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Try The Tech Review: Blackberry Z30 by aldaweb

Level 26: Upbeat
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Firstly a thanks to @Toby  and @Anonymous   for making these devices available for us to try.


Blackberry Z30 from a Z10 users perspective  


As a Z10 user day to day I thought I would try using Blackberry Link to do a device switch which I have detailed separately here ( . As that did not work as desired I wiped the phone and started over.

After entering details for both the Blackberry ID and for Gmail my contacts and calendar synced up to the phone along with my emails so I just had to set up my work and personal email services which involved some manual editing of settings in common with other phone platforms. I then redownloaded my apps from Blackberry World. The MyO2 app and the BBC iPlayer apps are better on the Android platform so I sideloaded Snap (detailed in my guide here) in order to install those and other Android apps that I use. Snap is a client for Blackberry 10 phones that gives access to the Google Play Store to download apk's which can then be installed using the built in installer in the latest Blackberry 10 OS version. 


The Z30 uses the same OS as the Z10 and has several common specifications: 

  • Blackberry OS (Software release
  • 16Gb Flash Storage
  • 2GB RAM
  • MicroSD expansion to 64GB
  • Micro HDMI out 
  • Micro USB charging and data connection.
  • 8 Megapixel auto focus camera with Backside Illumination and 5 element F2.2 lens
  • 1080p Video recording
  • Time shift mode for adjusting individual elements eg peoples facial expression

 The following table shows the pricipal differences: 

Z10 Z30
height 130 mm / 5.12 in height 140.7 mm / 5.53 in
width 65.6 mm / 2.58 in width 72 mm / 2.83 in
depth 9 mm / 0.35 in depth 9.4 mm / 0.37 in
weight 136g weight170g
4.2" ips screen 5" super amoled screen
1280 x 768 @356 ppi 1280 x 720 @295 ppi
qualcomm® snapdragon™ s41.5 ghz dual-core dual core 1.7 ghzqualcomm®msm8960t pro
1800mah removable battery 2880mah fixed battery
Single Speaker Dual Stereo Speakers


BB Z10 - Z30 App Drawer.JPG  Z10 & Z30 Showing App drawerBB Z10 - Z30 Hub.JPG  Z10 & Z30 Showing the Hub


If you are unfamiliar with Blackberry 10 then the Hub is the repository of all communication and is accessible by means of a quick swipe up and across from any screen on a Blackberry 10 device and if you only swipe part way across you can quickly see if there are any messages that require attention and if not swipe back to return to wherever you were before, known as 'peek' in Blackberry parlance. When I say all communication I mean all, with access to emails, texts, phone calls, BBM, Twitter, WhatsApp or Facebook in the one list. This can easily be filtered to show just unread items by a quick pinch together of 2 fingers on the screen, and undone by the reverse motion. Messages from a particular person or from a particular account can be added as Priority, whereafter they will appear in the 'Priority Hub'. I don't intend to go into all the aspects of Blackberry 10 as they can be gleaned from the demos on the Blackberry Site here:


So what are the main differences from the Z10 other than raw specifications?

As you may see from the photos above there is an extra row in the App Drawer and an extra couple of rows in the Hub. The Super Amoled screen on the Z30 is bright with vibrant colours and text is clear, however it does suffer somewhat in very bright sunlight unlike the Z10 screen.

The back of the phone has a rubberised feel to it and is rounded at the edges unlike the squarer Z10. This makes the larger size more comfortable to hold, though having small hands I found it easier to use a bluetooth headset for lengthy calls, something I would not normally use with the Z10. However the 0.8 inch bump in screen size is less noticable than the 0.5 inch increase between the Z30 and my Note 2.

Note 2 - Z30.JPG  Note 2 & Z30


The Z30 has a couple of features totally absent on the Z10.

The first is an FM radio which in common with other handsets requires a wired headset as an aerial. As there was no headset with the phone I tried a third party one first of all but could not get a satisfactory signal and there was a constant clicking noise. I then tried the headset that came with the Z10 and was able to tune in several stations satisfactorily but there still seemed to be a background clicking. It's not a facility I would normally use but if I was relying on it for radio I would be dissapointed, though this may be due to the phone being a review unit.

The other is the capability to use USB OTG. If you are unfamiliar with this it enables you to use USB devices such as memory sticks or keyboards either via an inbuilt connector on the device or via an adapter that plugs into the micro USB socket on the phone and provides a standard USB-A connector into which you can plug the device. This enables transfer of files from a memory stick to the phones internal memory or playing media direct from the external device. 

On the subject of media, the Z30 has stereo speakers as against the single speaker on the Z10 which makes viewing video more immersive, though it is better still by connecting the micro HDMI socket to a HD TV or monitor. Streaming from a portable WiFi hard drive  presented no problems. BBC iPlayer was also smooth both on streaming and downloading, the latter only being available using the Android app as the native Blackberry 'app' is just a link to the website. I did try the 4OD and Demand 5 apps from the Play store but the 4OD closed after the permissions screen and with Demand 5 I could see and select content but it seemed to hang trying to load the video.

The Z30 Camera is the same unit as in the Z10, however it would be remiss not to include a few examples so I'll put some in the next post :smileyvery-happy

So in conclusion would I swap my Z10 for this phone? That would have to be a yes, in fact I nearly snapped up a second hand one on sale in a forum but was too late slight_frown


camera examples in following post