2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

BlackBerry Z10 vs. Galaxy S3

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February 1, 2013

We compare the specs (and intangibles) of the BlackBerry Z10 and Samsung Galaxy S3

We compare the specs (and intangibles) of the BlackBerry Z10 and Samsung Galaxy S3

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Great companies evolve. In 2007, Apple redefined the smartphone with the release of the iPhone. Google then responded quickly with the iPhone-inspired Android OS. But BlackBerry (known then as Research in Motion) stood still. Six years later, the company is finally embracing keyboardless, multitouch handsets. Does the new BlackBerry Z10 stand a chance against Samsung’s record-breaking Galaxy S III? Let’s see how their specs – and harder-to-define intangibles – compare.

Size

The Galaxy S III has a larger face, but is thinner than the Z10

The Galaxy S III is longer and wider – but also a bit thinner – than the BlackBerry Z10. Three years ago, both handsets would have looked enormous. Today, they both look smallish next to 5-inch behemoths like the Droid DNA and Xperia Z.

Weight

Despite being larger, the Galaxy S III is a bit lighter

Despite being smaller, the BlackBerry Z10 is a bit heavier than the Galaxy S3. You can find lighter phones, but neither one of these is ridiculously heavy.

Display

The Galaxy S III has a larger display, but the Z10's has a higher resolution

Take your pick: the Galaxy S III gives you an extra 0.6 inches of (diagonal) screen real estate, but the BlackBerry Z10 gives you more pixels.

Processor

Only the international S3 has a quad-core chip

The North American version of the Galaxy S III has the same processor as the Z10. Both phones – as well as the quad-core international S3 – have plenty of power under the hood.

RAM

The Z10's RAM equals the U.S. Galaxy S3, and doubles the international S3

Random-access memory (RAM) is also equal in the Z10 and U.S. Galaxy S III, while the global S3 lags with just 1 GB.

Storage

Samsung gives you more storage options

Samsung gives you more choice. Like the Z10, the S3 sells in a 16 GB model, but Samsung’s phone also comes in 32 GB and 64 GB flavors. Both devices support microSD cards.

Wireless

Both phones support speedy LTE mobile data

If your local carrier provides LTE, both phones will deliver.

Cameras

The Z10 has a slightly higher-resolution front camera

On paper, cameras are nearly identical. The BlackBerry camera, though, has a new Time Shift feature that snaps multiple frames and lets you choose the best.

Battery

The Galaxy S3 has a higher-capacity battery

The Galaxy S III has a higher-capacity battery. Many factors influence battery life, but with identical processors, the S3 could potentially have the edge.

Intangibles

It's a cool new keyboard vs. a vastly superior app library ... hardly a fair fight

BlackBerry 10 has a groovy new predictive keyboard. It’s similar to Android’s SwiftKey, but with a twist: tiny suggested words float above corresponding letters. Swipe up to select, and save yourself some keystrokes.

Keyboard innovation is nice, but can it make up for a dearth of great apps? The Z10’s BlackBerry World is but a newborn, while the Galaxy S III’s Play Store is mature and thriving. If app selection is your priority, then forget BlackBerry: it can’t compete with Android, and won’t anytime soon.

Wrap-up

Three years ago, the BlackBerry Z10 could have been a revolutionary phone. But back then, RIM was still doubling down on 2005-looking phones and drowning with their failed PlayBook. We have to tip our hats to BlackBerry’s big comeback attempt, but the odds are long that the platform will ever post Samsung-like sales.

If you want to size the Z10 up to Apple's finest, check out our BlackBerry Z10 vs. iPhone 5 specs comparison.

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
9 Comments

70,000 apps vs 500,000 or 700,000? I have a Galaxy IIS. I have maybe 10 apps, 2 or 3 of which I use regularly. If I was a very active user, I might have maybe 100 apps and use 20 regularly.

Obvisouly, the key is not to shear number of apps, but how usefull they are and how widely known they are. If Blackberry can offer a significant proportion of the top 100 apps, or good equivilants, and make that fact known, then I think they might do very well, given their very large user-base, and the very attractive new features of the phone. Will they over-take Apple or Android? Not likely. Is that their objective? No! They want to survive and be a profitable player, especially in the corporate/government markets in which they're already well established.

I think these new Blackberry phones are cool, and I think they've got a decent shot.

DMoy
1st February, 2013 @ 10:05 pm PST

The S3 4G LTE (i9305) has 2GB ram, I'm sure the US one only has 1GB

Shaun Walker
2nd February, 2013 @ 12:00 am PST

The blackberry Z10 has about 70.000 apps, that's true, but the android apps also run on the blackberry Z10. Beat that why don't u.

Naziem Saden
2nd February, 2013 @ 08:14 am PST

Not gonna lie, as an Android supporter since the G1 came out, and I think the Z10 looks great, but would have looked amazing last year. With Googlarola X and the Galaxy S IV set to be announced 2 - 3 months after the Z10 is released, it may be too little too late. BB faithful will love it, but it's not gonna convert not a single iOS/Android person. Maybe they'll pick up some of the WP8 people...

Kevin Jones
2nd February, 2013 @ 07:03 pm PST

I currently use a sg3 and I do love this phone but I am dropping it for the z10. Why you may ask? No more going in and out of apps like it's 2008. Also the Web browser on the z10 is the FASTEST then any other smart phone on the market. The flow, peak and hub is really good. The z10 has higher resolution. Plusthe z10 has better security. Like I said love my sg3 but it's time to move on.

Tony Cr
2nd February, 2013 @ 08:36 pm PST

It seems the writer has not speant large amounts of time in the blackberry 10 demo videos. I am an iphone 5 user and have found that it is not business strong in anyway. Its a phone toy with a lovely look and business apps that are glorified readers of pc/server programs. Its fluff. Kids love them, i can certainly understand why. But the key boards are awful, the connectivity is inconsistent (ATT and Verizon US NE corridor). Battery life is a joke. Further, If Galaxy didn't give away their phone's they would never have the install base described here. I know many business travellers that left iphone for th galaxy for the battery life alone. There also continues to be a lack of realization concerning blackberry's existing world wide install base.

bvansiclen
4th February, 2013 @ 06:05 am PST

Don't be so sure Shaun. My US S3 has 2gb of ram. I love this phone. I honestly don't see many people switching to the new BB phone and the people who still use them keep them because odds the keyboard.

Sonny Garcia
4th February, 2013 @ 07:56 am PST

where is bb10 for the playbook?, i still dont have a software update for it and its the 4th of Feb. oh and as for bb apps i downloaded a free tv app from bb app store about 4 months ago and then i just saw another free tv app the other day and downloaded it, and even though the icon is changed the app is identical to the one i already have. so bb apps are no better then the others.

Dave Hargraves
4th February, 2013 @ 09:32 am PST

@DMoy : I have about 300 apps on my SGS and i use about 100 of them. Installing new every week.

DaveBG
4th February, 2013 @ 11:50 pm PST
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