Blackberry has a lot riding on its latest flagship handset, the Z30. It is a slight upgrade from the first fully touchscreen Blackberry handset, the Z10, with a larger screen and a slicker look. But how does it hold up to Samsung’s flagship device the Galaxy S4? We’ll take a few minutes to give you the rundown.
- Build – Blackberry’s Z30 is a sleek, stylish and comfortable, well-built phone. At 140 x 72 x 9.4mm and 170g, it comes in slightly larger than the Galaxy S4’s 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm and 130g, making the S4 a bit more portable. Both are nice looking and feeling phones, but Samsung is still using a slightly cheap-feeling plastic casing.
- Display – The BB Z30 comes with a 5-inch Super AMOLED display with a 720 x 1280 resolution for a 295ppi pixel density, providing sharp and vivid images. The Galaxy S4, on the other hand, also has a 5-inch super AMOLED screen, but it sports a Full HD resolution, with a massive 441 ppi pixel density. Snaps and video are bright, richly detailed, and display great depth. Though the Z30 offers a decent display, the S4’s is hard to match.
- Power – The BB Z30 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro Plus dual-core 1.7GHz chip-set, backed by 2GB of RAM. The Galaxy S4 again comes in a bit stronger with an Exynos 5 octa-core 1.6 GHz processor and 2GB of RAM.
Though the S4 does have more impressive guts, both phones work seamlessly. The BB 10.2 OS runs perfectly on the Z30’s set-up, as does Android Jelly Bean on the Galaxy S4.
- Storage – The Blackberry Z30 comes with 16GB of internal storage that is expandable by 64GB via a microSD card slot. The Galaxy S4 ships with the option of 16. 32, or 64GB of internal storage, and all models support external memory expansion up to 64GB.
- Camera – The BB Z30 offers an 8MP primary camera, and a 2MP front-facing camera, while the Galaxy S4 has a 13MP rear snapper, and a 2MP camera for video chats. Both handsets are loaded with additional camera features as well, including: auto focus, touch focus, image stabilization, LED flash, etc. They both are also capable of shooting fully HD 1080p video, and offer some great image-editing software.
- Software – The Z30 ships with the newly upgraded BB 10.2 OS. The upgrades have made the OS more functional, intuitive and user friendly. BB Hub, BB Flow and gesture controls make multi-tasking quick and easy. Unfortunately, the Blackberry World app store is sorely lacking not only in sheer number of apps, but also big name products like Skype and WhatsApp.
The Galaxy S4 still ships with Android Jelly Bean, though there is talk of an upgrade to Kit Kat soon. This is one of the most user friendly platforms currently available. Samsung adds a couple nice tweaks of its own, and as it is the Android open-source platform, allows more customization than the Blackberry. And of course, when it comes to apps, you can’t beat Android for volume. Though they do lack some quality control, Google Play has cleaned up its shelves and presentation, and currently offers over 1,000,000 titles.
So what can we deduce from all of this? The Galaxy S4 is one of the top smartphones on the market, with a beautiful display, lots of power, and a powerful and versatile operating system that’s sure to impress.
Blackberry’s Z30 is no slouch by comparison. Though in some specs, the S4 shines a bit brighter, the Z30 maintains its strength as a quality business phone, while now adding great gaming capability. It has a top notch build and quality performance that make it a true contender.