BlackBerry Z30: Impressive, but not quite dazzling

BlackBerry Z30: Impressive, but not quite dazzling

At first glance, the BlackBerry Z30 does look more impressive than its predecessor, the Z10. What you will come to love about the Z30, besides it having all the BB exclusive features of Z10, is an updated built quality.

The combination of the 5-inch glass-like Super AMOLED touchscreen and smooth rubbery back with metallic finish definitely gives it more prestige and a solid feel. It also means it's a bit heavier than many other smartphones in the price range.

Another thing that BlackBerry has delivered well with the Z30 is touch precision. The QWERTY keyboard is replicated on touch screen, with key input and texting accuracy spot on. The addition of the flip-up word correction also makes using auto correction a joy.

To top it off, the days of your BlackBerry running out of juice are over as one full charge gives an impressive 14 hours of average use - with data on the entire time and no additional battery charging in-between.

It's a near perfect package, until you start tinkering with it. Just as the Z30 starts to feel like a must-have mobile smartphone in its price range, reality kicks in when you realise it runs on BlackBerry 10 OS. This means it doesn't have as many apps as iOS and Android phones.

The Z30 doesn't offer much more than what the Z10 already has and nothing drastically unique than what other smartphones have. Depending on your preference, the lack of apps may be a shortcoming for the Z30.

Texting gets laggy over time regardless of how much is being keyed in, making it a real shame as it offsets the best touch precision experience around.

The Z30 has a lower screen resolution at 720 x 1280 pixels on a 5-inch screen compared to the Z10's 768 x 1280 pixels on its 4.2 inch screen. By current screen display standards of existing smart mobiles in the market, this isn't really impressive.

Skipping the start tutorial is also not advised as it is the only place for you to learn the essentials of directional sliding - the primary function to navigate around BB10 as it is the only way for you to learn how to back out of screens and apps.

Navigating through the menus also takes some getting used to. For the average user, even the settings menu can prove overwhelming.

The Z30 is a phone you'll want to hold, have and show. It looks sleek and does justice to the series, with the emphasis on texting, mail, fast-yet-basic 8MP camera at the back - 2MP at the front - and decent audio output, making it fully functional and self-sustaining.

But despite already delivering more of what we would have wanted to see from the Z10, the Z30 still feels too basic for its price. It makes one wonder what else BlackBerry can do to keep up with the increasingly competitive market.

Pros: Solid and stylish. It looks and feels really classy to have from its built down to the UI.

Cons: Average offerings for a phone of its price range. Texting experience suffers overtime with lag.

Our verdict: 4/5
Physical design: 4/5
Documentation: 5/5
User-friendliness: 5/5
Features: 4/5
Performance: 4/5
Value for money: 5/5

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