HTC One vs BlackBerry Z10

Vs Paul Briden 15:29, 19 Feb 2013

We pitch the BlackBerry Z10 against the HTC One flagship

HTC has just launched the HTC One, which is the successor flagship to the company’s HTC One X. As the hero model, it features a premium build with a unibody design, a high quality display and a handful of fearsome internal hardware.

With the launch of the BlackBerry 10 operating system, RIM re-branded to BlackBerry and released the BlackBerry Z10, the first phone to run the platform. It’s a touch only device with an entirely new form-factor for the company along with a larger display and a unique interface.

HTC One: Key specs and what’s hot

As we’ve come to expect from HTC, the exterior design and build quality is excellent. It uses a unibody chassis made from aluminium and combines stylistic accents from both the HTC One X and HTC’s Windows Phone 8X.

The HTC One is tall and angular for the most part, but it does have slightly curved corners. As with earlier models, the display panel sits inside a black surround, but this time it has a very narrow bezel and the white bodywork only wraps around at the top and bottom.

Being a flagship phone the HTC One is something of a powerhouse when it comes to the processor setup. It has a 1.7GHz Qualcomm 600 quad-core processor with 2GB of dual-channel RAM and an Adreno 320 graphics processing unit (GPU).

You can expect this to perform brilliantly with the current configuration of Android 4.1 and its set of apps and games, but also going forward when new builds and content roll out it shouldn’t have any trouble for a good long while.

The display is great, it’s a 4.7-inch Super LCD3 touchscreen with a Full HD 1920x1080 pixel resolution at 468 pixels-per-inch (ppi), meaning it’s about as sharp as mobile phone displays get at the moment and, being SLCD it has excellent colour depth and brightness.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is also a positive point for many reasons. It’s fast and stable, and Google has put a good deal of effort into streamlining the touch responsiveness.

There’s also a wide range of apps and games to get stuck into, with over 700,000 at last count.

HTC Sense 5 introduces a number of new features and a slightly different approach to Android which is far more streamlined. This isn’t going to be to everyone’s tastes, which is why it’s handy you can opt for a launcher, but for a fuss-free approach it’s a far more slick than previous Sense interfaces.

BlackBerry Z10: Key specs and what’s hot

The BlackBerry Z10’s design seems to be quite a divisive subject, with some saying it looks too much like an iPhone and others alleging it has a distinctive style all of its own.

Regardless it still looks pretty tidy and is reasonably well made. There’s no flex in the bodywork and the plastics have a premium feel to them, while textured rubber coating on some surfaces not only lends grip but also adds to the air of quality.

Shape-wise it is reasonably slab-like, but the top and bottom are nicely contoured and chiselled to make things a bit more interesting.

Processing power is fairly modest, but nonetheless capable as it’s well-optimised with the BlackBerry 10 software.

The software itself has a lot of potential, it introduces a new approach to interacting with smartphone multitasking, notifications, messaging and applications by making movement between these elements virtually seamless.

However, in practice it’s not quite as straightforward with some of the gestures being fiddly and parts of the UI being somewhat cluttered. It still works reasonably well, however.

The ecosystem is looking fairly vibrant as new platform launches go with over 70,000 apps available already. This has a lot of enthusiastic developer support so you should be well catered for on apps.

Direct Spec Comparison: Shootout

Device HTC One BlackBerry Z10
Dimensions 137.4mmx62mmx9.3mm 130x65.6x9mm, 137g
Display 4.7-inch SLCD3,1920x1080 pixels,468ppi

4.2-inch LCD, 1280x768 pixels,355ppi

Camera 4-megapixel,LED flash,1080p video,optical stabilisation 8-megapixel,LED flash,1080p video
Storage 32GB/64GB 16GB,microSD up to 64GB
Processor, RAM, Graphics 1.7GHz Qualcomm 600 quad-core ,2GB RAM,Adreno 320 GPU 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core MSM8960,2GB RAM,Adreno 225 GPU
Operating System, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean BlackBerry 10
UI  HTC Sense 5 n/a
Connectivity microUSB,Bluetooth,NFC,Wi-Fi,4G,GPS microUSB,Bluetooth,NFC,Wi-Fi,Wi-Fi Hotspot,Wi-Fi Direct,DLNA,4G,MHL,GPS
Battery 2,300mAh 1,800mAh

Conclusion

The HTC One is an all round impressive specimen. The build quality is excellent, the interface more refined and power is plentiful. It has all the perks of an up-to-date build of Android, including a wealth of apps, useful features and smooth operation.

However, the BlackBerry Z10 is also a compelling prospect in terms of hardware and execution, but also from a software perspective if you fancy something completely different. While the BlackBerry 10 platform is in its infancy there are some strong points which look set to grow as time goes on.

Check out our superphone supertest where we pit the HTC One against the BlackBerry Z10, iPhone 5, Sony Xperia Z, iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2, all on video!

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