BlackBerry Z3 Unboxing, Hands on Review and Overview

BlackBerry Z3 is a BB10 OS running BlackBerry Smartphone which is meant to appease BlackBerry loyalists looking for something light on their pocket and perhaps attract first time buyers to BlackBerry ecosystem. The phone has been built by Foxconn, which is also known for manufacturing iPhones, and indeed the build quality is a major highlight of this device. Will this be the phone which will help BlackBerry rise from the ashes? Let’s find out.

IMG_8885

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, Quick Review, Camera, Features, Software and Overview [Video]

Design, Build and Display

BlackBerry Z3 is a solid and sturdy uni-body handset. The rear cover isn’t removable and your SIM card and MicroSD card can be housed on the right edge. All hardware buttons are placed on the left edge. The volume rocker has a mute key as well which we like. The power button placement on the top left edge takes some getting used to because of its position, but this won’t be a problem after couple of days of usage. Audio jack is present at the top.

IMG_8893

Front is mostly glass with adequate bezels and the rear cover gives a nice grip, thanks to the spiky texture. Overall the phone has a simple yet sturdy design which seems very durable.

IMG_8892

The display is 5 inches in size with good viewing angles, brightness and colors. The display isn’t exactly dazzling with qHD resolution, but the lack of pixels isn’t that apparent. Sunlight visibility isn’t the best that we have seen, but brightness is sufficient for most situations. The touch is quite responsive but you will have to set the brightness manually

Processor and RAM

IMG_8887

Blackberry Z3 with BB10 sails smoothly on 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8320 Dual core chipset. The RAM capacity is decent 1.5 GB which proved adequate as OS allows you to switch only between 4 recent apps at one time. UI transitions were smooth in our time with the device. We tried several android Apps and some of them didn’t work as efficiently, while others ran very smoothly. High end games will also work smoothly, but this device hasn’t been designed for high end Android gaming.

Camera and Internal Storage

The rear 5 MP camera works well in good lighting. Picture quality suffers while zooming in or in low light condition, but you can rate it as a very decent 5 MP rear camera. The images are good enough to be shared on social network. The camera app is very simple without many toggles and camera software works efficiently. Front 1.1 MP shooter is an average performer.

IMG_8888

The internal storage is 8 GB and you can add another 32 GB of MicroSD storage for storing Media files and Apps. Aggressive Android gaming enthusiast might find this inadequate, but the storage is good enough to offer good BlackBerry experience.

User Interface and Battery

If you are coming from an Android background, you might take some time getting used to the interface. You might miss app shortcuts and widgets and perhaps it will take some time getting used to UI Navigation and lack of home button. On the other hand, if you are a BlackBerry loyalist, you will enjoy cruising through BlackBerry Hub, fast web browser, texting with a good keyboard which also supports Hinglish dictionary- all with screen gestures, which work well.

IMG_8890

You cannot access your phone content by simply plugging it into your computer, but you can do so by using BlackBerry Desktop software. You can also sideload Android App APK files or install a third party app stores. Normal cellular data plans will work with this device and you won’t have to go for expensive BIS plans.

Battery capacity is very good. Since BlackBerry users are aggressive communicators, this part has been well taken care of. Even with 3G and push notifications on, we could get more than one day or at least one day usage most of the times.

Sound, Video Playback and Connectivity

IMG_8883

The loudspeaker works very well while attending calls and the loudness while playing music is above average. The earphones that come with the package are also quite decent. You can play HD and Full HD files without any issues. GPS locking also took no time.

BlackBerry Z3 Photo Gallery

IMG_8880IMG_8881IMG_8882IMG_8884IMG_8886IMG_8889IMG_8891IMG_8894IMG_8895IMG_8896

Conclusion

BlackBerry Z3 is slightly expensive at 15,000 INR if you compare it with Android options, but it’s not meant to compete with Androids. The phone is an answer to what BlackBerry loyalist have been demanding for some time now – a budget friendly BlackBerry BB10 device which doesn’t compromise on “BlackBerry Experience” and BlackBerry Z3 delivers on that count. Android user might not be wholly satisfied because of more glittering hardware available in the same price range, but BlackBerry Z3 has enough perks to carve a niche for itself.