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Review: BlackBerry Z30 for Verizon Wireless

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The BlackBerry Z30 is clearly a step up from the Z10. It is more pleasing to look at, and feels better to hold and use even though it's bigger. I wish the larger screen made similar improvements, but it doesn't quite hold up when compared to competing hardware from other manufacturers.

The Z30 handles the smartphone basics well. Battery life is solid, network performance is commendable, it's an able communications device, and it can run tens of thousands of apps. It falls flat in terms of call quality and media playback, however, and the battery isn't removable (a mainstay BlackBerry feature since time eternal.) The camera is average, but it's nice to have a microHDMI port.

I'd easily recommend the Z30 over the Z10, but it's harder to say the Z30 is a better buy than the similarly-priced Apple iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy S4, LG G2, or HTC One. All of these competing devices offer better app selection, better screens, better cameras, and better media options. For $200 on contract, the Z30 does all that other smartphones do, but choosing BlackBerry OS over Android, iOS, or Windows Phone is a tough call. If you're a BlackBerry diehard, then perhaps it makes sense. If you're on the fence about BBOS, jump back down into one of the other smartphone camps.

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