PermaLink Samsung Galaxy S4 and BlackBerry Z1005/31/2013
Category : Technology
BlackBerry Z10 and Samsung Galaxy S4Just picked up the Samsung Galaxy S4 (bottom), and wow, it is nice.
The Galaxy S4 is actually my wives phone, I have the BlackBerry Z10 (top). It is therefore beneficial that our phones are compatible. A quick test exchanging a picture using Bluetooth and NFC worked flawless.

Still in the early stages of comparing the two devices side by side. Our first impressions are positive overall. The screen is bright and crisp. We are now at a point where we don't have to question the screen resolution anymore, but our own vision. With my reading glasses on, I could read the small print on both phones as seen on the left. The fact that the Galaxy S4 has a bigger screen and a better resolution did make a difference. This example also shows that having a bigger screen does not always mean that you actually see more.
The BlackBerry Z10 uses the Hub for all notifications and whatever app is running occupies the whole screen. When I need to see the phone status or an alert, I swipe up half way to check and release to return to the app. A very smooth flow which takes about 5 minutes to get used to - and loving it. Android keeps the status line on top of the screen which is not available to the app.
I'm including only a few references to the iPhone 5 here. The iPhone is all about applications and if you own one, you are likely used to wait for the next big thing that comes from Apple. As it stands now, technology moved on - very fast.

Anyway, some of the features side by side:
 BlackBerry Z10Samsung Galaxy S4iPhone 5
OS version10.1.0.273Android 4.2.2 
Screen Res.1280 x 7681920 x 10801136 x 640
Photo Camera8 Mega pixel 13 Mega pixel8 Mega pixel
Video RecordingBoth record with 1080p.
Keep in mind that the full HD recording will eat up your memory in no time.
BluetoothCompatible. Exchanging photos worked fineAvailable
But only seems to work with other i products
NFCCompatible. Exchanging photos worked fineN/A
There are other features with the BlackBerry Z10 and Samsung Galaxy S4 which are not listed here. Front and back facing camera, lots of sensors and one which I would like to point out. Put any phone or tablet for that matter, on a table surface. Then tilt the surface and find out what angle the device starts to slide. iPhone and iPad slide almost instantly, so do the older Galaxy phones. The Galaxy S4 is maybe a little bit better. But both the BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry PlayBook do not slide down. All I can say is "Thank you BlackBerry".

eMail, Calendar and Contacts are a bit tricky to compare. We use IBM Lotus Notes as our email system and therefore have Lotus Traveler installed. So the Galaxy does not use the native email and calendaring system.
As of this writing, you don't want to buy the Galaxy S4 for it's email and calendar. BlackBerry is the leader in messaging/calendaring. iPhone does not get much love from their owners either when it comes to calendaring.

If you have a job or hobby where the phone gets exposed to physical abuse, make sure you protect the phone. Based on our own experience with the new Galaxy S4 (see below) and some of the reviews and comments we found on the Internet, the Galaxy S4 structure of the frame is nowhere near the quality you would expect.
Adding functionality to the phone by loading applications is also becoming less of an issue. BlackBerry World and Google Play are providing excellent choices for gaming and other applications.

When I compare the applications we both use most often, it's the maps application. Android uses Google Maps, no question the leader in maps and images. Getting directions in Google Maps is also excellent until you try to use the GPS feature. Now you require a subscription.
On the BlackBerry Z10, the Maps application is fully GPS enabled at no additional cost. It works from the Calendar application and Contacts.
Since I need directions when visiting customers or vendors, I have all my Location data in the Calendar or Contacts. So it works perfect for me. My wife uses the maps to find the best way when picking up passengers - she's driving a school bus. The Satellite view is exactly what she needs as well as the printed directions for some of the cases. They are not permitted to use GPS navigation when driving the school bus - company policy.

This example just shows that a simple feature comparison does not really make sense. Define the functions you need most often and make sure the app you are getting fully supports your needs. Even then, you may be in for a rude surprise. The iPhone was using Google Maps until they changed to their own app. That did not go well with many iPhone users. A similar issue with BlackBerry. The BlackBerry phones prior to the Z10 and Q10 had a Traffic app with many more features than the new app. The three most important features to me are still there. No usage fee, spoken GPS navigation in the car, touch and go option from Contacts and Calendar.
There are times when you have to wait for a feature or a program fix. If you have a problem with an application, send the developers a note. Don't just post a review that says "doesn't work". I sent several emails to the developers and always received a friendly reply with an update to the problem.

NOTE: Installing Lotus Traveler on the Galaxy S4 was not a problem. The S4 has Android 4.2.2 running.

And one more footnote as experienced after about 36 hours of ownership.
In one of the reviews they talked about the 'cheap' plastic frame. It turns out that the frame is really substandard. This phone dropped from about 4 feet to a paved sidewalk. A very unfortunate angle and possible small pebble poking up on the pavement. The phone still works, so does the display. The moral of the story, get a protective case to reduce problems like this. I am totally against cases on phones, but for once, I do recommend one.
Samsung Galaxy S4 after drop
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