BlackBerry Z30 Review

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Exquisite. That is undeniably the best word to describe the BlackBerry Z30. It’s been my daily phone since I bought it.

The BlackBerry Z30, the last of the first generation BlackBerry OS 10 devices, is a sad device. It’s just fantastic but was released at a time when everyone was expecting BlackBerry the company to circle the drain and disappear completely. It was Thorsten Heins’ last device.  A year after it’s release, the Z30 is still an outstanding device, BlackBerry appears to have turned the corner and is well on it’s way to reinventing itself, and the Z30 remains the company’s top keyboard-free model.  It will no doubt be phased out soon with the newer Passport and Classic, but it’s a shame, because it’s a great device that never really got a fair chance in the market.

This is the fourth BlackBerry 10 device I’ve owned. Yes, all of them up to the Z3. Here’s the thing: any one of them are better than the best Android device I’ve used. Not only is the software outstanding, the hardware is too. However, with respect to hardware, the Z30 is absolutely tops.

I’ve spent the most time with the Z10 and Q10. I loved using the Z10 but opted to move to the Q10 for a few reasons: the speaker, the FM radio, and the AMOLED screen. I’ve always thought that I was about as fast typing with the Z10 as I was with the Q10, but the Q10 is much better for one-handed use, and I enjoy typing on physical keys. Plus the battery life non the Q10 was much better than the Z10. Enter the Z30. It has an even better battery than the Q10, a 5″ AMOLED screen, and an amazing speaker. In fact, the Z30 is simply a refined and improved version of the Z10. It’s like the difference between the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.


BlackBerry 10 really comes to life on the Z30. Miracast works well, and the bigger screen makes typing, browsing, reading books, and playing games that much more enjoyable. The Q10 convinced me of the merits of an AMOLED display, the Z30 confirms this. I think I will always stick to AMOLED on phones now. The only things that I would look forward to on the replacement model would be wireless charging on all variants, and an improved camera. The Z30 uses the same 8MP camera found in the Z10 and Q10. It isn’t bad, but it certainly isn’t great, which makes it stick out like a sore thumb on this otherwise perfectly engineered device.

The Z30 is the nicest phone I’ve ever held. It feels just great in the hand. It’s like the perfect knife. It’s perfectly balanced, has outstanding battery life, a fantastic screen, good weight, the best speaker on any portable device I’ve used, and makes pretty much all of the right compromises.


There are times when the Z30 seems a bit big.  5″ is quite a jump after using the Q10 for so long. It’s also significantly larger than the Z10. However, it’s just on the inside of too big for me. I’ve adjusted and wouldn’t go back to something the size of the Z10. (Maybe a 4.5″ screen, though.  My dream of the Nokia 1020 running BlackBerry 10 once again pops into my head at this point.)

I am incredibly spoiled by the BlackBerry Z30. Barring a replacement model with a significantly better camera, I am certain that I will own it until it breaks, which given the quality of the device, ought to be quite a while.

I’ve never been this impressed with a phone before. BlackBerry knocked it out of the park with the Z30. In my opinion, this is the best phone for sale as of the end of 2014.

GoSaBe Blog - Dec 31, 2014 | BlackBerry, Hardware