BlackBerry Z30 review

BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2, larger screen and an upgraded battery are the main additions of the BlackBerry Z30 smartphone. Phones in a metal frame supported by fibre are another attraction to several phone buyers.

BlackBerry Z30 with the support of an upgraded OS was pushed against market demand created by Samsung and Apple. Apple did not have any successful model during the launch of Z30. It could not compete with a series of phones unleashed by Samsung, LG and Sony.

The 5-inch BlackBerry Z30 –priced at Rs 39,990– was launched as the next smartphone to BlackBerry’s Z10 device that had a 4.2-inch.

BlackBerry took a major departure from its well established QWERTY phones when they started rolling out touch phones to address the rapidly growing demand of smartphone buyers. BlackBerry Z30’s striking design is an answer to Samsung and other Asian smartphone vendors who bring out light phones.

A slightly heavy phone

Excluding the QWERTY keyboard, there are several striking similarities between Z30 and Q10. Both are strong phones to handle. BlackBerry Z30 is built using a mixture of glass, aluminium and carbon fibre weave. The premium device weighs 170 gram and you will be finding it heavy. Most of the rival phones come in 130 gram range.

You may read: Why Indians should buy BlackBerry Z30 at Rs 39,990 if Z10 is priced Rs 27,500

Screen

You always prefer to view your mail, photographs and videos in a 100 percent display with any phone. You will not be disappointed as you will find that the 5-inch display of BlackBerry Z30 dominates the front of the handset. The larger display, which is one of the main attractions of Z30, produces attractive vibrant colours and excellent viewing angles thanks to its AMOLED panel.

Low picture quality

The Ontario, Canada-based BlackBerry has compromised on picture quality if you compare between BlackBerry Z30 and Z10.

Z30’s 295ppi pixel density is striking lower than that of the Z10, which had a 356ppi display. Z30 has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. Z30 is not of the main smartphones if you are looking for a device with a better picture quality.

Z30 for convenience

As mentioned earlier, you will find a huge screen on the front of BlackBerry Z30. Hence, you can see all the physical buttons and ports around the Z30’s sides. BlackBerry has kept Z30’s micro USB and Micro HDMI ports on the left. You can see the 3.5mm audio jack next to the power button and the volume keys are on the right.

You will not be finding enough convenience to handle the dedicated voice button, which is sandwiched between the volume keys, that can be used to activate BlackBerry’s simple voice control system. It’s not on par with Google Voice or Apple’s Siri, but some may find it useful for quickly looking up directions or setting reminders.

You may read: Top features of BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2

Camera

The 8-megapixel rear camera doesn’t seem to have changed significantly from the Z10. It has the same f/2.2 aperture lens, 1080p video recording and BlackBerry’s Time Shift camera preset that captures multiple images at once. Time Shift lets you roll back certain parts of the shot in case someone was blinking or looked the other way while you were taking a picture. You also get an LED flash, which will help with low-light shooting.

Our test shots show that although the Z30 can capture colours accurately in well-lit and partially lit scenes, it struggles when it comes to autofocus. Tap-to-focus is useful, but we found that tapping again would refocus the image. Thankfully you can use the volume buttons to trigger the shutter instead, which should result in clearer, sharper images. We also noticed that darker parts of the image were crushed in well-lit scenes, whereas brighter whites were overexposed in low light.

With a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU running at 1.7GHz and 2GB of RAM inside, the Z30 is a fairly powerful handset that runs BlackBerry’s unique BB10 operating system smoothly. On paper it should match Google’s Nexus 4 in terms of raw performance, but for web browsing the Z30 is actually much quicker. With an overall score of 991.6ms in the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark, it outpaces many of the fastest Android smartphones.

However, synchronising multiple accounts and powering a 5-inch display takes its toll on the battery. The phablet sports a 2880 mAh battery and it only lasted 10 hours and 47 minutes in our video rundown test, putting it several hours behind the latest flagship Android handsets.

We didn’t experience any jerkiness or slowdowns with the Z30 during general use, unlike with the Z10, which suggests the combination of faster hardware and improved software has made a big difference.

Baburajan K
editor@gizmolead.com

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