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BlackBerry Z3 Review

BlackBerry launched the Z3 in India last month for Rs 15,990. It is the 3rd full touch device from BlackBerry running on BB 10 OS. Company’s first BB 10 OS device BlackBerry Z10 device which was launched for Rs 43,490 is now available for Rs 17,990. Z3 has a bigger display and larger battery as compare to Z10. So is it worth buying? And will it help BlackBerry in increasing their market share? Read on to find out.

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Unboxing

Here is an unboxing video of the BlackBerry Z3 showing various items you get with the device in the Indian retail package.

Retail Box Contents:

  • BlackBerry Z3 (2500 mAh battery)
  • micro USB to USB cable
  • Charging Adapter
  • Earphone with mic
  • User manuals

Design & Build Quality

It seems that BlackBerry has mastered the art of making phones with good build quality & design. Currently the device is available in Black color and it measures 140 x 72.8 x 9.3 mm. The front of the device is dominated by a 5 inch IPS display which has a resolutoin of 960×540 pixels. The display is quite decent with good viewing angles.The device does not have an auto brightness option so you have to manually adjust the brightness levels when you move to outdoor environment.

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Above the display you have a 1.1 megapixel front facing camera, an earpiece, notification LED, proximity and ambient light sensor. The front camera can record 720p videos.

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Below the display you don’t have any buttons but there is a small bezel with BlackBerry branding on it.

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You can find the power/lock key on the left side of the device along with the volume rocker and a mute key which is placed between the volume rocker. Users can launch the voice control by long pressing the mute key. BlackBerry Z3 is 9.3mm thick.

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On the right side you have a micro SIM card and micro SD card slots protected by a plastic flap.

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The 3.5mm Audio jack is present at the top.

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There is a microphone hole and a micro USB port present at the bottom of the device.

IMG_1685You might have already guessed that phone comes with a non removable back cover since the micro SIM and micro SD card slots were present on the side of the device. The back of the device has a textured pattern which provides additional grip and makes it harder to scratch the back of the device.

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There is a 5 megapixel camera along with led flash, BlackBerry logo and a mono speaker grille on the back of the device. Overall, Z3 has good build quality & design. Some users might find it bit heavy as compare to other 5 inch devices available in the market.

Hardware & Performance

BlackBerry Z3 is powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8230) processor along with 1.5 GB of RAM. The phone comes with Adreno 305 GPU, 8GB internal storage and support for micro SD card of upto 32GB. We did not not face any lag or slowness while navigating the hub, active pane and app panel.

The device was able to run most of the apps and games with ease but we did face lag in some of the Android games that we tried running on this device. Unlike Z10 which supports 8 apps in the active pane Z3 only supports 4. Company might have reduced the active apps count to prevent phone from slowing down. Talking about the connectivity features it supports 3G HSPA+, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS.

Software

BlackBerry Z3 runs on BlackBerry 10.2.1 OS which  is currently the latest version of the BB 10 OS. This OS is completely based on swipe gestures and you won’t any kind of physical or onscreen touch buttons. The lock screen contains actionable notifications and you can directly launch the camera app from the lock screen.

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After unlocking you can see the home screen or the active pane where it shows your recently accessed apps. If you swipe from left to right you will bring up the BlackBerry hub which is a centralized place to check all your notifications.

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To exit any app all you need to do is a swipe up from the bezel below the display and swiping down from the top will open the set of shortcuts. BlackBerry 10 keyword is one of best keywords we have ever seen. It is a predictive keyword with support for both Hindi & Hinglish languages.

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One of major problems with BB 10 OS was the lack of apps but now you can also run the Android Apk directly on the device. So now you can install all the apps which are available for Android devices on your Z3 device.

Company will soon release the BB 10.3 update after which you will get the Amazon app store for your Z3 devices and can download Android apps directly from it. The overall Software experience on Z3 is quite decent. If you love chatting with your friends on a mobile device that Z3 will surely please you.

Camera

BlackBerry Z3 comes with a 5 megapixel Auto focus back camera with LED flash. The camera UI is simple and you can choose between camera, video or time shift mode using the button present at the top right corner of the interface. The camera supports Normal, Burst, Stabilization and HDR shooting modes along with different scene modes like Auto, Night, Snow etc.

IMG_1691Here are some sample images captured using the back camera of the device:

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The camera can also record full HD videos at 30fps. Overall the device is capable of capturing good day light images and macro shots. Images captured in the low light conditions were bit grainy.

Battery Life

Z3 is powered by a 2500 mAh non removable battery. The device has a rated talktime of around 15.5 hours which is quite impressive. With moderate usage the battery lasts for more than one day and for heavy users who love to send lot of emails and messages the battery should last the whole day before running out of juice completely.

Conclusion

BlackBerry Z3 is available in the market for Rs 15,990 which is bit overpriced as compare to Android devices with similar specifications. It has good build quality, display and comes with an impressive battery life. The device can also run majority of Android apps. Overall, it is a good device and people who love messaging can opt for this mid range smartphone.

Pros:

  • GooD build quality
  • Impressive Battery Life
  • Good Display

Cons:

  • Bit Pricey

Author: Akshay Aggarwal

Akshay is a Tech Enthusiast who loves to write about Technology and Gadgets. He is very passionate about blogging and has been blogging since 2009.

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