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Bill Bennett


BlackBerry Z10 hits New Zealand

BlackBerry Z10
BlackBerry Z10

Note: Updated with Telecom price.

BlackBerry’s Z10 goes on sale today at Telecom. Vodafone began selling the smartphone yesterday.

The Z10 was first announced in May last year. January saw the official global launch and Australian could buy the BlackBerry Z10 in March.

New Zealand’s BlackBerry fans – and there are a surprising number – had to be patient.

Touchscreen only: Those of you who love hardware Qwerty keyboards on smartphones will have to wait longer for the Q10. BlackBerry representatives told me the phone will reach New Zealand later this year. The target date is October, but that’s not a promise.

Where to get the Z10: Telecom and Vodafone are both selling the BlackBerry Z10. Vodafone’s list price for a smartphone without a plan is $1000. Telecom’s price is $900. Some independent dealers are selling the Z10 for less than the two main carriers. I’ve seen prices as low as $750.

What about plans: I’m preparing a plan price comparison table which will be online later today.

Do I still need a special BlackBerry account? Earlier BlackBerry phones needed either special corporate plans. Individuals had to pay extra for a BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) plan that gave unlimited mail and internet. That’s gone. All you need for the Z10 is a plan with voice calling and data. If you’re coming from an older Blackberry device, you might find the NZ carrier data plans are too stingy.

Will it run on the 4G networks? Oh yes. And boy is it fast. I’ve tested it on the Vodafone 4G service and seen speeds in excess of 60Mbps.

Is it worth buying? It is if you want a business class smartphone that shines at communications apps. It’s as good as any smartphone for working on documents or web browsing. If you want to play games or need a range of specialist apps you’ll be happier looking elsewhere. For more details see my first impressions.



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