THE PEO­PLE’S BLACK­BERRY

Black­Berry Z3

HWM (Malaysia) - - TELEPORT - Az­izul Rah­man Is­mail

As the midrange mar­ket is flooded with smart­phones from the east, Black­Berry joined the fray with its lat­est full-touch smart­phone, the Black­Berry Z3. As the first Black­Berry phone to be de­signed by Black­Berry but man­u­fac­tured by Fox­conn, the Z3 has the feel of a de­vice that's twice its price.

Un­like its pre­de­ces­sors, the Z3 sports squared edges, giv­ing it a unique but un­wieldy look – that is, un­til you pick it up in your hands. The Z3 feels like a pre­mium phone with a glass screen, metal sides and a com­fort­able tex­tured back that are akin to the one found on the Black­Berry Z10.

There are also many de­sign changes that are far re­moved from what you would tra­di­tion­ally see on a Black­Berry de­vice. First of all, the Z3's Mi­cro-USB port has been moved from the left side of the phone to the bot­tom.

The power but­ton on the Z3 was also moved from the top to the left side of the phone, along with the vol­ume but­tons and the quick ac­cess but­ton. Vet­eran Black­Berry users may need some time to get used to the changes. How­ever, nonBlack­Berry users will likely find the lay­out more in­tu­itive.

Another dif­fer­ence be­tween this phone and the other Black­Berry 10 de­vices is that its in­ter­face is pre­dom­i­nantly white in­stead of black. This is most ev­i­dent in the Z3's sys­tem menus.

The Z3 han­dles Black­Berry OS 10 (BB10) far more ef­fec­tively than the Z10, whereby it runs smooth with no per­ceiv­able lag. Like its big brother, the Z30, the Z3 also has a 5-inch touch­screen, although it is not as crisp at 540 x 960 pixel res­o­lu­tion. We found the icon la­bels on the main screen to look as if they were not op­ti­mized for the Z3's qHD dis­play.

As ex­pected for a midrange phone, the Z3 lacks cer­tain fea­tures, such as LTE and NFC sup­port. Over­all image qual­ity from the Z3's cam­era proved to be de­cent and func­tional, although its call qual­ity is quite good. The bat­tery, which is non-re­mov­able, does not boast a long talk time, but in our ex­pe­ri­ence, it does last an av­er­age work day.

De­spite any short­com­ings, the Z3 is the most af­ford­able Black­Berry phone to date and is a step in the right di­rec­tion when it comes to the gen­eral con­sumer mar­ket for Black­Berry. With the soon-tobe-re­leased Ama­zon App­store, which will of­fi­cially bring An­droid apps to the Black­Berry, the Z3 is fast be­com­ing a com­pelling choice.

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