BlackBerry Z30: Can this big screen, big battery smartphone turn around BlackBerry's fortunes?

BlackBerry Z30: Can this big screen, big battery smartphone turn around BlackBerry's fortunes?

Summary: New handset rounds out BlackBerry 10 portfolio, but will it ignite any enthusiasm for BlackBerry's ecosystem?

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  • BlackBerry has unveiled its latest touchscreen smartphone, the BlackBerry Z30.

    The device is the first to run the 10.2 version of its BlackBerry 10 operating system, features a five-inch display and the "largest battery yet" on a BlackBerry smartphone, according to the company.

    The Z30 is the fourth of BlackBerry's BlackBerry 10 devices, following the Z10, Q10 and Q5, and rounds out the BlackBerry 10 portfolio, the company said.

    With apps such as the Documents To Go suite preinstalled, the device is aimed mostly at BlackBerry's core enterprise audience.

    Its BlackBerry 10.2 OS includes a number of features new to the operating system, including the BlackBerry Priority Hub, which aggregates priority messages across email, social networking and other accounts to give users faster access to important conversations.

    All images: BlackBerry

  • Users can also get a preview of any message as it arrives in whatever app their using. For example, if a BBM message arrives, users can reply without leaving the app they had open at the time. Users can also see previews of recent messages and notifications without unlocking their phone.

    As well as a five-inch Super AMOLED display, the Z30 also includes a 1.7GHz quad-core processor, and what the company calls its 'Natural Sound' technology to make BBM voice and video chats sound more true to in-person conversations.

    BlackBerry said its new antenna technology dynamically tunes reception to give the handset better connectivity in low signal areas, while the 2880 mAh battery means it will last for 25 hours of mixed use.

  • The company said the Z30 will be available in the UK and Middle East from next week, although pricing is yet to be released. Seperately, version 10.2 of the BlackBerry OS is expected to be available for the BlackBerry's Z10, Q10 and Q5 smartphones in mid-October.

    The launch of the Z30 comes at a difficult time for BlackBerry. It was for a long time the undisputed leader in enterprise smartphones, and enjoyed considerable success for a time in the consumer space too. But since those glory days it has faded dramatically: across five of Europe's biggest markets — Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, and Germany – BlackBerry now has a mere 2.2 percent market share, while its new BlackBerry 10-based handsets so far haven't been the breakthrough hits the company had hoped.

    Recently the company revealed its had formed a special committee to explore options for the business which could include joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, or a sale.

    Further reading

Topics: Mobility, BlackBerry, Smartphones

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20 comments
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  • No

    The Blackberry Z30 is too big, way too late.

    Blackberry will either broken up (with the possibility that a much smaller, services-focused company called "Blackberry" that does not manufacture smartphones still existing after the breakup), or it will be taken private and be significantly downsized and/or slowly fade away, if it cannot find a partial or full buyer.
    CHIP72
    • Rubbish...

      and how big is the Samsung Galaxy S4?

      Blackberry deserves to survive, BB10 is great and a true multi-tasking OS.

      The board needs kicking out and replaced with people who have drive and vision. If they did that I believe BB would come back as a major player.

      Just remember Apple nearly when bust until Jobs came back.
      pjc158
      • And just WHO is going to come back to BB & rescue them?

        Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin?

        They are the ones COMPLETELY responsible for the mess BB is in right now. And old Thorsten hasn't been too much help either.

        Being the owner of a PlayBook...and all the BS that went on with the year after year promises of BB10 for it...and then to have it pulled at the very last second...has not endeared BB to a whole lot of folks like me.

        As far as this "new" phone is concerned...like the rest of their current offerings...it's about two years behind everyone else...and too late.
        IT_Fella
        • hi

          need a general review on tecno's phones
          halikari
        • Give it a rest

          Can we stop with the Playbook whining? Owning two of them myself - I still find it a useful and capable smaller tablet. But don't think any 1st generation tablet owner is getting better support - iPad 1 - dumped from OS updates, Surface RT - dumped and being sold at a loss, it will likely NOT see the update coming, the same for various Android tablets that will never see Jelly Bean. OS updates are not some written in blood agreement on when / if they will be released.

          Please let us know which phone 2 years ago had these specs?
          MobileAdmin
        • They have a buyer.

          Fairfax Holdings:
          http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=3269891
          Jacob VanWagoner
      • BB needs to survive!

        In the western US where there is a small market share and mountains, BB is the only reliable phone about! Way better than any others. Security and durability still cant be beat
        hoiman
        • Get Nokia while you can

          Lumia 920 has the best voice quality and connection is superb. It is hard even to compare to all the previous phones that I had. When every other phone loses connection nokia still works.

          Now nokia owes me $10 for this comment :))
          paul2011
      • Not to big. Maybe on the late side

        Dimension wise its fairly close to the Samsung/Android flagship S4 and it has been sold in millions of units, and a lot less then the Galaxy Note that still sold pretty well.

        Z30 140.7mm x 72,0mm x 9.4 mm / S4 136,6mm x 69,8mm x 7,9 mm / Note 146,85 x 82,95 x 9,65 mm

        Dimensions are not a true argument here. For many reasons somes prefer larger screen/phone, some prefer smaler Pocket size one.
        Z10 and Z30 are oriented to different peoples.

        To late ...well we can't comment on that, has all the new BlackBerry OS 10 should have been brought up to the market at least 1-2 years ago. And if that has been the case, Android and iPhone dominance on the market would have totally different story (if there was one).
        Dstlouis
    • BlackBerry already has a buyer.

      Fairfax holdings.
      http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=3269891
      Jacob VanWagoner
    • Too big?

      Everyone except Apple is doing 5" now. Wake up.
      kooool1
  • At this stage a Hail Mary will be required

    Give it away for free. Nah, that won't work either. Shows how getting off track and stuck in nomans land can do irreparable harm. They might have been better off if they had made some incremental moves to preserve their position rather than going into hiding while working on the "big leap" solution. The world passed them by while they were making plans.
    greywolf7
  • Too Little, Too Late....

    Blackberry along with the Windows Phone is an also ran.
    5735guy
    • There is a difference

      Yes, both have low marketshare but Blackberry is going down and Windows phone is going up. At this time I do not see how Blackberry could survive in its current form.
      paul2011
      • Wrong

        BlackBerry is flat, iOS is trending down in percentage.
        Jacob VanWagoner
  • 10.2 Is a Giant Leap Forward and Surpasses in Key Areas

    I have been using a leaked version on the 10.2 OS on my Z10 and don't under estimate how big of a leap it is for the platform. Priority HUB, colour coded inbox accounts, Toast Notifications with reply capability (think Android and iOS notification bars but with ability to reply directly from the notification), lock screen notifications, a slew of new APIs for developers to unlock features, wifi-direct/miracast support, new BBM Channels, camera enhancements and new Major apps are on the way. Coupled with super fast operation and high reliability, the platform has really matured with 10.2. I encourage all to check out a 10.2 enabled device if you can get your hands on one. It's really slick. Bonus: It comes loaded with the Android 4.2 runtime (upgraded from 2.2) so it can run many Android apps. I run Netflix, Google Maps and others and they work great.
    Nutellapr
  • Nobody mentioned this absolute killer feature:

    Most smartphones and tablets have a toast notification that pops up when someone texts you, without pulling you out of your app. But if you want to respond, you have to step out of your app.

    BB 10.2 has a system that allows you to respond *in the toast notification* without pulling you out of your app. Killer feature.

    Another killer feature that BlackBerry phones have that no other phone does is the PIN block. If someone steals your phone, just call BB customer service and let them know, and they'll PIN block your phone. The phone is now bricked. Useless. They can't get around it by swapping the SIM card, or doing a hard reset or anything else. The phone is worth nothing if it is stolen. If and when thieves catch on to that fact, they'll skip stealing your phone if they see the BlackBerry logo on it.

    Your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy or HTC Hero? If it's stolen, you can track it down, but other than that there's nothing you can do about it. Your stolen phone is worth something to the thief.
    Jacob VanWagoner
  • Do you even need to ask??

    BB can survive as a specialized company that supplies to Government and Enterprise, as a consumer mobile company, it's dead...RIP
    RKim90
  • Nice phone

    I want.
    kooool1
  • New BB phone?

    Where is the slide-out keyboard - Torch style? That's what we need
    Robvdvelden