At first when I got my hands on the Blackberry Z30, I had the exact same feeling as you would have had. That common assumption… “Oh! It’s just another Blackberry.” That kind of feeling we used to have when we owned the the previous models like the 8520 and 9320. But honestly, Blackberry has taken the Z30 to a whole new level! You can’t even compare this device to the older Blackberry models… This is out of the planet!
It brings back that whole Blackberry Crazy feeling all over again! I’ve used many devices before from the Nokia Lumia 1520 to the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Z30 is right up there! It’s quite amazing with what Blackberry has come up with this time around. They’ve managed to put together a masterpiece. It’s not one of those devices that’s very good in one area and lacking dearly in another. Blackberry has focused on every little area both in and out of the device.
Its’ appearance may not be that convincing at first but the phone actually seems quite solid. It has a pretty cool textured back giving it a premium touch to it. It’s 170 grams of awesomeness! Probably the best 140.70 x 72.00 x 9.40mm Blackberry frame to date!
The power/ lock button is on the top, which seems like a strange decision for a phone this size. However, simply swiping up from the bottom of the screen wakes up the phone… seems like a pretty good decision after all.
The BlackBerry Z30 packs a 5.0-inch 720×1280 resolution AMOLED display. The colours are rich thanks to the AMOLED display, viewing angles are excellent and sunlight legibility is no problem at all! After all, its powered by a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor alongside 2GB RAM.
The device comes with an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, also capable of recording full-HD video, along with a 2-megapixel front camera. The camera comes with four shooting modes, namely Normal, Stabilisation, Burst and HDR. Users can select one of three aspect ratios – 16:9 (widescreen), 4:3 and 1:1 (square). Various presets like Action, Whiteboard and Night are offered to let users choose the settings best suited to the conditions, should they feel like needing a change from Auto. The Z30 supports full-HD video recording with stabilisation. The 2-megapixel front camera is capable of shooting 720p video.
One of its cool additions is definitely the ability to share or delete the last-clicked image when it presents itself as a thumbnail on the composition screen. This works on Blackberry OS 10.2.
Speaking of Blackberry OS 10.2, this incredible update boasts a number of new additions to the feature list! One of it is the Priority Hub, a sub-section of BlackBerry Hub (which now has its own app icon), designed to make sure you never miss any important conversations. The Priority Hub aims to filter out important emails, conversations and notifications and present to them at one place. It starts out by guessing which threads might be important to you, and does a fairly decent job one has to admit, and gets better as it learns more about who you interact with and how often. The Priority Hub is a great way of cutting through the mess of notifications that modern digital life has become, into stuff that needs your attention right now. You can also manually specify certain kind of messages to show up in the Priority Hub.
Another addition is in the form of lock screen notifications. Users no longer need to unlock their phone every time the red light starts blinking, as they can choose to peek at latest emails, BBM or other notifications on the lock screen itself. The lock screen features a Peek-like interface that lets you slide and switch between various types of notifications.
In-app notifications are now actionable, which means when you are browsing your favourite website or blog (like Digital Street), and a BBM arrives, you can select the reply button on the notification that pops on the top of your screen to reply without leaving the browser, or tap the X to dismiss the notification. If you dismiss the BBM message, it will continue to show your contact that it has been delivered but not yet read.
There are a few other nice touches like the I Will Be Late option for calendar items. This options shows up when you tap and hold on an event in the Calendar 15 minutes before a meeting is set to start. Tap the option to send an email to inform participants that you’re running late – drag the slider to specify how late you’ll be. The new copy/ paste menu lets you share selected text to Facebook, Twitter or via BBM without interrupting your work flow. The OS learns who you share most often with and these contacts are displayed prominently when you invoke the share framework from within any app.
There are enhancements to the browsing and mailing experiences as well. For example, when in landscape mode, the browser hides the address bar when you start scrolling down the page to give you a longer viewing area, and reappears when you scroll up. Similarly, in Reader mode, the menu bar at the bottom of the display automatically hides when you start scrolling down the page to give you a longer viewing area, and reappears when you scroll up. BlackBerry Hub now has a tab that lets you see attachments sent or received across all your messages, without having to dig individual messages themselves. You can quickly share the attachment with others as well.
BlackBerry 10.2 has been updated to include Android 4.2 Jelly Bean runtime, instead of Android 2.3 Gingerbread that BlackBerry 10 shipped with, which means you can side-load more recent Android apps that have been converted to .BAR format.
Other minor improvements include ability to set multiple alarms, BlackBerry Natural Sound in BBM that is meant to make voice and video chats sound more natural and realistic, and variable audible feedback as you press different keys like backspace or spacebar. The extra real estate on the BlackBerry Z30 is utilised by providing a fifth row of icons. Evernote now comes pre-installed as well.
The quality on calls need to be mentioned as well, excellent quality!
I’ve decided to take it to its limit by including multiple email accounts, social networking accounts, browsing, with the display on auto brightness whilst 3G switched on throughout…. and guess what? It lasted more than a day! Yes, more than a day with moderate to high usage – Quite incredible right?!
In summary, the Blackberry Z30 is pure class… From performance to usability it’s one of the best devices not just in its own brand but overall! Definitely recommend this. It will almost guarantee to shut the mouth of a Blackberry hater and turn the head of a non-Blackberry fan…
Rating: 9/10 (Left us speechless!)