The STL100-1 BlackBerry Z10 - What makes it so special?

By Kris Simundson on 25 Sep 2013 01:44 pm EDT
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The lone duck. The device no one wants. All common sayings for those who own the BlackBerry Z10 model STL100-1. Where did all the hatred and discontent with a device come from? 

While it may not matter to a bunch of you, there are certainly STL100-1 owners who feel a bit left out or cheated but having this device, but what makes it so special that it stands alone?

Let's dive right in and say this out right. This all started because of leaked software not being compatible with the STL100-1. It became a commonly asked question which has turned into a long standing joke here amongst the Crackberry forums. While it is the normal now to ask "is this leak for X device", it also comes with the biggest misunderstanding that the STL100-1 is weaker or less important than it's North American counterparts.

Well, I'm here to break that misconception.

First, the STL100-1 was built in mind with countries that, at the time, did not support 4GLTE (and to this day some still don't). This was also at request of the carriers at the time of building the device specifications. In order to build a device with no LTE they needed a different chipset. That chipset was the TI OMAP 4470. It is a 45nm ARMv7 chip which runs at 1.3-1.5 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9. That same chip also has two 266 MHz ARM Cortex-M3 microcontrollers

Now with certain CPU's, they can only run certain GPU's. In this case the STL100-1 runs the PowerVR SGX544. Which in hind sight, statistic wise, is a better chip than the Adreno 225 on the other BlackBerry Z10 models. 

To summarize, the BlackBerry Z10 STL100-1 is no less of a phone than any of its Z10 counterparts. It is still clocked at 1.5Ghz dual-core CPU and it actually has a better onboard GPU. Just because a "leak" isn't for your device doesn't mean BlackBerry has forgotten or abandoned said device.

If most of you can recall, even BlackBerry Z10 STL100-1 owners got the 10.1MR update before customers in the United States did. This will also hold true when the official BlackBerry 10.2 OS rolls out (most likely). When the OS starts to roll out, every BlackBerry Z10, Q10, and Q5 will see a update for their phones. Of course, don't forget your carrier is responsible for the rollout.

So hopefully that clears things up a bit. If you're a STL100-1 owner you shouldn't feel left out - your BlackBerry loves you just the same!

Reader comments

The STL100-1 BlackBerry Z10 - What makes it so special?

161 Comments

Well, bite you did! ... think about the numbers this way:
Assuming a $500 per-device write-down cost, that leaves 1.9 million devices 'sitting.'

In its historically slowest quarter, BBRY sold "about" that many, so it IS conceivable that (many/most of) those "COULD" find their way into customer hands by the end of the year. And remember, that's "global" inventory.

Since a friend of mine just lost his into the swimming pool a few days ago, ... "there's another one sold."
And, depending on how soon the Z30 is released here, there'll be 2 more entering this home before long.

Hope to have put this into perspective ...

Just my 2 cents from a penny-less country.
Cheers and Keep Moving!

Not to forget, there are still people approaching their upgrade time tables and a good portion of these people are loyal to BBRY. (of course some will not migrate over)

I KNOW, eh? ... <ROFLOLOLMFAO!!!!>

If the situation weren't so pathetically sad - AND infuriating - it might actually be funny.

But I'll tell you what WILL be "coming soon" ... and it's going to mean more bad news for all we love and hold dear about this great technology.

Just my 2 cents from a penny-less country.
Cheers and Keep Moving!

The write down obviously isn't good news, but it is an accounting trick that is going to allow them to lower the selling price of the Z10, which is great news. The Z10 is a great device that will be in the same price range as a lot of sub par phones. The lower price gives the Z10 better value and makes it a better device.

I just wish more people knew how great BlackBerry 10 is. I really don't want to have to move to another platform eventually. I truly feel like BlackBerry 10 was built for me in every way possible!

Posted via CB10

If thus doesn't teknikally shut up the tek phobes, they deserve to dwell in their own naive misery.

I use a BlackBerry because it makes sense

The disconnect between your comments and your signature is mind-bottling... Pray, tell me moar.

Posted via CB10 on my white Z10 & lovin' it!

Corrected:
If this doesn't technically shut-up the technophobes, they deserve to dwell in their own naïve misery.

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on 10.2.0.1443. #IChooseBlackBerry10

Okay guys, yes we all know what happened and we've discussed it at length in the forums. Let's keep the comments classy and (at least somewhat) relevant to the article itself, please? I don't see how you expect a response to this here...

Posted via CB10 on my white Z10 & lovin' it!

I see almost no evidence of what happened in the forums other than a few off topic posts and Kris twitter feed. Was everything deleted?

I have no clue, but most people that heard what happened have probably read about the aftermath by now. Though others haven't, it's still ineffective/unnecessary to bring it up in the comments section of an article. Nothing's going to get resolved this way.

Posted via CB10 on my white Z10 & lovin' it!

I believe his quote in the last Crackberry podcast he was on a month ago was something like I will be team blackberry and helping people with leaks until there is nothing left on their servers lol. Glad we have people who change allegiance so easily defending our country

exactly, and he is still team blackberry, just doesn't own a blackberry device again for personal reasons, it was talked about, you really did not have to comment with such statement here.

It's a cellphone. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. What possibly could be a personal reason for using a different cellphone.

Are we going to chastise Kevin, Bla1ze, Or Adam for owning and using iPhones and Android devices? Kevin just said on the last emergency podcast that he's using (I think) a Samsung device in Korea with a built-in TV antenna.

Come on man, leave the dude's occupation out of this. And I don't believe he ever said he's completely out of working on/with BlackBerry, clearly if he took the time out of enjoying his new Nexus 4 to write an article about the STL100-1...

I'm not going to say things went perfectly well, but I will say that we need to let it go and move on. We're all more mature than this, we own BlackBerry devices for goodness sake! ;)

Posted via CB10 on my white Z10 & lovin' it!

Big difference: Kevin, Bla1ze, or Adam did not obtain their iPhones and Android devices by trading or selling the BBs they were given for a very specific task.

So is this more an issue with the Q10 than him going to another platform for his primary needs? If so, that's a different discussion altogether, though I still don't think this is the place to do it.

(For the record, I'm not all the way okay with it either, but there's little I can do about it and no amount of commenting here is going to change anything either.)

Posted via CB10 on my white Z10 & lovin' it!

Well, it seems to me that other bloggers have at least one BlackBerry. Kris could have kept his community Q10 for testing and blogging and bought a new phone as his main driver. Now if his family couldn't endure the sight of a Blackberry anymore, then why not just leave and perhaps blog for Android Central.
On top of that, I don't really see the point of such posts, especially with all the mistakes made.

Sent from my Z30/3

It's principle, nothing to do with favor.

It's the same way I can probably ask you, why do u see it fit, to comment against him? ...but I'm not questioning, so don't even answer,

And if that's your the first thought that comes to your mind "man love"...surely says a lot about you

Posted via CB10

I know you're your own person but, I thought the Berry Leaks team was done with discussing what happened with Kris? (I'm making an assumption here though that you are part of the team given your avatar.)

Posted via CB10 on my white Z10 & lovin' it!

I love mine as well! Before I bought it, I did do some light research, but didn't bother to check before buying it on Amazon. I may not have LTE, but for what I use this phone for, I'm more than happy. I like it more than my Note II and iPhone 4s. Kind of reminds me of my old Storm II (which I freaking miss) !

Posted via CB10

Good post. This definitely clears up things for the stl100-1 users out there including myself.

Posted via CB10

I knew my graphics were better, lol. Just had a feeling the first time I played dark knight rises and recently epoch. Good write up man, keep up the good work.

P.S. - when is the next leak due?

Just kidding.

Via my Zormtrooper...

The best smart phone is the new BB10's... I have used all the so called "top" phones and I would not want to have to go back. I will never own an iPhone (gov monitoring device) again !!! And I'm do not want an Android (full of viruses) either... but would take it over the iPhone any day.

Now that I'm using a Z10 I enjoy it much more and I can't wait to up grade to the Z30. As far as I'm concerned going private is the best move BB can take at this time. To much (-) media is not helpful... We should stand on our own ... Instead of being sheep like the majority!!! BB forever!

Love my STL100-1 With 10.2.0.1521. Although I may not get LTE it does get 4G. Very happy as most of my heavy use is on WIFI.

Posted via CB10

Proud owner of stl-001. I paid $700 to get this baby out the line.

My previous phone was the iphone5.
Gave it to my younger brother.

Posted via CB10

Great to see more articles from you Kris! Thinking about this a bit it baffles me how the iPhone can sell 10's of millions in units without the non LTE variant and BlackBerry can't hold a candle to the Apple sales with its devices made available to all. Am I right or have I got it all wrong?
We need to have BlackBerry market like Samsung and Apple do.

Z10 OS 10.2.0.1743

i own a stl 100-1. i have 10.2.0.1521 leaked software. i dont have draining battery issues. probably the longest battery life compared to my old android devices. its fast. with 10.2 application initialization times just boosted. i dont feel like im alone or left alone. i feel more like special and lucky. And i am pretty happy with thr android runtime as well. it will just get better in time. i dont knkw what others are talking about being unlucky but thats not me.

Posted via CB10

All I know is I'm trying to track down a damn z30 and since I'm impatient I will go outside of Canada to get it. Having said that I don't want to be screwed getting a 4g only phone. How would you know ahead of time?

Posted via CB10

Again thanks for clearing that up good to know we have to hear this from CrackBerry all the time and NOT BLACKBERRY 'S USELESS MARKETING TEAM! Hence one of there many problem's. Fantastic :(

Posted via CB10

While there are many reason to complain about the marketing team, what should they be doing, explaining why leaks do not run on one particular z10?

I love my z10 STL 100-1
No problems with the leaks... ya they come in late but they work well... so do all the apps and phone features...
:)

Posted via the awesome Z10 STL100-1/10.1.0.4633

I can agree with this.
I have the STL-100-1 sold in India and I have compared mine with American Z10s and the my Z10 is so much more smooth in scrolling etc. After I saw the American versions I can now understand the huge hate for the Z10. The STL-100-1 has far better graphic abilities than the other models.

Posted via CB10

"First, the STL100-1 was built in mind with countries that, at the time, did not support 4GLTE"

This is BS. I remember a thread by a guy out of the Middle East (M.Rizk, I think his name was,) who categorically stated that a lot of these places in the Middle East that were getting the -1 already had LTE, and IIRC, it was band 3 and/or band 7 LTE--bands that are present in the -2. I can understand a place like India getting the -1 since they a) didn't have solid LTE networks in place (still don't, I think,) and b) have a relatively obscure LTE band (relative at least to the bands present in the BB10 phones.) But the Middle East could have certainly been given the -2. Also, if you look at the markets that got the -1 were relatively strong markets for BB. So I think they (BB) figured that people would buy no matter what, so they skimped on components (LTE chips, etc.) and gave them the cheaper models. Did they sell them cheaper, though? Nope.

Seems like a lot of effort just to save money on the chipsets. Remember, every OS release has to be made to support the STL100-1 AND the STL100-2/3/4 separately, which is a lot to ask for from your software developers. I would think it'd be cheaper to build (in mass) fewer hardware variants versus several different types.

Besides, if the Samsung Galaxy S3 could sell as a quad-core phone worldwide but as a dual-core phone State-side, why couldn't the same be true for other devices?

Posted via CB10 on my white Z10 & lovin' it!

Interesting point about the software developers. I don't know how much more work it is to put together -1 releases, or how different they really are. Could be as easy as swapping a few files out/changing a few lines of code, or as complex as building new files with new code altogether.

And touché about the GS3 point too lol. They actually went opposite of BB in that the quad core GS3 (i9300) is not LTE capable like, say, the AT&T one (i747) is. But then, TMO's initial GS3 (t999) wasn't LTE capable either. It was only dual core too.

I actually have no clue myself, but given all the grief STL100-1 users experience with each OS leak, it would appear that it takes some attention, at least enough to where they couldn't quickly change the requisite files to make the 2/3/4 leaks compatible with it. It may not take a lot though, I honestly have no real idea of the process.

Posted via CB10 on my white Z10 & lovin' it!

you are talking as if the OS (software) is hardware-agnostic (meaning any hardware can run the software).
It is true in theory, and from a practical point of view, this is doable. But the huge drawback will be that things are not optimized.

Let's take an easy example. The Settings app in BlackBerry 10.1.

It is developped using Adobe Air. It works, all the features are there. but the scrolling staggers. If Cascades had been used (= made to make scrolling fluid), the user experience would be much better.
This is the reason why the smartphone business is not so easy. It is easy to have a good hardware (it just costs money). It is easy to have a good OS (it just costs money too). The problem is to link both (it costs money AND good communication & work method between the software team and the hardware team).
The Devil is in the Details.

That would be a decision by the carriers in that country, although you do have to wonder which ones in europe switched from the -1 to the -2 after bb10 was delayed until January.

Good point, but I don't think (and I could be wrong about this) that the Middle East has a "carrier sells the phone" system like the one in North America. AFAIK, you buy a phone and then service from whichever carrier you want to go with.

Yep, I think you're right about that. But, I guess they'd still need carrier cooperation to allow the devices to work on their networks? (i.e. even though the carriers themselves don't sell the devices, they still have to put it through their own unique carrier testing methods?)

Posted via CB10 on my white Z10 & lovin' it!

I'm using a 100-1 running 10.2 (1725). I'm really enjoying it, so many nice additions. Love the keyboard sounds in 10.2.

Posted via CB10

i am really amused about how the z30 has no buzz at all....the q5 had more buzz when it came out , whats wrong , am i the only one excited about the z30 ?

minor evolutions compared to the Z10:
- phablet screen (and its CPU and battery size)
- non removable battery
- stereo speakers
- better microphones
- better cell tower switching

So the Z30 is a fantastic device if you do not already have a Z10.
But if you have... you'll probably wait for a Z50 or something.

My STL100-3 has 4GLTE reception. I don't do leaks, so it isn't an issue. But I await OS10.2 just like the rest of the gang...

Posted via CB10

Kris, are the other versions stls 2 3,4 compatible with gsm 4g etc? If I swap my stl100-1 for the other version will it work on my network...?

Lmk

Posted from my Z10STL100-1/10.2.0.1521 on CB10

I love my STL100-1. I don't mind that some leaks are not meant for it. I have 10.2.0.1743 now and it is great. Fast, everything works smooth and the battery last for about 24 hours. Couldn't be happier :)

Love my Z10

Bought my Z10 stl100-01 first day of availability, cud have waited a month for stock of -02. But LTE wasn't high on my list(its not 100% up and running here in South Africa yet, only in major cities etc... ) and did some research comparing cpu etc... and not a hole lot of difference on performance side. And so far can say I'm really happy with my choice. Does everything I need it to do. And the os is improving rapidly. Hope they keep the updates coming.

Cheers all

P.s. Some of the conversations in comments are hilarious, some entertaining people on this site. :)

Posted via CB10

Technically the processor in the STL100-1 is actually better, even if only slightly. Kris mentioned this as well :)

P.S to the haters, if the device already streams PERFECTLY or you can video chat PERFECTLY on 3.5g/HSDPA, how is going to get any better on 4g? And if yours doesn't get a grip and speak to your carrier

Posted via CB10 from my Z10

I knew that!!!!! STL101 is the Z10 core, the other models are add-ons. That's why STL101 doesn't need so many leaks to be tested.

Posted via CB10

Ah, so the CPU may be two times slower than the Krait cores (check the comparison video on youtube), but because the GPU is SLIGHTLY better, this somehow makes it all worth it? Sounds a lot like the iphone fanboys "Yeah, it may be smaller, have less features, slower CPU, but man, games get such good benchmarks!" Keep drinking the kool-aid, it has done wonders for blackberry so far.

I was pissed when I found out I had a -1 and no snapdragon but this article proves even more what I found out in my research and personal experience which is something I also share in the forums: I'm better of with the -1!!!

I don't have random reboots, I have gotten ALL official OS updates before those who live in the states and my phone does not freeze with ANY game. These are all concerns expressed in the forums.

When thorstein said to check for the 10.1 update at bbjam earlier this year, my update was there. We're the last one to get leaks? Big deal.

Posted via CB10

Proud STL100-1/white here in the bahamas, had no problems with my phone, software/apps updates always arrive on time whenever it's available.

Posted via CB10

Kris, I appreciate your posts, but please consider having them proofread. Thanks for the enlightenment on the 100.

Posted by Z10

Kris. Since your new gig started, you've been tackling some basic issues and clearing things up for people. Very cool.

Also, I am a novice compared to many on this forum and it became obvious that there are different levels of knowledge on this forum and a little bit of a pecking order. You answered a couple of my questions without trying to make me feel dumb. That shows character. Thanks.

Good luck in your new position.

Posted via CB10

I do not care much for the drama, I simply thank you for your post and all the thousands of helpful posts you have made over the last several months in forums. You have helped me learn so much. Thanx man

Posted via CB10

I am proud with stl-001 because in my country we dont have 4g LTE so for what if we 4g LTE device, as long as can run smoothly without any rebooting problem like users in the US.

Posted via CB10

Sounds like some great hardware (save for the LTE). Good stuff!

Posted via CB10 on my BlackBerry Z10

Dear i like what u say about stl100.1 but i have some problem on the battery sadly going without any warning

Posted via CB10

Wait a minute, I don't have 4G? But there's an icon on the top right corner showing 4G, how can that be? now I'm confused, seriously, is my carrier trying to cheat me?

Posted via CB10

I own an STL100-1 because I don't really need LTE because LTE signals here in my country is very very rare and expensive and frankly I have no need for super fast Internet on a smart phone.

Z10 •3•

Happy with my Z10STL100-1/10.2.0.1743

But lose all passwords from BlackBerry password keeper when installing leaks and recovering from backup .

All who plan to upgrade with leaks, please manually backup your password keeper data.

Posted from Z10 via CB10

Don't feel left out at all. Very happy with my SLT-100-1. No plans for changing. Have an iphone 5 but as a back up. Blind BlackBerry user

Posted via CB10

More like the specials that ride the short bus?
I heard somewhere that TI bailed out of mobile CPU business halfway fulfilling BB order, which made BB to look for alternative which they actually found a better one. Another theory is BB wanted a higher margin by putting inferior CPU and selling them at the market where BB is still raving.

Posted via CB10

Had to buy an STL-100-1 in Bermuda 4months ago because i dropped my canadian unit in the sea
(stl-100/3) . Im happy with it. Good for gaming, but slightly slower in term of loading times.

Posted via a Bermudian Z10

Still.. it still doesn't support LTE.. and we are in a country that has it.. it is not fair! We paid the same price as everyone else and maybe more.. and we can't use the latest network technologies

Posted via CB10

This is a great explanation Kris: I hope the New BlackBerry does a better job of reducing the device fragmentation: why not the same device with LTE built in but disabled? The Google Nexus 4 has LTE capability but ships with it disabled: you have to "patch" the OS to get LTE working but then it works.

How much easier it would be to love BlackBerry devices without this differentiation. I love my Z10 but might not love it so much if I was always late getting updates.

p.s. Kris, do you have a sense of how quickly the carriers that use the Z10-1 get their official OS updates out to their customers. If those carriers release the official 10.2 update before the Z10-2-3-4 users get it, who'll be laughing then?

RyanGermann speaking as someone who has had and loved my STL100-1 since launch day on Feb 21st I can you tell you from experience. No delays whatsoever with updates, only delays have been carrier side. But when Thorsten Heins announced that 10.1 would be available worldwide my update was ready and waiting that same day. So definitely no issues here

Posted via CB10 from my Z10

Hallelujah Kris!!! Thanks for putting an article out there about this. I've been trying to explain this to people for ages. STL100-1 rolled out South Africa because of our lack of 4G/LTE. On the HSPA network it runs 110% better then my brothers i5 on the same network. Not having LTE means nothing here, because the speed of my device is whipping LTE devices, although carriers only have LTE BB10 models now. And a small reminder STL100-1 seemed to be only model that didn't suffer random reboots

Posted via CB10 from my Z10

I have the slt100-1... I can't go to a third carrier with it because it does not accept 1700 frequency, just 800 900 1900 2100.
The big carriers. This means I can't go to Wind but hey, it is factory unlocked so I can take it to third countries.

Posted via CB10

Where i can buy Blackberry Z10 STL 100 - 2/3 Model handset in India ..?? Please suggest any site from where i can order it and if i buy any one item from these two will it cause any problem ??

While it may not matter to a bunch of you, there are certainly STL100-1 owners who feel a bit left out or cheated but having this device, but what makes it so special that it stands alone?
So special, so rare so no important to develop upgrade OS. Because so rare - to high cost. Then left behind.
The hardware yes .... but like you said "When the OS starts to roll out, every BlackBerry Z10, Q10, and Q5 will see a update for their phones. Of course, don't forget your carrier is responsible for the rollout."
Yes responsible if the OS develop for STL100-1, if they only build for other? how come our carrier responsible for it?
Just some tought like dinosaurus evolution