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Review: BlackBerry Z3

BlackBerry 10 is transforming from what it currently has right now. Gone are the clunky menus and frustrating interface, with a slick UI and modern operating system in tow. Although the Z10 and Q10 were well-received critically, the sales numbers just didn’t roll in could it be due to the price of these handsets? The company then went the budget route with BB10, launching the keypad-toting BlackBerry Q5 last year. But it too failed to set the sales chart alight.

So then, we now have BlackBerry’s latest roll of the dice, as it ditches the old keypad in favour of an all-touch budget smartphone, the Z3. A mostly premium device If there’s one thing to say about the Z3, is that it really feels like a premium hardware primarily due to the patterned matte back. The phone may be made out of plastic, but a relatively clean front and a reassuring weight makes for a smartphone that looks and feels good. The left side of the phone features the aforementioned power button, volume rocker and play/pause key. A pleasant and inoffensive design, featuring a microUSB port at the bottom, SIM and microSD tray on the right and earphone jack on the top. All your bells and whistles are accounted for here.

The Z3’s rear cover isn’t removable unfortunately, so those wanting to pack a spare battery are out of luck. New features include detailed lockscreen notifications, customisable quick settings in the dropdown menu, the unusual yet neat ability to set screen warmth, a device monitor (for battery, CPU, storage and RAM management), a long-overdue torch utility and a picture password option. With the upcoming 10.3 update bringing Amazon Appstore support soon, the platform looks set to have solved its app ahort ecosystem. If you don’t use many apps or you’re a first time smartphone user, BlackBerry 10 is an ideal platform. And even if you are an app fiend, the ability to install Android apps (and upcoming Amazon support) means your favourite apps can still be had.

The BlackBerry Z3 experience For R3000, the BlackBerry Z3 is good value for money, even with some stiff competition from the likes of HiSense, Nokia and Huawei. The Z3 is no slouch, offering a Snapdragon 400 processor and 1.5GBs of RAM – so games and apps perform well. It’s 5-inch screen and five megapixel camera, which performs well during daytime conditions and outdoors making the Z3 capable of taking great shots. As for endurance, the Z3’s 2600mAh battery is beefy enough to get you through a day of messaging and music just fine. In fact, you can squeeze two days out of the device with very light usage.

Buy? All in all, the BlackBerry Z3 is an admirable phone from the Canadian giant and not hard to recommend over similarly priced rivals. BlackBerry 10 has received and will receive loads of support, while the pleasantly designed hardware means that the Z3 certainly doesn’t feel cheap. With phones like the Moto G, LG G2 Mini and HiSense Pure 1 around, it’s even tougher to make a choice but value for money and being a dedicated blackberry fan with a need for security and enterprise mobility it’s hands down a winner in our hands.

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