The New York Times
The U.S. paper of record's gadget reviewer has been unapologetically enthusiastic over Apple and Android-based smartphones in the past. BlackBerry? Not so much.
The verdict: "It's lovely, fast and efficient, bristling with fresh, useful ideas. And here's the shocker – it's complete. The iPhone, Android and Windows Phone all entered life missing important features. Not this one; BlackBerry couldn't risk building a lifeboat with leaks. So it's all here."
But: "These days, excellence in a smartphone isn't enough. Microsoft's phone is terrific, too, and hardly anyone will touch it. … This much is clear: BlackBerry is no longer an incompetent mess — and its doom is no longer assured."
This tech site is one of the biggest on the web, and its thumbs-up can drive oceans of users to your product.
The verdict: "BlackBerry's BlackBerry Z10 is genuinely a pretty nice phone. … If this phone does not do its job of extending the reach of the 'Berry OS beyond those die-hard loyalists who have clung on to their Bolds and Torches and Storms, it's safe to say that BlackBerry is in for some very hard times."
But: "BlackBerry World store is overflowing with junk apps, many of which are being sold at premium prices. Are there junk apps on other platforms? Undoubtedly, but here they not only seem to vastly outnumber the good apps, they're actually floating up to the top of the recommended and most popular apps lists."
The tough but fair editor-in-chief of the upstart tech site (which has made a lot of BlackBerry "death spiral" jokes in the past) posts one of his as-usual exhaustive gadget reviews.
The verdict: "Its new touchscreen smartphone is the serious contender BlackBerry has been claiming it would be, packing in the specs, software prowess, and services to take on even the most entrenched players in the game. This isn't a feint or a half-step, it's a long bomb with all the blood, sweat, and tears behind it you would expect from a company that's lost a significant piece of its value."
But: "Frankly, it's a better smartphone than I expected from RIM at this stage in the game. It does everything a modern phone should do, usually without hesitation. … The problem with the Z10 is that it doesn't necessarily do anything better than any of its competition."
The Wall Street Journal
The éminence grise of the tech review world reserved his praise, largely because of the low volume of apps available at launch.
The verdict: "I liked some things a lot, including the way RIM has designed its new virtual keyboard and camera, and the way it gathers all your messages into a single Hub. But it will launch with just a fraction of the apps available from its competitors, and is missing some very popular titles."
But: "I found the browser adequate, but noticeably slower than the standard Apple and Android browser, even on a fast Wi-Fi network. There is no native ability to print from the Z10. And in some cases, I found that common controls required too many steps."
The gadget review site's top smartphone reviewer, who has given higher ratings to Samsung and Nokia phones in the past, dives right into the BB10's gritty technical details.
The verdict: "Qualcomm's 1.5GHZ dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor (pause for breath) gives the Z10 its va-va-voom. This is one step below the company's fastest dual-core processor, the S4 Pro, but it's still pretty good, and I could play back videos and play games smoothly."
But: "The Z10 comes preloaded with a 8GB class 2 microSD card. That's good, right? It would be if the card supported the camera's option to capture 1080p HD video. As a result, you'll shoot video in 720p HD if you don't switch out the card to class 4 or higher."