BlackBerry enters large screen war with new Z30

BlackBerry Ltd. today officially introduced the Z30 smart phone – the company’s latest smart phone and one with the largest touchscreen that the Canadian phone maker has ever released.

Built around a five-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels, the Z30 runs on the latest version of the BlackBerry 10 operating system, the BlackBerry 10.2. The new phone is also equipped with a 2,800mAh battery, the largest BlackBerry ever installed on a phone and the company claims the Z30 can operate for up to 25 hours of mixed use.

The BlackBerry Z30
The BlackBerry Z30

Many smart phone makers have come up with handsets that feature large displays. The Z30 puts BlackBerry at par with Samsung Electronic’s new Galaxy S4 which also sports a five-inch display.

“The smart phone rounds out the BlackBerry 10 portfolio and is designed for people looking for a smart phone that excels at communications, messaging and productivity,” said Carlo Chiarello, executive vice-president for products at BlackBerry, in a statement today.

Curiously, the phone was introduced by BlackBerry with the conspicuous lack of fanfare which accompanied the release of its other new handsets, the Z10, Q10 and Q5.

At least one industry analyst said the subdued introduction was meant to “reflect” the device’s target market.

“The new device is targeted at power users who are on the go and need to get work done,” said Krista Napier, senior analyst for the mobile space for analyst firm IDC Canada. “t’s a specific target audience focused on key markets where they feel they have opportunity, and as such I think their go to market approach will also reflect that. ”

The Z30 i measures 140.7x72x9.4mm. It is powered by a dual-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset and has 2GB of RAM. The device supports LTE and dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, near field communication and Bluetooth.

The new phone is equipped with an 8MP camera with an F/2.2 lens that is capable of video recording. The Z30 has a 2MP front-facing camera also record 720p videos.

While BlackBerry has not yet released any price for its new phone, The Z30 appears to be positioned as a high-end device, said Napier.

“The device could be appealing to BB users and businesses looking to upgrade their older phones and have not yet done so,” she said. “In Canada there are still many businesses using BlackBerry phones.”

Chiarello said the Z30 also features BlackBerry’s Priority Hub, which enables users to organize their messages.

The Priority HUB manages conversations and notifications by “learning” which conversations and what people are important to the user. It collects priority messages across email, social networking and other accounts and gives the user instant access to the most important conversations.

The BB 10.2 OS also allows users to get a preview of any message as it arrives in whatever app is being used. This gives the user the option of immediately dismissing the message or reading the full content.

The Z30 also uses a new antenna that dynamically tunes reception to provide better connectivity in low signal areas.


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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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