BlackBerry Z3 Hands on, Initial Review, Photos and Video

BlackBerry has today announced the new BlackBerry Z3 in Indian market with an MRP of 15,990. This isn’t as cheap as was rumored earlier, but it’s debatable if the price tag is preposterous considering the specifications it offers . We got to spend some time with the device at the launch event in New Delhi, India today. Let’s discuss.

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BlackBerry Z3 Quick Specs

  • Display Size: 5 Inch qHD IPS LCD, 960 x 540 resolution, 220 PPI
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz dual Core Snapdragon 400 MSM8230 processor with Adreno 305 GPU
  • RAM: 1.5 GB
  • Software Version: BB10.2.1
  • Camera: 5 MP camera, Capable of 1080P Full HD video recording
  • Secondary Camera: 1.1 MP, Capable of 720P HD Video recording
  • Internal Storage:  8 GB
  • External Storage: MicroSD support up to 32 GB
  • Battery: 2500 mAh
  • Connectivity:  HSPA+, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, aGPS,  Micro USB 2.0

BlackBerry Z3 Hands on Video Review

Coming Soon

Design, Form Factor and Display

The BlackBerry Z3 is quite solidly built. The phone feels quite sturdy and slightly heavy in hand. Slightly curved rear side has rubberized matte finish with a nice texture and BlackBerry Insignia in the middle. The microUSB slot is present at the bottom and not at the sides. Volume rocker and other hard keys are present on the left edge. 3.5 MM Audio jack is present at the front.

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The back cover is not removable and thus SIM card and MicroUSB card slots are housed on the right edge. The material is plastic, but it’s very good quality plastic.

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The display is 5 inches in size with good viewing angles, but it does lack that extra crispness due to lower qHD resolution. If you are a first time user, you won’t notice the difference. Display brightness is also subpar. Overall the display isn’t very exciting, but its 5 inches in size.

Processor and RAM

The processor used is Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8230 Dual core with 2 Cortex A7 based Krait 200 cores. The chipset is slightly dated and is expected to be an average performer in the long run. It is aided with Adreno 305 GPU and 1.5 GB RAM for efficient multitasking.

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The Dual core chipset at a price range where octa cores and Quad cores are abundant will give it a marketing disadvantage, but considering the BB10 operating system, the difference in performance won’t be vastly different. We will save our judgment till after the full review.

Camera and Internal Storage

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The primary camera has a 5 MP sensor and it’s capable of recording full HD videos. It is definitely amongst the best 5 MP shooters that we have seen. The camera was rich in terms of details and colors. The front camera with 1.1 MP sensor can also record 720p HD videos and thus, will suffice for high definition video calling.

Internal storage is 8 GB and is further extendable to 32 GB using MicroSD card slot, the storage will suffice for most people.

User Interface and Battery

It is perhaps the first BB10 based smartphone which has been launched below 20K. The OS can support android apps as well. Android users will need some getting used to on the interface as it represents a different approach. BlackBerry has also replaced MapMyIndia maps with Wonobo powered BlackBerry Maps in this phone for the first time.

The Battery capacity is 2500 mAh which is certainly above average. BlackBerry promises a 15 plus hours of talk time which also sounds like decent backup.

BlackBerry Z3 Photo Gallery

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Conclusion

A slightly lower price tag would have helped Z3 gain some firm ground in India. But since the launch price is MRP, we can expect the price to fall in the next few weeks. The BlackBerry Z3 combines good hardware to provide a good user experience at reasonable price, but it doesn’t pose a glittering spec sheet like most other Android rivals, which put it at a marketing disadvantage.