Other than a larger screen, one of the BlackBerry Z30’s main improvements is battery size. The BlackBerry Z10 had a 1800mAh battery , this has a 2,880mAh battery. This is large even by the standards of phones of the same size. The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 2600mAh unit.
As you’d hope, battery stamina is good. It easily sails through a full day’s use. Two full days is pushing it a bit, though, especially if you’re going to use the BlackBerry Z30 to make it shine – buzzing every 30 seconds with updates in the BlackBerry Hub. This phone may not be up-to-date in every respect, but it’s fantastic at keeping you up-to-date.
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The BlackBerry Z30 is one of just a few phones to offer stereo speakers. Unlike the HTC One (the most famous ‘stereo’ phone of recent times), though, the speaker outlets are on the back.
It’s capable of creating some pretty loud notifications noises, although we found it a little irritating that by default these aren’t be controlled by the physical volume buttons – you have to delve into the menu to fix this.
When playing music or video, the speakers are less impressive than we’d hoped. Clarity and mid-range body are fine, but there’s still zero bass and top volume isn’t as high was we expected given the stereo speaker array. BlackBerry could have helped out with the bass problem by implementing a digital signal processing mode (like HTC’s Beats mode), but as is the HTC One is still way ahead as a mini speaker.
Call quality is great, though. The earpiece speaker offers great treble and mid-range clarity, and there are four microphones on the phone, to provide BlackBerry’s boasted-about ‘NaturalSound’ experience. This gives you stereo sound recording, and more advanced noise cancelling that you’d get from a single additional mic. Is it overkill? Arguably, given how few people consider features like this when buying a phone. But it’s nice.
Should I buy the BlackBerry Z30?
The BlackBerry Z30 is a great phone for a set of people with a specific, and slightly narrow, set of priorities. If you’re going to spend most of your phone time skipping between email accounts, social network chat platforms, Whatsapp and BBM, it’s a corker. BlackBerry Hub’s benefits shouldn’t be undersold.
However, in most other respects the BlackBerry Z30 is outperformed by rivals. You can get higher-tech screens for the same price, better cameras and far better apps and games line-ups. Most people would be better off with an iPhone 5S, a Samsung Galaxy S4 or an HTC One – but for the right person this is still a great phone.
The BlackBerry Z30 is a great phone for someone who wants lightning-fast access to every stream of communication under the sun. It’s also a better phone than the previous BlackBerry Z10. However, it suffers from a poorly-stocked app store, a problematic camera and an OS that looks a little drab in parts.
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