We go hands-on with the BlackBerry Z3
Facing an uncertain future and major upheavals in leadership a few months ago, the company is now looking to make a comeback under the leadership of John Chen. The device that’s leading the charge? The company’s Z3, built in cooperation with Foxconn, the same people who make the iPhone. The Z3 is the most affordable device that the company has made, although it’s still priced at a hefty Php 10,990.
BlackBerry Z3 specs
- 1.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
- Adreno 305 GPU
- 1.5GB of RAM
- 5-inch capacitive touchscreen, 504 x 960 resolution
- 8GB of storage, expandable via microSD
- 5-megapixel rear camera
- 1.1-megapixel front camera
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, APGS
- 3G, HSPA
- BlackBerry 10.2.1 OS
Initial Impressions: A phone built for BlackBerry users
We’ll be perfectly blunt: if you have lived with Android for a long time and have never tried a BlacBerry device before, this phone isn’t for you. While it’s miles away from the pricing of other similarly specc’d devices, hardware is just a piece of the puzzle. While they didn’t say it, it’s kind of obvious that the company is looking to woo back old customers that have moved on to Android and iOS. BlackBerry has worked hard to make the BlackBerry OS to be at least on par with its competitors as far as usability is concerned, even going so far as allowing direct browser downloads and installs of Android apps from other app stores that’s not Google Play.
The overall design is typical BlackBerry. It’s basically a smartphone with a suit on. The body, while plastic, is phenomenally well made, and the curved sides is a bit reminiscent of the Xiaomi Mi 3. The left side of the phone houses the volume rocker, power button and an extra button in the middle of the volume rocker that allows you to give out voice commands. Moving on to the back you’ll see a textured finish, allowing you to keep a tighter grip on the phone. On the right lies the slots for your SIM and microSD.
Eagle-eyed readers will note that the Z3 does not have navigation keys on the display, capacitive or otherwise. This is because the Z3’s navigation is mostly gesture based. There is no app drawer, instead you swipe left and right to access your apps, and swipe up from the bottom of the display to get out of them.
Again, BlackBerry has priced the Z3 at Php 10,990, quite a hefty price even though it’s the company’s most affordable smartphone right now. Will it be able to make a dent in the marketplace? Only time will tell.