BlackBerry Z10 Fails Sidewalk Drop Test

Lance Ulanoff

Early photos of BlackBerry (née RIM)'s Z10 smartphone left many with the impression that it was an iPhone 5 knockoff. Same size, shape and screen and just one less button on its face.

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It's clear today, however, that the BlackBerry Z10 is a different kind of animal. Substantially taller, wider, thicker and heavier than the elegant iPhone 5, the Z10 also does something Apple has never tried with a smartphone -- it opens up.

The BlackBerry's Z10's entire back comes off to reveal a large battery, micro SIM and a slot for a micro SD card. To open the phone, you usually use your finger nail to gently pry the body and rubberized back apart. It comes apart easily, then snaps smartly back into place.

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We wondered, though: if the back is removable, would it also fly off if you drop the device? To test this, we tried dropping the phone from three different heights and in three different locations: In the Mashable's office on the carpeted floor; on a wood floor; finally, on the concrete sidewalks of New York City.

Indoors, the Blackberry 10 phone bounced, but never broke. It took until it reached its top height for the back to start separating. Yet even as it bounced off the hard wood flooring, the back never came off completely. Indoors, the Blackberry Z10 also resisted scratches.

Then we took the poor bugger outside.

Once again, we performed three drops tests. Strike that. We only got through two. When dropped from a waist-level position, the phone hit the concrete hard and suffered its first few scratches and dents. The back separated a little, but not entirely. Then we dropped it from phone-call, or ear-level. The results were not good.

The back popped clear off and the long battery launched out of the back. With the phone landing face down, we couldn't see the extent of the damage until we flipped it over. The BlackBerry Z10's screen was shattered. While the phone powered back up, the touch screen had become completely unresponsive.

Our conclusion? In most situations, the BlackBerry Z10 is a pretty sturdy smartphone. But if you plan on making calls in the heart of any city, buy a strong case or be very, very careful.

Image By Mashable

BONUS: The BlackBerry Z10 in Better Days

Click here to view the gallery: BlackBerry Z10 Review

This story originally published on Mashable here.