BlackBerry Q10 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini

Vs Paul Briden 13:25, 4 Feb 2013

We look at how the BlackBerry Q10 compares to Samsung's Galaxy S3 Mini

The BlackBerry Q10 is a compact smartphone with a touchscreen and fixed Qwerty keyboard in the style of older models but with a few modern twists. The spec is up-to-date and it runs the latest BlackBerry 10 software build for a completely renewed user experience.

Samsung’s Galaxy S3 Mini offers a compact and slightly cheaper version of the company flagship, the Galaxy S3. It’s not quite as powerful as its namesake but still packs a newer Android 4.1 Jelly Bean build.

BlackBerry Q10: Key specs and what’s hot

The BlackBerry Q10 might be the slightly thicker and heavier handset here but it makes up for that with more pleasing materials than its rival.

In terms of the robustness of its build quality we’d say it’s probably on a par, but the feel and finish, with its glass weave back panel, is bound to be much nicer than Samsung’s durable-yet-tacky plastics.

Another advantage, if you’re either with EE or just someone who likes to be prepared for the offerings yet to come on other networks, is the built-in 4G capability, something the Galaxy S3 Mini lacks.

The BlackBerry 10 software is going to be either a major pulling point or a turn-off depending on where your sensibilities lie.

In some ways it’s quite different from what exists already – we haven’t seen a notifications, messaging and multitasking system like this anywhere else and it does work remarkably well in practice.

It has also managed to land with a broad selection of 70,000 apps, that’s more than Windows Phone 8 carried out the gate and of these a decent chunk are established, desirable titles.

Lastly, you’ve got some interesting built-in features such as a new build of BlackBerry Messenger, the main change here is the inclusion of integrated video chat.

The phone’s display is on the small side by current standards at only 3.1-inches, this is of course to make room for the keyboard. Long-time BlackBerry users will likely not bat an eyelid at the diminutive Super AMOLED touchscreen, but for others it may take some getting used to.

It does, however, have excellent clarity thanks to the 720x720 pixel resolution at 330 pixels-per-inch (ppi), while AMOLED ensures the contrast is suitably punchy.

Processing power is, in this comparison at least, another strong area for the BlackBerry Q10. It sports a dual-core 1.5GHz chip with 2GB of RAM and has this reasonably well optimised with the BlackBerry 10 software.

As such, it should be able to run plenty of high-end content without fuss and that focus on multitasking won’t be going awry in the performance department either.

While the 16GB onboard storage is equal to the Galaxy S3 Mini’s higher-end option, the BlackBerry Q10 does have the advantage of high-capacity card storage up to 64GB, giving it substantially more flexibility than the Samsung’s 32GB card support.

The BlackBerry Q10 also appears to have the upper hand when it comes to camera hardware and imaging capabilities. It features an 8-megapixel primary camera with LED flash, stabilisation, autofocus, 1080p video capture and face detection.

The built-in software on BlackBerry 10 also means it’ll capture stills for a time before and after you take a picture and you can do some nifty things like pick the best face for each person.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini: Key specs and what’s hot

In truth, there is not a great deal that is hot about the Galaxy S3 Mini, particularly at its price point, but we said as much in our full review.

It has the same disappointing exterior as its larger cousin and while it’s not exactly impotent or underpowered it is lower down on the performance scale than many of its contemporaries.

You might consider the larger size of the touch display to be an advantage, particularly if you prefer the touch-only form factor to the BlackBerry Q10’s half-display-half-keyboard configuration.

The use of Android 4.1 might also be more to your liking than the fresh-off-the-boat BlackBerry 10.

Android is a well-established platform with over 700,000 apps to choose from and ongoing developer support. Not only that but Google has refined the interface, menus, functionality and performance to a keen edge. It’s fast, smooth and reliable.

Direct Spec Comparison: Shootout

Device BlackBerry Q10
Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini
Dimensions 119.6x66.8x10.4mm,139g 121.6x63x9.9mm,111g
Display 3.1-inch Super AMOLED,720x720 pixels,330ppi

4-inch Super AMOLED,800x480 pixels,233ppi

Camera 8-megapixel,1080p video,LED flash 5-megapixel,LED flash,720p video
Storage 16GB,microSD up to 64GB 8GB/16GB,microSD up to 32GB
Processor, RAM, Graphics 1.5GHz dual-core,2GB RAM 1GHz dual-core ST Ericsson NovaThor U8420,1GB RAM,Mali-400MP GPU
Operating System, BlackBerry 10 Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
UI n/a TouchWiz
Connectivity Bluetooth,microUSB,NFC,Wi-Fi,Wi-Fi Hotspot,GPS Bluetooth,microUSB,Wi-Fi,Wi-Fi Hotspot,DLNA,GPS
Battery 1,800mAh 1,500mAh

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Samsung is already launching the Galaxy S4 Mini, soon, so RIM's Blackberry Q10 is pretty much dead in the water.

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