BlackBerry has extended its smartphone line with a new high-end Z30 device offering a larger 5in touchscreen and bigger battery. The new device also includes BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2, which introduces new features such as the Priority Hub.
The latest BlackBerry device is set to be available in the UK from next week, rolling out to other territories afterwards. The updated BlackBerry 10.2 OS will be made available for existing BlackBerry 10 handsets, and the Q5 smartphone, from mid-October, subject to approval by individual mobile networks.
As BlackBerry's new high-end device, the BlackBerry Z30 offers enhancements over the existing Z10 such as a larger 5in touchscreen using Super Amoled technology, a faster 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with quad-core Adreno 320 GPU and built-in stereo speakers.
BlackBerry executive vice president of products Carlo Chiarello said the Z30 offers users a best-in-class productivity experience on the go.
"The smartphone rounds out the BlackBerry 10 portfolio and is designed for people looking for a smartphone that excels at communications, messaging and productivity," he said.
That 5in display features a resolution of 1280x720 pixels at a pitch of 295ppi, while the handset itself has 2GB RAM, 16GB flash storage, plus a micro SD slot for storage cards and micro HDMI output to a display.
The 170g smartphone supports 4G LTE for global roaming, according to BlackBerry, plus 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi with mobile hotspot capability.
It has an 8MP rear camera with autofocus, capable of 1080p HD video recording, plus a 2MP front facing camera. Like other Blackberry 10 devices, it also has Near Field Communication (NFC) capability.
BlackBerry also said that the Z30 features new antenna technology optimised to deliver better connectivity in low-signal areas, promising faster data transfers and fewer dropped calls.
The BlackBerry Z30 also comes with a 2880mAh battery, slated as the largest ever included in a BlackBerry device and said to offer up to 25 hours of mixed use.
Meanwhile, the BlackBerry 10.2 OS includes hundreds of refinements, chief of which is a new Priority Hub. This learns from a user's activity which conversations and contacts are the most important, and collects priority messages across email, social networking and other accounts into one place for instant access.
BlackBerry 10.2 OS also offers notification of incoming messages, offering a preview of any message as it arrives, whatever app the user is in, allowing them to dismiss it or tap it to read the full content and respond without leaving the app they are using. Messages and notifications can also now be viewed from the lock screen.
The BlackBerry Z30 is the firm's fourth handset launch this year, as it attempts to regain market share from rivals such as Apple and the multitude of Android vendors.
Specific pricing and availability is being left to the mobile networks in each territory, BlackBerry said.
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