BlackBerry Z30 beats out iPhone, Moto X and Lumia 1020 as best phone to blog with at CES!

By Bla1ze on 10 Jan 2014 06:42 pm EST

With pretty much every tech blog at CES this week there has been a lot of blogging going on across the internet. The folks over at WIRED decided to take a different approach this year and try to cover the event using their smartphones in something the called Smartphone Thunderdome. No DSLR's, no laptops, no compact-system cameras. Just smartphones. The devices used ended up being a BlackBerry Z30, iPhone 5s, Nokia Lumia 1020 and finally, a Motorola X.

Covering CES with the proper gear is hard enough as we know from our own #CESlive coverage, doing it from only smartphone? That's kinda crazy. No matter though, the folks at WIRED were doing it and with CES quickly coming to a close, WIRED has done their due diligence and posted up who exactly came out on top in their Smartphone Thunderdome​.

  • 1st place - Tim Moynihan and the BlackBerry Z30 - 257.5 points - "I took a lot of ribbing for using a BlackBerry. It's not as fancy as the other phones in the contest, apparently. But you know what? Doesn't matter. It's still a phone that can be used to cover a large electronics tradeshow. That’s pretty amazing. Technology is pretty amazing in general these days, you know? These things fit in your pocket! And they're like laptops except better."
  • 2nd Place - Christina Bonnington and the iPhone 5s - 147.75 points - "Keeping track of my iPhone’s battery life is probably the single most important thing during the day, because if my device dies, I can’t post. Luckily, I do have the iPhone, which gets good battery life. But using my phone as my sole means of computing means I'm fully recharging it at least three times a day, I’d estimate (although I try to never let it dip below 50 percent)."
  • 3rd Place - Robbie Baldwin and the Nokia Lumia 1020 - 145 points - "I’m very happy that I brought the Lumia 1020 along to CES. For me, it was a grand experiment to see what could be accomplished on a platform that's foreign to me. If Joe, Mike, and Bryan told me I had to use Windows Phone next year, I’d be perfectly fine with that. Hell, the keyboard is better than the iPhone and that was what really mattered most the time."
  • 4th Place - Mat Honan and the Moto X - 100 points - His Moto X got a cracked screen.  "This is supposed to be a real-world challenge. And I'm going to challenge myself to use this crazy cracked-ass Moto X just as you'd have to if it broke on you early in your contract. It’s going to suck. But I’ll deal."

Wired doesn't state how their scoring structure was broken down in the post but they do note that overall, the BlackBerry Z30 took the points for Overall Winner, Best Photography, and Most Posts. They also have wrap-ups from each their writers with further comments on their site, so if you're looking for the full details then by all means head on over to WIRED and check it out.

Reader comments

BlackBerry Z30 beats out iPhone, Moto X and Lumia 1020 as best phone to blog with at CES!



Im very happy z30 is the overall winner,esp as apple is the preferred brand there. I have had my z30 for over a few months now n this thing is a true testament of blackberry 10 staying power. What is also amazing is that every time I pull my z30 out people are continually surprised its a blackberry.

I, for one, was never worried what ppl thought of my blackberry. My family is full of ios n android users and when I use theirs its jus not a smooth or fluid as 10. Theres still something rather archaic about droid n ios. @ least win8 tries to be intuitive with their design scheme.

Some selfish part of me hopes blackberry never become maimstream as I like the exclusivity of owning a blackberry. Right now it feels very anti establishment and im not gonna lie. I like that feeling of being different from the populous. When I go to company dinners n pullout my blackberry I still get bizzarro looks " why the f!?!?! Do u use that?". And than they ramble repeat the usual bs nonsense ( as if reading from a scripe) and I jus laugh, even better when others join in. I cant stop laughing. Aahahhaahhaha. Its truly beautiful to see such ignorance from so called " intelligent" individual. All I say afterward is Thank you, u made my eventing. Blackberry baby, all the way.

Blackberry, my proverbial middle finger

Agreed, I've bought my entire family iPhones, iPads, Mac Airs and for myself an iMac. My phone though is a Z30 and its awesome.

Shock-and-awwwwwww*yeah! Unless those guys at Wired are looking to pull some kind of snooka maneuver (and at the risk of aging those who'd recognize the reference, "...not the Jimmy Supafly..." kind, either!).

Jimmie "superfly" Snooka was one of my fav wrestler back in the day along rawdie roddy piper. Aahahahahah.

Blackberry, my proverbial middle finger

Go BlackBerry Go! The wife and I both have BB10 devices. She just got her Q10 and I'm on a Z10 waiting out a Z30 for the next best BlackBerry.


Posted via CB10

No wonder. The only bad thing about Z30 is poor marketing from BlackBerry.


Yep! When is time to get it done, BlackBerry is the one. When is about staying behind Android is in site. When it's about an overly rated device, the Apple has already taken a bite!

Posted via CB10

Oh yeah..... swipe, type......flick....flick...type...flick....flick...flick....flick...flick..pic...flick...flick..type...send.
..... Win!! Like a BOSS!

From my Z10!

Posted via CB10

I'm not surprised Z30 won. I absolutely love the Z30! Beautiful phone and kicka** functionality. Between my Z10 and my Z30, I cringe whenever I see people try to type on the small and narrow iPhone.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

I have no doubt that the Z30 won this contest. In terms of productive, there is BlackBerry and nothing else. I think this is plainly obvious even to low wattage tech bloggers.

2014 will be an interesting year in smartphone tech. People are moving away from silly time sucking apps, back to what they need. An advanced, stable platform that is efficient and productive. Phones need to be value priced (different from cheap). This all plays to BlackBerry 's favor.

This is the year that Apple falls. The platform is simply beyond outdated and it is pretty clear that they are struggling to incorporate better hardware. The 5c was an unmitigated dud and 5s is already, 2 weeks after release by China Mobile, heavily discounted. Watch the heavy discounting spread to North America as Apple attempts to maintain sale numbers at the expense of margin.

Posted via CB10

Umm yea no, one the iPhone doesn't launch on China Mobile until next Friday! (January 17, 2014) China Mobile's competitors are discounting the iPhone so they have a edge before the launch on China Mobile.
Two where is your data to prove your claim "People are moving away from silly time sucking apps" because 2013 was a huge year for apps and there is nowhere to go but up.
Stop being a fanboy and face real fact, Apple is doing very well and Blackberry is not. Even Blackberry not expecting themselves to turn a profit until 2016, while Apple is generating more profit then it know what to do with.
Three, how is it clear that a Apple cannot incorporate new hardware? 2014 is the year for a redesigned iPhone, the rumor mills are already starting to steam up. Apple is having trouble keeping up with demand while Blackberry is having trouble trying to create the demand in the first place.
Four, iOS isn't a outdated operating system, at all! The only people who call it outdated are fanboys. Can you please explain why iOS is outdated, even though it provided several advantages over Blackberry 10 and the same goes vice versa.
And five, Blackberry wishes it could have the same "margin" issue that; according to you; Apple is having and/or will have. Record unit shipments and record profit each and every quarter, wow, Apple much be is serious trouble /s. Meanwhile Blackberry just had a what 4.4 billion dollar lost.

They mostly had people using their own personal phone and the android user had a Moto X rather than a Samsung.

I found the closing remarks post by the four participants to be very informative about the various platforms, which are buried in the live blog on Wired. I would personally like to see the stats and pictures of each device to get a clearer picture for myself as a lot of the points they awarded were for the user and not for the device. Perhaps like drain rates, services utilized, apps used, etc. Also, I wonder how the results would have turned out if they had used a Note 3 or HTC One instead. Oh well, the results are still valid as a whole.

Other than the one guy they "forced" to use a blackberry, all the others were using their normal personal device for this test so that is why they didn't have a different android device.

I read that too but it would have been more interesting if they made the results a little less arbitrary and forced Mat to accept the replacement device.

BlackBerry Z30 the best phone I ever owned coming from a iPhone 4S I'm loving the Z30 amazing phone

Posted via CB10

LOL Wow! :) I have one of those!!! :) L O V E my Z30. Go BlackBerry. The fact is the person who won was using a BlackBerry. The BEST of all BlackBerry imho. The "Z30". And so it is. Others will follow... People can't resist this awesomeness forever. lol :)

does this mean you can throw the idea of learning the BB10 OS is hard?
He never used a BB10 before and he effin won. Whoever said learning BB10 OS take a long time is bueschit!

It seems that blackberry is kicking it up a notch , the new apps and games are good and is still coming everyday, and now we won first place to one of the world's most popular cellphone company, pretty impressive to me

Posted via CB10

This has to be published somewhere else than in "The last paper someone buys"... say in the Times/Mirror/#bigpage
C'mon! Spread the Information!

Posted via my BlackBerry*Q10, Germany

Excellent! Was an unfair contest to begin with. I mean, for the three other handsets to go head to head with with a Z30 under controlled conditions and real life measurable results is fundamentally unfair cause there could always only have been one winner. Go BlackBerry!

STL 100-1 OS

Yes, a full touchscreen BlackBerry took first place! Why am I not surprised?? This is your future BlackBerry, not a clickety clackety keyboard. Keep making both but also keep innovating both!

Our VZW Z30'S are the baddest of the bad!

This is a good day for BlackBerry. It would be nice to see other journalist do honest assessments of BB10 devices & start communicating the real story. Over time, it could help to turn public perception about BlackBerry atound.

Keith H. Posted via CB10 on Z10.

Too bad they didn't have Android in that thunderdome challenge, would be interesting to see outcome. Maybe I could lord it over my workmates when jeer my BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

First it was compare product ad yesterday showing the BlackBerry Z30 beat the iphone 5s at word prediction. And now this! I'm loving BlackBerry more and more everyday.
In other news, my mind is made up, I have to get that BlackBerry Z30.

From Zuri my Z10.

It's nice to finally see BlackBerry advantages showcased in a positive light.

Sent from my BlackBerry Z30

I am among those fairly delighted that a BlackBerry, namely the Z30, won this competition. We all knew that as far as anything text related the BlackBerry devices are second to none as far as text input goes. Heck, whether I decide to do swiping or I decide to simply type as fast as my thumbs can possibly go, it's incredibly good at figuring out what I want to do from there.

The surprise was the best photos thing. My personal thought would be that it was a combination of clarity of photos (remember, BlackBerry 10 doesn't seem to do much to edit or adjust the images, meaning more detail is retained in more photos), number of photos in focus, sheer number of photographs, and probably also composition and such. To be honest, I have used my Z30 to get some fairly interesting photos (some visible in the forums under the Z30 section in the aptly named "post photos from your Z30 here" section). I have had to go through and do a touch of editing afterwards to bring the contrast and saturation to a level I appreciated, but I still had a consistently useable image time and again with this camera. It really is a lot better than we have given it credit for, and it is flexible. It takes some getting used to, that's for certain. I will say this, one co-worker has regularly stated that their photos don't come out nearly as nicely from their iPhone 5c as what I get from my Z30.

Honestly, the challenge proved one thing for certain. The devices we hold in our hands these days are so much more than just phones. They are often an extention of ourselves in the sense that they let us engage with others when we aren't at the computer, or aren't face to face. They let us share our ideas, our thoughts, our wishes and desires, our realities. No matter the platform one chooses, there will always be ways to get it done in a decent fashion, but this challenge proved that for this year at least, the reigning champion of communication is, and really always has been, a BlackBerry.

Posted by my Z30 via CB10

Awesome! Love my Z30. Even if I loose it or get it broken. I still choose Z30.

Posted via CB10 by Z30

The other day I thought I lost my Z30 by leaving in a hotel room. Only thought was "crap, now I am gonna have to buy another",. This despite having others as potential backups (Samsung, Sony and older BlackBerrys.

Don Diego endorses the Zed.

Very true! What happened to the Samsung? Actually I really don't care, but just interested why it was not in the mix

Posted from the Zed 10 on the cool CB10 app

They explained the choice of phones, besides the z30 they were all using their normal everyday phones rather than picking and choosing others at random.

I love my Z10 but looking forward to upgrade to Z30! In a few years phone wars will be just between blackberry 10 and bb10 :-)

Posted via CB10

Definitely not a surprise to me. BlackBerry is nothing if not exceptional, and first rate when it comes to just about anything. I have a Q10 never had any other device but BlackBerry. I know that BlackBerry is still going strong, and that it will survive this.

Posted via CB10

Not surprising, most people who give BB10 a try for at least a few days soon find out its a top of the line phone. Especially the Z30


That's very very impressive to say the least. I use a Q10 and I'm in love w/ my keyboard and battery life! #bb10

C0038297E Quote of the Day (BBM Channel)

We all must share this win to our social media (Facebook -twitter etc)
People must know that blackberry is better than iphonesssssss
Share everywhere folk's

From My Sexy Q10...

Bb 10 key board is the best. Can't wait for os10.2.1. So can download all apps I want

Posted via CB10

Listen up Mr Cook, Mr Baulmer, Mr Page

Your boys took one hell of a beating!!!

All BlackBerry needs to do is improve the camera experience and marketing and the quality of the phones at each end : budget and high end.

BlackBerry...Get it done

Posted via CB10

So this is the scoring apparently :
"25 points for each full day of blogging from the device. 25 points for four criteria. And mini challenges with arbitrary points assigned to them."

This is all I could find on the scoring. Does anybody have more details?

Posted via CB10

I am happy to see they didn't lie about the results just to join the rest of the media bashing. I'm sure they will take some ribbing from their peers for it.

I haven't read all the comments, so maybe someone said this already...but all the other sites (imore, windows central, android central(ESPECIALLY android central)..) are quick to bash blackberry, but why isn't there anything on there site about blackberry outperforming these devices?

Posted via CB10

"BlackBerry Z30 beats out iPhone, Moto X and Lumia 1020 as best phone to blog with at CES!"...

"As best phone to blog with at CES" - I probably missing something there... even the pointing system they used is unknown to be known...

Posted via CB10

How great is this!! BlackBerry needs to use this in an aggresive advertising campaign and convince the world that they need BB10 in their lives.
Here in the UK, the z30 had not been taken by all carriers, still in contract with my z10 which I love. Hoping that it will be with my carrier when I'm ready to upgrade.

Posted via CB10

I really wish that BlackBerry had come out with the Z10 and Z30 first. As a choice that would have been great. Still I'm alright that at least I had the chance to get my hands on a Z10. But yeah the Z30 is a beast.

Even so I went to a new year's party and while everyone was using their IPhone's, I was very pleased with my Z10 texting and emailing away. Everyone kept asking me "what is that phone?"...when I told them it is a BlackBerry they were could not believe it, most thought that BlackBerry was out of business, none had any ideea what BB10 was let alone that BlackBerry made all touch handsets...

Damn it, marketing, marketing!!!!!

But while everyone was still busy sending out their emails and texts, the Z10 helped me finish before pretty much everyone at the party, so I got back to drinking first!

That is my kind of phone, keeping my supply of alcohol free and helping me get drunk!

So keep your IPhones and BlackBerry Z10 got me piss drunk! Between you and me, I think my Z10 is trying to have its way with me...

Cartman says: Screw you guys I'm going home!

"Luckily, I do have the iPhone, which gets good battery life."

yes luckily charging the phone 3 times a day is good battery life

You're right. How funny (or stupid) is that. An iPhone user still thinks that they're lucky to have the iPhone and it has "pretty good battery life" and they are charging it three times a day!!!! This is incredulous

Posted via CB10

Why wasn't a Note 3 used for this? I mean isn't that androids best right now?

Typed from a Z30 that I love so don't yell at me lol!

They all used their own phones except the z30, the android user's personal phone was a Moto X so that was what was used by him.

Never mind they could have used EVERY display device at the show via DLNA to show the pictures and videos he took with the Z30.
The Z30 with latest leak is a Monster.

Remarkable, but not remarkable. I guess the surprise is that the result is getting coverage! :) It would have been more impressive if the MotoX guy got a replacement, though I'm sure the Z still would have blown him away. We all know BB is so much more durable than other phones, so the point didn';t have to be jammed down our throats.
I had finally played with the Z30 yesterday, before I saw the results. It is truly an amazing phone. I love my z10 but the 30 gives up nothing (screen is fantastic!) and adds a good deal with a better antenna, better battery and yes, a slightly sexier look and feel.

Odd contest. Happy for BlackBerry but one phone (moto x) had a broken screen and the windows user had never used windows before. I still think BlackBerry would win in the category but kind of an awkward contest.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry really needs to make some people impress about its BlackBerry 10! 9 out of 10 people are asking me "are you serious about this? You really want to buy BlackBerry phones? " they do not know how advance and reliable the QNX in BlackBerry 10! All they know is games, apps and no lag! Hence because apple ios and samsung android are those common phones that appear in Asia, they would only compare this two! They would just say blackberry phones are useless... nobody wants to use it! BlackBerry must have a good marketing strategy and comes up with a good idea in improving its perception towards the consumer markets! Impression and perception is very very important for BlackBerry 10 right now! To gain confidence, it must be improved effectively!

Posted via CB10

@Calvin Chin. You're absolutely right. It's a perception issue. The reality that BlackBerry is a high quality device with excellent battery life, call quality, security, productivity (the list goes on) is irrelevant. It’s all about how it is perceived in the consumer marketplace.

Posted via CB10

The iphone is the most outdated smart phone on the market today. wow the z30 destroyed those phones.

Posted via CB10

Yay BlackBerry rules!
Have Z10 and want Z30. Anyone knows if Z30 is still so comfortable in hand as Z10?

Posted via CB10

At first my Z30 had a different feel than the Z10. Mostly due to the different texture of the back cover. However within a day or so it was right at home. And I seriously loved my Z10 but now only way I would relinquish this Z30 is a Z40 or better. Screen size just big enough and still fits well in the palm of my hands.

Don Diego endorses the Zed.

Why do I get a sneaky feeling that the z30 was included in the competition to mock Blackberry? (Un)fortunately, it blew the competition out of water and made some heads, and some minds, take note...
However, I have checked other Tech Blog sites and there is absolutely no mention of this competition In fact, one has to do a lot of digging to find the article on wired[dot]com, which just goes to show how many people only want the worst for Blackberry #saddening

I share your sneaky feeling, I too suspect the Z30 was included in this competition with the expectation that it would perform so badly against the other phones it wouldn't even complete the assigned task. Instead it scooped them up, washed them off, wrung them out and hung them up to dry. Very impressive for an archaic device with outdated specs, a confusing OS and no apps.

One would have to do an analysis of how points were awarded. However, if one considers the BlackBerry was not the user's usual phone it would seem to add some credence to the result also considering the tone of disregard, and hence bias, used to describe the winning Z30.

Don Diego endorses the Zed.

The fact that it came out top by over a 100 point margin is amazing. This result confirms what nearly every BlackBerry user already know; a BlackBerry device will make you more productive than any other device on the market today.

However, I can't see this test and its result, or pretty much anything else for that matter, swaying the perceptions of the Apple and Android consumer. Ignorance is bliss as they say.

Posted via CB10

Im finding it hard to believe that the Z30 beat up the iphone camera and app ecosystem same things goes to the moto X

Posted via CB10

Glad z30 won. I showed the word prediction to a friend with a iPhone and the wired thunder dome challenge. He got up set.


This is very reassuring, since I usually don't carry a camera, a laptop, and a tablet with me everywhere I go.

Of course it won first place. Every other phone is just inconvenient to use.

Posted via BB-Z10. OS 10.2.1.

Soo I was in one of my carriers store and was looking g at the phones right and next to there was this guy looking at the Z10 I heard him tell his wife he liked it and his wife told him that she heard they heat up quick so I came in and showed him my white Z10 and told him to let me talk to him a little bout my experience with this BlackBerry and told him to go for that Z10 that the only time mine seems to heat up was when I played games and he asked me about the speed on the browser that he owns a GS4 and it's super fast so I open Google and did a search in front of him and he was wowed at the speed he said he didn't see any difference In His GS4 so he thanked me and I think his getting that Z10 o o o o I feel good.

Posted via CB10

I recently swapped my Galaxy Note 2 for a BlackBerry Z10. Best thing I ever did! I've always used Blackberries and the Note was a weird choice for me. But now I'm back in line and loving I even made my step dad change his mind on buying an iPhone to get his Z10 cuz this phone is awesome not to mention BB10s keyboard which rocks, as a matter of fact BB10 rocks end of conversation! :p

Posted via CB10

Wow! Good Luck My Dear BlackBerry.

I Lost My Z10, Trying to get Z30. looking for good offer.

Without my BlackBerry is Gun without bullets.... i miss my Z10 :(