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printed April 19, 2014
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Review: BlackBerry Z10 for Verizon Wireless

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Screen

The Z10's display measures 4.2-inches across the diagonal and has 1280 x 720 pixels, making it an HD screen. It's solid, but I've seen better. It may be pixel dense, but icons, graphics, and text still look a bit soft to me. It is bright, but colors look muted. Samsung's Super AMOLED displays are far better, but the Z10's display is really nothing to complain about. I was able to use it outdoors without any trouble.

Signal

In terms of Verizon's network, the Z10 did an admirable job of finding and holding onto the network. During our entire review period, the Z10 remained tightly connected to Verizon's LTE 4G network. I didn't see it dip down to 3G at all. We tested the Z10 in New Jersey and in San Francisco and saw excellent signal performance in both areas. The Z10 did not miss or drop calls, and data speeds were always quick, whether the Z10 had one bar or five.

Sound

The sound of the Z10 on Verizon's network isn't that much different from the international version we tested earlier this year. Voice quality was very good and I was pleased with the clarity of voices coming through the earpiece. The earpiece is loud, but could be louder. I was able to hear conversations in most environments, but noisy city streets were able to drown out calls now and then. The speakerphone has a nice warm quality to it, and calls were just as clear as through the earpiece. It’s also loud enough to be used in the boardroom. The ringers produce enough noise to get your attention no matter what is going on, and the vibrate alert is strong enough to jolt you from a deep sleep.

Battery

The Verizon version of the BlackBerry Z10 makes no improvements over the international version when it comes to battery life. I was not impressed. The device routinely croaked off by about 10PM each day, even with only moderate use. Power users may see the battery give out as early as 7PM (or after about 12 hours). Standby time is pathetic. Left on but entirely unused, the Z10 died in a little over 24 hours. You're going to need to keep a sharp eye on the battery and alway have a charger handy.

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