucked for years, and this move is another costly mistake that they will not recover from. Mark my words.

they are launching the qwerty keyboard version weeks after the full touch.

hundreds and hundreds? 80 million is the correct number of current blackberry users.