BlackBerry Z30: Head turner priced at Rs 39,990

Written by Abhishek Puri | Updated: Oct 31 2013, 17:38pm hrs
BlackBerry Z30BlackBerry Z30: Sheer elegance cannot be reliably captured in words.
The BlackBerry empire strikes back and how! Sporting an all glass super AMOLED 5 inch 295 ppi massive screen with beveled edges punctuated by a silver frame and a true definitive sound experience, BlackBerry Z30 redefines the pinnacle of touch screen interfaces mated to an industrial real-time operating system getting a significant bump in the process of its execution. This is the largest screen size ever from BlackBerry powered by a 1.7 GHz Dual Core Snapdragon with 2800 maH battery and usual plethora of connectivity options getting upgraded to Miracast. BlackBerry Z30 ergonomic back is proprietary glass weave technology which nestles the camera lens and flash, HDMI on one side and the all metal volume rocker on the other side. The hardware is nothing short of a stellar build quality.

The definitive BlackBerry experience is to handle to phone; its sheer elegance cannot be reliably captured in words. The update to 10.2 introduces never before seen features in any other rival platform. It introduces Priority Hub to filter out important messages once you spend time training its algorithm; an attachment view that allows you to drill down to the important document without firing its universal search. Adaptive sharing monitors your most frequent contact and destination that automatically bubbles up making it easier to share. Previews on the locked BlackBerry Z30 screen, reply through notifications and an elegant interface to Calendar are other noticeable highlights. I will be late is a nifty feature on the calendar that allows you to email the participants if you are running late for a meeting without going through the hassle of informing them individually.

This author strongly feels that BlackBerry has nailed the keyboard on the touch screen. BlackBerry Q10 achieved the pinnacle of physical keyboard; its a different animal on Z30. It gets so intuitive with repeated use that this author barely types 20-30% of the time making it extremely efficient to flick through the suggested words. A long press summons the correction bubble making it easier to copy and paste through inline icons. From the earliest impressions on Z10, there is a huge swathe of improvement with a new audio feedback as you swipe up the words.

Evernote gets a stand alone application and a useful addition for those who need it. Miracast and Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA allow you to transfer, sync, mirror files and content to other devices like a HD TV. USB Host allows you to browse through the file structures on your pen drive and a broad range of connectivity to external peripherals like keyboard and mouse. Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy is upgraded to include automotive integration. Camera gets upgraded to include more sharing options. Browser has been tweaked to get a new reader mode, a device monitor, multiple alarms and group SMS are the other noticeable features. Smart Tags featuring NFC gets a qualitative update.

The performance of this device is poetry in motion, smooth and fluid. The Paratek antenna uses clever juggling to tune into best possible connectivity without impacting battery life. This eliminates the dead spots zones making it easier to stay connected. Battery life is claimed to be 25 hours on mixed usage; however, this author maxes it out in over 22 hours. This includes connectivity to Wi-Fi, BBM Video Calls with each session of around 20 minutes every day, regular phone calls, deluge of BBM with push emails and music on the go piped through superlative Bose headphones lasting for an hour on an average all the while constantly connected to a 4G network. Individual mileage is likely to vary.

For this author, the strongest USP is the iron wall secure real time OS. Finally, there is a provision for headless application support; which executes commands while running in the background. This is the strongest sign of the platform maturity. BlackBerry 10 has secured accelerated approvals from several governmental institutions including the department of defense in US approving it for restricted usage where the security requirements are extremely stringent. This platform, with Balance, is perfectly mated to BES 10 that has seen several test installs and migrations in the past few months.

Z30 is uniquely positioned to double up as a powerful mobile computing device solely because of real time OS, extensive suite of office documents with compatibility to standards, a blazing fast web browser and plethora of connectivity options through Miracast and Wi-Fi Direct. Drill down further to connect through ultra-secure VPN your shiny laptop becomes redundant. Enterprises please take note in this era of cost cutting. As the application platform rapidly evolves (its just been a few months for BlackBerry 10 release!), you are likely to appreciate its utility. Z30 is a giant leap in redefining the contours of mobile landscape in terms of elegance, utility, connectivity, gestural interface and last but not the least, security.

Estimated street price: Rs 39,990

BlackBerry Z30: Specifications

*Dimensions: 5.53 x 2.83 x 0.37 inches

*Display: 5 inch diagonal Super AMOLED

*Screen resolution: 1280 x 720 resolution, at 295 ppi

*Processor: Dual Core 1.7 GHz, Quad Core Graphics

*Operating system: BlackBerry 10

*Memory: 2 GB RAM, 16 GB Flash

*Camera: 8 MP rear, 2 MP front

The writer is a practicing doctor with keen interest in technology