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BlackBerry Z30 officially launched

BlackBerry has officially unveiled its new large-screen smartphone, the BlackBerry Z30.

Long rumoured as the BlackBerry A10, the BlackBerry Z30 takes many of the design features of the BlackBerry Z10 and super-sizes it.

This results in a 5-inch 1290 x 720p AMOLED display – BlackBerry’s biggest ever – producing 295ppi. It runs on a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU clocked at 1.7GHz, as well as an Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM.

The BlackBerry Z30 comes with 16GB of internal storage, but this is expandable thanks to a microSD slot.

BlackBerry has also fitted the Z30 with its largest battery yet, a non-removable 2,880mAh example that’s said to be good for 25 hours of mixed usage in between charges. Around back there’s an 8-megapixel camera capable of shooting Full HD 1080p video

As you might expect, that 5-inch display makes the BlackBerry Z30 the biggest BB yet, with dimensions of 140.7mm x 72mm ensuring that it dwarfs the Z10. However, it’s only marginally thicker at 9.4mm.

Given that BlackBerry still focuses primarily on its business users, it’s perhaps understandable that the BlackBerry Z30 is being hailed for its supreme connectivity. It comes with 4G, as you’d expect from a modern smartphone, but it also employs new antenna technology that’s said to dynamically tune reception for better performance in low-signal areas.

Add in a set of integrated stereo speakers, and the BlackBerry Z30 is clearly a bid to mix it with the current top-end Android crop, though its specs aren’t quite on a par with the likes of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4.

On the software front, the BlackBerry Z30 also comes with a brand new version of the BlackBerry 10 OS, version 10.2. This brings such features as Priority Hub, which intelligently pushes important conversations (through email, social networks, BBMs and texts) to the fore. You can also preview incoming messages at any point in the OS, whether in apps or on the lockscreen.

Another interesting new software feature is BlackBerry Natural Sound, which apparently makes BBM Voice and BBM Video chats sound “more natural and realistic,” presumably lessening the harsh digital edge that all VoIP solutions tend to have. BlackBerry claims that it can make conversations sound like they’re taking place in the same room.

The BlackBerry Z30 will hit the UK and Middle East first beginning from next week. There’s no pricing information as yet.

Next read our pick of the best mobile phones of 2013.