PRODUCT REVIEW: BlackBerry Z3by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – DURING a recent financial results presentation in Johannesburg, a chief executive officer of a leading mobile network operator remarked that while BlackBerry had taken a battering in the international markets, the smartphone maker has defied the odds in South Africa, where it remains a highly-valued brand.
The introduction into the local market since 2013 of smartphones running the BlackBerry 10 operating system has been cited among the main reasons he brand has stood its ground against rival makers in this highly-competitive industry.
Such devices include the “BlackBerry-meets-Android” Z3, introduced in South Africa mid-2014.
This reporter, then still operating a device running the notable BB7, was thus energized when the smartphone-maker “seeded” him the Z3 for a review.
And what a worthwhile experience it has proven to be using the device.
The Z3 is a so-called phablet, measuring 140×72,8×9,3 mm and weighing 164 grammes-comfortable on the hand and the pocket.
A rubberised back provides a good grip and gives the phone an executive look and feel.
This micro-SIM device boasts a 5-inch capacitive multi-touch screen (16M colours) with a resolution of 540×960 pixels, which is big on clarity.
Key features include the BlackBerry Hub, which allows users to access all work and personal e-mail, BBM, text messages, social media updates and notifications in one place.
The BlackBerry Keyboard predicts words a user intends to type and offers predictive text for faster typing.
The Z3 has a 5 Megapixel Camera, but do not be fooled by the seemingly-low resolution! The camera produces such clear pictures it can leave some 8MP gadgets in the market green with envy. Reviewing the gadget coincided with a cousin’s wedding recently held in Pretoria.
The countless, superb images taken that summer day on the push lawns at a park, will remain an absolute reminder of what a memorable day that was for years to come.
The 1,1 MP secondary camera also punches above its weight in selfie mode.
The Z3 runs BlackBerry OS 10.2.1, which is upgradable to v10.3.1 enabling an improved web surfing experience. True to the maker’s words, it offers “fast, with fluid and responsive scrolling and zooming” web experience.
In a move that followed the introduction of the OS 10, Z3 users have access to popular Android applications, which are accessible through the App Store. Such games including favorites like Minecraft, Pinterest and Candy Crush Saga are accessible.
The device has an 8 GB expandable internal storage but can be up to 32 GB through a MicroSD. One hasn’t seen the need to expand as yet with the internal storage serving one well.
It does not disappoint when it comes to the battery either.
A non-removable Li-Ion mAH battery, with Stand-by of up to 383 hours, talk time of up to 15-and-a-half hours as well as music play of up to 84 hours, powers the Z3.
This reporter did not encounter the freezing issues that have come to mar previous BlackBerry operating systems.
Barring the fact that OS 10 devices are not BIS-compatible, the Z3 is a masterwork, suffice to say it is such gadgets that have kept the company formerly known as Research in Motion on the move in the markets.
– CAJ News
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