BlackBerry 10 is here and with it is the first BB10 smartphone, the BlackBerry Z10. The Z10 offers a different option for those who do not want a smartphone with one of the two major mobile operating systems (Android and iOS) installed on them. Similarly the Nokia Lumia 920 is a Windows Phone 8 device that offers the same alternative. Here's where we put the two up against each other in our BlackBerry Z10 vs Nokia Lumia 920 smartphone comparison review. See also Group test: What's the best smartphone?
In this BlackBerry Z10 vs Nokia Lumia 920 comparison review, we will go through each major feature of modern smartphones and give you the head-to-head specs of the two devices, as well as some firsthand insight wherever we can. See all Windows Phone 8 reviews.
BlackBerry Z10 vs Nokia Lumia 920 comparison review: design and build
Although the BlackBerry Z10 and the Nokia Lumia 920 look incredibly different due to their chosen colour schemes, once you look past the brightly coloured 920 and the classic black Z10, the design and build of the two smartphones are actually pretty similar.
Both smartphones measure in at 130mm in height, with the BlackBerry Z10 being slightly leaner in terms of width (5.2mm smaller) and depth (1.7mm smaller). This size difference is very noticeable once in your hand.
While we complained about the slightly plasticky feel of the Nokia Lumia 920 it really isn't a patch on how flimsy (especially the back cover) the BlackBerry Z10 feels in hand - this goes someway to explaining why the Z10 is nearly 50g lighter than the Lumia 920 – once again, this is a very noticeable difference when you hold the devices in your hand.
BlackBerry Z10: 130 x 65.6 x 9 mm, 137.5g
Nokia Lumia 920: 130.3 x 70.8 x 10.7 mm, 185g
BlackBerry Z10 vs Nokia Lumia 920 comparison review: screen
The first thing we should say about these two smartphone screens is that they are both impressive and feature in the top 10 highest screen resolution available today. The BlackBerry Z10 has the highest PPI of any smartphone in the UK market today with a PPI of 355, while the Nokia Lumia 920 posts an impressive 332 PPI, giving it the fourth highest PPI (at the time of writing).
By modern (non-iPhone) standards, the BlackBerry Z10 has a bit of a small screen, measuring in at 4.2-inches. The Lumia 920's screen is no giant either at 4.5-inches, but it is more inline with the upwards trend in smartphones' display sizes. Whether a bigger screen is better is entirely a personal preference.
BlackBerry Z10 display: 355 ppi, 4.2 inches, 768 x 1280 pixels
Nokia Lumia 920 display: 332 ppi, 4.5 inches, 768 x 1280 pixels
BlackBerry Z10 vs Nokia Lumia 920 comparison review: processor and performance
The BlackBerry Z10 comes with a dual-core Qualcomm processor - BlackBerry does not officially list this, but GSMArena reports it to be a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor - clocked at 1.5GHz accompanied by an impressive 2GB RAM.
The Nokia Lumia 920 comes with exactly the same processor and clock speed, but with only 1GB RAM. In truth these phones processors are pretty average, with many of their rivals packing significantly more of a punch in this department.
As yet, there is no cross-platform benchmarking app to definitely compare the performance of the Z10 and 920's processors, highlighting the lack of apps for both Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10.
However, having used both we can say that the Nokia Lumia 920 seems to be the quicker and more receptive of the handsets.
BlackBerry Z10 vs Nokia Lumia 920 comparison review: software
The BlackBerry Z10 runs BlackBerry10, which is BlackBerry's brand new OS. Here at PC Advisor, we were lucky enough to get invite to the London launch event and have had the device in our office since the day it launched.
Having used the BlackBerry 10 operating system for a considerable amout of time, we have to say that we are impressed with it. It's fast, slick and intuitive to use. As with anything new, it takes a little while to get used to the layout of BlackBerry 10, but once you're familiar with it, it becomes very natural. That said it still doesn't have many outstanding and unique features, apart from the BlackBerry Hub, which lets you peek at all your messages and notifications from all apps with the slightest flick of the thumb - this really is a quality feature.
The Lumia 920 runs the latest Microsoft mobile OS, Windows Phone 8. As you are probably aware, Windows Phone 8 places a lot of emphasis on its Tiles layout, which lets you customise the Lumia 920's home screen to suit your wants and needs. The Lumia's software is incredibly easy to use and the animations that take you from the homescreen to an app, deserves lots of credit for style.
It's worth mentioned that the Z10 and Lumia have first class mobile office software, with Word Format, Spreadsheet and Presentational software coming built-in with the smartphones. From our time with the devices, we'd have to give the 'best office suite' title to the Lumia here as it really is superb.
Both smartphones OSes are looking to take a chunk out of the Android and iOS market share, but both lack one key ingredient - and that is apps. BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8 lack the sheer app catalogue of Android and iOS and this is a big issue for the average smartphone owner.
It really isn't possible to call which smartphone has the better software as both are still very much in their infancy. Both are promising a large offensive on the app front, but have yet to be deliver.
BlackBerry Z10 vs Nokia Lumia 920 comparison review: battery
Let's get the bad news out of the way… the BlackBerry's Z10's 6.7Wh (1800mAh) battery is a little disappointing. Its specs boast good standby and talkative figures but in reality the Z10's battery only lasted a day for us and that was at a push.
The Nokia Lumia 920's 7.4Wh (2000 mAh) battery is slightly better, but still not a world beater. After a 'normal' day's use we had roughly 25 percent battery remaining.
BlackBerry Z10 vs Nokia Lumia 920 comparison review: storage
Ahhh storage, here's an area where the BlackBerry Z10 and the Nokia Lumia 920 really can go toe-to-toe and slug it out.
In the BlackBerry 10 corner is 16GB of internal storage, with an uppercut of a microSD card slot capable of boosting the storage by up to 64GB. While in the Lumia 902 corner is 32GB of storage with no expandable memory option.
It's a tough one to call, but the expandable memory option of the BlackBerry 10 wins on points.
BlackBerry Z10 vs Nokia Lumia 920 comparison review: cameras
On paper, this is a pretty even match too, with the Nokia having a slighter higher resolution at 8.7Mp against 8Mp and both able to record 1080p video at 30fps. The Lumia 920 has a lower quality 1.3Mp front facing camera, whereas the BlackBerry has a 2MP front facing camera.
From using both cameras, we found the Lumia 920's camera to be better than the Z10's. It has the advantage of optical image stabilisation and its floating lens technology meaning video footage is super smooth.
Launching the camera and taking pictures on both phones was a breeze, but the Nokia Lumia 920 felt a bit more natural and, er, camera-y to use… not by much though. Both phones have built-in editing suites but the Lumia has more on offer with apps with the combination of Cinemagraph, Smart Shoot and Creative Studio.
BlackBerry Z10 camera sample:
Nokia Lumia 920 camera sample: