BlackBerry today has a nice surprise for its fans around the globe, as it has finally taken the wraps off of its oft-leaked BlackBerry Z30 smartphone. The Z30 is BlackBerry's biggest handset to date, sporting a 5-inch 1280x720 Super AMOLED display that's considerably larger than the 4.2-inch screen found on the BlackBerry Z10.
Display size isn't the only aspect of the Z30 that BlackBerry beefed up in comparison to the Z10 and Q10. The new BlackBerry Z30 also sports a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and a 2880mAh non-removable battery, the largest ever included in a BlackBerry phone. Also packed into this BlackBerry giganto-phone is a combination of an 8-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front-facing shooter, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, a hot swappable microSD card slot and 4G LTE connectivity.
BlackBerry is also touting the antenna technology found on the Z30. Dubbed the "BlackBerry Paratek Antenna," the tech is said to tweak the Z30's reception when in low signal areas in order to provide better connectivity, faster data and fewer dropped calls when a user encounters a weak cell signal.
Finally, the BlackBerry Z30 comes preloaded with BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2. This new release brings with it a handful of new features, some of which we've heard before and others we haven't. Among the new goodies is BlackBerry Priority Hub, a special part of the BlackBerry Hub that will learn important conversations and people and give the user quick access to them. Also included is the ability to view and reply to BBM messages from within any app and Natural Sound for better audio in BBM Voice and Video calls. BlackBerry says that an update to BlackBerry 10 version 10.2 will begin rolling out to the Z10, Q10 and Q5 in mid-October.
The last time that we saw some fresh, higher-end hardware from BlackBerry was with the debut of the Z10 back in January, and so I'm sure that the introduction of the Z30 will please many fans of the platform. It's also interesting to see BlackBerry getting in on the phone/tablet hybrid category with the Z30. The phone's 720p display may not be quite as pixel-dense as some other handsets, but the fact that the screen is so much larger than the Z10's means that anyone that's been jonesing for a BlackBerry phablet will want to check the Z30 out.
Speaking of checking the Z30 out, BlackBerry says that its newest smartphone make its retail debut next week with launches in the Middle East and U.K.. Other regions around the globe will see the device sometime holiday season, with exact pricing and availability to be announced by operators themselves. To help pass the time until those details arrive, you can check out a brief Z30 promo video as well as a gallery of product shots below.
UPDATE: Verizon has announced that it plans to carry the BlackBerry Z30. The big red carrier didn't share any launch details, saying only that the device is "coming soon," but it did share an image of a Verizon-branded Z30 that can be found in the gallery at the bottom of this post.