Published on February 11, 2013 9:44 AM

BlackBerry Z10 Screen Test: Results Now In

A mixed bag for this 4.2" IPS display

Ahead of our full review of the BlackBerry Z10, this new handset's 4.2" IPS screen has already been put through its paces in our test lab. Read on to find out how it fared. 

A lot is riding on the BlackBerry Z10. This is the first handset to launch on the new BlackBerry 10 OS, and the first handset to lead BlackBerry's big push back to the forefront of the ultra-competitive mobile phone market. We've already seen that the 8-Megapixel camera does a pretty good job, so what about the Z10's screen?

The BlackBerry Z10 has a 4.2" IPS screen with 1280 x 768 pixels. It therefore joins rank with a whole load of smartphones currently using this kind of screen technology, with displays ranging from 4" to 4.8" in size. IPS technology usually ensures good screen contrast levels and wide viewing angles.

We measured a very high contrast of 1547:1 in this BlackBerry mobile! This makes us suspect that some kind of dynamic contrast system is in place—something that's more often seen in TVs than in smartphones. The fact that the display made a minor adjustment each time we displayed one of our test cards could also be a sign of this. 

The screen brightness, on the other hand, is a little disappointing, with a maximum reading of 291 cd/m²—that's 20 to 30% lower than the brightest smartphone screens out there. So although the contrast is very good, it's not good enough to make up for this lack of brightness when using the phone outdoors. Plus, we measured the average gamma at a whopping 3—something we don't see very often these days—which in turn reduces detail in colour shading, greyscales and blacks. Darker shades soon block together and shadow detail suffers. 

Another downside is colour fidelity. We measured the average Delta E at 8.8, which is two or three times higher than with the most accurate mobile phone screens. Note that Delta E measures the difference between "perfect" colours and those displayed onscreen. It should be as low as possible. With a reading under three, onscreen colours can be considered "accurate".

The colour temperature is a relatively even 5370 kelvins, so there are no visible colour overtones (red, blue , etc.). Plus, viewing angles are wide and the ghosting time of 18 ms is one of the best we've seen from a non-AMOLED smartphone screen. 

All in all, then, this BlackBerry Z10 screen is a bit of a mixed bag. While it has a nice, high contrast and excellent viewing angles, the lack of detail in darker tones is a bit of a shame, especially for videos. The maximum screen brightness could be better too. 

Find out more about the BlackBerry Z10 in our full review, coming soon!

> Review: BlackBerry Z10's Camera Function

> Smartphone Reviews
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