BlackBerry Z30 review

BlackBerry goes big with the 5-inch Z30

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The BlackBerry Z30 comes with a Maps app that includes turn-by-turn directions. The maps it draws on are from TomTom and they seem fairly accurate.

BlackBerry Z30

The app is also able to give you an indication of how heavy traffic is. Green roads are clear, orange is moderate, and red indicates heavy traffic.

Visually it's very basic, just a top down map, or a bare bones turn-by-turn angled view. There aren't very many POIs marked and searches for specific places are patchy, but we did find a handful of local businesses covered.

The GPS was very fast to get a fix on our position, but the Maps app is generally sluggish and it takes a while to load in as you zoom in and out. Compared to Google Maps, it feels dated and slow.

Turn-by-turn navigation is a great feature, but we definitely have our concerns about its accuracy. We checked a route on the Z30 Maps app and on Google Maps, from Dunbar on the east coast to Edinburgh Castle right in the heart of Scotland's capital.

While the directions were very similar and both sets would get you there, the time estimates showed a large discrepancy. Google Maps estimated a journey time just under 50 minutes, but the BlackBerry Maps app was more optimistic with an estimate of 33 minutes.

The journey actually takes around 50 minutes, so the BlackBerry app was way off.


One of the main weaknesses of the BlackBerry 10 platform is a lack of apps compared to its competitors. The last we heard, in May of this year, there were over 120,000 apps available, but it's all about quality not quantity.

Even if we overlook the fact that many BB10 apps are quick ports of Android apps, we can't overlook the fact that there are some major omissions from BlackBerry World.

BlackBerry Z30

You'll have to make do without things like Google Maps or Chrome, there's no Netflix or Sky Go, and you won't find Skype. Much depends on what you use. Many people won't miss these apps, but some definitely will.

You will find things like Spotify, SayIt, Flixster, ReadItNow, and there's a nice Guardian app. Recent additions include heavyweights such as Evernote and Flipboard, not to mention cool wee apps like Hype Machine. The list is growing, but it's growing slowly and not all of the missing apps have an alternative.

It is also apparent with some apps that they've been ported without much thought for how BB10 works.

Apps like Goal were clearly not designed to be used without a Back button, and navigation can be a real chore. The obvious lack of effort on the part of the developers shows how little BB10 figures in their plans – and that's very unlikely to change now.

BlackBerry z30

The pre-loaded apps cover a lot of bases. BlackBerry's reputation for productivity is reflected in the likes of Documents To Go and BlackBerry Remember.

You'll have no trouble keeping on top of your schedule and your inbox with the BlackBerry Z30 out of the box. The on-board apps tick all the business boxes.

Sure, some of BlackBerry's offerings may lack elegance, but they're always fit for purpose. Substance over style sums it up neatly.

There are two standout inclusions. Smart Tags allows you to scan or create your own QR codes and NFC tags.

They can work as handy timesavers for giving out directions or creating a business card. There's also an app called Story Maker which allows you to combine your photos and videos with music and filters in a timeline to create your own multimedia compositions. It's quite fun and very easy to use.


If you were saddened by the lack of apps then close your eyes now. BlackBerry 10 is horribly short of good games. Like the apps, there are new games coming out on the platform all the time, but the vast majority are poor quality clones of classics or ports of old hits from iOS and Android.

The Games app allows you to tie in your BBM account so you can compete with friends more easily. It also gives you a profile to show off your achievements.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
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
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
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 Address
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