Gone are the days when the launch of a new Blackberry phone used to excite us. Today, Blackberry has lost a significant market share (From over 50% in 2009 to below 5% in 2014) to its peers, namely Apple & Samsung. However, the much hyped Blackberry Z3 was hailed as a “game changer”. Launched in Indonesia early this year, Z3 did give a modest push to BB’s sales, primarily due to its cheap price tag of $190 (INR 11500 approx). Its Indian launch (scheduled for 25th June), was thus awaited.
In terms of specifications, Blackberry Z3 packs in a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 clocked at 1.2 Ghz along with a 1.5 GB RAM. The phone sports a rear 5 megapixel camera Full HD and a 1.1 megapixel front facing camera (Selfie anyone?). The phone comes with 8 gigs of internal storage & supports micro SD cards. The 5 inch screen has a relatively modest resolution of 540×960 (220 ppi) but looks vibrant. The phone features a powerful 2500 mAh non removable battery, which is sure to provide an exceptional battery runtime.
Coming to the software, Z3 runs on BlackBerry 10.2.1 OS. Apart from being extremely sophisticated & efficient, BB 10.2 allows you to run android apps, on your Blackberry. Though not through Google’s Play Store, BB OS supports APK files directly or through 3rd party appstores like Amazon and Snap. Though some apps are incompatible, this feature alone seems to be a great incentive. Incidentally, Blackberry’s own appstore (BlackBerry World) has grown and showcases all relevant apps. Z3 also brings Blackberry Maps to India which provides for a worthy navigation experience. In the ‘looks department’, the phone seems sturdy and despite of its plastic built feels quite premium, something you would expect from the Canadian giant.
However, despite being a decent offering, Blackberry Z3 may not aid the company’s comeback at least in India because of its ignorant pricing. The success of Moto G, Moto E & scores of other budget handset clearly indicate that users want better phones, at better prices. Blackberry Z3 is being launched in India at a price tag of Rs.15990, with a discount of Rs.1000 on pre order.
Though not at all expensive, the pricing is definitely in congruent with the modest specification of the device. A dual core processor, a 5 MP camera & a low resolution screen at 16k – seems like a bad deal! Had it been introduced at the same price as in Indonesian market, this phone definitely could have revived the sinking company. Though BlackBerry India justified the move bu saying that “the VAT structures and Customs Duty does not allow the company to launch the phone in India at the $200 price point it is sold in Indonesia now”, this phone may not appeal to the masses, who can opt in for a more wholesome Android experience along with similar or even better specs from other major vendors.
The pre-orders have begun and the phone is likely to hit the market by the 2nd week of July.
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