If you were paying attention to the late summer leaks, then the BlackBerry above won't strike you as a surprise. That's because it's the newly announced BlackBerry Z30, the official successor to the all-touch Z10, and it matches up quite closely to what we've already seen. The Z30 is the company's first smartphone to ship with version 10.2 of the BB 10 OS and arrives with a larger 5-inch, 1,280 x 720 Super AMOLED display. The device's pixel density of 295ppi may pale in comparison to the more diminutive Z10's 356ppi, but its internals are a different matter.
The Z30 takes a modest spec step up with a dual-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro (paired with 2GB RAM) and Adreno 320 GPU, which should put it somewhat on par with the Nexus 4 and Moto X (sans the X8). There's also a beefier 2,880mAh battery inside, which the company claims is a first for its product line and, this time around, it's integrated (read: non-removable). In terms of dimensions, the Z30 comes in with nearly the same silhouette as its predecessor (9.4mm vs 9.3mm), but is substantially taller and wider at 140.7mm x 72mm owing to that 5-inch display. Internal storage remains at 16GB, but users will have the option of augmenting that via microSD. And, as for radios, the Z30 will support 4G LTE (exact bands haven't been specified), dual-band WiFi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC. The Z30's camera setup appears mostly similar to the Z10's, with a 2-megapixel front facer capable of 720p video and an 8-megapixel rear module with an f2.2 lens that captures video in 1080p.
BlackBerry's made some other subtle, yet notable tweaks to the Z30, all of which should make it a more solid buy for its target enterprise user. The company's built this device with a better antenna, allowing for improved reception in low signal areas and faster data, as well as what it calls Natural Sound: audio enhancement for BBM voice and video chats. On the software front, version 10.2 ushers in the BB Priority Hub, a feature similar to Gmail's Priority Inbox, except BlackBerry's implementation indexes your emails, texts and BBMs, along with your social networking communications. But what's likely to be the most useful BB10 enhancement for BlackBerry users is 10.2's ability to preview messages throughout the UI and on the lockscreen. And this being BlackBerry, BBM messages can even be directly replied to from whatever app a user is in. Take note, BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 users won't be left out of 10.2 either, as that update should arrive in mid-October pending carrier approvals.
Unfortunately, we don't have any pricing or exact release information for the Z30, since BlackBerry's leaving those announcements up to its carrier partners. But from the looks of its launch schedule, it's clear that the company's betting on its overseas market share, with the Z30 set to hit the Middle East and UK, in black, sometime next week. A pre-holiday rollout is expected for the US and other regions. In the meantime, check out the video below for a closer look at BlackBerry's next best BB 10 thing.
September 18, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BlackBerry Introduces the New BlackBerry Z30 Smartphone with 5" Display and BlackBerry 10.2 OS
Biggest, Fastest, Most Advanced BlackBerry Smartphone Lets You Take on Any Task and Always Be in Control
Waterloo, ON – BlackBerry® (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB) today introduced the new BlackBerry® Z30 smartphone, BlackBerry's biggest, fastest and most advanced smartphone. Featuring BlackBerry® 10 OS version 10.2, the new all-touch BlackBerry Z30 smartphone comes with a beautiful 5" display and the largest battery yet on a BlackBerry smartphone. It is designed to keep you hyper connected, productive and always in control, and lets you share like you're there and collaborate with ease.
"The new BlackBerry Z30 smartphone builds on the solid foundation and engaging user experience of the BlackBerry 10 platform with features like the powerful BlackBerry Hub, its exceptional touchscreen keyboard and industry leading browser," said Carlo Chiarello, Executive Vice President for Products at BlackBerry. "The smartphone rounds out the BlackBerry 10 portfolio and is designed for people looking for a smartphone that excels at communications, messaging and productivity. Having apps like the full Documents To Go suite that comes preinstalled, together with its 5" touch display, the BlackBerry Z30 smartphone gives you a best in class productivity experience on the go."
The new BlackBerry Z30 smartphone comes with BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2, which includes hundreds of refinements plus many new features that help you be more productive. Among key features are:
• BlackBerry® Priority Hub – BlackBerry® Hub is the one place to manage all your conversations and notifications. The new BlackBerry Priority Hub can now learn what conversations and what people are important to you making it fast and easy to find the messages and information you need. It collects priority messages across your email, social networking and other accounts and gives you instant access to the conversations most important to you to help you stay organized and focused on the most important tasks.
• BBM™ Now in Any App and Message Previews Everywhere – BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2 continues to refine the unique communications experience of the platform. You can now get a preview of any message as it arrives in whatever app you're using, and immediately dismiss it or tap it to read the full content and respond. If a BBM message arrives, you can instantly reply to the message without even leaving the app you're in. In addition, if your phone is locked, you can tap the various icons on the Lock Screen to see an instant preview of your most recent messages and notifications.
• 5" Super AMOLED Display – The BlackBerry Z30 smartphone features the latest in display technology with a 5" Super AMOLED display that makes whatever you're running larger, clearer and more vivid. The smartphone also houses many top of the line components, including a 1.7 GHz processor with quadcore graphics that makes browsing web pages faster and games more detailed.
• Stereo Audio and BlackBerry® Natural Sound– The BlackBerry Z30 smartphone comes with stereo speakers that immerse you in your music, videos, apps and games, and makes conversations sound like you're face-to-face. BlackBerry Natural Sound is new technology exclusive to BlackBerry and part of BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2 that makes BBM Voice and BBM Video chats sound more natural and realistic. BlackBerry Natural Sound lets you hear nuances and variations in tone, making conversations sound like you're in the same room.
• New Antenna Technology – The BlackBerry Z30 smartphone features BlackBerry's new generation antenna technology that dynamically tunes reception to give you better connectivity in low signal areas. BlackBerry® Paratek Antenna can give you faster data transfers and fewer dropped calls in low signal areas, keeping you connected in more places.
• Longer Battery Life – The BlackBerry Z30 smartphone includes a 2880 mAh battery, the largest battery ever built into a BlackBerry smartphone. Combined with the battery enhancements in BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2, you can get up to 25 hours of mixed use* to keep you moving from dawn 'til dawn.
The BlackBerry Z30 smartphone will roll out from select carriers and retailers around the world beginning next week in the UK and Middle East, and all other regions going into the holiday season. Specific pricing and availability will be announced by partners at the time of their respective launches. A variety of accessories including cases and chargers will also be available.
Subject to carrier approvals, BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2 is expected to be available for the BlackBerry® Z10, BlackBerry® Q10 and BlackBerry® Q5 smartphones beginning mid-October.
For more information about the BlackBerry Z30 smartphone, please visit www.blackberry.com/blackberryz30. To view a video of the new smartphone, visithttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQVKISYQ31s and for "How To" videos, visit http://demos.blackberry.com/blackberry-z30/na/ca/gen/index.html.
* Based on mixed usage scenario. Many factors affect battery life, including network connectivity, application usage, feature configuration and battery age. Actual results may vary.