BlackBerry unveils the Z30 as its new flagship smartphone (specifications)

BlackBerry just pulled the wraps off its
new flagship smartphone, the BlackBerry
Z30. Billed by the company as its biggest,
most capable handset ever, the Z30
features a large 5-inch AMOLED screen,
updated BlackBerry 10.2 software, and a
high-capacity battery.
If you were left underwhelmed by
BlackBerry's first BlackBerry 10
smartphone, the BlackBerry Z10, you're
not alone. Sales figures for the device
apparently have been dismal and even the
more traditional physical-keyboard touting
Q10 didn't exactly fly off store shelves.
With the Z30, however, BlackBerry decided
to make a larger splash. Most notable is
the Z30's massive footprint and
gargantuan 5-inch screen to match. Sure,
compared with the latest Android monster
devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S4,
HTC One, Motorola Droid Maxx, not to
mention the Galaxy Megas and Xperia Z
Ultras of the world, the Z30 isn't that huge.
Stacked up against the BlackBerry Z10
with its smaller stature, and 4.2-inch LCD
screen, the Z30 represents a significant
departure. Its sizable display, which uses
AMOLED technology, is a first for the
company and should (hopefully) offer
image quality on par with competing
Another interesting twist is the Z30's array
of stereo speakers which seem to be
ripped right out of the HTC One's playbook.
BlackBerry doesn't call it BoomSound
though, but instead refers to its audio
solution as Natural Sound. And true to
BlackBerry's business cred, the Z30's
enhanced speakers are touted to not only
pump up music and video but also video
conferencing and spoken communication
as well.
Core components
Inside the Z30 is a 1.7GHz processor
coupled with quad-core graphics.
BlackBerry doesn't cough up more detail
than that, but I can read between the lines.
This sounds like the same 1.7GHz dual-
core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU that
Motorola's X8 chip is built around. The X8
also relies on quad-core Adreno graphics,
which is awfully coincidental. Whatever
silicon this is, it's a bump up from the
Z10's 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4
Brainy messaging
Running the new BB 10.2 operating
system, the Z30 has upgraded message
handling. Called the Priority Hub, this is
the same as the previous BlackBerry Hub
found on the Z10 and Q10, only smarter,
according to BlackBerry.
The Hub on those phones put all your
messages across e-mail, social media,
texts, voice mail, and so on in one handy
spot. The Priority Hub is designed to take
things one step further, intelligently
analyzing who you chat with most often
and placing higher-priority conversations
up top where you'll see them.
Keyboard fanatics will be glad learn that
the Z30 will also feature the well-designed
virtual text entry method first offered by
the Z10.
One big battery
BlackBerry devices in my experience have
always exhibited excellent battery life, at
least compared with power-hungry Android
hot rods. The Z30 though, perhaps to
bolster its large display, comes equipped
with a high-capacity 2,880 mAh battery.
That's even larger than the Q10's sizable
2,100 mAh battery and a lot more robust
than the Z10's 1,800 mAh power source.
More impressive is the claimed 25 hours of
"mixed use" BlackBerry says you can
squeeze out of the gadget.
Availability and outlook
BlackBerry hasn't announced pricing for
the Z30 just yet but it does expect the
device to hit store shelves in the UK and
the Middle East next week. It could also
end up in "other regions" by the holiday
season. I hope that means we'll see the
Z30 globally soon, since I'd love to give
this gizmo a spin.
Basic Specs
Style Candybar
Weight 5.99 oz
Width 2.83 in
Depth 0.37 in
Height 5.54 in


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