But they did call it a "Noble Failure"
If Apple or Samsung released the BlackBerry Z10, everyone would call it boring. But those two companies probably wouldn't have introduced a device with such fanfare. BlackBerry, of course, had no choice.
BlackBerry (BBRY), the company that created some of the greatest mobile devices before the smartphone revolution, has had some comical lows over the past five years. Its new Z10, which AT&T (T, Fortune 500)and Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500) will soon start selling to U.S. customers, is an improvement. But it's not a savior for the struggling company.
The hardware is totally fine. It's one of the most perfectly proportioned phones as far as weight, thickness and screen size are concerned. But it's not better in any way than the best phones.
The design is clean and attractive in an understated way, but not exciting in the same way a phone like the HTC One is. The battery can get you through the day under moderate use, but it's not extraordinary. The 4G LTE is fast, and call quality is fine. But pretty much all phones do that well now.
The 1280x768 display is good, but every other top phone packs a pixel-dense, Retina grade display. The camera is respectable, but its abysmal low light performance means that it doesn't hold a flame to the camera found in Nokia's (NOK) Lumia 920.
And its brains -- a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor coupled with 2GB RAM -- is already a generation behind what's been announced by rivals so far this year.
Related: BlackBerry 10 feels a generation too late
BlackBerry needed a phone that could stand up against any other new device. But this is not a flagship phone. It's a device anyone else would be giving away for free with a two-year contract by the end of the year. And for BlackBerry, that obviously is not enough.
Still, even if the Z10 had the latest and greatest hardware, it would only be part of the equation.
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This is great news from my perspective! When it is pumped nationally on television or newswires it inevitably tanks. Let's just everyone think it really is going to $0. It is making me a lot more money that people think this. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.