Blackberry Z10 - Worst battery life on a mobile phone, ever

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Pjstock42, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. Pjstock42 macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2010
    This is a post that I made on a Blackberry specific forum, warning people who were thinking about switching from an iPhone 5 to a Z10

    As of today I am back on my iPhone 5 and I missed it dearly.

    If anyone has any questions about the Z10 please feel free to ask.

    Disclaimer: If you have already made up your mind to get a Z10 and are looking for validation, this isn't your topic.

    I know that any topics expressing negative opinions towards BlackBerry devices are looked down upon here, but I just want to post my experience here for anyone looking to potentially make the switch from an iPhone 5 to a Z10.

    (The first section of this post is most likely a one-off experience, so if you are just looking for impressions on the phone, scroll down)

    My journey with the Z10 began on Friday (AT&T US launch date). As I was traveling through New Jersey, I found a nearby mall with an AT&T corporate store and decided to head in around lunch time. After checking out the phone for a few minutes, I decided to make the purchase and walked over to the counter. Not only was the sales associate shocked that I actually wanted to buy one (she didn't even know what the "Z10" was until I explained it to her) she then proceeded to tell me that I was unable to purchase a Z10 at the no commitment price and that it was only for "new activations". This made no sense to me as I have purchased countless new phones on launch day from AT&T stores on the no commitment price as I change phones to often to even be eligible for an upgrade. After going in circles with store management for half an hour, I walked away with no Z10 and was forced to call AT&T Premier customer support.

    Premier support swore up and down that I COULD purchase a Z10 for the full retail price, so I walked back into the store and had the corporate rep talk to the store manager on the phone. After another 10/15 minutes, I again walked away with no Z10. I could not believe how immensely difficult it was for me to buy this new product. This was not a launch that was creating huge demands and causing lines out of the door, it was a device that AT&T should be desperate to sell to anyone, especially a loyal customer with $600 ready to throw at them.

    Thankfully, this story came to an end when I went to another AT&T corporate store 10 minutes away and purchased the Z10 with no problem. Clearly this was just an issue with one stubborn/ignorant AT&T store manager, but still a frustrating way to start my Z10 experience nonetheless.

    Ok, now on to the phone itself.

    A little background: As mentioned earlier - I switch phones, a lot. I'm a sucker for new technology and I hate missing out when a new phone comes out as I believe that every platform/device deserves a chance.

    Over the past 2 years or so, these are the devices I have owned (usually for at least a couple months at a time):

    BB 9900
    Samsung Galaxy Nexus
    iPhone 4S
    HTC 8x (Windows Phone)
    Motorola Droid Razr Maxx
    Nexus 4
    And most recently, iPhone 5 (since launch)

    Strictly my opinion here, but out of all of these, the iPhone 5 provided the best combination of functionality, performance and reliability.

    To avoid typing a novel here, I'll jump into the pros and cons of the Z10 (in my experience)


    -Multitasking: This device has the best multitasking I have ever seen on a mobile phone

    -Speed/Performance: Very easy to zoom around the OS with minimal slowdown

    -Notification light: No-brainer here

    -BB10 OS: Really a great OS to use, very polished and genius integration of gestures

    -Blackberry Hub: Not much to say here, it's awesome to have all of your stuff in one central place


    -No competent streaming music platform: Having become accustomed to using Spotify on my iPhone, I made the switch to the Z10 expecting Slacker to be largely the same. I was wrong. The Slacker BB10 app offers almost no features for premium subscribers including no playlist creation or offline caching. Deezer looks to be promising but is not available in the US.

    -The little things matter: To get around the limitation of Slacker, I downloaded some type of "Download Manager" from BB World that could be used to download YouTube videos. After downloading a few songs from YT and locating them on my device, I began to listen to a song and convinced myself that I could deal with this work around for the time being. As I hit the top button to put the phone to sleep and put it in my pocket as I listen to music, the song stops. That's right, you can't put the phone on sleep and have the media continue to play - extremely frustrating.

    (Please note that the above complaint is in reference to a video file being played by the phone's native video player. On an iPhone 5 you can lock the screen while a video is playing and continue to listen to the sound while the screen is off)

    Other little things have been extremely frustrating as well. Text messages often come in with the incorrect timestamp, meaning conversations that occurred in the past hour are shoved down the list as happening last week (before I even had the phone). Push email with Exhange is sloooooow to communicate with the server. Messages pop up on the device quickly, but after reading an email on my desktop, the Z10 will continue to blink it's red light for 10/15 minutes whereas the iPhone would know almost instantly that an email was opened on another device.

    -App selection: Not to beat a dead horse here but the app selection on BB World is nothing short of pathetic. Yes, big name apps like Facebook and WhatsApp are available, yet (these 2 especially) they are horribly developed and a pain to use. No banking apps is a huge shortfall and while there are some decent games, I'm not going to pay $6.99 for a game that was ported over from Android to BB10. Simply put, BB World is a half-baked effort and while I believe that the platform has promise, BB has a loooooong way to go to catch up with the big boys (iOS/Android) or even Windows Phone 8 for that matter.

    -Battery Life: Here it is, the one thing that is causing me to ditch the Z10 after less than a week of owning it, the battery life. All else equal, if this phone had good or even moderately good battery life, I would be keeping it to see how the platform grows. The thing is, this device has the worst battery life I have ever seen in any mobile device, ever.

    Before you jump down my throat, I have spent hours on end scouring the CB forums for ways to improve battery life and have tried dozens of fixes/tweaks to no avail. I am literally having to charge my Z10 from 0% - 100% a minimum of 2/3x a day, where the iPhone 5 would need one charge at night under the same usage conditions.

    I've been told that the battery life will "get better over time" (which makes no sense) but at this point, I've had enough. I travel for work and after one short 2 hour flight of listening to music and writing a few emails, the battery on the Z10 is down to sub-20% from a full charge. Not only is the battery life horrendous, charging via USB is INCREDIBLY slow and almost not even worth it, meaning you will need to always have access to a wall outlet if you want to get any meaningful charge into your battery.

    There is just no way that a brand new smartphone in 2013, with Bluetooth off, NFC off, LTE off and the screen brightness down to barely visible, should only be lasting a maximum of 4/5 hours per full charge. One of the things I loved most about my old BB Bolds/Curves was the amazing battery life. I understand the that battery life on a full touchscreen phone would be less, but there is no excuse for this type of performance when phones from Apple/HTC/Samsung/etc. all have better battery life with comparable or better internal hardware.
  2. samab, Mar 27, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013

    samab macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2006
    Turning things off may not be the best battery life decision in the world ---self inflicted user error.

    If your USB doesn't have enough juice, then it doesn't have enough juice. You will have the same problem charging your iphone with an USB that doesn't provide enough juice.

    Also the first couple of days, your Z10 is pulling a lot of emails and cataloguing them for searches. There are a lot of background processes that eats up a lot battery life for the first couple of days. Also you have the phone for less than a week, that means you have been constantly playing with it during the honeymoon period. Constant 4-5 hours of usage is a lot of battery life.
  3. Tinmania macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2011

    How is this remotely related to what he posted??

  4. samab macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2006
    Because he specifically wrote that he turned a bunch of things off and he also wrote about USB charging (which I didn't quote).
  5. Tinmania macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2011
    Ahhhhh.... see that now.

  6. roxxette macrumors 68000


    Aug 9, 2011
    Ive seen a couple around here allready, people seem happy with it but they all came from old blackberrys.

    The bbm thing is still really popular these days..
  7. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    OP, i can relate to a lot of what you say. I was set to purchase a Z10 and thankfully was given the chance to road-test the device for 48 hours before making a purchase.

    I too have had lots of phones in the last 24 months including
    Torch 9860 / Bold 9900 / HTC One X / Galaxy Nexus / HTC 8X / iPhone 4S / iPhone 5 / Nokia Lumia 800 / Nokia N9

    It was my experiences of Meego on the N9 that drew me to BB10 - rather than my experiences of BB7 from the Bold 9900 & Torch 9860.

    Like yourself, the device is actually really nice hardware wise and despite being plastic feels solid and premium rather than cheap.

    The operating system is indeed very promising indeed. I found it very intuitive. Maybe because of getting used to so many phones in the past months - i was able to adapt to the GUI & Gesture interface very quickly.

    All was going great for the most part - but my issues were likewise

    Blackberry App World - my previous purchases from Playbook, Torch 9860 & Bold 9900 were not compatible or available.

    App world selection is poor enough by all counts, but again it's regionalised - which meant that the Irish selection was just terrible.

    The fact that Android apps are not actually listed as such makes it impossible to tell what is a port/emulation and what is a native app.

    Most of the app's in the BB recommend section were DIRE to say the least, and were bug ridden or just simply broken. It just screamed to me 'BB wanted apps in the store, and regardless of quality or function - were accepting any old trash in order to beef up the app numbers. It was similar to the early years of android marketplace (before google play store) where a lot of trash infested the marketplace with stuff that simply didn't work. At worse they forced me to restart my device as they locked it up!

    Most of my daily apps which are available on both iOS and Android - and finally appearing on windows store (even though that's still pants here tbh) were just not available and I couldn't find any suitable alternatives.

    There were barely any regionalised apps for Ireland either.

    I was just not impressed, and having had previous experience of the app world with Playbook / Torch & Bold devices - I'm not convinced there would be a rush of the ones I needed to justify using the phone as my daily device.

    Battery Life now in fairness, I did not have as big a problem as you OP. I could get the phone to last the day without trouble - but then I realised why. Without all my apps that I use - I just wasn't using the phone for the same amount of time as I do my iPhone 5. In fact I was still using my iPhone 5 at same time because I needed my apps. So I'm not sure about Battery life, though I'm surprised you needed to charge 3 times a day. Were you on LTE or something ? I don't have LTE, and I am between 2G GSM and 3G daily.

    Bluetooth had terrible time connecting it to my car stereo / handsfree. If I was playing music and a call came in - all was fine. I'd answer the call, but when the call was finished it wouldn't go back to music for me. It showed the track playing, but nothing was coming out of the speaker. I had to restart the device each time, and BB boot time is still painfully slow. It was frustrating.

    Call Quality / Reception For the most part was good, but certainly a step down from the Bold 9900 which of all the phones I've had - had the best reception and call quality 'ever'...... The Z10 dropped calls a couple of times on me in areas that I know are ropey coverage wise - whereas some of my other devices also struggled - the Bold 9900 never did. So I was hoping for the same call and reception performance of the bold - but it is certainly a step down from it.

    After just over 48 hours - weighing the pros and cons - I just wasn't able to justify spending €600 on the device. I knew in its current state it couldn't be my daily driver, and my confidence in support both for the OS by BB and by developer in App World - alongside in my experience the abysmal performance of most side-loaded Android apps and those on the store.

    I'm confident other BB users who havent had experience of the Windows Phone / iOS / Android will see it as a marked improvement for the most part.
  8. Tinmania macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2011
    I think if this was 2010 or 2011 the Z10 would have a had a chance to take the world by storm (no pun, honest!).

    In 2013? I have serious doubts, even if it does work as advertised.

  9. thecurryman macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2012
    LOL well this is funny. I saw this exact post on

    I literally THREW my iphone into a drawer and bought a z10 as fast as I could. That iphone has not been touched since then btw.

    With no push email and only whatsapp, i was charging my iP5 twice a day! absolutely unacceptable! I mean I had a note 2 before so maybe I was spoiled but charging 2x a day is not right for any mobile phone.

    When i got the z10 the battery life was AWFUL for the first two days. I have 2 email accounts set up and lots of whatsapp. I would not get through a day. However, and this where the OP's nieveness comes in, the phones battery life literally doubled in the next week. Every single day since i got the phone, i use more and more yet the battery life has also increased. The problem with people like the OP and sadly the rest of America, is everyone wants instant gratification. Had the OP waited 2 weeks for the battery to stabilize then he would not be complaining. Also everyone complains about apps. When android first came out it had NO apps, but as time went on, the selection grew. The same thing is happening here

    Im sorry but the iP5 is a great phone for multimedia use, but for handling a large volume of communication, it just does not cut it. For me Blackberry is the phone ill be using for quite some time now as it fits my need

    Oh and so i dont just get called a troll I have had 5 generations of the iphone, the many android devices including the HTC g1 and note 2 (pretty much everything in between too), and windows phone devices.
  10. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Yes but the google marketplace came out in 2008 - its 5 years later, people's expectations are going to be greater now due to the sheer breadth and quality of apps now.

    Your quite right it does feel like google marketplace at the start - but that's not good. Google marketplace was terrible until google actually started implementing controls and compatability assessment to apps to make sure they worked with the device. At the moment Blackbeery App World feels like they've enticed every crappy developer with useless/redundant android apps over to BB App World under the promise of their 10k developer commitment....

    Yes it enabled them to add thousands of apps quickly - but I'd rather a store with 300 of the major apps on other platforms than 100,000 absolute pieces of drek, let alone Blackberry app world suggesting some of this garbage to me. It just screams of total failure in quality control and recommending terrible broken apps comes across as a bad reflection on blackberry.

    Yes they can rectify this later, but that takes loads of time and energy to do so - and cost in having to test all these existing apps, when clearly as they were starting afresh with BB10 should have done this from the outset. They have by their own desire to populate an App Store quickly - created a giant rod for their and worse still the consumers back.

    Its 2013 - no recommended app from a manufacturer in their App store should sed their flagship phone into a frozen state, requiring hard reset to recover simply because evidently they never checked the quality and usability of the app they approved and now insultingly recommended. It's insult to injury.

    Don't get me wrong - blackberry hub is great, the OS is great in general, but you can not wash this away as a non problem unless you don't require certain applications,

    The crux of the matter is to be put simply.....I need a smartphone that does everything I do now, Now!.. I don't need a smartphone that does everything I do now in 12-24 months........
  11. roxxette macrumors 68000


    Aug 9, 2011
    I dont know about you but i expect my **** to work when im paying money not "wait" couple of weeks, thats some big bs what you say about battery "stabilize" :D that was just an excuse you saw one time used on a forum.
  12. thecurryman, Mar 27, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013

    thecurryman macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2012
    not really...I got my phone last Tuesday...battery lasted half a day, so i let it die, then charged till full. Did that a few times over the next few days and the phone battery life went up! Oh wait! I did EXACTLY what everyone here on MACRUMORS tells a user to do when complaining about battery life: let the phone run till it completely dies then charge to full. This is something that even APPLE puts on their website so no, its not some big "bs" that i saw one time, its what I have used on all my cellphones, laptops, and even other electrical equipment.

    See I completely understand your point, but the thing is, is BB is not going after new customers right now, they are trying to keep all the blackberry users they have right now. Then their focus is to go after ex-blackberry users who have a soft spot for blackberry (which happens to be a lot of people). They want to convince ex-blackberry users to come back to the platform. Their last objective is to go after customers who have never been interested in blackberry before. By that time, all those major apps will be there. Trust me, if people on internet forums know that apps are necessary to survive, I'm pretty sure a multimillion dollar company whose fate lies in a product also knows that. Yest, you need a smart phone that does everything now, but millions of others dont! Its next to impossible to launch a new platform with everything on it without giving some time! The mac app store had nothing when it first came out, the W8 store has nothing, heck, even windows phone 8, which has been out for years know, does not have the app content that apple or samsung have! Whats funny, is for the first year that Windows phone was out, people all said the same thing "no apps OMG sinking ship". Let me tell you, if 12 months from now, blackberry had all the apps that you so need, would you not try it again?

    as of right now there is a duopoly of platforms: either iOS or Android...what if you dont like either? what is the 3rd option? Blackberry can easily take that spot (Windows hasn't really been able to for the past 2 years). To put into perspective, i see more people using legacy blackberry devices than windows devices...

    I have had the iphone for years, i wanted a change so i went to the note 2 and nexus 4. I realized android was not my cup of tea, i need a phone that takes a lot of communication effectively. I tried windows phone...didnt im on blackberry and so far, its doing what I need it to! Without that third option i would be stuck in a situation that i would not like to be in.

    TL;DR- give it time, things will mature. people will still be willing to buy the phone a few months from now, especially when there is no more "app gap"
  13. roxxette macrumors 68000


    Aug 9, 2011
    I guess the lithium batterys i use on my mods are the best of the crop :) they charge and discharge as expected from the very first charge.

    You charge a battery and thats it it wont discharge any different after that, lithium batterys dont have memory it doesnt even matter at what % you charge then.

    Anyway the real success will be the Q10 for bb, one of the reason a lot of people stick with blackberry phones is the keyboard too along with bbm.
  14. samab macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2006
    Stabilize is an incorrect phrasing. But the fact is that you just ask your phone to download thousands of your email (which the wifi sucks the life out of the battery) and it is cataloguing them in the background for you to search. And you just got a phone with a brand new UI and you are constantly playing with it --- downloading apps (which sucks the life out of your battery), installing apps (which zips/unzips and writing on the drive which sucks the life out of your battery)... And when you play with it, the background cataloguing process pause so that takes even longer.

    Not many reviews have complained about Z10's battery life and it's been out for a month for the rest of the world. No QNX needs a car battery claims.
  15. roxxette macrumors 68000


    Aug 9, 2011
    Oh i understand that, but downloading emails and cataloguing wont take more than 24hrs; now im talking bs because i dont even know wth you guys mean with cataloguing can you pls explain ? Never used a bb phone.
  16. scott craft macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2011
    I'm interested in BB10 but after being on Windows Phone nearly two years I don't know that I'm ready to endure the growing pains of another platform. For my next upgrade I'll give BB a serious look, but I will have to see how it compares to where WP is at the time before I switch platforms.
  17. Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2011
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    This has been my experience with every smartphone that I have owned. The battery life gets better after a few weeks.
  18. samab macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2006
    There are really 2 general issues:

    (1) the first couple of days are not representative of an average usage days --- at least for battery life is concerned.
    (2) I wouldn't worry claims about strange cases of 4-5 hours of battery life --- i.e. that your phone would die during lunch hours. Those cases are easy to figure out and resolve --- for ALL platforms --- it's almost always some sort of obvious bug that are going to be easily fixed.

    People should more worry about general claims that xxx phone would die at late afternoon. You can't fix those phones --- there are no obvious power sucking bugs to fix.
  19. b166er macrumors 68020


    Apr 17, 2010
    Unless your job issues you a blackberry, why use one? The world has moved on since the BB days. RIM has come full circle, the started out being the biggest name for corporate issued phones, then they dabbled in the prosumer market and were quickly destroyed by Apple and Google (given, I'm sure they didn't see the iPhone coming, nor did they see it as a threat at first), and now they are back to basics. I can't imagine why anyone would leave iOS or Android to go back to BB at this point, unless their job wanted them to use it.

    I'm not trying to rip on BB, I used to use one and I loved it, but they just stood there and watched other companies make laps around them for years. And now all the sudden they want to be relevant again and their attempt is far too little too late. I like the look of their new OS, but the app selection is literally the worst I've seen and the hardware is nothing to write home about.

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