What if there was a BlackBerry for 2013? You know, one with modern tech, a massive screen and gorgeous looks? Meet the BlackBerry Z30: the newest, biggest and brightest BlackBerry 10 device to date with modern software to boot.
The BlackBerry Z30 is a powerhouse, not to mention the largest BlackBerry handset ever created.
It's a full touchscreen model measuring 5-inches diagonally, packing in a resolution of 1280x720 at 295ppi. Underneath that is a dual-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with a quad-core Adreno 320 GPU for handing all your video and gaming needs. It also has an 8-megapixel camera with a constant f/2.2 lens, 4G support, Bluetooth 4.0, microHDMI out and a massive integrated 2880mAh batter which BlackBerry claims can get 25 hours of "mixed use".
Mixed use is an interesting term. BlackBerry tells us that mixed-use means doing everything you normally would on your phone: using a mix of media, playing games, sending messages, browsing and hotspot use. To me that just sounds like "normal use".
The most interesting part of the Z30 is all the new software in the BlackBerry 10.2 software update.
BlackBerry has worked to improve the "out-of-box experience" on the Z30 to help switchers acclimate to their new surroundings better. New tutorials and videos have been created to make it simpler to move over to BlackBerry.
The BlackBerry lock screen has been tweaked, with users now able to quickly scan messages on their home screens rather than getting just a simple numbered look at what lies beneath, and the Hub itself has been tweaked for better prioritising of messages once users unlock the device.
The BlackBerry Hub now uses a clever algorithm to create a Priority Hub view which filters out the messages that are important to you and puts them in a special view. These messages are prioritised based on who you have meetings with this week, people with the same last name as you and other folks you met with recently and interact with frequently. The Hub also now includes Attachement View, which rips out the attachments from your email accounts and dumps them into the one screen so you can quickly find what you're looking for.
Sharing of photos has also been beefed up on the camera app, with the software creating its own shortcuts based on what you share to whom and how you send it.
BlackBerry messaging has been tweaked, with the Canadian company now adding a notification bar at the top of the window whenever you get sent a BBM. You can tap on the bar and reply in line without ever leaving the window you were on when the message arrived. Nifty.
Other improvements include better animations, tweaked predictive keyboard, a better camera app to take advantage of the 8-megapixel shooter and an HD sound profile on video calls that rivals traditional VOIP and HD voice calls.
Pricing will be announced soon. BlackBerry says the new Z30 will go on sale in Australia during "the holiday season", so look closer to November.
We'll be going hands-on with the BlackBerry Z30 tomorrow. Stay tuned!