BlackBerry Z10 review: Swipe clean

GSMArena team, 15 February 2013.

Good music player, but no equalizer

The UI of the BlackBerry Z10 music player is pretty similar to the image gallery and video player. It has three tabs, the first of which displays recently added and recently played music. The second organizes the music library by Artist, Album or Genre and the third one displays all the playlists.

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Browsing the music collection

The Now playing interface is pretty simple with a big album art in the middle, surrounded by playback controls (including shuffle and repeat buttons). If you tap on the album art (or drag it down) you get the current playlist so you can easily jump between songs (swiping left and right between songs doesn't work).

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The Now playing interface

There are no playback controls on the lockscreen or the shade on top of the screen a la Android, you can use the volume keys instead. The volume up and down buttons change the volume for short presses or act as previous/next buttons if you long press them. The middle button is play/pause.

By the way, when changing the volume while there's a track playing, the little window with the volume level indicator does have playback controls and track info and album art. It's an odd place to put them and you have to hit a volume key each time you want to use them - we much prefer using the hardware keys for the job.

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Playback controls in the volume change window

The music player is DLNA-enabled, just like the gallery and video players. There's no equalizer though, it is the one major feature we missed.

Nicely clean audio output

The BlackBerry Z10 put up a solid performance in our audio quality test, demonstrating a nicely clean output.

When you use the smartphone with an active external amplifier you get great scores all over the place. The frequency response was spot-on and there was no detectable distortion. The signal to noise ratio and the dynamic range are very good too and the only thing average was the volume level.

There is a pretty big increase in stereo crosstalk when you plug in a pair of headphones, but the good news is none of the other readings are affected. Volume levels remain average, but the overall performance is perfectly solid.

And here go the results so you can see for yourselves.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
BlackBerry Z10+0.16, -0.29-82.882.60.0100.022-80.5
BlackBerry Z10 (headphones attached)+0.18, -0.28-82.782.70.0140.059-45.3
Sony Xperia T+0.11, -0.10-86.187.80.0230.023-84.1
Sony Xperia T (headphones attached)+0.43, -0.11-86.187.50.1400.260-62.7
LG Optimus 4X HD+0.02, -0.52-74.874.80.345 0.318-81.6
LG Optimus 4X HD (headphones attached)+0.03, -0.51-70.169.90.815 0.811-64.5
Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III+0.03, -0.05-90.390.30.012 0.018-92.6
Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III (headphones attached)+0.11, -0.04-90.290.20.0092 0.090-53.1
HTC One X+0.02, -0.08-82.182.10.137 0.393-80.7
HTC One X (headphones attached)+0.10, -0.10-80.680.60.174 0.459-60.8

BlackBerry Z10 frequency response
BlackBerry Z10 frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

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