To anticipate your questions: Yes, BlackBerry is making a new phone. No, there wasn’t a Z20, just a Z10. Yes, the Z10 came out, and you missed it. There was excellent reason for that. So the big question is, can BlackBerry turn it around with the Z30?
The Latest Operating System
BlackBerry, being BlackBerry, has named their latest iteration of their OS BB 10, and this is version 10.2. Yes, it is confusing and annoying. Just remember it has the latest version of the system, and honestly, that operating system is actually pretty good. It’s built around swipes and it’s very intuitive and easy to use, built to get things done as you might expect from a company with businesses as its primary clients. By all accounts, 10.2 is even better, so if you’re an efficiency freak you might want to look into this.
And it comes with a better antenna and what seems like some proprietary digital signal processing to make calls clearer, meaning that your phone calls might just be better than the average touchscreen phone.
Beyond that, though, there’s very little that pops here. It’s nice just… not unique. It’s got a 1.7GHz Snapdragon dual-core and 2GB RAM; a better battery at 2,880mAh; 16GB of storage, with a microSD slot; and a five-inch, Super AMOLED touchscreen. Basically it’s a perfectly suitable phone for the causal user, but it’s pretty clear BlackBerry is doubling down on its business customers in a bit to keep the company afloat.
But Can It?
Realistically? Probably not. That’s a harsh thing to say, but BlackBerry is seeing increasing competition in the enterprise communications area, and this isn’t exactly the bulldozer they needed to flatten Apple and keep Google out of their yard. It’s a nice phone and it’ll definitely have fans, but BlackBerry has to do a lot more, at this point, that update their hardware.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.