Smartphones are essential to our day-to-day lives; however, with the latest technology costing a pretty penny at times, does BlackBerry’s cost conscious Z3 bring an affordable option to the table that is both attractive and usable in today’s technology powered world?
The Z3 is attractive in design, functionality as well as pricing. While most smartphones come with a RRP (Recommended Retail Price) of around R6000 to R12000, the BlackBerry Z3 is priced at a cool R3000. The device comes with an entry-level Snapdragon 400 dual-core 1.2Ghz processor, which is accompanied by 1.5GB of RAM. Furthermore, the Z3 packs in a 5 megapixel rear facing camera as well as a 1.1 megapixel front facing camera. While the device has a rather low storage capacity of 8GB, you can however expand on this, up to 32GB of storage space, via the device’s MicroSD slot.
When looking at the build quality of the Z3, it features a solid design that is both eye catching and attractive. The device features a 5-inch QHD touchscreen display, which performs rather well when watching a variety of clips as well as during general device usage. While the display quality is not entirely the best seen on the market, it is however impressive for a device that is essentially aimed at a younger demographic of users.
One thing I can say is BlackBerry has always done a great job when it comes to the brightness settings of its mobile devices. A lot of smartphones these days tend to be too bright; however, BlackBerry has always maintained a level of brightness that is comfortable while viewing even at its highest or lowest settings.
When it comes to the devices operating system, the BlackBerry Z3 is powered by the BlackBerry 10 OS, which is essentially version 10.2.1. As an added bonus, the device is Android app compatible; however, only a certain range are apps are available at the moment for the device. These include the likes of Instagram and the rather controversial, yet highly addictive, Candy Crush Saga.
The Z3 features a 2500mAh battery, which essentially does a great job at keeping the device up and running for up to two days – depending on the amount of time spent using the device. This is especially great for the younger generation who use their device for not only social networking and a bit of gaming, but also for research as well as their studies.
The BlackBerry Z3 also features great sound quality whilst calling. While making multiple calls, throughout the review period, I noticed no drop in quality from either making a call from the device or receiving one on another device. Furthermore, the speaker located at the back of the device sounds natural… especially if you decide to use your device to watch YouTube videos and play music at moderately high volume.
While my overall impressions of the BlackBerry Z3 are extremely positive, I do however feel, while it has a solid design, that it is a bit clunky in its design. Granted the phone looks good, but it feels too big at times… especially when trying to fit it into a pair of jeans.
Overall, BlackBerry’s cost conscious Z3 smartphone is exactly that. It is a device that is aimed at a younger demographic; however, it also opens up the world of smartphones to individuals who are looking for a great device at an extremely reasonable price.
The BlackBerry Z3 smartphone will be available to Vodacom customers in stores and online from mid-July 2014. It has a recommended selling price of R2 999 and will also be available on the Vodacom Smart S plan at R249 per month.