I have been using the BlackBerry Z30 as my main device for a little over a week now and I must say I am enjoying the device a lot. I was actually pretty content with my BlackBerry Q10 and the physical keyboard and you'll know that I'm more of a QWERTY lover than a touchscreen one. However, my experience so far has been a positive one. We do have a full review coming but I wanted to give you a quick first impressions review after one week of use.
My first reaction upon holding the Z30 in my hand was 'Whoa, this thing is big!'. Even more so because I had been using a Q10 with a 3.1 inch screen. I had maintained that the BlackBerry Z10 was the perfect size for me and I wouldn't go bigger than that. However, the Z30 is certainly a contender to make me go with a touchscreen device bigger than that of the Z10. Even for my small hands, it feels like a nice fit. The curves around the back make it feel nice to hold and I was pleasantly surprised to still be able to use it one-handed, even with my small hands. Although, sometimes it was a bit awkward. The back cover on the Z30 is the same as the one found on the Q10 with the glass weave finish, so you have a nice grip on it too.
I have to say with the 5 inch screen, it has been a joy to browse and watch videos on. Mix in the "Natural Sound" stereo speakers and I could definitely watch a full length movie on it. Having the stereo speakers certainly brings me back to the Bold 9000 days. Don't know why it's taken so long to bring back two speakers. The bigger screen also makes the virtual keyboard experience even better. For me, the BlackBerry 10 virtual keyboard is one, if not the best out there and on a bigger screen it is even more pleasurable to use.
The Z30 is of course the biggest BlackBerry smartphone to date, it is also the heaviest, weighing in at 170g. The Z10 is very light in the hand and with the Z30 you know something is in your hand, making you feel less prone to drop it. It feels very sturdy and solid.
The Z30 also feels a lot zippier. It comes with BlackBerry OS 10.2 and if you have tried any of the OS 10.2 leaks, you'll know how much of an improvement it is over OS 10/10.1. With Priority Hub and lock screen notifications it's a pleasurable experience. The 1.7Ghz Dual Core processor and 2GB memory make things fast and I don't experience any lag. Not that I do when using my Q10 but things are just that bit snappier.
The 2880mAh battery has been a godsend. I can go a day without having to top up at all until bed time. I can get about 15-17 hours use on a moderate day and less on heavy use days. If anyone uses BBM Groups you'll know that can eat at your battery. I wouldn't be able to last that long on the Q10 battery on heavy use days. I had to get myself a charger bundle for both the Z10 and Q10. The Z30 doesn't have a removable battery but so far I haven't felt the need to swap out batteries.
I don't really have any gripes with the BlackBerry Z30 thus far. Although it could be argued that they could have just gone ahead and put a 3000mAh battery in there since they went with a non-removable battery. One other thing I could add is that, being a female, it does feel uncomfortable in the pocket. The Z10 Leather Holster was already big on the hip and the Z30 is just humongous. Good thing the weather is getting cooler now, so I can carry it in my jumper or hoodie pocket.
Is it good enough to take over the Q10 for me? I'm not quite sure yet. While typing is fast on the Z30 keyboard due that awesome word prediction, you still can't beat a physical keyboard. Even with the smaller screen, the Q10 has been an awesome companion for me. Having said that, the Z30 is a solid device. Definitely the best BlackBerry smartphone to date.
Stay tuned for our full review!