The Z30 is Blackberry’s fourth smartphone based around the BB10 operating system. It features a larger screen than its predecessor, measuring in at 5 inches. The screen itself offers 1280 x 720 resolution which, while HD, is not quite as high as some other phones like the Samsung Galaxy S4. Despite the slightly lower quality, most reviewers agree that the screen offers crisp details and excellent viewing angles. While Phonearena does mention that the screen could be a tad brighter, they go on to say that the display offers excellent visibility in direct sunlight and excellent contrast.
With the larger screen comes slightly larger dimensions as well. The Blackberry Z30 measures in at 5.53” x 2.83” x 0.37” and weighs 170 grams (5.99 oz). Many reviewers find that the dimensions are actually quite comfortable in hand and fit well in most pocket sizes. Engadget does note, however, that it is difficult to use the device one-handed due to some design decisions such as not having a dedicated home button. Users must rely on the up-swipe gesture to work or shift hands in order to hit the sleep/wake button.
Under the hood, the Z30 sports a 1.7GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage. Although most experts agree that the specs aren’t entirely impressive, they do note that the phone generally excels at multi-tasking though they have also noticed a couple glitches that require hard restarts to fix.
One of the most impressive features of the phone is its battery. According to BlackBerry, the battery should last 25 hours of mixed use and 16 days on standby. One downside noted by ZDNet was the positioning of the charging port which they found to be in a bit awkward position. They also noted that the battery itself takes a long time to charge.
In addition to hardware upgrades the Z30 also offers new software, most notably the BlackBerry Priority Hub. According to BlackBerry, Priority Hub will learn over time what messages are important to you and highlight them for quick access. Forbes notes that this feature could “prove useful to the busy Z30 user.” Aside from the BlackBerry’s homegrown software, the Z30 still suffers from a lack of apps available to users such as Netflix and Instagram.
Most reviewers agree this is a solid phone that offers more than its predecessor, the Blackberry Z10. Crackberry notes that “it’s a perfectly capable, strong device so long as you don’t care about missing a few token apps.” Engadget is a bit more reserved with their recommendation noting that it “isn't a bad device by any means, just one that falls short of what we expect from a 2013-2014 flagship.”
The Good: Excellent battery life, ergonomic design, excellent display viewing angles.
The Bad: Very few native apps, low screen brightness, difficult to use one-handed.