5-inch BlackBerry Z30 available in Malaysia October 5, priced RM1, 998
Yesterday BlackBerry officially launched their latest flagship entry running on the BlackBerry 10 operating system- this time a smartphone with BB’s largest ever display, the 5-inch BlackBerry Z30. In a vanity bonus for local tech enthusiasts, Malaysia was among the first nations to get an exclusive first look at the Z30, even before the fully-touch device is available in Europe or the Middle East.
Malaysia is said to be an important market for BlackBerry, as smartphone penetration and adoption has accelerated over the past year, and the former Research In Motion intends to capitalise on this market for its struggling brand.
In keeping with this, the Z30 is not only the biggest BlackBerry smartphone but also the fastest with a 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, a dual-core CPU just like other BB10 devices like the BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry Q10. It will however crunch graphics and animation at the fastest clip of any BlackBerry with a quad-core Adreno 320 GPU.
Product manager Damian Tay says he hates the term ‘phablet’, but the Z30 is dangerously close to this territory with the 5” Super AMOLED display with a surprisingly deep pixel density of 295ppi which works well with the 1280x720p resolution screen.
With 2GB RAM and only 16GB flash memory, you would need a microSD card in order to expand the storage. The Z30 has a sharp 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and 5x digital zoom which can capture full HD 1080p video, while the front 2-megapixel sensor can record 720p video with up to 3x digital zoom.
We mentioned it’s the biggest and fastest BlackBerry, but did we neglect to point out that it will be the most long-lasting? The Z30 has a 2880mAh battery which BB execs say can withstand up to 25 hours (!) of mixed use, and with an actual talk time of 18 hours.
Of course battery life would depend on many network and application needs. As a flagship device, the Z30 has many of the expected sensors such as accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, and ambient light sensor. In addition, the Z30 supports 4G LTE in Malaysia and also NFC capabilities for file- and media-sharing.
The local launch of the BlackBerry Z30 was impressive all-around, and those who are still willing to consider BB smartphones should be suitably enamoured. What’s more, Blackberry Malaysia has guaranteed that when the Z30 makes its retail debut on October 5 in Malaysia, it will come BlackBerry 10’s latest version 10.2 which has host of improvements. The Z10, Q10, and BlackBerry Q5 will receive the 10.2 update shortly thereafter.
Among the more notable highlights is BBM Now that enhances the messaging experience by enabling notifications to be viewed and responded within any application including while in-game. BBM Now is not just limited to the BBM service itself, it can also aggregate messages from SMS and show email previews.
Another update in 10.2 is BlackBerry Natural Sound, which is the Canadian company’s patented technology that adds a more realistic element to calls and BBM Voice chats, making it sound as though both people in call are in the same room. This level of face-to-face realism is improved by the stereo speakers on the rear of the device.
Finally, BlackBerry 10.2 will introduce a next-generation Paratek Antenna technology that tunes reception in low signal locations dynamically, so that you can remain connected in more locations and have access to faster data transfer speeds.
The BlackBerry Z30 looks very promising and with a price tag of RM1, 998 it is a noteworthy flagship device. For the first 2 weeks after its early October release, Z30 telco plans will be exclusively available through Celcom before being opened up to the other carriers. The first 200 applicants will receive a free BlackBerry Z10, and two tickets to the upcoming Alicia Keys concert in Kuala Lumpur.
Keys is a ‘creative director’ for BlackBerry in addition to a Grammy-winning superstar, so it’s quite an appealing opportunity. Is it appealing enough for you to pick up a Z30? Let us know in the comments.