- Classy looks
- Messages Hub is a great feature
- Very good battery life
- Exceptionally good touchscreen keyboard
- Dual-core processor will fall short in the future
- Low-res display
- Flimsy plastic back panel
Our VerdictBuy the BlackBerry Z30 if you are or have been a BlackBerry user and are looking to stay with the company. If watching movies or having the latest apps comes second to using social networking and messaging apps, and you arenâ€™t already invested in any other mobile OS, in that case too, the Z30 will suit you. For the rest who want the latest apps and the best possible multimedia and gaming experiences on a smartphone, there are better alternatives to consider than the Z30.
Where to buy
The Z30's app drawer (left) and default homescreen (that doubles up as a task manager- right)
Peeking at the notifications, the main Messages Hub and the various accounts fueling the Hub (l to r)
The Z30's keyboard also offers plenty of ways to customize it
The 5-inch display is something else that disappoints. While many may be comfortable with a 720p display, let me tell you that after subjecting my eyes to the grandeur of the 1080p IPS display of the LG G2, the BlackBerry falls woefully short. Also, for some reason, BlackBerry seems to be drinking from the same bottle as Samsung which has led it to believe that Super AMOLED is the way to go. Sure, Super AMOLED makes content look more vibrant but it’s not the best at portraying accurate colours. Of course, at the end of the day this is subjective, and if you’ve no problems with the uber-colourful displays on Samsung phones, you won’t have a problem with this one either.
So, in my downtime, I use an iPhone 4S that I picked up last year in February. One of things I spend my time on while using the phone is the Alien Blue app for Reddit. Now, since almost every third post Reddit tends to be a GIF, I have learnt to be patient, since it takes close to a minute for a GIF to load on the 4S. For some reason, I brainwashed myself into believing that this was the standard time it takes to open a GIF image on any smartphone. So, once I got the Z30, I installed the Reddit in Motion app, and started browsing. As it happens, and as the Z30 showed me, GIFs aren’t actually the scourge of the Internet and take no more than five seconds to load.
This anecdote quite accurately represents my overall experience while using the BlackBerry Z30. The phone is fast, fast enough to do most things, fast enough to play 1080p MKV videos and not hang and fast enough to play a good looking 3D game (Beach Buggy Blitz) and not come out stricken like a priest who has just failed at an exorcism. In fact, in about a week of use, the phone just hung once, while I was using the camera, and I couldn’t replicate the error afterwards. The dual-core processor will not be bottleneck for performance, at least not right now. However, by opting to go for a dual-core processor, BlackBerry is playing it fast and loose because I can almost assuredly say that this will be a problem that surfaces may be about a year down the line.
Battery life is quite amazing on the Z30 (you can most likely thank the dual-core processor and 720p screen for that) and will easily last you two complete days of normal use. If you push some gaming and movies into the mix, then the phone will need a charge at the end of the day, but that’s still better than many phones out there. Call quality on the Z30 is a mixed bag and inconsistent. Sometimes the phone was able to churn out sharp, clear audio while at times there was audible hissing that distorted voices. However, the speakers on the Z30 are loud and clear both for calls and listening to music.
Photos shot outdoors under daylight (Click to enlarge in new window)
Photos shot indoors under good light (left) and low light (right). Click to enlarge in new window.