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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Take this: BlackBerry Z3 is no match for the Moto G!

Take this: BlackBerry Z3 is no match for the Moto G!

Last updated on: June 27, 2014 22:51 IST

Take this: BlackBerry Z3 is no match for the Moto G!

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Himanshu Juneja

With its poor camera, the Z3 will be a good option to consider if it is priced within the Rs 10-14k price range, making it a pretty good option for the budget consumer.

Blackberry, the popular Canadian firm, has lifted the veil off its latest product in the market, the Blackberry Z3.

Good amount of interest has been generated for the device, the first one to be launched under the watchful eyes of the new CEO, John Chen.

Since the pricing debacle of Z10 at launch, it seems like Blackberry did wisen up, but does the Z3 command a pricing of around Rs 16k?

Let us see what Blackberry Z3 has to offer.

Specs

  • OS: BlackBerry 10.2.1
  • Display: 5 inches @ 540 x 960 pixel resolution (~220 ppi)
  • Processor: Dual-core 1.2 GHz Krait 200
  • RAM: 1.5 GB
  • Camera: 5MP with LED flash, Secondary 1.1 MP
  • Memory: 8 GB
  • Battery: 2500 mAh (Non removable)

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Image: BlackBerry Z3
Photographs: blackberry.com

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Built and design

Weighing at 164gms, the phone cannot be classified as light, but manufacturer has made sure that the device looks sleek and sturdy. Sharp corners give the Z3 the shape of a nice slab.

On the first look, the phone looks premium, even though upon closer inspection one finds the material used is plastic. The back panel is textured, which surely will make for a better grip on the phone.

Blackberry has moved all the keys to the left side of the phone, like power and volume rocker. The other edge houses the the micro SIM and the microSD card slots, hidden from your view by a flap.

On the top, one finds the 3.5mm audio jack, and the bottom side contains the charging port.

The backpanel houses the camera module, the LED flash, and located at the lower left corner, is the mono speaker.

Given the segment, the missing HDMI port is understandable.

Overall, the build quality and design of the Z3 is pretty good and will impress quite a few.

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Image: BlackBerry Z3
Photographs: blackberry.com
Tags: HDMI , SIM , LED

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Display

The 5-inch display with a resolution of 540×960p and ~220 ppi density doesnt really exudes a lot of confidence. However, it proved to be quite a decent unit by displaying vivid visuals and the text came out pretty crisply as well.

Add to it, the screen also provided good viewing angles for the users. Even with not so high end screen, one scarcely notices the pixelation.

By adding good upscaling effects, Blackberry has made sure that the screen of this budget offering doesn't draw criticism, and as the results prove it, they have done more than a decent job here. The resultant display looks pretty much like the Z30, which has resolution of 720x1280.

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Image: BlackBerry Z3
Photographs: blackberry.com

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Camera

The primary camera on the device is a 5MP shooter, which comes with an LED flash and auto focus. It is capable of capturing 1080p HD video recording as well. However, the camera relies heavily on the ambient light.

The camera in reality is good enough for clicking decent to good quality photographs. The pics clicked in not so well lit conditions came out lacking details and seemed a bit grainy. So no high expectations to be harboured there.

As an add on, there is the Time Shift mode, which allows the user to get the best picture from a series of pictures clicked. Also on board are some good filters for the users to play around with and add some more effects to the limited capability camera.

Similarly for the front facing 1.1MP camera, even though it can shoot 720p videos, it is good only for some selfies and for video chats.

Expecting too much from the camera units on the Z3 will be more than wishful thinking. It is clear that the budget offering reflects in this department.

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Image: BlackBerry Z3
Photographs: blackberry.com

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OS and features

Powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and coming with 1.5GB RAM, the phone performs admirably. The phone never showed signs of stuttering and this is good to see.

The phone comes with OS 10.2.1 right out of the box, and hence is usable without any need of an upgrade.

The phone does have its share of bugs; like at times pictures and contacts can't be seen. The syncing of old information from previous phone takes long to be reflected.

These should get rectified with a small update from the company. But really shouldn't have been there in the first place.

Otherwise, the phone has huge armoury to wow prospective customers and seems impressive.

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Image: BlackBerry Z3
Photographs: blackberry.com

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Blackberry Hub

The 'go to' option is for Blackberry users to find the notifications they have received/missed out on. Accessing it is real easy: a simple swipe and that is it. Notifications for the email, phone calls, text, etc can easily be found in one place.

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Image: BlackBerry Z3
Photographs: blackberry.com

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Instant Previews

For incoming messages like for email, BBM, SMS, twitter etc, a user can simply pull down the the dropdown banner to get a little preview to get a good idea about what the message might be about.

The messages can even be replied to in a similar manner, making the job a lot easier.

This really is a good idea implemented which will save time and avoid hassle for users.

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Image: BlackBerry Z3
Photographs: blackberry.com
Tags: SMS , BBM

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Browser and keyboard

The Blackberry 10's browser still stays strong and impressive. Combined with a 5-inch screen, the experience is further enhanced.

There was no lag or stutter while browsing. The ease of using features like share were always just around the corner, making the whole task very convenient.

The keyboard is very easy on the hands and the swipe feature makes it a treat, once again. The seamless integration of languages for the usage, combined with the auto correct feature makes typing real fast and speedier.

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Image: BlackBerry Z3
Photographs: blackberry.com

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Apps

The users are sure to be delighted after viewing the number of apps Blackberry has made available for the Z3. Basically, the apps which have made an appearance for the Z10 have been made available for the Z3.

Even the access to Amazon Playstore and Amazon's app store has been granted.

The amount of apps available for the Z3 won't really disappoint the users for sure.

BBM

The Z3 comes out carrying the latest version of the BBM. The device is ready with BBM Chat, BBM Channels, stickers, groups etc. It seems clear that the Z3 will be high on communication front.

Blackberry Maps

This will come as a refreshing news to Indian users. Apart from Google Maps, users can now choose the Blackberry Maps as well.

The phone was quick to get a lock on the location, even though the maps were slow to load. This is expected to get better with a little upgrade.

Blackberry Maps coming up for the Indian consumption is a huge plus.

Even if buggy and lacking every feature, the signs are encouraging.

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Image: BlackBerry Z3
Photographs: blackberry.com

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Battery

Supplying a non-removable battery might have left people high and dry, especially when the phone is aimed for the mid-range consumer; but Blackberry made sure that this department appeals to the heavy users.

A very capable 2500 mAh battery serves the purpose quite brilliantly. With moderate to heavy usage, the phone lasted nearly two days.

As for the record, company claims 15 hours of talk time and up to 16 days of standby time.

This is a serious back-up being provided, and is bound to be well received.

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Image: BlackBerry Z3
Photographs: blackberry.com

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Verdict

The Z3 can, at the most, be viewed as a good phone. It does what it set out to do, and that was to provide a good budget solution. The camera however doesn't bring in any special points and this should hurt the overall prospects at the current price point.

With options like Moto G and Blackberry's own Z10 being available in near about the same price range, it is really not too difficult to recommend them over the Z3 due to various aspects which are bettered by these two rivals.

The Moto G is a pretty nice and comparable option and saves about two thousand, whereas the Z10 offers a better phone with a good camera while making the potential customer spend marginally more than what the Z3 is asking for.

Looking at the scenario, Blackberry is bound to come up with a price cut. The Z3 will be a good option to consider if it is priced within the 10-14k price range, thus making it a pretty good option for budget range.


Image: BlackBerry Z3
Photographs: blackberry.com

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