The BlackBerry Z3, previously codenamed Jakarta, is the formerly Big double B’s attempt to claim back mainstream ground – something it had bossed with the Curve 8520. The phone has been launched in India for a price of Rs.15,990. Will the Z3 get BB back among the masses? We have had a brief hands on with the device and this is our take.


In terms of appearance, the Z3 is very reminiscent of some of the Sony Xperia devices – a big display with a speaker on top and the logo below. The 5.0-inch display is not the brightest or sharpest we have seen. It is one of the compromises that has been made – the resolution is 960 x 540 pixels, which is relatively low for a display of this size, but it will suffice for many users.

The specs are respectable rather than spectacular – a dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 1.5 GB RAM, a 5.0-megapixel camera with flash, 8 GB onboard storage and 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS onboard.

The camera comes with a LED flash and has autofocus, and it can shoot full HD video.

The build is solid and plastic. It does not feel cheap at all – the matte finish on the back actually looks rather classy, we think. However at 9.3mm thickness and 165 grammes of weight, this is neither the thinnest nor the lightest phone we have used. Sure, it is big, but it does have a certain weight to it.

In an interesting touch, BlackBerry has gone in with a unibody design for the device so you cannot take off the back panel – the SIM card and expandable memory card slots are on the right of the device.

And while we are talking of interesting touches, the volume rocker and the power/display on/off buttons are on the left – that is a first for a BB touch device.

In terms of connectivity, there is no HDMI port, making this the first BlackBerry 10 all touch device without one – the Z10 and Z30 both had HDMI ports if you will remember.

The OS on the device is BB 10.2. But we are expecting an update to 10.3 soon. There are not too many apps out there – you have the usual BlackBerry Hub, BBM, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a few others. Notably, the Amazon App Store should get available soon.

It looks decent enough, and its specs are solid rather than spectacular. All of which makes the Z3 an interesting option at its price point of Rs.15,990. As to its performance, stay tuned for a more detailed review.

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Nimish Dubey has been writing for more than a decade now (well, Windows 3.1 was around and Apple was on the verge of being finished when he started). He has been published in a number of publications including The Times of India, Mint, The Economic Times, Mid-Day and Femina on subjects that vary from tech write -ups to book reviews to music album round ups. He managed to interview Michael Schumacher once and write two books for young adults along the way.