BlackBerry Z10 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Vs Paul Briden 11:34, 1 Feb 2013

We take a look at how the BlackBerry Z10 stacks up against Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 'phablet' smartphone

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 is a large form-factor ‘phablet’ which utilises an S-Pen stylus as well as regular touch input on a massive 5.5-inch display.

It follows on from the Samsung Galaxy S3 and uses much the same internal hardware and software with some slight tweaks.

The BlackBerry Z10 is a 4.3-inch touch-only device and one of BlackBerry (formerly RIM’s) first handsets based on the new BlackBerry 10 software.

BlackBerry Z10: Key specs and what’s hot

The BlackBerry Z10’s display is smaller than its opponents but still a decent size at 4.2-inches. It’s an LCD with a 1280x768 pixel resolution at 356 pixels-per-inch, which results in excellent sharpness and clarity. Colour depth also appears to be a strong point.

The build quality is extremely impressive with rubberised textured surfaces and high-end, matte finish plastics. The BlackBerry Z10 has a lightness to it but doesn’t feel frail with everything fitting together tightly.

Processing power is decent, while not as brawny as the Galaxy Note 2, the BlackBerry Z10’s 1.5GHz Qualcomm S4 Snapdragon dual-core setup (with 2GB of RAM) is quite competent and the software is well-optimised. Performance is generally pretty good.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Key specs and what’s hot

The most striking thing about the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is its sheer size and the scale of its enormous display panel. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it, but we’ll come back to that later.

While such sizeable displays are now becoming more commonplace (and with higher resolutions) the fact of the matter is the Galaxy Note 2 still has one of the better smartphone screens around for viewing feature-length films, TV series and games all day long.

It’s a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 1280x720 pixel resolution at 267ppi. Generally speaking this is clear and crisp with excellent contrast, along with good brightness and colour depth.

This is a pentile display, however, which means that like the Galaxy S3 it doesn’t deliver quite as sharp visuals as similarly specced LCDs and can struggle to produce clear text. It is, in fact, slightly behind the Galaxy S3’s screen in terms of clarity.

All this goes out the window though when you’re actually using the device for the aforementioned multimedia viewing.

Processing power and battery life are two areas where the Galaxy Note 2 scores highly. It has an Exynos quad-core 1.6GHz processor with 2GB of RAM and a Mali-400MP GPU. On the whole it will take any Android task, app or game you care to throw at it, including intensive multitasking. The S-Pen input is also very good.

The battery is a 3,100mAh pack and aside from Motorola’s Razr Maxx we haven’t encountered another phone which will last this long on a single charge.

Storage space is also generous thanks to options for 16GB, 32GB or 64GB onboard plus support for microSD up to 64GB with high-capacity cards.

Direct Spec Comparison: Shootout

Device BlackBerry Z10
Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Dimensions 130x65.6x9mm, 137g 151.1x80.5x9.4mm, 183g
Display 4.3-inch LCD,1280x768 pixels,355ppi

5.5-inch Super AMOLED, 1280x720 pixels,267ppi

Camera 8-megapixel,LED flash,1080p video 8-megapixel,LED flash,1080p video
Storage 16GB,microSD up to 64GB 16GB/32GB/64GB,microSD up to 64GB
Processor, RAM, Graphics 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core MSM8960,2GB RAM,Adreno 225 GPU 1.6GHz Exynos 4412,2GB RAM,Mali-400MP GPU
Operating System, BlackBerry 10 Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
UI  n/a TouchWiz
Connectivity microUSB,Bluetooth,NFC,Wi-Fi,4G,HDMI,GPS microUSB,Bluetooth,NFC,Wi-Fi,Wi-Fi Hotspot,Wi-Fi Direct,DLNA,4G variant available,MHL,GPS
Battery 1,800mAh 3,100mAh

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