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BlackBerry Z30 announced: 5'' 720p display, 2GB RAM and Snapdragon S4 Pro

Posted: , by Chris P.

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BlackBerry Z30 announced: 5'' 720p display, 2GB RAM and Snapdragon S4 Pro

BlackBerry Z30: unleashed

The BlackBerry Z30 was announced a few hours ago during a rather mysterious event in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. That was sort of expected, given that we've been seeing Z30-related leaks growing both in intensity and plausibility during the last few months, which signaled that the phone that some of you know as the Aristo was approaching. Well, the wait is now officially over and here's what BlackBerry has in store for us.


As was the case with most of the latest high-roller smartphones, the leaks and rumors were pretty spot on. This includes the 5-inch 720p (295 ppi) AMOLED display, the largest of any BB phone, and also the now aging aged Snapdragon S4 Pro with the four CPUs running at 1.7GHz. Blackberry is yet to shed light on whether we're talking about a dual-core or quad-core, though the less potent version seems likely. In terms of memory, you'll find 2GB RAM, with just 16GB of internal storage, though you can expand that via a microSD card. BlackBerry claims that the battery on the Z30, at 2880mAh, coupled with software optimizations, offers 50% more battery life than its current competitors, though manufactures have a pretty shady track record when it comes to this particular bit of hardware, and its actual capabilities.

Turning to the camera on the Z30, an increasingly relevant component of the entire package a smartphone offers lately, we're welcomed by a 8MP rear camera with Auto Focus, 5x digital zoom and a an LED flash. The large five element lens with an aperture of f/2.2 mean that the unit will capture a lot of light, resulting in great shots. The snapper, as is to be expected, is capable of 1080p video capture, and comes with what BB chose to call “Time Shift” – a feature that basically allows you to choose and adjust faces from several snaps, so say goodbye to ill-timed shots.

In terms of connectivity and extras, the Z30 is anything but lacking – you get GPS, 4G LTE connectivity and Wi-Fi, of course, but also Bluetooth 4.0 LE (low energy), NFC, and the rather nice perk that is a microHDMI port.

BlackBerry 10.2 OS

BlackBerry Z30 announced: 5'' 720p display, 2GB RAM and Snapdragon S4 Pro
Hardware is only one facet of the smartphone experience, with software increasingly becoming the much more important other half. To that end, the Z30 will ship running BlackBerry 10.2, the OS' latest iteration. Among the new features that BB 10.2 brings to the table are the BlackBerry Priority Hub – your one stop place for all your personal communications and notifcations across a plethora of services. The now refined BBM brings system-wide chat notifications, and will let users preview and respond to incoming communication without having to fire the app itself. Another seemingly interesting feature is what BlackBerry is calling 'Natural Sound'. Basically, BB boasts that its trio of speakers, along with some BlackBerry proprietary tech, will allow for more natural-sounding conversations over BBM Video and BBM Voice, by capturing nuances and variations in the talking person's tone.

Release date and availability

Release dates for the BlackBerry Z30 will vary by region, though the company will be making their new flagship phone available in Hong Kong and Malaysia starting on October 5th for roughly $620. As for the rest of the world, the Z30 will be available from select carriers and retailers, beginning with those in the UK and the Middle East (where BB is still popular), and reportedly other undisclosed regions before the holiday season is upon us.

Our take

We usually reserve our right to a final verdict for after we get to play with a phone one-on-one, and we're not about to derail that rule. That being said, our initial impression of the BlackBerry Z30 is pretty positive. Sure, as is the current climate, two primary internal components are bound to lead to a discussion – the 1280x720 screen and the now aging chipset. So, lets go through these in order.

Firstly, a 720p resolution on a 5-inch screened smartphone will definitely upset a few specs junkies, who may have a few things to say, which may result in a rather cold reception akin to that of Motorola's new line of DROIDs, and, indeed, the Moto X. Having said that, a 720p screen also has its pros – its less of a power hog, both in terms of efficiency and performance. Moreover, the oft-mentioned argument that the differences between a 720p and a 1080p screen are near-impossible to perceive with a naked eye still stands.

And as far as the chipset is concerned – not every OS needs the very latest, most expensive silicon to run fluidly, as exemplified by many an iOS/WP phones. We will, of course, first have to see how the Z30 manages itself under a few real life situations before making any grand conclusions, but at this point we have no reason to believe that it will drop the ball as far as responsiveness and performance are concerned.

Said more broadly, at a first glance, the BlackBerry Z30 appears to be a pretty decent high-end device. It remains to be seen, however, whether BlackBerry's brand cache hasn't been thoroughly depleted, so much so that it's gotten to a point where getting back into the game will require a small miracle on the part of the company formerly known as RIM.

  • Options

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 06:18 26

1. D.Aceveda (Posts: 396; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)


posted on 18 Sep 2013, 07:29 14

17. timukh (Posts: 295; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

yeah, great device but as always they will price it extremely wrong and the rest is history..

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 08:37

40. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 2285; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)

Whoaa?? Did it just killed the htc one/max??? Lol

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 23:06

81. sarge77 (Posts: 202; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)

it would be great if they actually use the quad core all that I speed will convince people to actually buy your product I would give it another round.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 09:19 2

53. rodkurt (Posts: 128; Member since: 29 Nov 2012)

and how expensive will this be?

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 15:15 1

77. Kishin (Posts: 706; Member since: 30 May 2013)


posted on 23 Sep 2013, 05:53

87. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)

$800 USD

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 11:45 1

74. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1614; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)

I will say that I agree that this may be the end of Blackberry as an individual company. I do think they will be purchased by one of the other big smartphone manufacturers. I only hope that the new buyer takes a lot of the gesture based software and merges it into whatever platform that company supports.

Samsung could use it in their Tizen OS, but I actually will say that the one company I wish was buying Blackberry is Canonical. Ubuntu for phones is heavily gesture based and they would greatly benefit from an acquisition of this kind. I just hope there is more Blackberry hardware to come, just under a different direction than what the company is taking now.

The last hope would be if Blackberry were to come out with some new device in January that would blow everyone away in terms of hardware and software. I don't see it happening, but sometimes you have to reach rock bottom to realize your true potential.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 13:48

75. donfem (Posts: 693; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

your opinion

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 15:22

79. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

A $1000 device with nexus 4 specs. I agree r.I.p. blackberry.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 06:21 12

2. pokedude750 (Posts: 28; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)

THIS is a monster... BUT WHY ON BB 10.2????????

Come one BlackBerry if you want to survive DITCH BB OS and Switch to Android.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 06:35 1

5. Jason2k13 (Posts: 1302; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)

blackberry is blackberry, even if they shift to android, the public will still see the company as blackberry, samsung still dominates android.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 07:49 3

25. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

If they made it on android they could at least expect to see some profit for once.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:03

63. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

That's a big "if". Big corporations have mostly realized that they don't need BB anymore, and as highly priced as BBs are (overpriced, really), they save money going the Android or Windows Phone route, and loose little to no productivity and efficiency

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 06:53 1

12. sarge77 (Posts: 202; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)

Lol BB can just port apps over like they can do with apple to android very easy my thing with RIM is how many apps amd the dam reboot after each install not to sure if that changed. Man this is real good now competition is heating up nice work BB.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 08:07 1

29. GadgetsMcGoo (Posts: 168; Member since: 15 Mar 2013)

This has changed for BB10. There is no reboot needed after an app install.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 23:13

82. sarge77 (Posts: 202; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)

thx do the info man the funny thing is dont know how many times I dropped my BB but that dam thing still worked lol had the Bold before

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 08:42 3

43. TheM16 (Posts: 80; Member since: 14 Aug 2013)

People need to try the thing before judging and bluffing.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 13:50

76. donfem (Posts: 693; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

Particularly when you have people with little understanding judging a device with little or no information about the capabilities of the device

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 09:13 3

52. Pedro0x (Posts: 271; Member since: 19 Oct 2012)

Have you even tested the OS, it is awesome and intuitive, the lack of apps is another problem ofcourse, but the OS is really great and could rival iOS or Android (I am not mentioning WP here because it is not competitive enough) if it had apps. If BB would start selling their phones at a reasonable price, they´d see a rise from the dead.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:05

65. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

"Not competitive enough": WP is solidly third in the smartphone race. BB is just barely fourth in front of Tizen.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:38 1

69. Pedro0x (Posts: 271; Member since: 19 Oct 2012)

It sucks as an OS, it misses a lot of features. The only salvation WP has are lumia 720,620 and 520, these are extremely well priced phones, if these phones didn´t existed WP would be dead in the water. If only OEMs started paying more attention to their low-end phones, like better optimization (it is possible to make low-end phones to be buttery-smooth, viz xda) and if xda can do it, why can´t big companies such as Samsung or Sony do it. Then WP would also be dead. I mean WP is such a boring OS, it brings almost nothing new to the table, meanwhile look at Android, with every new version it gets closer to the "perfect OS".
What I wanted to write is that while WP is nothing extraordinary and intuitive, BB OS bring at least something new, sure WP may feel modern and smooth but it is horribly slow. And if BB started selling their phones at a more competitive price, they would be able to get more market share than WP

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:39 1

70. Pedro0x (Posts: 271; Member since: 19 Oct 2012)

Yeah and boast that WP is third of four competitive OS:es it nothing to boast about:)

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 06:25 8

3. Troysyx (Posts: 181; Member since: 30 Jul 2012)

Its not the older chip set and the lower resolution screen that has me scratching my head and seeing BB digging their graves even deeper. Its the fact that we all know that they are going to be charging a high amount for it.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 07:31 1

18. timukh (Posts: 295; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

true.! i am guessing $199 on contract and $700-800 off contract.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 08:10 3

32. GadgetsMcGoo (Posts: 168; Member since: 15 Mar 2013)

Yet still higher resolution than the latest iPhone 5s which has a comically low 1136 x 640 compared to 1280 x 720.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 06:34 1

4. anleoflippy (Posts: 595; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)

So, announced in the country where I live eh? Not suprising though as Malaysians are still using Blackberry as their daily driver, same goes to Indonesia,

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 06:40 9

6. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

If BB offered this a year ago, that would have been great.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 07:33

19. timukh (Posts: 295; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

why did they go from a 768p screen in z10 to a 720p screen in the z30?? O.o

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:07

66. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

Bigger screen. Need to balance size vs resolution when pricing them out. Not that big of difference, really.

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