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BlackBerry Z30 review

BlackBerry goes big with the 5-inch Z30

Any smartphone with a five-inch display is going to be expected to deliver a good media experience and the BlackBerry Z30 does not disappoint. It boasts a healthy 16GB of internal storage and there's a microSD card slot under the back cover which allows you to add up to a further 64GB.

If you plug the Z30 into your computer with the USB cable provided then it should automatically install the BlackBerry Device Manager which allows you to access all the files on your Z30 as though it was another hard drive. You'll be able to drag and drop files with ease.

BlackBerry Z30
BlackBerry Link

Alternatively you can download and install the BlackBerry Link software. It enables you to schedule regular backups and share files wirelessly when you're connected to the same network.

It can also restore your BlackBerry Z30 if you run into any problems. It's easy enough to use, but it can take a little while to establish a connection. We had to restart the Z30 on more than one occasion to get the software to spot it and connect.

Music

The Music app is a totally straightforward affair. You can create playlists and filter your collection to find what you're after.

BlackBerry Z30

The sound quality on the speakers is actually pretty impressive for a phone, but a decent pair of headphones is always going to be your best bet if you plan on using the BlackBerry Z30 as your portable music player. There is a stereo headset provided with earbuds and a tangle-free cord.

There's no equalizer to speak of and options are limited. If you long press on the track playing then you can access the Play On option which allows you to stream music to any devices in the vicinity that support DLNA.

Once your music has started you can back out of the app and get on with other things. The volume keys will bring up a set of mini controls, so you don't need to dip back into the Music app proper to pause or skip tracks.

Format support is solid with WMA, MP3, MKA, AAC, AMR, F4V, and WAV all playable on the Z30, but there's no FM radio.

You can also purchase music in BlackBerry World. Individual tracks are 99p and albums vary from around £7 up to £10.99 for the latest Kings of Leon release. There seems to be a fairly good depth of music on offer.

Videos

The Video app is even more bare bones than the Music app. It lists your videos by date, or you can organize them into albums. Just tap on a video to play it.

BlackBerry Z30
The 720p screen aquits itself well

There's an icon at the top right which you can tap to change the aspect ratio. If you head into More options at the bottom right you'll find the same Play On option for DLNA streaming and an option to enable Repeat.

BlackBerry Z30

Videos look good on the 5-inch screen, but at 170g you're going to get fed up of holding the Z30 quite quickly. Movie fans should invest in some kind of stand.

You can edit videos with tools to crop, enhance, and shorten available via Edit in More options. The app also supports all the major formats including 3GP, 3GP2, M4A, M4V, MOV, MP4, MKV, MPEG-4, AVI, ASF, and WMV.

If you want to rent or buy movies or TV shows then you can check out what's on offer in BlackBerry World. The prices are steep, with the majority of rentals at £3.99 and the cost of buying a blockbuster like Star Trek: Into Darkness a whopping £12.99. TV shows like Fringe cost £1.99 per episode.

The collection on offer definitely lags behind what you'll find on iTunes or Google Play.

Photos

You'll find your photos in the Pictures app, where they're presented in standard thumbnail views – or you can swipe through them full screen one by one.

For some reason there's no option to create a new album on the BlackBerry Z30, so you're stuck with everything being dumped into Camera unless you're prepared to fire up BlackBerry Link on your computer and create albums there.

BlackBerry Z30
Photo filters

On the plus side you have a good range of editing options built in. There are cropping tools to quickly resize your shots. There are enhancement tools that include things like red eye reduction and saturation. Then there's the fun stuff in filters and frames.

BlackBerry Z30
Photo frames

The Filters section has ten options, from Lomo to Cartoon, and you can drag the slider across an image to see it working its magic in real time. This definitely makes the filters more fun to play with. There are eight frames so you can create a basic border, give a shot an aged feel, or go for a film strip effect.

It's easy to share your favourite photos directly from the app via BBM, email, or other social media accounts.

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