BlackBerry Z10 vs. Samsung Galaxy S4

Are the opportunities and challenges for BlackBerry any different in a Galaxy S4 world? We don't think so. Samsung improved upon their S3, but didn't change the user experience for the end user in the same sort of way BlackBerry 10 has.

By Bla1ze on 16 Mar 2013 11:44 am EDT

With the Samsung Unpacked event at Radio City Music Hall in New York City all over and done with, there has been plenty of talk about the Samsung Galaxy S4 happening across all of our Mobile Nations sites.

The folks over at Android Central are understandably excited, even though they had to endure the awkward keynote (You can relive it here - If you really want to do that to yourself). And over at our sister site iMore, Rene was in NYC lending out a helping hand to help with the coverage, and has laid out his thoughts on the whole thing.

In the CrackBerry forums as well, there has been plenty of discussion about the device, with most folks offering a very mixed view of the hardware itself and the included software revisions it will bring.

Looking at the device, it's clear Samsung loaded up on specs and software versus radically changing the design of the Galaxy S4 over previous generations. As has been mentioned by many folks already, it would appear as though Samsung took a page from Apple's book (Again?) and created an "S" series device. In the end, the Samsung Galaxy S4 looks like the Samsung Galaxy S3 only a bit bigger. So, that said -- lets have a look at the official specs.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Features and Specs

  • Network: 2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE): 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz;  3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps): 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz;  4G (LTE Cat 3 100/50Mbps) : up to 6 different band sets (Dependent on market)
  • Display: 5 inch Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080) display, 441 ppi
  • Processor: 1.9GHz quad-core processor / 1.6GHz octa-core processor (will differ depending on market)
  • OS: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Rear Camera: 13 Mega pixel Auto Focus camera with Flash & Zero Shutter Lag, BIS
  • Front Camera: 2 Mega pixel camera, Full HD recording @30fps with Zero Shutter Lag, BIS
  • Camera Features: Dual Camera: Dual Shot / Dual Recording/ Dual Video Call, Drama Shot, Sound & Shot, 360 Photo, Cinema Photo, Eraser, Night, Best Photo, Best Face, Beauty Face, HDR (High Dynamic Range), Panorama, Sports
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (HT80), GPS / GLONASS, NFC,  Bluetooth® 4.0 (LE), IR LED (Remote Control), MHL 2.0
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, RGB light, Geomagnetic, Proximity, Gyro, Barometer, Temperature & Humidity, Gesture
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Internal Storage: 16/ 32/ 64 GB User memory + microSD slot (up to 64GB)
  • Dimensions: 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm, 130g
  • Battery: 2,600 mAh

Marketing Gimmicks or Real Improvements in User Experience?

The specs are pretty impressive when you consider Samsung is packing them into last year's packaging. However, looking around and reading through some of the comments and S4 forum threads on Android Central, it seems as though many folks were expecting more, and who can blame them really?

Samsung is supposedly on the top of their game now and when people talk about Android it's near impossible to not associate it with Samsung, so one would assume that Samsung would want to push the envelope and entice customers with all new hardware vs. making them feel as though they're buying last year's device with updated specs. To be certain, Samsung did need to upgrade the S3 to ensure the specs remained current in the very spec-centric market that Android has become (Samsung doesn't want to leave room for devices like the HTC One to out distance their flagship phone as they sink $12 billion into marketing the heck out of it). 

Samsung added bells and whistles to the mix that will likely make for good commercials, rather than innovating on the things that will help you when you're actually using the device and needing to get things done

As I mentioned earlier, a lot of what Samsung added to the Samsung Galaxy S4 comes to consumers by way of software. In the official specs given out by Samsung, you can see A LOT of focus was put there but at the same time a lot of it feels rather gimmicky instead of actually being useful to end users. Samsung added bells and whistles to the mix that will likely make for good commercials, rather than innovating on the things that will help you when you're actually using the device and needing to get things done. I can see Smart Pause, which pauses your video when you're not looking at the screen, to be among one of the first things folks disable.

While Samsung continues to take a feature and spec approach to upping their smartphone game, in contrast BlackBerry has taken an experience approach with BlackBerry 10. BlackBerry put the innovation into features you will use every single time you pick up and use the phone. Take BlackBerry Hub and Peek for example. These are innovations I gain benefit from every day and they help me navigate my device in ways I've never been able to before and cannot do on any other phone. I no longer need to open my email app to see if it's urgent nor do I have to open different apps to see why my notification light is blinking. It's all right there in one or two gestures. The same notion applies to the awesome keyboard on the Z10 - BlackBerry put a ton of effort into creating a touchscreen typing experience that is second to none (note, the S4's wider display immediately makes the phone less friendly to type on unless you have big hands). BlackBerry dropped the gimmicky bullshit for stuff that actually works with you and helps improve your overall experience in a nice package. Though many customers will overlook it and fall prey to spec and feature hype, in the end what matters most is the overall experience, and this in an area where Android-based phones have received their fair share of  criticism. Even on the eve of the S4 announcement, Apple's Phil Schiller reiterated his point of view that Android offers a poor experience.

Sure, it's cool that I can use Air Gestures to move about in Samsung Mail but who the hell uses Samsung Mail anyway? Never mind the fact that Air Gestures aren't a system level thing and only work in certain apps instead of across the board. Sure, Samsung Smart Scroll, which allows you to scroll the browser or emails up and down without touching the screen is cool, but come on I'm already lazy enough. Have I become so lazy I can't manage to lift my finger now?

BlackBerry isn't in any worse shape now that the Samsung Galaxy S4 has been fully unveiled

I'm not saying there are no new useful features in the Galaxy S4, because there certainly is. I'd kill to have an IR Blaster on the BlackBerry Z10 (quit laughing!) but again, overall, most of the stuff included will be forgotten about after one or two uses and the stuff that remains that is interesting, is just stuff taken from others and renamed with an S in front of it or just outright renamed. Knox, anyone? It's no BlackBerry Balance.

BlackBerry needs to keep up momentum, and cannot let the ball drop... anywhere

Leading up to the announcement, many folks had questioned if what Samsung announced would impact BlackBerry and BlackBerry 10 in any major way and speaking as a person who does appreciate both Samsung and BlackBerry, with the event now over and done with I'd still say not really. BlackBerry isn't in any worse shape now that the Samsung Galaxy S4 has been fully unveiled and with the lack of redesign effort put forth by Samsung, I'd even go so far as to say maybe some folks who had been waiting may actually give the BlackBerry Z10 a shot simply because it's new, it's different and it's not just a awkwardly larger version of last years Samsung Galaxy S3.

Another .5 inches and Samsung would have created another Galaxy Note II, which we know is certainly not one hand friendly, never mind trying to one thumb it while navigating. I'm sure I'll come off sounding like a Samsung hater here but I was actually hoping Samsung would push things forward and instead I'm left feeling like they gave me yet another Android device. And heck, by many accounts it's looking like the HTC One may prove to be the better Android device, yet the S4 will no doubt become the household Android name given Samsung's marketing budget. In any case, we know Samsung will sell a ton of S4s, but again, the impact of this device has been lessened by Samsung not offering an entirely new package but instead opting to offer up the same plasticy design with some updated specs.

When Apple announced the iPhone 5, many people felt it spelled doom for the successful launch of BlackBerry 10. That if BlackBerry 10 wasn't on the market prior to the iPhone 5, it was game over. Kevin wrote this editorial about it and the words he wrote about the iPhone 5 really do apply when thinking about the S4 as well:

The bottom line is that Apple hasn't changed things much with its iPhone 5. RIM's challenges and opportunities are the same in an iPhone 5 world as they were in a iPhone 4S world. The people who want to buy Apple products will still buy Apple products.  Those who prefer the BlackBerry user experience are still going to buy BB10. And I can understand why.  The amazing virtual keyboard (and choice of a physical keyboard!), the "flow" experience, the TRUE one-handed UI design, the solid multitasking ... that's what I want. I want a mobile experience that's saving me seconds every time I pick it up and use it. And that's what BlackBerry 10 is about.

Ultimately, the potential success of BlackBerry 10 still lies within BlackBerry's control right now. There is competition on the market -- there are always will be, but BlackBerry's experience is unique and differentiated, and I believe appeals to more than enough people for them to carve out a big and sustainable chunk of the mobile market over time. They just need to continue to follow through and not the let the ball drop anywhere. They need to ensure *quality* big name apps get onto BB10. They need to market well. And while the Z10 and Q10 definitely deliver on the performance front, BlackBerry needs to make sure they are putting in enough bells and whistles, specs and features, to win over those who are easily swayed by such things.

Reader comments

BlackBerry Z10 vs. Samsung Galaxy S4


Great post!

Samsung is always my second choice after BB. Nice to see them continue to roll the rock forward but been there done that. Time for BB10.

Woah. Rene Ritchie of iMore video recording a new Android phone for a BlackBerry comparison editorial... #mindblown.

Overall.. S4 is a better S3. Hate the size of the S3. Unless you have BIG hands, just too big too type on comfortably. 4.2" on the Z10 is definitely a sweet spot for awesome typing. S4 looks to be even worse from a physical size standpoint for typing. Having spent a lot of time on both the S3 and HTC One X, I liked the HTC One X better. Looks like with the new stuff, I'd probably prefer the HTC One over the S4 as well, but of course people will buy into the S4 more due to the insane amount of money Samsung will put into advertising it.

It's really true though IMO... BB10 does a better job for the things you do 80% + of the time when the phone is in your hand. A lot of the stuff Samsung put into the S4 you'll see the benefit of less than a few % of the time... and in some cases will try once and never use again. 

There's still a lot of room to further improve BlackBerry 10 and add more features to it, but we're seeing it in the forums and comments already on CB from Z10 owners... BlackBerry has created an awesome user experience with BB10 that's literally addictive as you use it more. That's a powerful starting point and base to build on. 

You hit the nail on the head with that post, the s4 is all about the gimmick, you will try things a few times and then your back to using as if it were an s3, blackberry needs to stay in the game with their marketing at this point because they have the product to compete, now it's just a matter of getting ppl informed!

But I will still update this post after I get some hands on time with the s4 in a few weeks.

Posted via CB10

Not everyone has small hands. I actually found the S3 to be too small for me. I moved to the Note II and have been happy. The 5.5" screen is the sweet spot for typing for me, but I realize that I am a minority in that respect.
I agree with the stop with the gimmicks angle though. I hardly use most of the "features". I bang out emails, texts, and surf the web when not talking. occasionally I will look at office documents.


I honestly think this is more of a rant and even sounds like fear of the S4. I have a Z10 and think it's great, but the S4 isn't just "gimmicky" and "bullshit", and I find it interesting that you barely mentioned Knox. I also have an S3 and it's a much more capable device than the Z10, and the S4 only improves on that.

The Z10 is an awesome new start for Blackberry. But to bash the S4 like you did comes across more like Crackberry fear (of the competition) than a balanced editorial. Just my humble opinion...

I don't understand why people are looking for a balanced editorial. This is CrackBerry, so who gives a cap about balanced editorials. Yeah, Bla1ze is right, S4 is gimmicky.

Posted via CB10

I consider Crackberry to be more of an educated, informative and comprehensive site as opposed to simply a Blackberry fanboy forum...

It was ranty but there is a good reason for it. It's a simple one too! I expected more from Samsung, they didn't really push anything ahead this time. They just added a bunch of crap to Android, wrapped up in last years packaging and called it a day.

In the end, my point was never whether or not Samsung will sell a ton of these things compared to the Z10 or whether or not the S4 is a better device. The point is, BlackBerry isn't in any worse shape now because of the S4 as many had speculated.

That's the main take away here for me.

I disagree about "Blackberry isn't in any worse shape now because of the S4." A lot of people will now wait for this (the huge wait for the US Z10 release is partially to blame) and you're underestimating the potential of Knox (along with BYOD).

I agree that the S4 could've brought more, but the 1080 5" screen is a good upgrade on its own. And as big a step as BB10 is, do you honestly believe the next full screen BB10 devices will be anything more than incremental upgrades?

Keeping things in perspective, and as much as I like the Z10, the S4 is bad news for BB.

Both HTC One and Sony Xperia Z are better than S4. Samsung should be scared. Xperia Z is already selling like crazy in Europe. Blackberry will be fine, it's just too different from others at this point.

Sounds like you just have a different opinion, but I would have to agree with Bla1ze. The S4 is just a small upgrade to the S3 like what apple does with "S" years. Though the phone will be great because the S3 was great. Some of the specs are impressive but unlike BB10 they didn't redesign anything dramatic, just added software. Also, they are just copying a Apple footprint. What would hurt BB10 would be a new iPhone design this year instead of another "S" device or for WP8 to get apps and advertising finally. And, that's only if BB10 "drops the ball" as it was said above. Good writing guys.

I am looking forward to the release of BB 10 in the U.S., but to think the S4 isn't a threat, or at least a solid continuation of the existing threat, is short-sighted. And the fact that we do these "threat assessments" every time a competitive device is released shows how insecure we are about BB's future. Same for WP users. I'm pretty sure iPhone users don't do this, at least not out of the same "fears."

I don't understand why a 5" screen is considered an upgrade as that is just not going to be the case for 70% of the population. I can't help but laugh every time I see someone talk on a Note 2 and the S4 is not far off that mark.

Seriously though? If You can't notice the difference of 720 and 1080 on a 32" tv you wont notice it on a 5" device unless you're squinting hard and really trying to see the difference. The 2" screen size difference is an upgrade for some and a downgrade for others it all comes down to preference.

You are correct to say that Bla1ze is partial to the BB products; those who frequently come to Crackberry want it that way.
I am interested to hear about these new competitor products from a BB biased reviewer, not the paid-off press who only bash BB products.

"There's still a lot of room to further improve BlackBerry 10 and add more features to it, but we're seeing it in the forums and comments already on CB from Z10 owners... BlackBerry has created an awesome user experience with BB10 that's literally addictive as you use it more. That's a powerful starting point and base to build on".

As a berry fan I am very happy to hear this from a crackberry admin. I honestly feel that the analysts have a genuine point when they say - that the Z10 while a good solid OS hasn't got the wow factor. Apple rules the app game and android via samsung particularly rules the spec game. Blackberry needs to define itself in some way and bring something major to the table and soon.

I love the OS and the user experience but the truth is that the game has changed and is defined by these two companies. Blackberry needs to respond. Hard!

No its not, it is officially BlackBerry os10. You heard it first. I am an analyst (in my head anyway)

Posted via CB10

And do users care enough about the experience game or is BB's value proposition in that game substantial enough to make a difference? Nintendo didn't want to be in the arms race either and, instead, focused on the experience. And it worked...until the novelty wore off.

Though the Blackberry experience speaks for itself, a "hard response" to the competition's features and gimmickry is one of the ingredients required to help re-grow the BB user base beyond the very loyal fans like us. BB cannot just count on its historically understated and "dignified" approach to selling their products.
I guess that's where "secret weapons", like the rumored Aristo project come in (as backup firepower for helping to future proof BB's nascent platform).

BB Z10 may be a kickass phone but if BlackBerry still keeps its price at a sky-high rate (approx $870 in India-unlocked) then its a kick in the ass for the company. I am a hardcore BlackBerry fan but I gotta say that Samsung is smart in its business (unlike BB). They introduced the Galaxy series-its flagship model at a very reasonable price and subsequently raised the price bar as it gained more and more popularity and customer satisfaction. In India BlackBerry 10 sales are pretty decent (the best so far) but it could have been much more if it was priced somewhere around $600-$650. Not everyone's gonna wait for the Q10 or N series for that matter.
P.S: In countries like India, the customers are really price conscious. A mere difference of $50 could play a win-lose factor.

Prices are set by the local network provider, not Blackberry. In the US the going price will be about $200 with two or three year contract.

That's exactly my point. Indian market is not carrier dependent. Network providers Do Not set the prices here. Its directly from BlackBerry!! No Contracts Here.

Exactly Kevin. A phone should be about getting things done with efficiency and speed. Not gimmicks and bells and whistles that you will hardly use. However its sad that people fall for stuff like that and forget that a phone should be more than just an app launcher or cool widgets and stuff like that. BlackBerry 10 is truly the most fresh and innovative phone this year so far and I'm a proud z10 owner and show off my phone wherever I go.

Posted via CB10

Good point on the 'addictive' quality of the BB10 UI Kevin. From time to time I'll find myself just swiping back and forth, peeking and flowing here and there. I know it can't just be me either so I'm pretty sure BlackBerry is onto something big here.

Posted via CB10

I too am getting an addiction to peeking. In fact I'm now just as addicted to peeking into the hub as I am checking for the flashing red light!

Posted on a Z10 using CB10

Don't worry, your not alone. I find myself doing the same thing. Also just sit here flicking words seeing what sentences I can come up with. Not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing. :)

There are 10 types of people in this world. Those that understand binary and those that don't.

Just like anybody here BB10 is and still my first choice IF I wasn't so in love with BlackBerry Device and software I'll be a Samsung user for sure beause I hate so much Apple with all I-Stuff

Hey guys, what I have to admit is that the S4 I´m not a big fan of Android or Samsung but how did they get 2600 mAh into this phone with the same size of the Z10. We only have 1800 mAh and that a little bit crazy. The same battery in our phone and I would rock all other phones!!!

When your os is an efficient multitasking beast and the os has had 60 battery improvements you don't need a mf big battery.

Posted via CB10

no such thing as too big a battery.

Phones these days barely last more than a day. If they had a massive 2300 MAh battery in the Z10 it would probably get two days out of it.

I would gladly trade my < cm thick phone for a 1.5 cm thick phone if it meant i could get a few days out of a charge.

Might have to do with battery technology. Z10 use Li ion whereas the Samsung might use a Li polymer. Not sure. The polymer version can pack a bigger punch in the same space but is less stable whereas the ion version is less dense and more stable. Hence why we tend to see Iphones catching on fire more then others.

There are 10 types of people in this world. Those that understand binary and those that don't.

Well said. It would be nice to compete in the spec race, but in the end the UX is far more important, at least to me.

Hardware in my mind is not a big deal. The Z10 is plenty fast enough right now. I don't see how Android 4.2.2 will be able to take advantage of the hardware of the S4.

Some of the new software features do look nice but should be easy to incorporate the easy ones into Bb10.

BlackBerry should take some of the features that look like they might be popular and try to get them into a near future update. What would be awesome is if BlackBerry could squeeze in some of these features before the S4 hits the shelves in late April.

Posted via CB10

Almost picked up the S3 last year but the size of it makes me feel like I need a man purse to carry around ... S4, even bigger... Gonna need that purse for sure... That's what tablets are for. Bigger screen to watch movies & videos ... Z10 is just perfect size. Fits my pocket np .. Not an iPhone fan. No micro SD is just not acceptable to me...

wwwow!!! $12 friggin' BIIILLLION bucks & an "octa-core" processor??? that IS some expensive "gimmicky bullsh!t",,, ha!!! "eye" just can't see it pullin' in too many people that would be up for something new vs. something improved...

Functionality is key for me. I've been using a Samsung for work and although it does the job it just takes so much longer to do it. My torch 9810 is a much older device but it still is far more efficient at getting things done and I can't wait to get my z10 on Friday!

As impressive as the Galaxy S4's specs are, it really goes to waste in the end since app performance is severely bottlenecked by all the Gingerbread single core handsets still in the wild (plus the Java VM doesn't help things much). Now apps that require a minimum of Ice Cream Sandwich or higher to run have great performance that takes advantage of those cores, due to hardware acceleration, but it's still too early for most devs to enforce such a requirement without chopping their potential customer base in half.

I have an LG Optimus 2X and even the single-core iPhone 4 tends to have better performance on the same apps...

So yeah, the Z10's more modest specs won't matter - because BB10 apps won't be bottlenecked by ancient hardware in the wild.

BlackBerry 10 specs are not modest, they are civilised. Needing an 8 core cpu is just silly.

Posted via CB10

Good article. And I agree.
Just the other day, my bf was trying to decide on a Z10 or an S4, he's not the most tech savvy so he asked me to look into it. Coming from a 9900, he complained about the size of the Z10, I told him you adjust really quickly and that the S4 is actually bigger, he wasn't impressed.
I decided to have a quick look around and checked out both devices at and just to make my day, the Z10 was rated higher on everything but popularity, which is to be expected.
Needless to say, he is loving his white Z10 more and more every day :)
People never seem to grasp the concept that BB10 is not just a new OS or devices, it's a full rounded experience that you enjoy the more you use it. I love my Z10 and it shows just how much when I catch myself trying to swipe up on any other device

Posted via CB10

Great article Bla1ze.
Really put a good viewpoint on it. And you're right, bells and whistles should be put in to win over every consumer who looks for that.
Kevin's quote is spot on. Apple people will buy apples products and blackberry people will buy bb10. Android is synonomous with samsung.
Great post

Oh dave I'm not speaking on behalf of those who are open to things, I'm meaning more like they're sucked in and stuck there. A friend of mine hardcore apple person, got a htc 8x and hasn't looked back. It happens. I'm just speaking *generally*

The best part of the new phone is Samsung's desire to fragment the Android market even further.
Hopefully, the entire ecosystem will implode leaving a lot of market share for BlackBerry and Apple to fight over.

Here's what I want to see from the mobile nations team.....a two week comparison with each member of the respective platforms using each device AS IS, With no downloaded apps just with what's on the device. So many times you here the app argument, this way you experience the device as you should. If you need to go to a site that you normally would use a app for then you should u to us the browser or not at all.

It's feels so satisfying reading this on a Z10. Good post. Core is that blackberry should not drop the ball again.

Posted via CB10

The specs are great and thats the phone hardware spec i was looking for when the bbz10 wasn't out yet.... i already thought about it... whatever specs or how awesome the hardware parts are , those things are nothing if you have a bad battery. Battery matters on its physical size...

I have a Google nexus 4 device, it only has 1.5 ghz or proCessors and also quad cores... and i already tried custom roms and kernels that are energy savers, but still dies fast when you use it even in a short period of time. Once you wake the screen, the drain starts.

And I'll Stop here because i think you guys know already what i am trying to say.

Posted via BlackBerry z10 (CB)

I was very disappointed with the S4 launch, I was expecting something far more revolutionary and far less evolutionary. Most of the changes are software based so there's no reason not to see most of them on the S3 at some point through updates. The European 8 core is nothing more than a marketing scam and comes across as nothing more than a "I wonder if..........." moment. I have an S3 and I quite like it but it's relegated down to back up status to my Z10, and as I can't see any real discernible difference between the 3 and 4 that's probably where the 4 would end up too. I use my phones as tools with a bit of fun on the side, the S3,.and by default the S4, is useless as a tool and therefore useless to me.

As Kevin mentioned the new S4 is a better S3 with a bigger screen (which ppl will love) and better specs. The S4 design to me is boring / plain / simple and looks cheap at least from the pics I ve seen. Heck even HTC's one looks really nice even though they copied the z10s design. Regardless the S4 will sell well. Im pretty sure when Apple releases its new iPhone 6 later on this year with a bigger screen its gonna have a really nice new design that will make the S4 look even more plain and cheaper, lol.

S4 looks cool for sure and many of my friends are talking about it. Personally I like the Z10 more because it makes me feel different than everyone else.

Rejoice, BB users - Official Chinese government body just released a report, based over half a year of study of over 330 smart phones, that over 58% Android and Apple OS smart phones contain illegal spy ware stealing personal information, browsing habits and even information of users' social contacts; some Motorola phones would send users' personal data to secret servers the first second the new phone is turned on. All email providers use algorithm to read and filter all emails for analytic analysis and for monitoring and they are allowing numerous third parties to install customized spy ware for money. This has been confirmed by a senior industry insider as being the unspoken rule of the industry all these these years, which means all ISP's and hardware manufacturers are in the unauthorized spying business.
Amazingly, BB came out clean!!.
Even better news - imagine what this would do to Samsung G4? - With its new iris tracking feature with the front camera, users will now facing losing their bio-metrics, their images as well as images of their very personal daily lives the moment the S4 is turned on. Image if Bin Ladin used S4, he would have been tracked down in minutes including all his accomplices.
Let us pity those who use Android and Apple devices and should now give special condolences to S4 users.
Privacy is king and BB will endure!

Just based on the 5" size I would never buy this phone. Otherwise, it's a step up I guess.

Innovation is slowing. Peoples expectations for whats next is way too high IMO. BlackBerry 10 is more interesting because of multitasking and the hub. Means a lot more than gimmick apps and add ons with Android.

Posted via CB10

Def addictive. I've had everything from iPhone 5 to sgn2 s3 and it's the z10 I cannot put down. Think it's the amount of time spent on CB10. Lol

Posted via CB10 with my Zed 10

Peek and flow has set the standard. I hope BlackBerry patented it. Once you peek and flow you can never go back.

Posted via CB10

I honestly think this is more of a rant and even sounds like fear of the S4. I have a Z10 and think it's great, but the S4 isn't just "gimmicky" and "bullshit", and I find it interesting that you barely mentioned Knox. I also have an S3 and it's a much more capable device than the Z10, and the S4 only improves on that.

The Z10 is an awesome new start for Blackberry. But to bash the S4 like you did comes across more like Crackberry fear (of the competition) than a balanced editorial. Just my humble opinion...

Your point would be valid if Blaze wasn't also a contributor to Android Central. He's definitely not a BB fanboy. Also, why mention Knox when it's nowhere near as good as BES10?

First of all Bla1ze is still (first and foremost) a BB guy. Second, Knox will be good enough for a lot of businesses (coupled with BYOD). As much as I like the Z10, I think it's dishonest to not acknowledge the S4 as a genuine threat and great device.

Do you know Bla1ze personally that you can say that? He admitted that for a while his iphone was his main driver. I know plenty of BlackBerry people and none use non bb products. Bla1ze is a tech enthusiast he likes it all and tries it all (you know this from his imore and androidcentral posts). Camera531 you should really read the article again. Bla1ze never said it wasn't a threat. He said the challenges facing BB with the sg4 are same as they faced with the sg3. I guess some people need to be spoon fed everything.

Your honesty was already voiced at the beginning. Why is it necessary to copy, paste and regurgitate your opinion yet again. You take from the article what you want, make your opinion known and move on. The S4 for ME loses based on size alone. Processor speed and apps will not win me over when I'm trying to carry a small tablet in my pocket...

You have it backwards. I started here and then regurgitated it at the beginning (in response to another comment). And I'm glad the S4 doesn't do it for YOU, but that's not the point of the article or my comment. Move on, now...

Well said bla1ze. I was trying to explain this to some of my Android loving friends and they are blinded by the hype.

Funny thing is that they will root the device immediately after getting it. Speaks a lot to what android users think of Android

Posted via CB10

Great article. And to Kevin's comment, it is addictive, after a couple of weeks it almost be becomes part of you. It is most hilarious thinking about the panic mode I go into when I can't find my z10. Never felt that with a phone. A couple of times with a woman, but never a phone.

You now can spot the soft trolls ( not nasty but dismissive) because you can't hear that emotion in their comments. The unexplainable attachment.

Posted via CB10

I always wonder the same thing lol, next year the s5 while the 5s is out. Samsung worked it that way for sure.

Posted via CB10

And people say Samsung didn't copy Apple, lol.

There are 10 types of people in this world. Those that understand binary and those that don't.

This is a good blog post.

I agree its just a few little "cool" features added to the same re-hashed S3 user experience and UI. They are more "cool" then actually helping you be productive. Pausing a video when looking away would be disabled if it was on my z10.

The summary under the headline is perfect. With BlackBerry 10, the user focus is clear. It's a true differentiation by platform.

Still, pretty sweet hardware on the S4 lol

Posted via CB10

While the S4 is larger and probably faster, i am not sure, the bigger size, to me would be annoying, and let's face it, how much faster can you get? Octa core???..... really great, but I think it's just a gimmick, take the iphone 4S and the 5, put them next to each other, yes the5 will be faster, but how much really?
We're getting to a point where we will reach a wall on how fast you can make these things, take desktops for example, you can hardly tell the difference in speed from a 2.3 ghz and a 3.2 ghz, same goes to phones, and all those gimmicks like the air gestures, i dont see the use in that, it's a cool "Trick " to show your friends, but I don't see someone using that on a daily basis

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The gs4 is a big disappointment, Samsung basically took the best from all the new smartphones on the market and added it to the gs4, and then added there worse will barley get used features. I was suppose to purchase a gs4 for my gf a few months but looks like she'll get a z10 as she hated the new design and wondered why it got bigger.

Samsung as come a custom to taking what makes other smartphones/products good and copying them, which seems to work for them cause they sell a shit load of phones.

share screen, Knox, timeshift like feature - BlackBerry
IR blaster - Sony and HTC
Screen can be used with a glove - Microsoft
Thinner, light while making it bigger and adding more - sounds very Apple like.
And the list goes on.

The HTC one may be the Android to watch this year that I do agree on, but the BlackBerry Z10 is the phone to watch this year!

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Fantastic article Bla1ze. I couldn't agree more. It's seems like when you are on top, the motto is don't fix what ain't broken BUT this is the tech world and that motto just doesn't work. BlackBerry everything is falling into place nicely,now strike I say!!! BLOW THE WORLDS MIND!!!!!

Would IT Blaster be something that would let me control my tv and per with my phone? Had something like that on my Palm device about ten years ago and found it very handy (stuck in the ER with a sick kid a few times and was able to use my phone to put on a kids channel). There are also a lot of times it would be nice to just use my phone instead of finding the remote (yep I can be that lazy).
I am a die hard BlackBerry fan, but am also home with my kids and like that there are more fun apps coming our way (I do not, however want my phone to be home an iToy). I look forward to seeing how it manages the homework balance when hubby gets his new device (not that his 9900 is too shabby).

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True words written. Companies at the top at times stop innovating. RIM fell victim their success. Apple stopped innovating and now it seems Samsung may have done the same thing. Competition is good.

"With great spectacle Samsung has unveiled its new Top Smartphone. But why? The Galaxy S4 looks like its predecessor. Alleged software innovations turn out to be rip-off app. In the end it could still reach a bestseller - Apple has shown us with the iPhone 4S...." <= written by a big german online-newspaper.

With articles like that I think everything has gone well so far for blackberry... S4 is sureley a great device, as the IPhone5 and the HTC One is and there is no reason and no need to bash one of them, but none of these phones will kick the Z10 out of the race. Looking at the video there is no reason at all for hiding your blackberry Z10 when someone is showing his new S4. Of course very likely the S4 will outsell Z10 by numbers (Z10/Q10 is and can only be the start, I think Thor said something like that), but there is no need to be afraid that the Z10 is looking outdated this year...

What´s more, the S4 hasn't arrived yet... and maybe we are talking about other things when S4 will hit the stores... about a REAL next big thing, and I hope QNX will be involved with that.:-)

I agree pretty sweet hardware indeed. Sounds like the Knox feature is directed towards those who might be swayed to go/come back to BlackBerry.
Hard to be evolutionary or innovative when you're pushing out hardware as fast as Samsung is, the S3 is not even a year old.
As long as BlackBerry is innovative in its being a communication/productivity device then we never have to worry about the likes of Apple or Samsung . A little gimmick sprinkled in and BlackBerry will be winning hearts and minds. Mobile computing will be owned by BlackBerry.

I am sure its a great phone, but sorry no Wow factor. With OS10 the hub concept sells the phone, its new, its efficient, it provides a talking point, its innovative. Sorry but just like the iphone 4S is outselling the iphone 5, Samsung are going to experience the same effect. You can only fool the consumer so many times. People will start to ask what is different, and when the answer is, nothing really but we did update the specs a bit and wrap it with a pink ribbon. Then people are going to start saying No. It's not like smart phones are inexpensive (Smart phone $800, Laptop $400) but thats a topic for another day. There needs to be some sort of value added factor in a new product release, and this as been missing now for both Apple and Samsung for the last two new releases. Hope Apple don't sue Samsung for copying that. Blackberry needs to address this also as it moves forward again.

I used to use the remote control on my Palm years ago and had so much fun changing channels in stores and TV shops. I'd stand of the side while some sales person tries to show a TV and I'm mess including with the set. Oh what memories :) but was it useful? Other than messing with folks it was useless. A gimmick at best. Phones are going the way of toys and gimmicks and less about communication and functionality. I really love my Z10

i don't get this whole hover thing.. why would i want to hover over anything.. when i'm on my phone.. i want to get things done.. i dont't want to hover and wait for something to happen.. i'd rather just tap and go.. maybe it's just me cuz i had to go back to my storm2 after my 9850 crapped out on me 1 month before i get a z10.. go click screen

Samsung bloatware on S4. Samsung taking Android's work to date and passing it off as their own. Their next step: reverse engineer Android OS.

They should have left the size of S4 same as S3 with premium look instead it they made S4 as ugly as S3 but bigger.

Cool article. Just went to the Android Central website to check our the hands on video with the s4 and my unbiased view is that it is as jittery and un smooth as all released android devices to date. The blackberry 10 os is just waaaaay smoother despite that the s4 is running a quad cor processor. I don't really think that BlackBerry has to worry about the competition because so far what BlackBerry 10 offers is way more unique and above all it is buttery smooooooth

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Some may laugh at me but given the choice I'd choose a BlackBerry Bold 9900 over any Android phone.
BlackBerry 10 rock's and will only continue to grow.

I was an android advocate for years.. but when my wife got the z10 I fell in love with the ease of use, the hub and the fresh new Os ... so long android we had a good run

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Ah so all it takes to turn an android advocate is to have a set spouse with a sexy Z10 with an uber sexy UI eh? =)

Let's send all the sexy crackberry guys and girls to hunt down all the Android and iphone owners ;)

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But Samsung has no reason to change their end user experience. The S3 is one of the best selling smart phones on the market because the end user experience is great. On the other hand, blackberry had to change their end user experience because it sucked. I am sure that if BB10 is a success, BlackBerry won't change much when they release BB11. Just my thoughts.

I am going to be letting. Neighbors looking at this Samsung gimmick S4 and then show them the critics views on it. Then show them the Samsung ways.. I know they aren't going to be impressed. Lol

Way to shit on yourself Samsung. Only those that get a minimal wow will be buying and likely selling it after getting frustrated.

Anyone who don't fall into the hype know that hardware from HTC is better than Samsung any day. Just because of the commercial Samsung puts brainwashing people and not too many people know HTC. Same to blackberry. That's why blackberry begins to do major marketing.

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Forget the Samsung software. This phone has 2013 specs and it runs Android, which means that it can be customised and fill all your mobile needs. Swiftkey is not far behind bb10's keyboard, so people who love their apps will love the S 4. The Z10 is still a niche product, for early adopters, security freaks or people scared of change. Lovely interface, great development environment, but a bit behind regarding specs and apps. Xmas 2013 will be the big test.

"people scared of change." Since Androids has been the same for longer than BB10 has been out. Wouldn't the people who is afraid of the NEW UI be the ones afraid of changes. going from a S3->S4 is not much changes other then spec.

I was referring to hardcore BB fans who don't feel comfortable changing environment, but you're right, it doesn't make much sense since all software has to be ought again and the UI is very different from BBOS.

One thing I don't like about the galaxy is that there is no bottom bezel. I know I am in the minority but it was frustrating. I had the s3 and whenever I would be texting or browsing the Web I constantly had the bottom of my thumb hit the back button.

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"the Samsung Galaxy S4 looks like the Samsung Galaxy S3 only a bit bigger."

The S4 is not bigger than the S3. It is smaller.

"Hate the size of the S3. Unless you have BIG hands, just too big too type on... ....S4 looks to be even worse from a physical size standpoint for typing.

Again, it's smaller not larger. :p

So your thumb _doesn't_ need to reach across a larger area on the S4?

Hmmm... interesting .

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I don't trust Google and I don't trust Apple not to steal my information. They already do. The Z10 is a good compromise for size. A bit too big for a phone, but I can live with it for the display. Sounds like the S4 will be like my old car phone from the early 90s with some gadgets.

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If the only choice was an iphone5 or a galaxy s4, then Id personally take the iphone5 ... Android is just plain awful in any packaging .. Be it Samsung,HTC, Sony, IMO ... Fragmented and unreliable .... Just like most Linux pc operating systems being 'open source' is its greatest strength but also it greatest weakness too... IOS and bb10 are a closed platform so reliability and compatibility are far superior .... In anycase I've tried Android and hated it, tried IOS and found it 'too simple' and not customisable enough but reasonable until you need to smash out email on the email client that looks like an afterthought on IOS ... So I have always come back to my 9900 or 9810 as they just get things done ... Really looking forward to my z10 i have pre-ordered .. Love my playbook and its swipe gestures so thinking that the z10 will be this on steroids .. But mostly looking forward to trying the HUB in bb10 .. Messaging/email looks to be at the base of bb10 rather than an
afterthought like in IOS and Android

Just picked up a Z10 yesterday. Loving it so far. Only sore point is it doesn't have many cool apps. Otherwise if you are a serious smartphone user this is it - an anti iPhone sort of. But If you want a toy to play with then stick with Samsung.

What I love about my Z10 is that it looks mature. The icons doesn't look like some kind of a "cartoon-y" icon but mature-looking. I don't hate other phones, I guess it's just a matter of preference, and as for me, communication is a priority.

Great article, I don't believe BlackBerry has as much too worry about as the iPhone does.

The S4 is a very impressive device, nothing truly earth shattering but still impressive. BlackBerry has shaking the market up with a totally new device and OS and iPhone has done nothing.

Add the HTC one to the mix and now with three big players launching something new consumers will all be looking at upgrading even if they didn't think they needed too....

And for BlackBerry this bit of extra momentum is a nice little boost.

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Even with all the so-cool features that the S4 is packed with, please just be careful with that eye tracking technology that Samsung is offering... I don't think it would be good for your eyes if there's always a beam that's constantly tracking them. As if the harmful radiation from radio waves are not enough and for sure I would never let anything to monitor my eyes all the time =)

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What's going to help this Samsung phone sell is manipulative marketing and advertising. They will show off fearless that are basically unless to most. I understand why Samsung hit a brick wall with this new GS4, because Android is the limiting factor.
If you put the Z10. And GS4 side by side and have people try both out, the Z10 should easily win over 90+% of those people. Then we have word of mouth. BlackBerry 10 is the new talk and has been gaining strong traction in my area. The only complain I've noticed people have against the Z10 is they cannot buy it due to previous contracual obligations, and buying themselves out of a contract is expensive here in Canada. Rest assured they will buy a BlackBerry 10 devise as soon as they can.

"I no longer need to open my email app to see if it's urgent nor do I have to open different apps to see why my notification light is blinking."

On the other platforms you don't even have to unlock the phone to see your notifications, they're right there on the lock screen! And where did you get this $12 billion for marketing? Can you give us a link?

For the time being, although the z10 is great, i'll not move to the BB10 platform but instead will be staying with my trusty 9900 :)... tried the z10 and it was great (& looking forward into purchasing the q10).. if only the z10 can offer an app that is able to substitute the S-Note on the Galaxy Note 2, then'll i be moving to the z10 for good! :)

The S4 isn't revolutionary, and probably won't sway anyone dead-set on a Z10 or iPhone. However, the phone represents a sizable step in the smartphone "arms race" and is further widening the hardware gap between Samsung (and Android in general) and BlackBerry and Windows Phone. And its not just about increasing specs: with the S4, Samsung is showing that it not only can cram more hardware and battery power into roughly the same chassis, but also can do some cool tricks with sensors and cameras. Are any of them particularly useful? Probably not, at least not yet. But the S4 is like a Beta product, allowing Samsung to hone its skills in how it leverages hardware--something Apple consistently gets praise for. While the current uses are gimmicky, given the breadth of Samsung's product portfolio (TVs, laptops, appliances, etc.), it's not hard to see how the technology could be advanced in more useful ways.

I agree that increasing raw specs doesn't inherently change the experience, but they do matter to the casual consumer who doesn't read CrackBerry, Android Central, etc. The phone's experience is something that is "experienced" over time. But a spec comparison is something that can be experienced at the point of purchase. The casual consumer likely won't fully appreciate the Hub and Flow from playing with phone for a few minutes. But, they'll see a phone with an 8-core (or quad-core in the U.S.) and 1080p screen next to a dual-core phone and think Samsung is "ahead" or that the S4 is a better value technology-wise and will have greater longevity given its more advanced hardware. Whether that's true or not doesn't really matter; all that matters is whether the perception becomes the reality at the point of purchase. Furthermore, Samsung likely will have this phone available in most major markets while BlackBerry is still getting its first-gen devices (both the Z10 and Q10) out the door.

@Nine54 I couldnt agree more... especially on the "perception" part.... its like ur describing my behaviour in buying things. My another perception is best specs means FUTURE PROOF maybe its only me oh well...

I think the tilt scroll was introduced and will make the phone easier to use. Will allow one handed control of a few features to be done with ease. Attempt to make a bigger phone have what blackberry does. With the marketing campaign focusing on where it works they will convince people it does do what blackberry does. These shortcomings will hopefully ensure blackberry's future. When disappointed with the S4, feeling tricked their next phone will be the next blackberry

Looking at the demo of the hover feature I am not impressed at all. It seems to me that it takes more mental "muscle memory" to focus and hold your finger above a particular spot to get the selection to be made as opposed to just banging down on your finger. If your hands are wet and want to use your phone just dry them!

Hey, so personally I have been rocking the BB torch for 3 years and recently switched to Samsung note 2. Yes I got the usual 'dang that too big'.. but you know what. . I got used to it. The BBZ10 is a good phone but I don't think this review is' unbiased'. For example the UI features of the note 2 are pretty neat and I can switch peek multi task in the true sense. The s4 just improves upon that. Also I feel nobody here even wants to talk about the negatives of BB10. The camera. . I mean Comeon.. I wasn't impressed. . Especially since iam expected to pay premium price. All in all BB10 is good. . But as of now Samsung is better. The writing on the note 2 is pretty sweet aswell with swype, text prediction and handwriting  recognition all built in the stock keyboard. I love innovation and wish all the hate against brands would stop. Peace.

Android is better for those who are missing handwriting input Chinese , Korean , Japanese etc.
At least we can write in our language.

I don't see this as a 'real' review, realistically a editorial. If ya (if i was interested -not) wanted to see a review of S4, go to their 'universe', also a couple tech review pages !


@ camera531 on this site you're in the minority. Deal With it. I agreed with everything Bla1ze mentioned.

I'm around suits all day and 90% of them use either a BlackBerry or an iPhone... and I'm talking about a few hundred people in my little microcosm of a work environment.

BlackBerry has now put the "Smart" back into the "Smart" phone. With the outreach to devs they're now putting more fun alongside as well.

What Samsung just did is the same thing that Apple did recently. Put the same stuff in a different package and tout it as way better than before.

Posted via CB10

Blaze LAZY? I got one for u, Apple making a watch that will tell you who's calling, Now u don't even have to reach into your pocket to c who is calling. LAZY is becoming a trend lol BlackBerry has this one in the bag, we got this.. Good article, it's sad people are going to fall for the gimick crap, it's all hype, I'm freaking excited BlackBerry Is FINALLY BACK. U should have showed the Z10 specs after all its S4 vs Z10

Let the fight begin and they can crush each other over android's market.
Samsung is just a bit like Nokia during their glorious time in 90's, fighting with Ericsson and Siemens.
Z10 and Q10 can sit, relax and watch closely from our guard tower above.
While our "Q" on BB lab is working on "real feature" for the "future".

I've read comments on this post and they are so limited and one sided. The z10 is nothing special in the modern smartphone market, it has just played safe with proven hardware and blackberry have finally developed their first decent phone to be compared to android and ios. The s4 is a better phone hands down, the s3 is a better phone, and then the note 2 and note 3 push the excellence bar even further. Blackberrys usp now is bbm and their swift os, its not enough! I would love to buy a z10 but I have used a bb for too long and suffered doing so, I simply cannot risk purchasing a z10 in the hopes blackberry will get their app developers to speed with their competition and that is why I'm going to android now to get the full gaming, media, apps and speed I have been missing out on since 08 09.

I hope Samsung's R&D is reading this article, this will make them improve and developed more on their new Next Big Thing. I really could have cared less if its iphone or samsung, what is important (IMHO) is to sell bb10 and gain more market share. Gimmick or not, it still sells and BLACKBERRY should not sit, watch, and be comfortable for what it has. All I want is BB10 and blackberry to stay relevant, i am losing my bbm contacts! Go back to the drawing board please.

"They just need to continue to follow through and not the let the ball drop anywhere. They need to ensure *quality* big name apps get onto BB10."

Key word- Quality!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In every review I've read/watched on the Z10 it was ragged on for the garbage ported PlayBook apps, etc. The flawless experience of the BB10 OS needs to flow over to all of the apps in their store. (see what I did there?) I'm more than ok that most apps won't ever be on BB but the ones that are there need to run just as good as the native apps if not better. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Hopefully BB realizes that the overall experience goes way beyond their OS.

Having the S3 the size of the thing is a little to big. But there are a lot of people that want it that way so it's hard to tell which is best in general.

Thought that once. Friend has a Note. Put it my pants pocket just the other day. Its really not that bad.

Reading today that the SIII will get the software features that don't depend on the "IR Sensing" or whatever allows for the "hover over" instead of "touch" screen functionality, there is even LESS of a reason to get an S4 over a hopefully-highly-discounted SIII. Maybe Samsung will keep the SIII alive (I believe the SII is now the Galaxy Ace II X or something, still available but under a different "brand"?)

The new Galaxy looks beastly. Good for them and those that get the phone.

I'll stick with my Z10 for the next two years.

I didn't like Samsung at the beginning but after looking at S4 I had second thoughts what bothers me with it still is that it doesn't have a built in security system but anyway I'm sticking to my BB 10 and iPhone till the end

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Just spent an hour playing with the phones at the Cypress retail office of Verizon. The salesman suggested the s4 over the iphone5 and said stay away from BB, "because they are way behind and basically done". BTW, I'm in socal.

Hi all,

I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth, in case it's helpful for anyone trying to decide between the Z10 and the Galaxy S4.

After many BBs, I finally decided to try the Galaxy S4, after my Torch handset speaker broke. I *LOVE* the Samsung S4. I had lots of fun with it. For a week. Then I went camping. My wife's Torch had a great signal. My S4? Nothing. 3 to 4 bars on the signal meter, but "not registered on the network". No phone, no email, no nothing. On further testing when I was home, I also noticed I lost the signal in my basement. The Torch never did this. This is a problem. Our family cottage is in a "weaker" signal area. If the S4 doesn't work there, I'm going to have huge problems.

So, I returned the S4, and am now trying the Z10. So far, it's a great device. More rugged, and the antenna is WAY better. In fact, I think it's better than the Torch was.

Phones can be full of cool features, but if they don't get a signal, they're become toys for games. Useless.
If you need your phone in rural / low signal areas, stick with Blackberry.

I've been using BlackBerry for the last 7 years. Fell in love with the qwerty keyboard of the bold and then jumped onto the z10. For the last month I've been using the Samsung galaxy note 2. I bidded and won it at a charity dinner. I thought I would give the android a go for the first time. It's got its pros but I believe the Z10 (my prior phone) has a better functionality. Android has much more apps, the note2 has such a big screen for movie watching and the battery life is significantly longer lasting though the weight and size of the note2 is something I can't get use also. I hate the 3 buttons at the bottom of the note2. The z10 has no buttons and so there's no accidental pressing of buttons.

I've been a samsung fan forever but got my hands on the z10 and I'm in love, it's simple, works well and even with no physical navigation buttons so easy to handle,in fact I believe the no buttons concept is so much better