BlackBerry Z30 review

Big screen, big sound, and big battery, but will it be a big success?

By Simon Sage on 10 Oct 2013 12:54 pm
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The BlackBerry Z30 has already launched in some international markets and hits Canadian shelves on October 15th. On the surface, it comes across simply as a bigger version of the BlackBerry Z10, but there’s quite a bit more to it. Rear stereo speakers introduce high-quality sound, new antenna technology helps to provide a whooping 25 hours of battery life, and OS 10.2 offers an array of helpful new features. 

The Z30 launches at a critical time for BlackBerry. The company's on the financial ropes, and the initial launch of BB10 devices isn't having quite the reception that many had hoped for. The Z30 faces an uphill battle against waning consumer sentiment and some drastic changes within the manufacturer. 

If the Z10 didn’t get buyers excited for BlackBerry 10, can the Z30? Let’s find out.

BlackBerry Z30 unboxing

James has already enjoyed the grand deflowering process of unboxing the Z30. You can take a looksee if you want to get in on the magic. DJ also put together some preliminary impressions if you're looking for a shorter review. 

BlackBerry Z30 specs and features

BlackBerry Z30 specifications

Before we dig in, let's run through the BlackBerry Z30's specifications. Purely on paper, many Android afficionados are likely to scoff at anything less than a 1080p display and a 2.26 quad-core processor. These are all sacrifices I'm happy to make for the sake of killer battery life provided by the 2880 mAh battery. 

BlackBerry Z30 Hardware

The BlackBerry Z30 is a bigger device with a 1280 x 720 SuperAMOLED screen clocking in at 5 inches, a solid 37% bigger than the Z10’s display. Despite that, the Z30’s overall footprint is only about 19% bigger, plus the more ergonomic backing makes the Z30 considerably more comfortable to hold (though my monster-hands may not do a normal human’s experience justice). There are times when the size is unwieldy, namely when I'm holding the Z30 in my right hand and have to tap something in the top-left. It's also hard to resist using two hands sometimes for tasks that could be done with one, but would just be a smidgen more uncomfortable. Otherwise, I've had no issues with storage or pocketability. It's sufficiently slim to be carried in most standard pockets.

What I find more noticeable than the Z30’s size is its weight. It comes in at 170 g, compared to the Z10’s 136 g. That might not look like a big difference on paper, but it’s noticeable in-hand. I wouldn’t necessarily mark that as a con - lots of folks prefer a solid-feeling device - but if you intend on watching full-length TV shows or movies (which is certainly viable with a screen this big), you’ll probably want a stand of some kind. Considering you’ve got a beefy 2880 mAh battery in there with 25 hours of mixed use, I’d say it’s worth the extra heft. As for build quality, the Z30 is right up there with other BB10 devices - that is to say, it’s well-built. There’s no creaking, parts are assembled tightly, The media control keys are a little more loose than I would like, and they stick out enough that they’re easy to accidentally tap.

BlackBerry Z30 appearance and design

BlackBerry Z30

During a briefing in Waterloo, we got a chance to talk with one of the Z30's designers who highlighted some of the key stylistic differences versus the Z10. The main thing was directionality. Having the silver frame at the bottom and no longer anything at the top provides a visual anchor so users intrinsically know how to hold the thing when they pick it up. Plus that bottom frame is a good tactile cue for the all-important swipe-up gesture. The rear also enjoys a more ergonomic curve which indicates the front of the device more clearly, and feels a heck of a lot more comfortable than the Z10. The new style really does suit the bigger screen.The slightly beveled edge and clear upper portion certainly make the Z30 feel less restrained than the Z10, which had very clear lines on all sides.

Feels a heck of a lot more comfortable than the Z10

The battery door situation is interesting. It's using the glass fiber weave we've become accustomed to since the 9900, except they've managed to get the material to curve right around the lip this time. The speaker ports are placed at an outward angle along the top and bottom edge, which surely must have complicated the accomplishment. The BlackBerry folks also pointed out that the material keeps radio interference to a minimum. The matte finish provides solid grip, though the door is hard to remove, even with the access latch. One might ask why bother with a door if the battery is non-removeable - after all the SIM and SD card slots could just as easily be covered with a flap or tray mechanism. As is, they're covered by a fairly conspicuous part of the door.

It seems like the main reason is for accessories. They had us try out a particularly clever cover that replaced the stock door, and had a flip cover come around the front. This had the bonus of adding a lot on function with minimal extra bulk, but it drew a lot of attention to the awkward placement of the USB port. See, it’s covered up entirely by the fabric fold on the left side, meaning you’ve got to leave it propped open when charging. The leather pouches they were showing off also covered the slot. Similarly, the port is low enough that it will get in the way of your hands while typing. Given, you’ll be spending less time charging the Z30 than any other BlackBerry before it, the positioning still isn’t great. In any case, there are a ton of accessories on the way for the BlackBerry Z30 - it's definitely worth checking out some of them at ShopCrackBerry.

BlackBerry Z30 display

BlackBerry Z30

On the whole, I'm very happy with the BlackBerry Z30 display. Pixel density notwithstanding, the folks at BlackBerry are very happy with the contrast ratio they've managed to achieve with the Z30, and I certainly have no complaints. Colors are vibrant, text is sharp, and animations are fluid. There are the aforementioned practicality issues of reaching certain parts of the screen, on the whole everything is extremely responsive. 

BlackBerry Z30 battery life

BlackBerry Z30

BlackBerry advertises 25 hours of mixed use battery life, which falls in line with my experience. I could get a solid two days of use when coasting predominantly on Wi-Fi. BlackBerry claims 18 hours talk time, 16 days standby, 90 hours of audio playback, and 12 hours of video playback. A big part of the enhanced battery life is BlackBerry’s new Paratek Antenna technology, which helps fine-tune transmission on the fly based on coverage and usage. This is both a hardware and a software solution, which you can learn more about here.

What does this mean practically? I’m on the periphery of Bell LTE coverage, and the battery life still managed to stand up to at least a full day’s usage. On most phones, being in low coverage can mean eating into your battery life as your phone struggles to get a strong signal by pumping extra juice to the antenna. The display also saves on battery life thanks to an S-Stripe pixel layout, similar to what’s being used by the Galaxy Note 2. 

The Z30 isn’t only big on battery and screen, though. It’s also big on sound. The stereo speaker ports on the rear are angled out just a bit so that it doesn’t matter which side it’s laying on. You can get solid sound either way - certainly better than most mobiles, and even better than some of the smaller external speakers out there. Though the sound is extremely clear even at top volume, I still found it slightly tinny for extended listening sessions. Game audio, for whatever reason, comes through extremely well. The main thing is that the spread of sound is really impressive; you can drop a Z30 in the middle of a table and have everyone sitting able to hear it, even in a fairly noisy environment. The Z30 also emphasizes clear microphone technology too.

BlackBerry Z30

There are an extra two noise-cancellation microphones on the side, plus one in the earpiece, in addition to the primary one at the bottom in the usual spot. Of course these can all work in concert to provide HD voice over cellular, but that’s something all other BB10 devices can provide anyway. The real selling point here is what BlackBerry’s calling “Natural Sound.” This apparently blows HD voice and even upcoming voice over LTE out of the water, and is only fully realized in Z30-to-Z30 BBM calls.  I’ve been impressed by the quality of BBM Voice calls in the past, but haven’t had a definitively better calling experience on the Z30 yet. For regular ol’ phone calls, OS 10.2 has added new canned responses when ignoring a call, which is sent over the channel through which you most commonly interact with that contact.

BlackBerry Z30 camera

There aren’t any significant updates on the camera front, unfortunately, since it's using the same unit included on the Z10. A panorama mode is still sorely missing, but you’ll still find Timeshift, which lets you get everybody’s face at just the right moment, and a solid editing suite for fine tuning and artistic filters. They have added a new feature to the thumbnails that you drag up directly from the camera app, though: you can now share or delete directly from the preview.

BlackBerry Z30 software

BlackBerry Z30 hub

If you’re coming back to BlackBerry for the first time in awhile (either from OS 7 or another platform), it’s best you get started on our BB10 review with the Z10, but here’s a broad overview. The core BlackBerry experience is composed of a strip of home screens. Start on the left is the Hub, which is a kind of souped-up notification center. E-mail, Facebook messages, Twitter mentions, and just about everything pop up here and are immediately actionable without having to open up an app. You can get to the Hub from anywhere in BlackBerry 10 by swiping up from the bottom of the screen and to the right. The next screen is where Active Frames go. These are the apps that are currently running, shown in a minimized view. You can get to the Active Frames screen by swiping up from the bottom of any app. Many apps will show glimpses of information from here. Every screen beyond that is a traditional app icon home screen, complete with folders. You can navigate to each of these pages quickly by tapping or swiping along the navigation strip of icons along the bottom of the screen.

Those are the basics. So what’s new in BlackBerry 10.2? Lots of stuff, mostly small tweaks. The priority section in the hub is new. Every message that’s identified as priority gets a little red stripe to the right side of the message. By default, these include e-mails that are marked as high priority by the sender, messages sent from anyone with the same last name as you, any reply to a message you’ve already sent, or threads and contacts that you manually designate as high priority. Though it takes a bit of training, I’ve found the Priority Hub useful for those times where I only have a few seconds to see what’s up.

BlackBerry 10.2 attachment search and priority hub

Also new in the Hub is a dedicated Attachment view. this lets you see all incoming attachments, with the tiny signature-related files weeded out. This is perfect for when you just need a document and not necessarily the message it came with. Attachments can be shown in a tile or list view, and can be sorted by date, sender, name, or file type. There’s also a dedicated search option if you know exactly the file you’re looking for. The system-wide share menu has had a significant upgrade. Now at the top it shows you some of your most commonly shared-to sources, including apps and contacts. These pop up after two or three shares, and grow more prominent the more regularly you share items to them. This can shave off a tap or two from some shares, and will be noticeably convenient for that one person you’re always sending stuff to.

The lock screen now provides detailed previews of fresh notifications - just tap on the icons to get a sneak peek of what’s new. This is smart use of otherwise unused space, though it would be nice if you could unlock from there and jump right into important messages. Maybe in the next patch. BlackBerry was quick to remind us that any work e-mail that’s locked behind Balance won’t show up here, which is pretty important for maintaining privacy from a readily viewable screen. 

Then there’s instant previews and replies for BBM and SMS. These pop up at the top of the screen no matter where you are. Many of the built-in apps can toggle these on or off, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and individual e-mail accounts. Again, you may need to tweak your settings to get this behavior right where you want it, but when you do, it’s very useful. I can’t wait for instant replies to come to other apps.

BlackBerry 10.2 previews

Calendar appointments now have a dedicated “I will be late” button which lets you quickly shoot out a message to meeting attendees telling them how late you’re going to be based on how you adjust a slider. I haven’t had a chance to use this in a real world scenario yet since I’m always so damned punctual, but I could see it being very handy for those that are regularly scrambling to get to their next meeting. I’d love to see this feature include the option to share location so participants could see exactly how far away you are.

BlackBerry 10’s browser is still fantastic, and looks great on the big screen. Bars hide away intelligently to maximize screen space, and a Reader mode lets you get the most out of it by paring away the extras and focusing on the text. Bing as a default search client is still weird, but easy enough to switch. Flash support is still there. In fact, if you flip on Desktop Mode under developer options, you can play Candy Crush Saga in the browser. It’s not as good as a native version, but it’s better than nothing. 

BlackBerry’s sensitive to the learning curve required to pick up one of their new devices, and to that end they still have a tutorial on gestures included, plus there’s a new dedicated icon to reach the Hub. Yes, you can already get there with the navigation strip at the bottom of the home screens, swiping past the Active Frames screen, and through the gesture, but more traditionally-minded users are likely to miss all of those or have a hard time using them regularly.

Typing on the BlackBerry Z30

BlackBerry Z30 typing

Typing on the BlackBerry Z30 is markedly more comfortable than the Z10 due to sheer button size. It’s especially great typing in landscape orientation. As always, the gesture-heavy typing is great, either for deleting previous words, picking predictions for new ones, or hiding and summoning the keyboard. On top of that, software improvements have added new audio feedback for different keyboard actions, and copy and paste have been revamped with in-line icons. Though I can still type more confidently on a Q10 and Q5, the Z30’s bonus in screen real estate and battery life makes it a more than worthwhile tradeoff.

BlackBerry 10 apps

Apps on the BlackBerry Z30

The launch of the BlackBerry Z30 is a good time to check the app situation for BB10. The lack of apps tends to be the biggest mark against BlackBerry’s new platform, and by direct comparison to Android or iOS, sure, you’re going to be missing at least a few titles. Initially the big one missing was Skype, but it eventually came by way of an Android port, and thanks to the new Jelly Bean runtime, it’s running better than ever. Take a look at Badland. This side-scrolling game earned rave reviews and awards when it originally launched on iOS. They came to BlackBerry before they even touched Android, nevermind Windows Phone. Displays of confidence like this make me feel pretty good about the platform’s future among developers. Making its official debut with OS 10.2 is Flipboard, a popular feed reading app. It’s an Android port, and it’s running swimmingly (though it had ever since it was sideloaded in the Z10’s Android app player). Evernote now has its own stand-alone app preloaded, which offers rich text editing and tagging, in addition to the existing integration with the native Remember app.

Of course, not everything is perfect. A deal-breaker for many is the lack of an official Instagram app, and shoehorning in an Android version isn’t going to cut it for those users. Notably absent from the catalog for the Z30 is Netflix. Normally I’m not one to watch a whole movie on my phone, nevermind a TV episode, but when multimedia is such a prominent focus in a device like the Z30, it’s hard not to notice. On that note, it was odd to see the folks at BlackBerry push the Z30 as a prosumer productivity-driven device. I’m maintaining a lot of faith in the app situation though, and I’ve spent a fair amount of time on Android and iOS. I’ve found on those platforms apps are highly disposable, simply because there’s always a new one around the corner and device memory is limited. It’s a rat race I don’t miss when sticking with BlackBerry, though for many this ongoing cycle of consuming apps is exactly what makes them compelling. What’s important to remember with BB10 is that the major players (Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, and Twitter) are all on-board and baked in. As far as I’m concerned, everything beyond that is icing on the cake.

BlackBerry Z30 with USB host

In terms of overall performance, the BlackBerry Z30 is snappier than its predecessor, thanks in no small part to the upgrade to a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor and quad-core graphics chip. However, I still hit a few bumps along the way. Google Talk doesn’t seem to want to open in the Hub. The new “next message” and “last message” gesture (swipe right then up or down) doesn’t execute consistently. Still, 10.2 is a big step up, especially when you look at stuff like USB host capabilities (which I managed to get working without a hitch), and Miracast display mirroring (which I couldn't try since I don't have a Miracast TV). Piled on top of existing cool features like remote access to your PC files through Link, and screen sharing over BBM, it's clear that the platform's evolving quickly.

BlackBerry Z30

The Good
  • Extremely impressive sound
  • Excellent battery life
  • Tons of OS improvements
The Bad
  • Unwieldy at times
  • Physical keyboard still provides ideal typing experience
The Bottom Line

For all of its technical merit, I still worry about the BlackBerry Z30 selling. There doesn’t seem to have been as much of a marketing push for the Z30 as even the Q5 enjoyed, carrier support seems to have waned (Rogers wasn’t initially going to be getting it, and we haven’t heard from Sprint or T-Mobile), and anyone really sold on the new vision of BlackBerry are likely to have already picked up a Z10.

Iterative updates like the BlackBerry Z30 are exactly the steps to be taken down the road of maturation

Many will be asking if this is the device that turns BlackBerry’s fortunes around, and the short answer is “no,” but no single product can do that. Rebooting a platform isn’t something that happens overnight, or even within the first 6 - 8 months. It will take at least a year, and maybe two in order to know if BlackBerry’s going to continue to exist in a single piece. It’s easy to be cynical about the Fairfax deal and say all it’s doing is delaying the inevitable. As funny as it might sound given how slowly BlackBerry’s been to strategically pivot, time is exactly what BlackBerry needs now in order to bring BB10 up to feature parity with the legacy operating system and become competitive with the other major OSes out there.

Iterative updates like the BlackBerry Z30 are exactly the steps to be taken down that road of maturation, and I would say that if future devices offer as significant an improvement on the previous generation as the Z30, BlackBerry will be caught up fairly quickly. Of course, that progress hinges on BlackBerry having the financial resources to maintain this pace and partners (both carriers and developers) sticking around for the ride.

For all of those unconcerned about the bigger picture of the industry, you’re probably just wondering if the Z30 is a good phone. Yeah, it’s a good phone. You won’t get Instagram on there without some wrestling, but it’s a perfectly capable, strong device so long as you don’t care about missing a few token apps. Z10 owners, it’s probably too early for you to upgrade, but if you were on the verge of buying one and held out, the big screen and big sound of the Z30 may very well be your cue. 

Related BlackBerry Z30 review links

BlackBerry Z30 Topic Page
BlackBerry Z30 Forum
BlackBerry 10 Review
BlackBerry 10 News
BlackBerry 10 Forum

384 comments

njrPTA9273

Any word from ATT?

Posted via CB10 from my Z10 or PlayBook!

Simon Sage

Don't know if they've said anything publicly, but I've seen AT&T and Verizon models floating around. 

patrialist2000

Z30.. Yeah!!!

Posted via CB10

itiswhatitisnt

The ONLY thing keeping me from purchasing this phone is the NON-REMOVABLE BATTERY.

Simon Sage

Not a particularly huge deal for me. If I'm going to carry around spare batteries anyway, they might as well be external USB batteries. For Jam Asia I used the Z10 battery charging pod as a back-up for my Q10, and that worked out fine. 

itiswhatitisnt

Your right with that option :)

But what about "hard resetting" to get the peace of mind you did completely reset your cell phone from errors, bugs, freeze, bad reception, etc etc.? Something most BlackBerry users do in order to feel certain they have done what they can before calling a rep of there cell phone provider. I like the fact on my Z10 if it freezes which is doesnt. Or if it runs slow. I simply pull the battery and then its all back in order.

Just my opinion maybe some agree or not.

#BB4L

papped

There's always a hardware shortcut to force reset the phone.

jwyoungy

I had my Z10 since Feb. 05 and today was the first time I pulled the battery (and it didn't solve the problem because the Wi-Fi radio stopped working). No need on the new phones to pull the battery like with the older BB OS

Wilsonia Goldens

I have never pulled the battery on my Z10. I also have had mine since February. Would letting the battery completely discharge be the same as pulling? Leaving a flaslight, or other power consuming app turned on?

TheRealFixxxer

Letting a Lithium Ion battery deplete 100% will actually damage the cells in the battery. Having it happen once will not render it totally damaged, of course, but allowing it to happen often will shorten the lifespan of the battery.

To your original question; I don't see why that wouldn't be the same as a battery pull. You're starving the phone of electrical power, just as you do when you pull the battery. But as other have mentioned, pulling the batter with BB10 is not necessary. The memory leaks once present on this beloved platform no longer exist. Or, at the very least, it's extremely rare.

Carmels

I've only had to pull the battery out of my Z10 because I wanted to clean out the area from dust and lint.

Testament to BB10, far cry from days of having to do a battery pull because of memory leaks with OS6 and OS7.

From my Z10 to YOU, BOO-YAH!

SteelGreek

Ugh I just want this out on Vzw already... I wish there was a date!

makaiman

Great review Simon! However, one crucial and key element not mentioned here that is so important was the role that BlackBerry Protect plays in 10.2 in relation to the Z30 and tested... I was told that in 10.2, users can now enjoy the same benefits we did with BBOS where we can go and retrieve our last backup OTA or through the website. This is a critical feature that other than Location Services, which doesn't work too well at times, is very much needed as in times past...

www.blackberrynation.com

alexthe10

Hello there Simon do you mind giving me a good trusted website I can purchase a Blackberry Z30 GSM unlocked. Thank you.

gregorylkelly

Where is Kevin????

Posted via my Z10

Nharzhool

Busy with the state of the Mobile Nations thing, I suppose...

Posted via CB10

BlackberryFan777

I think he's been busy with building a cabin with his father and his role as chief media officer. Plus, frankly, Kevin's line of thinking -- while undeniably the thinking of a BlackBerry enthusiast -- is what I would identify as Apple-oriented. Most Apple users scoff at large screens. Before the iPhone 5, they insisted that any screen larger than 3.5 inches would be unwieldy as a phone. Likewise, they tend to be unimpressed with anything that provides value beyond what the iPhone feature set. Their narrative is: "NFC is cool, but just a gimmick right now" or "who needs a robust file system in a mobile phone, media pirates? Just buy from Apple and forget about it?" or "The iPhone supports HD Audio do we care about the phone beyond that, it's apps baby, apps!" The Z30 is a big step up from the Z10 in competing with the best-selling non-Apple smart phones in America -- although I think that group would have liked to see a quad core and a 1080p screen. Nevertheless, it's large screen provides a great mobile browsing and mobile media experience and helps with communication by providing more information without additional input from the user. Since BB10 relies on the GPU for much, the UI will be significantly snappier and HTML5 apps with CSS3 hardware acceleration will soar along with a little faster performance for Android apps with the new GPU intensive runtime. For enterprise folks who do conference calls often (e.g. Lawyers), the phone is a greatness and the biggest leap forward in years! It is *not*, however, a big step up from an Apple-oriented perspective. In some ways, from that perspective it might be a step down. I'm guessing that Kevin sees it as a "bigger Z10", and that he doesn't even really want "bigger." I think something more sexy and innovative from a consumer Applish perspective was needed right now for business, but the Z30 is pretty much the phone I was hoping for... especially with the speakers, mics, and big screen. But, I doubt that Kevin is doing summersalts the way I am.

Posted via CB10

PineappleUnderTheSea

I would dare to say that the Z30 competes with Android, not iOS.

Small screens have their place: i do get annoyed with the iPhone 5 they give us at work since it is more uncomfortable to use with one hand. So a bigger phone will necessitate using both hands more often, not a biggie I guess.

dannyd86

he quit crackberry to work for imore...

kidding lol
The Z30 looks nice, I wish my Z10 was everything the Z30 is but in the smaller form factor. Id buy one if it was

patrialist2000

I am buying this phone as soon as it's available!!!!!!!!

No one can stop me!!!!!!!!! I need that battery!!!!

Posted via CB10

umblanc

where is the LIKE button for this comment !?

Nolan Ryan

Long hold the comment, left side..

Posted via CB10

Insync

Agreed!

Posted via CB10

Carmels

Use your sharingan to case a genjitsu for a LIKE button!

Lol.....ok only funny if you watch a nome! :)

From my Z10 to YOU, BOO-YAH!

Carmels

I meant Anime

From my Z10 to YOU, BOO-YAH!

Double_J75

Very Purdy and I'm getting it for sure.

Posted via CB10

Mohammed Zakaria1

A masterpiece, but I have to wait for a long time to buy this :(

rajbir01

I will have an unlocked one this weekend if you would like to maybe buy it:p

Posted via CB10

Mohammed Zakaria1

Doesn't have that much money right now :P

Meok

Is that for everyone?

Posted via CB10

alexthe10

Where did you buy it from.

Mohammed Zakaria1

Maybe you can buy it from Amazon or Ebay or from Verizon in US as far as I know. It's better you check the BlackBerry website, you might find some information.

rajbir01

Fourth!

Posted via CB10

bhumrick

I get excited about a Gulfstream 550 but I don't have 60 million dollars..... and although I have 700 bucks... the point is the price is too expensive.

Posted via CB10

wincyUt

:) I guess that means you don't like the Z30 enough to buy it right now.
I'm SOLD on the Z30!!

Puz_zled

$600 I believe. Does that help? I just saved you a hundred bucks!

Swiped with one thumb from the virtual keyboard of my awesome Z10!

tygryz2

When it will be available in US T mobile?

Posted via CB10

imcurved

I'd like to know too.

sayf777

Simon, have you tried removing the 9 screws of the back and seeing if the battery itself is soldered on or can it be removed?

If not will you be willing to try?

Or find out if there is a difference between how the battery is integrated between the X00 and this production model?

Posted via CB10

LewLew23

I've heard someone in the forums say that it was removable. Can't remember which post it was, but if you search around the Z30 forums, you should find it.

sayf777

That was with regards to the X00 pre production model afaik

Posted via CB10

LewLew23

Ahh ok. Hopefully it didn't change from the pre production model, that would be nice

sayf777

Crap, you've seen this yourself?

Posted via CB10

donnation

Why, are you going to carry around a screw driver and change the battery out of if you need to?

sayf777

No, when the capacity starts failing I won't have to take it in and wait a few days to get it back

Posted via CB10

playbookster

Can't wait for mine :)

Posted from my Z10

birdman_38

Would 1280x768 rather than 1280x720 have yielded a higher ppi?

Chanlion

Think of it as a box of marbles. The bigger the box, the less full and covered it looks. So a higher resolution with the same amount of pixels would yield a lower ppi.

playbookster

Yes, very slightly, 298.5 vs 295. You wouldn't notice it at all. Both are so close to the 1mp range which is 300, anything over that is really just a numbers game.

Posted from my Z10

birdman_38

Interesting, thanks guys.

patrialist2000

But seriously, if you keep your reading distance, you wouldn't notice the difference.

Posted via CB10

Anovascular

What a great device.

Posted via my Motorola DynaTAC

jupiter8

Where is mine, T-Mobile? :)

imcurved

silence of the lambs...

michael1arnone

I want the Z30. But will BBRY still be around in 1 year. Will they still support the phone if the company is sold?

BerryWizard

If someone can answer this question, they'd be rich like princes ;)

Posted via CB10

NickMcBride

Yes if you buy the phones you'll still be supported in a year! Maybe they won't be as much into hardware but they've made it clear they intend to grow bb10 and thats their goal!

Posted via CB10 (My amazing Q10)

New_Z10

Who is going to grow the platform if BlackBerry is chinned away and sold.

Posted via CB10

scalemaster34

Intents and goals are not guarantees.
From what Simon said they need another year to year and a half to "turn things around"..... well they don't have enough cash or enough assets to sell to last that long. If you think last quarter was bad, wait for a full quarter of being considered by most people as the next PALM.

We don't know if a BB10 device can operate without the NOC and BlackBerry being there - it should, other than BBM, BlackBerry World, Updates and BB IDs.... but will it? LINK is tied to your BB ID... will it sync anymore with your phone?

Tumacana

HA! Are you sure about that??? Never mind what they've said. They have stated lots of things that still have not been implemented (eh 'em...BB10 on Playbook....BBM4ALL). I wouldn't be so sure. Looks like Blackberry themselves are not sure WTH is gonna happen.

AtInsider

Well said, I've been saying this all along. BB10 is only going one way and that is up. Z30 here I come,

Ebscer

BBRY will be owned by someone a year from now, but that will still exist in some form.

More relevant is the fact that BlackBerry being sold could never cause your phone to stop working...

patrialist2000

It will go private...

Posted via CB10

Insync

I think what is important is the phone will still work with all the features it has for your contract period. I have never needed my BlackBerry products serviced since...well, the beginning. Moreover it is also inconceivable that a buyer would see no value in the existing customer case.

Posted via CB10

Lenin17301

"Many will be asking if this is the device that turns BlackBerry’s fortunes around, and the short answer is “no,” but no single product can do that." Ever heard of a little something called an iPod?

Nharzhool

Different time, different situation. To make the comparison, the device would need to do something insane like a neural link where you just think of things and they show in your mind's eye. :-P

The iPod wasn't just another mp3 player.

Besides, the product that could have the "game changer" question asked about it for BlackBerry is BB10, not just a particular device running it.

Though, I could be wrong entirely...so...uhh...spunkgarbleweewee

Posted via CB10

masque2

How quick people forget. If there was one product that saved Apple (which is debatable), it was the iMac.

And yea, the iPod was just another MP3 player that happened to look nice. Remember Cmdr Taco's comment on Slashdot at the time? "No WiFi, less space than a Nomad. Lame." Turned out he was wrong, of course, but nobody could have predicted that.

All the other stuff that made the iPod more interesting (iTunes, etc.) came way later.

jwyoungy

I have to say that when the ipod touch came out, there was nothing like it that I can remember. Even my very first shuffle that looked just like a regular thumb drive was a step up from the sony I had before. It had an internal rechargeable battery when everyone else pretty much took a AAA. That being said I have never owned an iPhone, BlackBerry has always done what I wanted and the new OS is amazing. I will continue to support BlackBerry as long as they are putting out phones.

bspence87

iPod... Wasn't there about 12 different models?

diego.roscetti

This is the first time that I have no excitement for the launch of a BlackBerry

Posted via CB10

Saiga

I know exactly what you mean. It is kind of a strange feeling. I was more excited about the launch of the Torch 9850 than this one. Even though I had no interest in actually buying a Torch 9850, I just felt it had a chance of being a good seller. I have no confidence at all in the Z30 selling well.

I just hope they were smart enough not to build very many Z30s. The last thing they need is to have to write off a billion of those as well.

New_Z10

What they need is a screen share app- so you can line up your two z10s and create a giant virtual screen! Run them in parallel to create a mini virtual super smartphone!

Posted via CB10

bspence87

Yeah, or, like, your 50 Z10s

davehong

Now if BlackBerry made a Torch 9850 with BB10, with the same screen brightness of Torch 9850 I'd be all over that, and way more excited than this Z30 rubbish.

Puz_zled

Seriously? The Z30 is 10 X the phone a 9850 is. (Or maybe that's 30x )

Swiped with one thumb from the virtual keyboard of my awesome Z10!

Saiga

you'll notice that I never compared the devices, I simply said the 9850 launch was more exciting for me, because the Torch actually had a chance of selling well. The Z30 doesn't stand a chance of selling well any where. It is too little too late, DOA and all of those other phrases people use to describe a product that is destined for commercial failure.

Also, I wouldn't be so confident that the Z30 is all that better than a 9850. I can name an awful long list of great features found on the OS 7 Torch that aren't found on BB10 or the Z30. I mean heck, at least the 9850 had sound profiles, a huge selcetion of usuable headless applications and my Bank's app.

davehong

Agreed on the list of features not yet implemented in BB10 from the legacy OS!

davehong

Different strokes for different folks - I really value a keyboard (and I've used many keyboard-less phones, including a Z10). A keyboard slider phone with BB10 would rock.

diogoteixeira87

That's probably because the BBM launch. I felt everyone were really excited the week before the official launch sept 21. But after what happened, people lost some faith on BlackBerry. Including myself. I'm still a big fan no matter what, love my z10 and probably will have a z30 later, but bbm cross platform was expected for a long time. I felt so disappointed after that and we still have no clear word about it 20 days after.

Hope we can see some news till the end of the week. Friday is always a great day and good for news! :)

Posted via CB10

compaq988

Same here, with that disappointment, is like I don't really care what they do, as far as my z10 gets updated to 10.2 on tmobile.

Posted from the Awesomeness of My BlackberryZ10

patrialist2000

Why would you need BBM to go cross platform if you own a BB? You have many friends using other platforms, i suppose??

Posted via CB10

masque2

You just answered your own question.

mnc76

What BlackBerry user doesn't have tons of friends on other platforms? lol

I support BB10, NOT BB Management!

wincyUt

The more consumers have a little bit taste of the honey (BB10 UI experience) when they use the BBM Cross-platform, the more likely they might want the real thing (BB10 phones). The cross platform will be great for consumer awareness.

Geeoff

Interesting comment!

I hadn't thought of this, but I think that I agree with you. I was hoping to blown out of the water by something about the Z30..... but no. The camera is the same as the Z10 (average), the battery life is really good, but that is more the norm now, and the OS is continuing to slowly evolve.

This phone seems like table chips to me. Hopefully, they continue to slowly progress and then maybe in a year or two they'll have something really amazing that gets them back on their game.

R1cowl

Another great review from Simon. Viva BlackBerry!!

Posted via CB10

Komoto

I think the battery is what really clinches it.

Really torn between Q10 and Z30.

Posted via CB10

Insync

Ditto.

Posted via CB10

Pistooli

I love my new Z30 and slowly but surely it will grow to be my main device leaving the Q10 in the box again... :)

Posted via CB10 from BlackBerry Z30

DJ Reyes

I feel that this will happen to me. I'm enjoying the Z30 but it hasn't yet replaced the Q10. It's close though

Posted via CB10

AndreyLepher

Any random Reboot While This Review Simon ?

NickMcBride

That problem was fixed a long time ago, you must live under a rock or something

Posted via CB10 (My amazing Q10)

nyallj

I'm sure he's referring to the Forbes 'review'.

outoftheice

Not just the Forbes review. A second reviewer reported the same reboot issue with the z30 on IB Times: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/511969/20131007/blackberry-z30-review-...
It's a legitimate question. The sad part is both reviews are quite positive about the phone aside from this one issue. The above average battery life is one thing that sounds like it could really help this phone sell! Hopefully there is a quick fix and we don't go through the whole z10 reboot debacle again.

nalin909

Z30 Awesome :)

Posted via CB 10 on my BlackBerry Z10

Daniel Rodell

Just got mine :D can't wait to put the battery life to the test :p

Posted via CB10

hf199

Very good and fair

Posted via Harry

theninjew

Can you write up a tutorial on how to access US host mode and how to connect a usb drive?

freddysrevng3

Simon -
How are the speakers in "Natural Sound"????
Did you have any "reboots"???
What is your review of new Android loader???? Do apps run more "smoothly" with JellyBean???

Thanks...

Waiting for this one at T MObile... "Passing my Z10" to a new "BlackBerry Inductee"....

NickMcBride

I have tried the phone out for a couple days with a buddy that bought it Natural sound is very nice, there are no more random reboots on any of the bb10 devices and yes the new android runtime player is AWESOME!!!

Posted via CB10 (My amazing Q10)

freddysrevng3

Thanks, Nick....Is "sideloading of Android apps" the same process? I have about 10 of them on my Z10...

erott

I can already tell that this is TOP NOTCH device. Especially with 10.2 running. Beautiful device, great progress with the OS. Great possibilities as well. However. #BlackBerry ARE YOU GOING TO MARKET THIS???????. I feel like breaking down doors to ask this marketing team if they are asleep at the wheel. I've send emails, tweets, and Bbm's to the marketing team... and... NOTHING. I honestly don't think anyone is home. Sad. Sad. Sad. Sad. Sad. To just let a beautiful product like this die. So so Sad.

Posted via CB10

compaq988

I really believe that blackberry marketing team are all iPhone users whose just in for the money as long as they get paid, they don't really care if their ad succeed or not. Quote me if am wrong!

Posted from the Awesomeness of My BlackberryZ10

wincyUt

Hahahahaha!! Priceless :)

Slamdunc1

They have adds?

Posted via CB10

Tumacana

They've all been laid off LOL. But seriously, company moral must be a its lowest right now. Wouldn't expect much from them until they whole Buyout/Take-over/sell-off takes shape.

MozThaGreat

I agree with you that this is a great device but what's the point of marketing the Z30 without the apps everybody wants and with specs below that of an S4? Unfortunately the only people willing to buy this device in its current state are Crackberry members. Keep in mind the little bit of marketing that BB10 did receive didn't help the Z10/Q10 at all.

Posted via CB10

Slamdunc1

The marketing for the z10 and q 10 has been a joke, kicked off with the launch. Seriously what kind of wankers were blackberry launching a couple of phones and then saying 1 is available to buy in 3 months the other 6 months?
Since then I have only seen a couple of adds. A big reason why sales have been average is that BlackBerry hasn't even pushed their own product. The average potential customer isn't going to follow crackberry to see the latest product and what it can do.
Apple has the common sense to actually back their products to succeed. Whatever you think of apple their marketing is awesome.

Posted via CB10

dzdncnfsd1973

You do know you can side load any android app onto your blackberry device, so apps not really a problem

Posted via CB10

somerandombbusername

Agreed about the marketing. It's almost as bad as the Pre 3. Good review, but I'm too happy with my Z10 to replace it.

stuart_lanza

I have 2 Z10 and I am very happy with that....I was very sceptical about Z30 as I am still dreaming for a slider device...but since I had chance to get the Z30 I couldn't resist. I must agree this is the best BlackBerry device ever. Battery is a dream. Display is a nice experience for eyes and also for fingers. Performance are great. System is very stable. Hope it will appreciated as it deserves.

Posted via CB10

davehong

+1 a Torch with BB10 would rock.

Slamdunc1

I got my hands on z30 today and loved it, thought the size would be a big turn off relative to the z10 (which I have) but it only seems a little bit bigger ( I believe 20% in actual size but 37% more screen real estate).

My wife is getting one I think I will be very jealous. She will be converting from an iPhone 4s.

From a work perspective to have the z10 would be awesome, we have the bold 8900 and they do the job, but not so great to do anything like reading attachments or anything .

Posted via CB10

FOR RIM

SIMON THANKYOU FOR REVIEW

LeroyP09

Still can't believe I'm anxious for a devise with last year's tech minus the antenna set up.

Zed 10 - 10.2.0.1047. In your face VZW

wincyUt

All you just said are "semantics". :) If the Z30 works as great as other phones with this year's spec, then why should you care?
I'm SOLD on Z30!!

Savior4Life

Cause no one will buy it...

wincyUt

You never make any sense. Maybe you should re-phrase your sentence. Lol!! Do you know what "no one will buy it" means? Just because you don't like BlackBerry doesn't mean others feel or think like you. KEEP MOVING!!

Savior4Life

You just asked a question. I answered. you should care; 'because no one will buy it'. Read what was said before you go spouting off in a hysteric fit of anger because someone isn't as gung-ho for a collapsing company as you.

Any idiot can see over the past year from other BB10 devices that very few people are interested. Why would a banal Android clone sell any better?

wincyUt

Lol!! For a guy that thinks he so bright, please explain to me why you are still hanging around what you deem to be a failure? There must be something that excites about the BlackBerry forums otherwise you would be somewhere else.
Do you know what the definition of "CLONE" is? The last time I checked the BlackBerry and Android have totally different platforms. So where does the cloning exist again?
KEEP MOVING.......BB4Life :)

Savior4Life

I'm not actually that bright. I'm one of those idiots that can see with reason that this device isn't going to sell well.

I currently have a Z10 and unlike yourself (I'm sure) I owned stock in RIM/BBRY until May this year where I made it out in the nick of time and like most investors you still follow a company after you've dumped your stock. I got to give you credit for standing up for a company that dupes their investors, their corporate leaders alienate themselves from the public, they make promises they can't perform on, etc. You can sit there and nit-pick over "exact terminology" but the real issue here is your not mad at me... Your mad at what I'm saying is true.

wincyUt

I truly don't know whether to laugh or sympathize with you, but you have made a lot of assumptions when you don't even really know me.
First, how do you know if I own or don't own RIM/BBRY stocks? Secondly are you looking for sympathy? Didn't you realise that when you play the stock market that sometimes you lose and sometimes you win? I guess that's why there is provision for "Capital gain or loss" in the tax code.
Third, I have never defended BlackBerry Management; it's obvious that they have directly or indirectly aided in running the company into the current mess it's facing. However that does not justify anyone throwing away the bath water with the baby in it. Meaning, bad management does NOT equate bad product.
Finally I have no reason to be mad or mad at you. I own a Z10 (and soon a Z30) because I want and love to. BB10 devices satisfy almost all my needs and any other things lacking I get from other platforms. I am at peace with owning multiple devices on different platforms and have no need or desire to trash any platform.
May I humbly suggest that you go find inner peace so you will quit lashing out at BlackBerry. Enjoy life a little; try other devices and if you like them move on. Quit worrying about some of us who can't see or understand "your truth", afterall if we are buying obsolete devices/phones it's our "hard earned" money.

connorb96

I would love to have this phone, the moment I get my Z10 after months of wanting one, they go and release this? I mean why aha

Posted via CB10

wing2299

Playbook also have superior stereo speakers which is much better than other tablets (Samsung, iPad, to name a few) but didn't sell well due to the available apps.

Slamdunc1

As a dude who has 2 play books (actually they are my 3 year sons now) where they shot themselves down was the the os was not what it was promised to be on launch. The promised 60 day upgrade didn't eventuate for around a year (which made it ok), but by that time who really cared. The browser sucked and it couldn't really do much - the lack of apps made it like a computer with just windows on it.
In the end I just downloaded kids cartoons from YouTube for the sprog and that's all it gets used for now.
A shame, something that had great potential but in the end pissed off a lot of strong BlackBerry supporters and cost the company a lot of credibility.

Posted via CB10

nucks26

Too big. Sticking with the Q10

Posted via CB10

WiseCracker

Maybe the best strategy is to wait and see what happens with Fairfax.

bfunkera

As soon as VZW starts taking orders I'll be reserving mine, even though I love my Z10. I have an extra line available for upgrade just waiting for this phone. Sale of company or not, the phone will still be wonderful.

Posted using the one-finger-flick on my BlackBerry Zed10

Insync

I have a child anxious for my Z10, so can't wait for Telus to get the phone!

Posted via CB10

gatorboi352

Any BlackBerry (CrackBerry more importantly) fan that defends the Z30 is a flat out hypocrite. There's no other way of putting it. This thing is BlackBerry's best attempt at cloning an Android device.

bfunkera

Sorry but horrible and misguided comment. This is an attempt to get on-par with all the others. No cloning or they would have beefed up the processor, RAM and screen resolution all just to kill the battery faster. While the specs aren't the newest, they are great considering how the device is used and how the apps take advantage of said specs.

Posted using the one-finger-flick on my BlackBerry Zed10

falsetruth

This is a venture in the bigger screen domain. No one is here trying to be hip or copying the clunky android.

Posted via CB10

freddysrevng3

Yeah, boi.... and "Glad to See It"... Z30 will be the "True 5 Inch Alternative to Buggy - impossible to type on Android Phones"..... from a "reformed Galaxy S3 user"

Great to see BlackBerry beating Apple to the "Punch" with a 5 inch Entry...

You have to help me with the "hypocrite part" though...

wincyUt

Have you tried a Z30 yet? YES or NO. It's always good to have your facts before speaking.

freddysrevng3

Not concerned, wincy.... not a bit... have a Z10 and confident Z30 will "take BB10 up a notch"... fear not my fine feathered friend...

wincyUt

Lol!! Sorry Freddy, I was responding to "gatorboi352". I know you are cool. :) Cheers.

Savior4Life

Finally!! Some one said it. All BBRY has done in the past few years is spin off "me too" devices that are selling well for other companies.

ra2axe

Saviour.. so that is the truth??!!! Another one mentioned it is a clone? Wow!!
You change my mind. You are my saviour4life!! You too should change saviour4lifegoandgetalife!!
I will change my from Z10 to Z30 :)

Posted via CB10

Icarus3000

Will it be a success? Depends how you define "success". I absolutely love my Z10 as do most people who have actually used one, but sadly fewer Z10's were sold in 6 months than iPhones are sold in a weekend.

I don't see the Z30 doing any better. Especially when they have priced it so high.

I predict fewer Z30's will sell than Z10's.

wincyUt

What's your definition of "success"? Apple and BlackBerry are no longer in the same league, the last time I checked. Is your prediction based on Z10 historical sales figures and Z30 price? Glad you are only guessing. Anything is possible.

Adva_

Price, price, price.
$700 isn't going to make the phone fly off the shelves, which is what BlackBerry needs to happen. They need to lower their profit for the phones and grow the BB10 install base. They no longer have the brand power to demand a high end price. Z10 $300, Z30 $500, Q5 $200, Q10 $400.

de leurg

Thank you for this review. The informations given by Blackberry puts forward the number of microphones in Z30 ( 4 microphones), and the advertisements of Blackberry say that it is to improve the quality of phone conversations and also those of BBM-video. You say the same thing.
I thus ask: do capacities also serve to obtain good sound recordings in the video when Z30 films with the back camera? What do you notice with Z30? Do you want to post something about this? The sound of the filmed videos (with the Z30) are they in stereo?
And what, during the recording with the vocal recorder of the memo? Can Z30 be a good recorder of sounds? What audio formats are obtained? (a lot of questions...)

I shall like that Blackberry communicates technical information on this subject:
USB-Host: what are the possibilities of connecting a compatible microphone USB Mac / PC (example: AKG perception 120 USB)?
If anybody of the forum or Blackberry is interested in that...
Thank you! (excuse my french, please)

Simon Sage

Pas de probleme. :) Le son sur video est d'accord, et bien en stereo. Je trouve que le qualite de son est meilleure que les visuels. J'ai aucune idee ci USB soutien des appareils audio externe, mais c'est une cas que j'aimerai essayez. 

Nharzhool

Ah, Simon Sage is Professor Farnsworth's Universal Translator. Unfortunately he only speaks one, incomprehensible, dead language...Bonjour! hahaha

Futurama is so funny. :)

On Topic: Would really like this phone. Will possibly get it when Xmas bonus comes through. :)

Posted via CB10

all3n7

now can you translate that in Filipino Language.?? lol. good review, I would pick this phone 10X over iphone and any android devices. Can't wait for Sprint to carry this, and if they don't I will switch over. even I've been with them since 07. I'm eligible to upgrade now and I'm currently rocking my bold 9930. wanted to upgrade for Q10. but I'm having a second thought since I see the Z30....

mago72

This is a good question. You seem a journalist. See these threads where it was shown on video, support for pc style keyboard, mouse and USB stick at the same time and is also discussed about the quality of the recorded sound: http://forums.crackberry.com/blackberry-z30-f401/z30-owners-how-sound-vi... and http://forums.crackberry.com/blackberry-z30-f401/video-blackberry-10-2-u...
Maybe the microphone via USB can be integrated into apps media.

"How tasty was my little french" - Brazilian cannibalism

Simon Sage

I just plugged in the wireless receiver for my Microsoft mouse and keyboard. Worked like a charm and made me giggle. So neat, but I have no idea when I'd need to use it. 

de leurg

Thanks to you, Simon and to Mago72. You persuade me that the sound quality of what is filmed with Z30 (it is of stereo, thus, you write that) is to be put forward. I look forward to seeing, on the site CrackBerry, videos made with Z30. When, in a few weeks, I shall have Z30, and when an ambient sound will interest me, I shall film, then, on the computer, I shall isolate and shall use the sound of the video. It's better to have the sound of an event by this method rather than not to have it. Mago72, what you show me reminds me a USB stick sized computer “Cotton Candy” of the company FXI; then you write: maybe the microphone via USB can be integrated into apps media... applications media... then I thought: use a microphone which is immediately used without needing to install of particular drivers (example: the AKG120 evoked in my question), a microphone like this could solve the likely absence of application. I am impatient because there will be soon somebody to try.

kidneythief

I will be buying one!!

Posted via CB10

jic999

great work Simon , I am sold .....bye bye to my Z10 and hello Z30

camera531

Good review, but a couple of things... Is the silver band around the phone and at the bottom plastic? It was universally labeled as metal before it launched, but I think it's just plastic. And if it was metal (like it should be, like the Q10), I think that would've been mentioned. Also, with all due respect, you're naïvely glossing over the app situation. The company is about to possibly explode, and apps have a lot to do with that. This comment from you in particular just adds fuel to the (head buried in sand) fire, "What’s important to remember with BB10 is that the major players (Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, and Twitter) are all on-board and baked in. As far as I’m concerned, everything beyond that is icing on the cake." Give me a break, man.

falsetruth

Ya it is plastic that silver edge.

Posted via CB10

br14

"apps have a lot to do with that"

Not really. They have a small part to play.

Lack of carrier acceptance is by far the biggest factor. And that's not even down to BlackBerry. Not much they could do when AT&T and Verizon couldn't sell enough iPhones to hit their targets.

camera531

Dude, learn the facts (with all due respect). Even "CrackBerry" Kevin flat out says, multiple times, that the app problem is, by far, the biggest problem for BB and what's killing sales.

freddysrevng3

Kevin has been sold to a "human slave ring" in South Korea... have you not heard... his opinion is "no longer of import".... and BTW - you and BlackBerry are both "confused" about who BlackBerry is...... that's the "issue"...

Tumacana

Implode my friend...Implode

remmo

Is there a STL1001-ish Z30??

falsetruth

I am not sure should I invest on BlackBerry handset at this time. What if BlackBerry goes belly up.

Posted via CB10

BuffaloMadMan

Your phone would still work

falsetruth

But that's not the point. There won't be any updates in the future.

Posted via CB10

BuffaloMadMan

But what kind of updates would you want? What do you get two or three small updates during a phone cycle? I'm sure the phone will at least receive security updates until all is said and done. The sale of BB will take some time so you at least have a year probably longer of support. Updates are important but at the same time overrated. Buy the phone for what it does today not tomorrow.

menaknow

You could buy an galaxy device and 6 months later, you get no updates...

Just saying

br14

I wouldn't worry about it. BlackBerry isn't going anywhere. But if you're worried - give it a month. By then the uncertainty should be resolved.

mdb4403

Either is Palm so go ahead and get that Pre 3. By the way HP had much deeper pockets than Fairfax and they still ultimately decided to get out of the market. Just saying

Tumacana

What if there's a cold day in hell????? Exactly, no one knows at this point. Proceed with caution. I'd retreat though.

Simon Sage

This is an ongoing worry that's pretty common. Like I said in the review, it'll take at least a year or two for BlackBerry to be dead as a doornail if that's what's going to happen. It's not something that happens overnight. That said, CB's going to be here as long as you guys are to support users and the platform. 

3Dee

However, new app development is likely to go through thefloor

Simon Sage

Potentially. I think a lot of devs are looking for a third option, and Windows Phone isn't cutting it for many. 

menaknow

I echo that statement. It's really hard to decide to develop for BB. And now with the rumour that Google Play might come to BB or you can load an APK via the filesystem in 10.2.1...

Well I just ordered a Z30 cuz I like the device, but I'm going to be coding some Nexus applications soon!

BuffaloMadMan

Sounds like a decent phone and you had me until the camera! Why wouldn't they update its specs? Increasingly the camera in smart phones are becoming the differentiator and BB just puts the z10 module in there? But other than that seems solid this should of been there first phone launched.

Geeoff

I agree. I don't need lots of apps. I don't need Google everything. I don't need lots of things. But if I'm going to spend $700 on something then I want a really good camera as a part of the package. Maybe in the future I'll come back to Blackberry, but I'm leaning towards buying a Samsung Note 3 and that should carry me for the next 2-3 years.

I wanted to see a Z30 and read the reviews before deciding. And the lack of a serious camera upgrade has made my decision for me.

I still really like BB10, but it needs some more time to mature. And Blackberry needs to match other phones w.r.t. certain specifications (e.g. camera quality).

mrskycar

Anyone know what the deal is with the wireless charging on the Z30?

Posted via keyboard bearing Q10

falsetruth

It is built for wireless charging though.but not sure if it is already comes with wireless charging back cover or we need to buy a one.

Posted via CB10

Simon Sage

Through my briefings with BlackBerry, they haven't mentioned the wireless charging thing once. 

raxamillion

I have a feeling it's been swept under the carpet. Really would have liked this.

Posted using my sexy white Z10 on Z10STL100-2/10.2.0.1761

br14

"There doesn’t seem to have been as much of a marketing push for the Z30"

At a guess this is in part due to the uncertainty over the companies future shape. If the buyout goes ahead (as I expect) I'm sure we'll see more on the Z30. Just in time for Black Friday.

In the meantime they have to persuade investors the company is worth only $9 a share. Shouldn't be too difficult!

niss63

Good article. Thanks, Simon.

TioPepe78

Every day I want it more and more, can't wait to have it.

keypeck

I like how narrow the side bezels are!

James Blight

Very tempted to pick this up and use it instead of my z10.

Posted via CB10

Tumacana

Go ahead. It may make a good paper weight in a few months OR... The early adopters may get screwed as they have before by offering the device at a steep discount like the playbook once it was known that it wasn't going to sell. Either way...i don't see this ending well. Look forward for the NEXT BB10 device. By then the air has cleared and we have no idea who'd be making the hardware at that point.

Gator99

A Lot of people I talk to are quite interested in the BlackBerry 10 OS, but they are very reluctant to buy one due to the uncertainty. It's a catch 22 for sure, and I'm not sure how BlackBerry can plan on waiting to see if their devices catch fire with everyone waiting to see if it takes off. The way I see it, neither of these possibilities can occur until the sale or breakup is finalized.

Sent from the future on my Z10.

sybarite_abhi

Perfect review. Wont say its unbiased bt hey, at crackberry we are all BlackBerry fans and will be more than happy to see it going up just like older times n kick some a**. Waiting eagerly fr Z30 and definitely going get it.

Posted via CB10

GoJaysGo

Good review. Thanks. However, why would anyone actually buy this phone over other large screen phones that already exist and have proven track records. Seems to me this phone was in BlackBerry's pipeline and had to release it or face another warehouse full of phones they can't sell. Somehow I don't think the manufacturing yield will be anywhere close to the over ambitious sales numbers they lied about with the Z10...

Savior4Life

BB10 OS is the only reason that anyone would buy this over another device and very few people will opt to choose just the OS over other devices.

overzeer

Yeah, right. That is why people don't by iPhones either. Oh, wait, they do! And there are reasons why one can favour BlackBerry over iPhone.

Posted via CB10

omega supreme

I agree, with all the bad news I really don't see this selling much. Those that are waiting for it should wait a few months for the inevitable price drop. I predict this will end up being blackberry's last phone...i will stick with my z10 until the end, which shouldn't be too long now. :(

Posted via CB10

wincyUt

Lol!! What you are doing is called "Self Fulfilling Prophecy". By telling people to wait a few months before getting the phone, you are implicitly wishing BlackBerry to fail. Why wait till the end before you move on to another platform? If you know a house is burning, would you remain in it? So KEEP MOVING!!
BlackBerry will NOT vanish into the thin air soon. :)

Savior4Life

Agreed. Been saying the same for months.

BeautyEh

Damn...really want this thing.
Simon do any of you guys have an impression if BB will do some kind of marketing push for the holidays, at least ?

dosto

Great review! Thanks, Simon. Looking forward to this phone.

maclaskey

This is a porn phone if I ever seen one!!

Posted via CB10 with Z10

nick canada

Has anyone tried a new side loaded version of Netflix on the new jellybean runtime?

I found side loading very easy and Netflix works good on my z10 10.1. If the new runtime makes side loads even better that would be great

Posted via CB10

Simon Sage

Good question! I will try. 

nick canada

Well thanks for the help.

I cannot wait to get my z30!

Posted via CB10

Simon Sage

No dice with sideload for Netflix 2.4.0. Audio but no video. 

playbookdrew

Simon, change player type to Software within the Netflix app to fix the blank video issue.

polytope

$399 unlocked and I am sold. Otherwise sticking to my Z10.

Posted via CB10

ofutur

Nice, balanced review and I like the conclusion.

I think the camera has been updated as the Z30 is using a different sensor, but it doesn't seem to do much, yet.

Houshinto

I think the only thing knocking this device in my books is the omission of camera hardware/software updates. Especially at the price point Blackberry is indirectly setting for this.

Still, if this is a last hurrah of a device it's a darn great one!

Brunix

Everything is great BUT you forgot the most important new feature imho: with the 10.2 (already on Z30) u can use the microusb as a real usb! U just need an adapter, that's it! In addition, u can share your bb10 screen with your PC, unfortunately right now I don't remember the name of this option, sorry about that

Posted via CB10

playbookster

Miracast

Posted from my Z10

matthewmrl

He'll of a phone buy I'm NOT going to spend $700 on a phone..

Z10

Revolver

Meh, still undecided if I want to pick one up or not. Just have to wait to see it in person I guess.

Somewhat disappointed in the review. I would consider it sub-par (sorry Simon). Also, this is coming weeks after the device is available to the public. CrackBerry couldn't get a review unit ahead of time? And even if that's the case, it took that long to write this? A new product launch is one of the more exciting things BlackBerry can do at this point, but I don't see much enthusiasm out the CrackBerry group for it. For that matter, DJ can't even get a z30 to use in the accessory reviews?! Get her a phone, or get someone who has one to do the review. A case review without a phone to put the case on is pretty sad, considering "fit" is one of the most important parts of a case, as well as what it actually looks like on the phone. Maybe it's just CrackBerry reviews in general...

wincyUt

:) seems like you are searching for excuses not buy the beautiful beast.

AngryITMan

Each time I hear people on crackberry say "it is still missing an official Netflix or Instagram app but I don't use it personally" is the Seinfeld equivalent of " he's gay..but not that there is anything wrong with that"
Who cares if you don't use it personally, it's whether the market is demanding it. And it is!

BlackBerry user for 10 years.

chomsky11

You have a friend named Bambi Blue? Awesome.

BambiBlue

A girlfriend, in fact! :) And thanks -- I owe it all to my super hippy parents.

callec39

I do hope AT&T supports this BlackBerry Z30 because I love this new phone and I am or have to get one, I currently own a Z10, prior to that I had the BB 9810, 9800, Bold 9000 and the Curve 8300 as my entry into the Blackberry family, I absolutely love the Blackberry product and the Z30 is in my sight next as soon as AT&T puts it in the Store.... Come on AT&T I am waiting.

xBURK

Thanks for the review Simon. I'm not sure if it's just me or did you find it hard to get any excitement while performing the review video? I've watched you on many occasions and you had genuine life in your voice talking anything BlackBerry. I can totally understand if you guys find it hard to keep positive at this point. Anyway, just an observation.

Posted via CB10

Simon Sage

So, I basically just read from the review this time as an experiment. Still messed up at a few points, but the idea was to sound a little more polished than usual. Curious to gear what others think about the format.

Posted via CB10

playbookster

Wing it next time. We can read your review and then get something different out of the video ;)

Posted from my Z10

BayVol

Not enough to move the dial for current BB owners who have a Z10. I love my Z10!

wincyUt

:) Speak for yourself. I'm a current BB Z10 owner and I'm SOLD on this thing of beauty, Z30!!

scottybonus7

Solid review but found it interesting that the opening contained this: "On the surface, it comes across simply as a bigger version of the BlackBerry Z10, but there’s quite a bit more to it. Rear stereo speakers introduce high-quality sound, new antenna technology helps to provide a whooping 25 hours of battery life, and OS 10.2 offers an array of helpful new features" Stating that having 10.2 makes it have "quite a bit more to it" than the Z10 doesn't make sense to me since 10.2 will also be available on Z10 I would assume shortly after October 15th here in Canada.

xBURK

Ahhh,that would explain the different tone in your attitude. Got it. I realize you have to give a professional review with an unbiased approach, but I miss the excitement in your usual method of reviewing anything bb. Just a thought. Still well done for sure.

Posted via CB10

TsDaichi

Please add some photo sample!

Posted via CB10

thessalonian

I think BlackBerry should do a trade up program for those who bought a z10. I feel ripped off, I would've got this one first if it was available.

Posted via CB10

SEAWARRIOR

get in line,,, behind the playbookers...

aaronpan

I heard there was a feature in 10.2 that you could cue what song is going to play next. I haven't seen this in any of the reviews. Does anyone know if this is true?

Posted from my bangin Q10

BroncoVAL

"Physical keyboard still provides ideal typing experience" ?
So Blackberry bring us the Q10's keyboard on the same form factor of the Z30 !!!
I'd buy it immediately and wouldn't care about apps' situation for i'd have the best of both worlds: a great screen, large and tall combined with the best keyboard experience that makesd the best of BB10.
IMHO it would be the most pityful conclusion if Blackberry was to be dismantled before releasing their best phone/OS combo ever!

Posted via CB10

jkomo001

that's one heck of a phone. wish it best. probably won't see it for my network for a while. hopefully its out there still.

Richard Ma

Man, it's depressing even the reviews carries the demeanour of what has been going on.
I was really looking forward to getting the Q10, decided to wait and use my 9900 for a bit longer, I've also for a GS3 which I hate and this addresses the battery life problem entirely.

I just really don't want to invest $800 AUD+ on a phone that has an uncertain future =(

Tuco Ramirez

For $800, I say thanks, but no thanks.

playbookster

Why did you add 100 dollars to the price?

Posted from my Z10

Richard Ma

Not sure where Tuco Ramirez is posting from, but in Australia Dollars it's upwards of $800

wincyUt

Lol!! Didn't you just buy an iPhone 5S? Or am I mistaking you for someone else?

lc42

Yesterday's specs at tomorrow's price. No ecosystem. Poor apps. Bad connectivity. Sad to say that it's d. o. a . :-(

Superfly_FR

It's L.I.M.H (Live in my hands) and I'm not a paper addict. Specs are nothing compared to experience. Ask Umi about the S4 performance. While its specs are [whatever you want], you cannot perform as fast as with the Z10 and furthermore Z30.
It's a marketing concern, you're right. But certainly not if you just target the best usage experience.

rigwrecker

Bad connectivity? Are you talking about apps? The Big Z has a roving antenna, that makes the best of your location. I don't see how this is bad connectivity.

lc42

Well. My Bold 9900 use to connect seamlessly with with my usb car audio, its gone with OS10. It use to sync perfectly with MS Outlook, that gone to. It had a perfect bridge pairing with Playbook, also gone.
That's for connectivity and user experience. Need I to say more?
Rushed OS, bad marketing, ugly design, under spec, etc, etc.
Yet, I'm still a loyal customer. Silly me.
So disappointed!

fanisk

Thanks, good revew ! I just upgraded from Z10 to the Z30 ! It's trully great device!

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