BlackBerry’s ‘next-level’ Z30 launched in Dubai

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BlackBerry’s ‘next-level’ Z30 launched in Dubai

BlackBerry has launched its new all-touch Z30 smartphone in the Middle East on Monday, with the first units having been made available at its BlackBerry Store in The Dubai Mall late last night, as the Canadian handset maker looks to ride the momentum borne out of its latest suite of BlackBerry 10 OS-powered devices.

By Alvin R. Cabral

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Published: Tue 24 Sep 2013, 9:32 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 3:44 AM

After the exclusive launch, the Z30 will be available through BlackBerry’s partners beginning today.

While the competition in the smartphone segment is getting tougher by the day, BlackBerry is “actually doing very well” especially in the Middle East, according to a top official, who pointed out that the firm is still enjoying consumers’ trust with its devices and services.

“The Middle East is definitely one of our key growth markets… because people trust us and have utmost confidence in BlackBerry,” Mike Al Mefleh, senior director of Product Management and Platform – Software Services at BlackBerry, told Khaleej Times in an interview.

“We laid out the foundation with our OS 10 devices and we took it to the next level.”

He pointed out that BlackBerry provides important aspects in mobile computing — security, integrity, privacy and reliability — components that are critical especially in today’s fast-paced and broader world of mobile computing.

“As a consumer you want your information available to you, and we provide that,” Al Mefleh said, pointing out that its flagship BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM, continues to enjoy the support of users especially here in the region.

“Consumers enjoy BBM because it is very secure and very private, unlike other social media apps,” he said, adding that in the Middle East, BBM’s penetration rate is at 98 per cent, and even 99 per cent in some countries.

New flagship Z30

Last week, BlackBerry — the former Research In Motion — released a statement from its Waterloo

What’s new in the z30?

BlackBerry has touted its new all-touch Z30 smartphone as its “biggest, fastest and most advanced”. Here’s the lowdown:

  • BlackBerry Priority Hub — You can now learn what conversations and what people are important to you making it fast and easy to find the messages and information you need.
  • BBM now in any app and message previews everywhere — You can now get a preview of any message as it arrives in whatever app you’re using, and immediately dismiss it or tap it to read the full content and respond.
  • Stereo audio and BlackBerry Natural Sound — The Z30 smartphone comes with stereo speakers that immerse you in your sounds, and makes conversations look like it’s face-to-face.
  • New antennae technology — A new-generation antennae technology dynamically tunes reception to give better connectivity in low-signal areas.

headquarters that it would be launching its Z30 smartphone this week in the Middle East and the United Kingdom, with other regions to follow soon. It comes after the company released its new devices running the latest BlackBerry 10 OS — the all-touch Z10 and the touch-and-type Q10 and Q5. Most recently, it unveiled the 9720 that runs on OS 7.

The Z30 will be its “biggest, fastest and most advanced” smartphone to date, featuring BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2, a five-inch Super Amoled display, a 1.7GHz processor with quad-core graphics and the largest battery — 2880mAh — yet on a BlackBerry device. It has four stereo speakers with BlackBerry Natural Sound, a new-generation BlackBerry Paratek Antennae that gives faster data transfers and many other features.

Demonstrating the Z30, Al Mefleh says that the company continues to highlight its BlackBerry Hub — the “centre of communications” — on the phone, which has been well-received by users. Enhanced as the BlackBerry Priority Hub, it is now able to list the most important messages and collects priority messages. It also has a new attachment button to save time when sending files. He said that the BlackBerry Hub — as it has always been — is a “shift and transformation in making life easier for users”.

A new notification feature has also been added on the Z30; for example, a message can be read and replied to while browsing, without closing the latter. This feature can also be disabled for privacy reasons.

And good news for those considering a BlackBerry for their next phone: Al Mefleh confirmed that the Z30 will now be able to run more apps based on Google’s Android operating system, a welcome development in the cross-platform arena. He added that the number of apps available for the OS 10 on the BlackBerry AppWorld site is now up from an initial 50,000 to 140,000, meaning that users have a broader choice — and more reasons to get themselves a BlackBerry.

Its typing and browsing feature was touted by Al Mefleh, calling it “the best typing and browsing experience… we keep improving and mastering this”.

He says that continuing to improve user experience on a smartphone “is the future; we continue to make life easier and simpler”.

“We have enjoyed the success of the BlackBerry OS 10. Since we introduced it, we have seen that… people have liked what we’ve given them.”

Al Mefleh was confident that the Z30 — selling for Dh2,499 — will be met positively by consumers.

And when asked on what other devices are to be launched in 2013, he reiterated an earlier announcement this year that BlackBerry was slated to roll out six new ones.

“You know what we’ve launched; you do the math,” he said candidly. -

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