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BlackBerry Z10 vs Google Nexus 4: spec comparison

MobileGuides
, 27 Feb 2013Guides
BlackBerry Z10 vs Google Nexus 4: spec comparison

The long-awaited launch of BlackBerry 10 stands out as a key moment in the mobile industry this year, and initial impressions of the platform have been broadly positive. BlackBerry's new full-touchscreen flagship, the Z10, has also been generally well received since its arrival back in January. Concurrently, Google's Nexus 4 handset has returned to the headlines, receiving an incremental update in the form of Jelly Bean 4.2.2 and improved availability. How does the precocious BlackBerry handset match up to Google's market-disrupting Q4 2012 effort? Let's take a look.

Size and weight

The BlackBerry Z10 and Nexus 4 are  similarly proportioned devices. The former sizes up at 9mm in depth and tips the scales to the tune of 136g, while the Google handset has a girth of 9.1mm and weighs 139g. 

Display

BlackBerry's Z10 features a sensibly sized 4.2in IPS LCD screen, with an HD resolution of 1,280 x 768 pixels and a density of 356ppi. The 4.7in Nexus 4 comes with similar specifications: its LCD display offers an identical HD resolution, though its extra 0.5in means that sharpness drops to 318ppi.

Camera

Both the Z10 and Nexus 4 sport an 8-megapixel primary camera. The BlackBerry handset's 2-megapixel front snapper bests the 1.3-megapixel auxiliary shooter found on the Google handset. Both products offer 1080p video at 30fps.

Processor and battery

Featuring a quad-core Snapdragon S4 chipset clocked at 1.5GHz and supported by Adreno 320 graphics, the Nexus 4 is one of the most powerful Android devices currently available. The BlackBerry Z10 also sports a Snapdragon S4 SoC with a 1.5GHz clock speed, though its CPU configuration is dual-core, and its Adreno 225 GPU is older than the 320 and packs less of a punch. The Google handset's 2,100 mAh battery bests the Z10's 1,800 mAh offering - our BlackBerry Z10 review found battery life to be one of the handset's biggest failings.

Software

As Google's flagship Android smartphone, the Nexus 4 is a seductive proposition for fans of the little green robot. It ships with the latest Jelly Bean flavour, version 4.2, and will surely be first in line for an update to Key Lime Pie when that rolls around later in the year. The Z10 shows off BlackBerry's new BB10 OS - a slick, impressive interface that's slightly compromised by a lack of apps at present.

Storage and memory

The Z10 and Nexus 4 both feature a hefty 2GB of RAM under the hood. Google's smartphone can be had with 8GB or 16GB of on-board storage, while the latest BlackBerry handset comes with a standard 16GB capacity. Media buffs may favour the Z10, as - unlike the Nexus 4 - it comes equipped with a microSD card slot, so storage can be cheaply and easily boosted.

Connectivity and wireless

The BlackBerry Z10 supports the LTE standard and has already landed on EE's UK 4G network. The Google Nexus 4 offers HSPA+ speeds, while both devices feature NFC technology.

Extras

The Nexus 4 features integrated wireless charging, and Google has finally started flogging the official 'Orb' Qi inductive charger accessory through the Play store - just not in the UK yet, unfortunately. The BlackBerry Z10 doesn't offer any extras that are out of the ordinary, though the BB10 platform offers some unique features that will appeal to enterprise users.

Price, availability and opinion

The BlackBerry Z10 is available and can be had with no strings attached for £480 via O2. Google has struggled to keep up with demand for the Nexus 4 at times, but the device is currently listed as shipping in "less than one week" and can be had for £239 and £279 for the 8GB and 16GB versions, respectively.

With some £200 separating comparable models, there's a fair bit for buyers  to contemplate when sizing up whether to part with their hard-earned loot for the Z10 or Nexus 4. BlackBerry's new full-touchscreen handset has by and large impressed, and it's refreshing to see a manufacturer bucking the current trend for 5in-plus devices in favour of an easy-to-handle 4.2in display. The Z10's microSD card slot means that content hoarders have plenty of room to play with, while 4G LTE support means that downloads should come through at a healthy rate if you're using a 4G network . BlackBerry 10 itself offers a number of tangible user benefits, not least the Balance feature that allows you to toggle between dedicated work and play environments - a real boon for professional types.

But for the price, there's nary a handset more capable than the LG-manufactured Google offering. Its 1.5GHz quad-core chipset and 2GB of RAM align it with the high-end segment, yet it comes at a fraction of the price and is likely to stay relevant throughout 2013 thanks to its privileged position at the top of the Android refresh queue. Lack of 4G LTE support is a shortcoming, but HSPA+ shouldn't be sniffed at, and integrated wireless charging gives the Nexus 4 a bit of added 'wow' factor. App availability via Google Play is another obvious strength, and poor battery life doesn't detract from the overall user experience as with the Z10. Then there's the £200-odd saving itself - a fairly hefty pot of gravy and a rare opportunity to save money whilst still obtaining a top-quality product. 

For more, why not check out how the BlackBerry Z10 squares up against the Apple iPhone 5? Alternatively, our BlackBerry Z10 vs Nokia Lumia 920 spec comparison is another fascinating hardware showdown.

 

BlackBerry Z10

Google Nexus 4

Display

   

Screen size

4.2in

4.7in

Resolution

1,280 x 768 pixels

1,280 x 768 pixels

Pixel density

356ppi

320ppi

Type

IPS LCD

IPS LCD

Processor and battery

   

Family

Qualcomm Snapdragon S4

Qualcomm Snapdragon S4

CPU

Krait

Krait

Cores

Dual-core

Quad-core

Clock speed

1.5GHz

1.5GHz

GPU

Adreno 225

Adreno 320

Battery

1,800 mAh

2,100 mAh

Claimed 3G talk time

Up to 10h

Up to 15h

Storage and memory

   

RAM

2GB

2GB

Internal storage

16GB

8GB / 16GB

microSD

Yes

No

Camera

   

Rear

8-megapixel

8-megapixel

Resolution

3,264 x 2,448 pixels

3,264 x 2,448 pixels

Video

1080p @ 30fps

1080p @ 30fps

Front

2-megapixel

1.3-megapixel

Wireless

   

Standard

4G LTE

HSPA+

Wi-Fi

802.11 a / b / g / n

802.11 a / b / g / n

NFC

Yes

Yes

Bluetooth

v4.0

v4.0

Integrated wireless charging

No

Yes

Dimensions

   

Size

130 x 65.6 x 9mm

133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1mm

Weight

135g

139g

Operating System

BlackBerry 10

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Price (SIM-free)

£480

£239 (8GB) / £279 (16GB)

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