Earlier BlackBerry launched the company’s latest smartphone Z3 in an event in New Delhi at an initial price tag of INR 15,990. At the launch event I spent sometime with the device and based on that spent time I’m sharing my first impressions of the device.
At a first glance, the phone looks pretty good & well-built. Once you hold the phone into your hands, you see the plastic has a premium look and there is a textured-dot pattern on the back panel. It’s design it quite ergonomic and feels slightly heavy in the hand. Thanks to the slight curve on the back of the device, it is comfortable in holding in hands. There is no doubt that BlackBerry has crafted a handsome phone at such a price range and somehow it looks quite similar to the BlackBerry Z10, that was announced back in January.
On the front, BlackBerry Z3 sports a 5-inch qHD display at a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels, resolution is low but it has good viewing angles and colour representation while watching videos was fairly good.
On the back, there’s a 5MP rear camera, dotted texture and at the centre there is usual 7-dot BlackBerry branding with chrome finish.
On the right edge, there are pair of slots for the micro-SIM and the micro-SD card for memory expansion, both covered by a single plastic tab.
On the left edge, there is a power key along with two separate volume keys with a voice command button placed in the middle.
The top edge has the headphones jack.
The bottom edge has the micro-USB slot.
When compared with other devices in the Z series, the BlackBerry Z3 lacks a micro-HDMI and there were no lags even while running four-five apps in the background. The on-board speaker was good for group calls and touts its keyboard which can enable ‘hinglish’ typing at a great pace.
Internally, it has 8GB in-built memory on paper out of which only 4GB available to users. The internal memory can be expanded further up to 32GB via microSD card. It is powered by 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor which is coupled with Aderno 305 GPU. It has 1.5GB RAM.
At the press conference, Sunil Lalvani didn’t talk much about the camera. On paper, there is a 5-megapixel rear-camera with LED flash and 1.1-megapixel front-facing. In short span of time I couldn’t get the time to test the quality of the camera.
The BlackBerry Z3 runs on BB OS 10.2.1 and it has the same swipe-driven interface as I’ve seen earlier on other devices. A fixed dock provides access to the phone, camera and universal search sits at the bottom. The app icons appear as a horizontally-scrolling list and you can place them into custom folder. A drop-down settings pane gives you access to connectivity toggles and other options, and this can be customized as per your liking. The BlackBerry Hub sits on the leftmost side, accessible by swiping or using the ‘peek gesture by swiping and then right from any screen. To unlock the handset just swipe it upwards from the bottom straight from standby or you can press the power key. The camera can also be launched straight from here too.
Running apps can be minimized into small windows dubbed Active Frames, each capable of displaying additional info and if you want to jump to another app, just tap on its Active Frame or choose to kill it by tapping on a ‘X’ at its bottom. At a time, only four Active Frames open at a time. It offers standard features like TimeShift & Story Maker and BlackBerry Map app offers 2D maps for India & voice guides 3D navigation.
It packs 2,500mAh non-removable battery which is quite big according to the company claims.
Although it may compete with Nokia Lumia 630, the Motorola Moto G but at such a price tag, it is expensive and there is no dual SIM functionality. Now, it’s on you, whether you spend your hard-earned money on BlackBerry Z3? Share your views via comments.