BlackBerry Z30 review

BlackBerry goes big with the 5-inch Z30

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The BlackBerry Z30 ships with the latest version of the platform which is BlackBerry 10.2. There are a few subtle improvements, but nothing is drastically different from 10.1 and our BlackBerry 10 review gives you a real insight into the operating system.

BB 10 will be very easy to pick up for anyone who has used a smartphone before, as all the major platforms have plenty in common. For users coming from BlackBerry 7 there is going to be a learning curve here, but BlackBerry has helpfully provided a few tutorials to help you get to grips with the basic gestures required for navigation.

BlackBerry Z30

When you tap the power key up top, or swipe up from the bottom of the touch screen, you'll be greeted by the lock screen. The lock screen shows your status in a bar at the top which displays battery life and signal strength.

Below that you have the time and date. To the left you can see your notifications about messages and calls, including any social media accounts you may have set up.

Tapping on these reveals a little detail about what's inside, which can be a real time saver - one of the new features in BlackBerry 10.2.

At the bottom right you'll find a camera icon, and you can tap and hold on it to quickly launch the camera. Quickly means under three seconds.

To unlock the Z30 you need to slide up from the bottom of the screen. This means that, with practice, you can actually unlock the phone from sleep with one long slide from the bottom of the screen up towards the top and you'll bypass the lock screen completely.

BlackBerry Z30

Your home screen will default to your grid of apps until you start opening things, at which point it becomes a multitasking menu. All of your home screens have three icons in a dock at the bottom: Phone, Search, and Camera.

The lack of physical or capacitive keys means everything is gesture-based. You swipe up to back out of an app and you swipe down from the top to access the menu.

When you swipe up you'll always return to the home screen which displays the last four apps you had running. It can actually display eight, but you'll need to swipe up to see the other four.

Some of them will cycle new images, a bit like live tiles or widgets. If you swipe down from the top of the home screen you'll open the quick settings menu which affords you quick access to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Rotation Lock, Alarm, Notifications, or the full Settings menu.

From your home screen you can swipe from left to right to access your BlackBerry Hub, which is essentially a unified inbox for messages. If you swipe from right to left you'll find your apps organized in a familiar four by five grid of icons.

BlackBerry Z30

Tap and hold on apps to move them around. You'll also see a small bin icon on the apps you can delete, and dropping one app icon on top of another will create a folder which you can name as you please.

So far, so intuitive. The 1.7GHz dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM seem to provide ample power for the platform. Navigating around the phone is quick and easy.

The transitional animations are smooth and we didn't encounter any stuttering or lag.

Additional gestures, like peek, help it hang together and soon feel natural; you can slide up just a little from the bottom of the screen for a quick look at your notifications on the left and then let go to close it, or swipe off to the right to bring up the hub if you see something you want to check.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported64 GB
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 800, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 800, LTE 900, LTE 1800, LTE 2100, LTE 2600
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemBlackBerry
Brand NameBlackBerry
Battery Talk Time1 Day
Product ModelZ30
Screen Size12.7 cm (5")
Screen Resolution1280 x 720
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)170 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionBlackBerry OS 10
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density295 ppi
Front Camera Resolution2 Megapixel
SIM Size SupportedMicro
Height140.7 mm
Width72 mm
Depth9.4 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time384 Hour
ManufacturerBlackBerry
Product NameZ30 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.70 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass, Magnetometer, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberPRD-52977-071
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.uk.blackberry.com
Marketing InformationThe BlackBerry® Z30 makes conversations feel so natural and real, it's like you are in the same room. It has a stunning 5" display along with unique BlackBerry® Natural Sound technology, which means that while you're in BBM™ Video, you can see in vivid detail and hear every word with such clarity, you can share like you're there together. And with a battery that gives you up to 25 hours of mixed use, you can share all day long. Bring your conversations to life with the BlackBerry Z30!

Share like you're there
Beneath the surface of the BlackBerry Z30 lies BlackBerry Natural Sound technology. This powerful audio technology gives your BBM™ Voice2 and Video1 calls a more natural sound so you feel like you are there. The quality of the audio allows you to hear nuances and variations in tone, so you get more out of every conversation and unique sharing experiences.

Keep your conversations close
At the heart of the BlackBerry Z30 lies BlackBerry® Hub. With one swipe you can peek into all your messages from wherever you are. Then choose to dip into your messages in more detail or simply return to what you were doing, without missing a beat.

Effortlessly responsive
The BlackBerry® Keyboard learns how you type to provide personalised next-word suggestions, which you can simply flick into your messages, helping to give you an efficient and effortless response rate to all your messages.

Share more, for longer
Powering the BlackBerry Z30 is a truly hard-working battery. With up to 25 hours of mixed use, you can keep going for longer. So not only can the BlackBerry Z30 keep up with you, it can help you do more for longer.

Capture the right moment, every time
BlackBerry® Time Shift starts capturing your photo before you even take it, giving you the power to select and adjust the image to get that perfect moment. With the ability to change what you see, you can always be sure to capture the right moment.

Stay in the flow
Engaging in a BBM™ conversation has never been easier. The beautiful 5" screen helps BBM chats come to life, and with BBM™ Now in any app, you can receive and respond to all your BBM messages from within any app. Whether you are browsing the web or watching a video, you can always remain connected and responsive.
Limited Warranty1 Year
Standard Memory2 GB