BlackBerry Z3 Review
July 31, 2014
COMMENTS

Inexpensive business solution

The BlackBerry will always be tied to being a business centric smartphone despite the company brining the smartphone easily accessible for everyone. But even with most users shifting to either iPhones or other Android-based devices, BlackBerry still has a strong fanbase especially in most Asian countries, which is enough for BlackBerry to continue manufacturing more affordable devices.

Another entry in the BlackBerry 10 smartphone line is the BlackBerry Z3, which is the company’s current budget full screen BlackBerry 10 smartphone. It’s in the same league as the Blackberry Q5, but this one ditches the QWERTY keyboard for a full touch experience.                                

Design and Specifications

You can’t say much about the design of the BlackBerry Z3 it bares resemblance to the more expensive BlackBerry Z30 – but despite that, the BlackBerry Z3’s build is solid and fits my hand just right. At 140 x 72.8 x 9.3 mm, it’s just about the same size as the Z30, but the 164 grams is a little heavy for my liking and somehow I feel that I am carrying a brick when its inside my pocket.

The BlackBerry Z3 might belong to the budget category, but its specifications are good enough to run BlackBerry 10 without any issues. Its powered by a Snapdragon 400 dual-core processor running at 1.2 GHz and comes with 1.5 GB of RAM and an 8 GB internal memory. It’s not much but good thing you can easily expand the storage using a micro SD card. All connectivity options are present: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth but lacks 4G LTE and NFC support. A microUSB port for charging and data transfers is also present.

The BlackBerry Z3 also supports a large 5-inch screen though the resolution has been reduced to only 540 x 960 pixels. I was hoping for at least 720 x 1280 pixels and the lack of pixels show when you use the smartphone. The screen looks washed out and lacks definition. Not that it’s bad, I was still able to read e-mails from the device with ease, though at small fonts it becomes unreadable.

Lastly, this smartphone also carries a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash at its rear and a front-facing 1.1 megapixel one. Additionally, you can also take 720p video.

Performance

The decent specifications of the BlackBerry Z3 make it easier to breeze through the BlackBerry 10 interface with ease. I didn’t experience any lag or freeze ups when using it.

BlackBerry is still miles away in terms of app selection when you compare it with iOS and Android. For example, out of the 80+ apps I have on my iPhone, I found less than half of them or their counterparts on the BlackBerry World app portal. The app selection is still growing, since there is still some developers committed to making apps for BlackBerry 10. But for its core features like e-mails and messaging, the BlackBerry Z3 nails it. I used it for a couple of days as my primary smartphone, and I somehow felt more comfortable typing on the keypad – even if its touch. A new update to the BlackBerry 10 software now lets you sideload Android apps to the smartphone so there’s that small workaround to make all your favorite apps available on the platform. I’ve installed Instagram and I was using it for weeks without any problems.

It’s great with phone calls too since well, that’s the main purpose for a smartphone right? Voices are clear and crisp while the speakerphone was also loud enough without sounding distorted.

With a 2500 mAh battery, the BlackBerry Z3 has a rated 384 hour standby time and a 15 hour talk time. In real world tests, the smartphone lasted for about a day and a half of normal usage, which is already good considering other smartphones barely even have enough juice to last a day.

Conclusion

The BlackBerry Z3 costs only 899 AED, a pretty decent price considering the large and solid build quality of the smartphone. It has flaws for sure, like the screen and the lack of 4G LTE, but for users looking for a full touch Blackberry 10 device, the Blackberry 10 is highly recommended.

by Victor Philip Ortiz
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff. Has passion for all things tech - you’ll normally find him tinkering with the latest gadgets and computer peripherals. He is an avid collector of Blu-ray discs and occasionally plays campaigns on his Xbox.
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