Is the BlackBerry Z30 a big BlackBerry Z10? Yes and no. The 5 inch Z30 has a larger display, sure. It was the first device to ship with BlackBerry OS 10.2, but that playing field is now even and my Z10 runs that OS as well. The phones obviously run the same software, share gesture-based user interfaces, have LTE 4G and robust security. So what's different about the BlackBerry Z30?
BlackBerry, formerly known as RIM, has made their best smartphone to date (unless you prefer hardware keyboards). While the Z10 was nice looking but a little plasticky and boring, the BlackBerry Z30 is cool looking and chic in a manly sort of way. The edge-to-edge glass with rounded corners, grippy but very attractive boy racer carbon fiber back and metal sides equal a great looking piece of hardware. It's not light at 6 ounces, but that helps it not feel cheap. Port selection and location is similar to the Z10, with the volume rocker and voice command button on the right and the micro USB and micro HDMI ports on the left side (not the bottom as one most smartphones). This is one of the few phones that still uses a dedicated HDMI port rather than a combo USB/MHL port. The Z30 also supports Miracast wireless display.
This is also BlackBerry's fastest phone ever, but Android users won't be impressed since Android is a land of feeds and speeds where megahertz wins hearts quicker than honey attracts flies. The BlackBerry Z30 runs on a 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro dual core CPU with quad core Adreno graphics. It has 2 gigs of RAM and 16 gigs of internal storage (there's a microSD card slot to augment storage). Since the same manufacturer tunes the OS and hardware, we don't need massive computing power to have a quick experience, and the Z30 does feel faster than the Z10. Though there's no quad core killer CPU here, the S4 Pro makes for a pleasant and quick experience on the Z30.
So what's the problem? The phone is gorgeous and OS is pleasing, after all. BlackBerry World is still a lonely place compared to the Google Play Store and iTunes stores. BlackBerry's future is in serious flux: Thorsten Heins, the CEO, has been ousted (a good thing, but also an earmark of instability), the company was looking for a buyer and since that hasn't panned out, they're floating bonds and pulling in investments. Lastly, their market share is dropping quickly and BlackBerry in some countries has even less marketshare than Windows Phone. If you're a diehard BlackBerry user, none of this matters and you'll go to your grave with a 'Berry in your hands. But for restless iPhone and Android folks, this may not be the right time to jump on the BlackBerry bandwagon.
Here's our BlackBerry Z30 video review. Our full written review will follow.