Blackberry has started rolling out OS 10.2 to BB10 devices such as Z10, Q10 and Q5. Update appears to be available in Canada and UK for a start. The OS update is quite a major one. The android runtime has been updated to 4.2 Jelly Bean from the previous Gingerbread based version and its performance has improved significantly. I noticed that android-ported applications like Skype that lagged before are much smoother now. A priority hub, where it shows messages of high priority, has been introduced. These are selected intelligently, or through user controlled rules such as priority contacts. Lock screen notifications are more detailed now and you can see previews of messages. Toast notifications (called instant previews) with inline reply capability have been introduced. I noticed some issues with BBM previews, but email and SMS previews working fine. Wifi direct support has been introduced for the BB10 models, while the Z30 gets two additional connectivity features: USB host support and miracast support. A new device manager utility allows you to monitor CPU and RAM usage of various apps. Keyboard has been enhanced with more fine-grained audio feedback and smoother copy/paste.

Here are some web browsing benchmarks.

Google Octane Benchmark v1

Mozilla Kraken Benchmark - 1.1

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 1.0 - Stock Browser

Browsermark 2.0

OS 10.2 browser improves Javascript performance significantly but browsermark, which tests a wider range of characteristics shows smaller improvement. Performance is largely competitive with older Android phones running on internals similar to the Z10 but it is considerably behind recent Android and iOS phones which use much faster internals.  IE10 on the Lumia 1020, which has the same SoC as the Z10, appears to optimize for Sunspider but is behind BB10 in other benchmarks. I am interested in seeing how the Z30 performs given the faster internals. Feature compatibility-wise,  WebGL has been supported on BB10 since 10.0. Flash is also available. HTML5 test revealed a score of 485 points + 11 bonus points which is also excellent. 

In terms of the OS, it is nice to see Blackberry making progress on both OS features and web browsing performance. An OS update obviously cannot do anything about the relatively weak app ecosystem or the unspectacular hardware, but the OS itself is maturing quite nicely.


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  • kishorshack - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - link

    Where is Note 3 in those comparison charts??
  • meacupla - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - link

    why does anandtech even bother with these dead platforms?

    even the windows phone is more interesting than BB.
  • Jtaylor1986 - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - link

    Why do you read and post then troll? Move along...
  • Jtaylor1986 - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - link

    More BlackBerry coverage please! A Z30 review would be nice since there are still a hardcore audience of fans out there.
  • Jtaylor1986 - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - link

    Why is Anand so anti BlackBerry. I mean seriously the Lumia 900 got a full review when Windows Phone 7 had like 0% market share and you can't even get a review on a single BlackBerry 10 phone in almost a year??
  • Jtaylor1986 - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - link

    Oh and for the record Windows Phone 7 was a dead platform since they completed changed the operating system for Windows Phone 8.
  • fronkhead - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - link

    I too, like hrrmph, use a Z10 as my daily driver (my alternate phone being a Lumia 820, and before that, a Pre3), and I too think BlackBerry nailed it with BB10.

    The cascades interface makes apps a joy to navigate (and has turned one-handed use into a lazy habit of mine), the incredibly strong HTML5 compatibility on the browser (performance not bad given the Z10's Snapdragon S4 Plus) also means it loads next to anything I throw at it, the OS is great at handling several apps at once with apps truly resuming and suspending in the background (which adds to the 'flow' moniker BB give the OS).

    The Android runtime is pretty good now, too, with Flipboard and Skype being the two Jellybean apps I've tried (Skype recently got updated to the JellyBean version yesterday). I'm surprised at how good the hardware acceleration is, and how well integrated the apps are with the rest of the OS (Flipboard even seems to maintain the stock Android browser when you open a link within a featured article).

    As also mentioned, the BB Hub is near essential to my day-to-day communications -- I really like how it loads all your communications apps in the same place, with the option to filter between each one through a single swipe very handy too. It's all integrated really well. The way you can also share, say, a photo on Twitter within one app and have the entire compose window from your Twitter app (like Blaq) slide in just for that share is really neat as well.

    One thing that has surprised me is app support. Yes, the ecosystem is no Android or iOS, but to me I've found it miles beyond Windows Phone, especially in terms of games where a lot of developers have released plenty of great ports on the platform thanks to BB making sure the right tools for porting have been made available to developers to bring their games over at very low cost. And the consistency between apps is a plus, as a lot of Windows Phone apps still see this split between apps that also target Windows Phone 7, those which are Windows Phone 8 only and those with have two separate versions for both.

    I could easily get by with the other mobile OSes I've tried, mind, but BB10 pulls things off in such an elegant way which hasn't been done since webOS. It really feels great navigating through the UI with these gestures, without any feelings of interruption or load waits (particularly great when you swipe right to go back one cascade, or swipe left/right to go back and forth from your BB Hub communication and whatever you were on last).

    Like others I too would like to see some BB10 coverage on the site -- it's a really great OS, and far exceeded my expectations, even on what is year-old hardware (I only bought a Z10 a couple of months back).
  • dave_s25 - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - link

    Finally a BlackBerry 10 article. Thank you for doing at least something on a platform I care about. Would like to see a Z30 article soon too, please. There was a PlayBook article on launch day, so why not a phone article?

    Anyway, given that the CPU in the Z10 is less powerful than the Nexus 4 (8960 vs. APQ8064 Pro), I think it made a great showing in the benchmarks.
  • Makaveli - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - link

    I agree with fronkhead, hrrmph, dave_s25.

    I've owned a Z10 since Feb 12 of 2012 so a week or so after launch. It really is a great phone and still getting better with these software updates. Its also my daily driver and I do IT support. Our current environment at our lawfirm has about 125 BB10 devices active aswell as older berries and Iphones on Mobile Iron, so I work with the phones alot and for a Generation 1 product its great.

    I installed the 10.2 OS update this weekend and loving the update of the andriod runtime skype is like 100x better as with the rest of the andriod apps. Battery life also see a nice little boost with this update.

    Phone has all the apps that I need I don't use Twiiter, instagram,viber the latter two you can side the andriod ports and they work.

    I would love to see a Z30 review on this site also.
  • Sttm - Monday, October 28, 2013 - link

    Not buying a 4 inch device, but with the performance gap Apple has each generation it would be hard to pass up a 5 inch version. It's like they are a year ahead with their SOCs.

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