The BlackBerry Challenge, Cheating On My iPhone With A BlackBerry Z30

by nessel on February 14, 2014

Cheat on My Phone

Can I find new love on Valentine’s Day?  Is bigger really better?  Is being able to go for days on end without needing a break to recharge, really the key to a successful relationship?  Today, Valentine’s Day, I come clean and make a major announcement.   For the past 7 days I have been unfaithful and cheating…on my iPhone 5.  That’s right, I have been having an affair with the BlackBerry Z30 and now it is time to clear my conscience and tell all.  Hopefully, others will learn from my journey.

Take My iPhone Away? You Must Be Crazy!

Taking Away My iPhone 5

Had that not been my son prying my iPhone out of my hands, I probably would have tackled him.  Still, a deal is a deal.  The folks at BlackBerry asked if I would do a 7 Day Challenge.  Swap out my iPhone 5 for a BlackBerry Z30 for 7 days and just honestly report on how it went.  Honestly, I thought this was going to be a train wreck for BlackBerry.  I love my iPhone and all I really knew about BlackBerry was that they were that company that made those phones with little keyboards.   Still, I figured a week without my iPhone would make me appreciate it even more.

Please watch our video recap of 7 Days With the BlackBerry Z30 -

Being Bigger and Able to Go All Night Really Is Better!

Get your mind out of the gutter, I am talking about screen size and battery life of course!  Without a doubt, those were the two things that really jumped out at me during the 7 day challenge.  The Z30 has a beautiful 5″ Super AMOLED screen and an insanely large 2880 mAh battery.   Many things can be debated when it comes to comparing smartphones, but it is a simple fact that my iPhone 5 only has a 4″ screen and 1440 mAh battery.   I am no math major, but it would appear the Z30 has a battery that is double the power of my iPhone and I definitely noticed this in day to day use.
Blackberry Z30

I Need a BlackBerry Hub For The Real World

As the video explains, I loved the BlackBerry Hub and the way that all messages (emails, text, Tweets, FB updates, calendar events) appear in one place, that can be easily accessed at any time.  It all just works beautifully in real world use.  I could be in Evernote (yes, there is Evernote for the BB OS 10) and see new messages come in, all without ever leaving Evernote.

Now, I just need this for the real world.  Maybe some BlackBerry robot that could take all the mail we get, notices from school, birthday invitations and bills and put them in beautifully sorted piles, which the robot would carry around the house, so I could have easy access to the material, no matter where I am in my house!

How Does Your Current Phone Compare to the BlackBerry Z30?

We are not huge fans of tech specs.  We are busy parents and we just want gadgets that work well and help us get through the day.  For this reason, we focus more on real world reviews.  Still, we understand some people will want to see how their current phone may stack up against a BlackBerry Z30 or another BlackBerry phone.  We highly recommend you check out PhoneArena.Com for phone comparisons.  Follow this link and see the Z30 vs the iPhone 5 vs the iPhone 5S.

What We Enjoy About Our 7 Day BlackBerry Challenge

We go over most of this in the video, but here are the key things that impressed us about the BlackBerry Z30…

  • Big, Beautiful Screen

Not much more to say, the screen is big and looks fantastic.  I know the pixels per inch are not the highest in the industry, but for real world use, we much preferred the 5″ screen over the 4″ screen on our iPhone 5.

  • A Battery That Just Never Dies

This is a HUGE deal for us.  Yes, there are a tons of cool apps on the iPhone that use GPS, location serives and Bluetooth – but the iPhone really doesn’t have a big enough battery to be able to run these things all day.  The Z30 on the other hand has twice the battery of the iPhone 5, so it can run for days on a single charge.    In the end, all the features in the world don’t matter if your phone battery dies half way through the day.

  • BlackBerry Hub and Notifications

The whole way email, text and social media notifications worked on the Z30 was just wonderful.  Everything felt natural and you pretty much always have what you need, just a simple swipe away.

  • Clear Sound Quality

It is odd that almost no one talks about sound quality in a phone review anymore.  As strange as it sounds, I do like to use my phone for voice conversations every now and then and the Z30 had excellent sound quality.

  • Timeshift on The Camera

We figured this would just be a “wow” feature that you never really use, but we were wrong.  We found the Timeshift really did help us get better photos of the kids.

  • HDMI Video Out

Why doesn’t my iPhone have HDMI video out?  Yes, there are various cables and workarounds to get the video from my phone to the TV, but we really loved the standard HDMI out on the Z30

  • Predictive Keyboard

As we show in the video, the predictive keyboard on the Z30 works great.  Once you get the hang of it, you just type a few letters, flick up and become much more productive!

What We Missed Most About Our iPhone

As much as we enjoyed many aspects of the BlackBerry Z30, there were a few things we really missed from our iPhone…

  • Apps, Apps and More Apps!

Just as you can not debate that the screen and battery on the Z30 are bigger than on the iPhone, you can not debate that the app world is much smaller on the BlackBerry.  No Netflix, no Instagram and tons of games are all missing.  On a daily basis we use Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, What’s App – and those are all on the BlackBerry.  However, if you love a wide variety of apps, you will have problems with the BlackBerry World.

Help may be on the way with a future upgrade.  Right now there are various tricks and hacks to “side load” Android apps.  The new 10.2.1 version of BlackBerry OS will support Android directly.  This will mean many of the Android apps will run on the Z30 and that would be a HUGE deal.

  • FaceTime and PhotoStream

If your friends and family primarily use iOS devices, it is hard to leave that world.  You can not FaceTime or use Photostream from the BlackBerry Z30.  Yes, BlackBerry Messenger has its own cool video chat and screen sharing app – but it only works if you have other friends running BB OS 10.  As most of the people we know use iOS, we did miss the easy connections and sharing with them.

  • Endless Accessories

When you have an iPhone you have endless choices for accessories and add-ons.  Your choices are much more limited in the BlackBerry World.  We loved the BlackBerry Music Gateway and External Battery pack we showed in the video, but there is just less to choose from when it comes to accessories.

The 90/10 Rule And Our Take On The BlackBerry Z30

Maybe I am just boring, but I would say 90% of the time I use my phone to check messages (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc), make calls, browse the web, get directions, take photos and schedule appointments.  Here is the crazy thing, for that 90% of the time, I preferred using the BlackBerry Z30 over my iPhone 5.  I know, I may have to turn in my Apple Fanboy badge now.

For the other 10% of the time, I use my phone to play games, check out new apps, watch movies and FaceTime with family.  For this 10% of the time, the iPhone is much better equipped.  If you have kids who love to load your phone up with all the newest games, they are not going to be happy with the current selection in BlackBerry World.

So, where does that leave us?  My takeaway from the 7 Day Challenge is this  - the BlackBerry Z30 is a fantastic phone, that in many ways provides a better user experience than my iPhone.  If you are not a big app user and have not invested heavily in iOS apps, the BlackBerry Z30 is an excellent choice.  Don’t worry about transferring all your contacts, emails, music, etc – this is all very easy now with Device Switch and the BlackBerry Link.

If you do love apps and use a wide variety on a daily basis, for now you probably want to stay with your current phone.  This situation may improve as the new BB OS allows easy installation of Android apps.  In addition, if your friends and family are in the iOS world, and you are a big FaceTime user, it is easiest to stay in the iPhone world.

We Will Keep You Updated…This Affair May Not Be Over…

While the 7 Day Challenge is done, I still find myself reaching for the Z30 to check email and make calls.  We are taking the Z30 to ToyFair NYC and we will report back on how it does.  Like any good love story, there are still more twists, turns and pages to be written…

UPDATE 3/31/14:  Yep, the story continues.  Please read our Updated Review on the Z30 with OS 10.2.1

More Information:

Learn More About the BlackBerry Z30 (prices vary based on contract)

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  • Mary

    looking forward to the report from Toy Fair (have fun!), your vid details a lot, specially like the comparison at 3:16 mark between phones, and I must say I’d love to type three letters of a long word and have ability to swipe up the rest… great post

    • Dan Dad Does

      Thanks for the comments. The keyboard is almost magical. On President’s Day I was typing an update and I typed “George” it then suggested “Washington” – how did it know that is what I wanted? But of course I did. Just back from Toy Fair, more to report on that later.

      • noel

        excited for that report. mind if i ask when you will post that? thanks! great report!

      • freddysrevng2

        it’s the Siri of touchscreen keyboards… but more accurate…

    • JimCanuck

      Mine actually types up the full URL of my blog when I type “http://”! With this keyboard I might type 20% of the characters I send in messages. And it has a great way to do spell checking/correction.

  • Shahriyar Ali

    Glad you made a choice of giving BlackBerry 10 a test ride. Great article :)

    • Dan Dad Does

      Thanks for the comment. I probably should not say this publicly, but why not…. Sometimes we get contacted by a PR firm and you almost feel sorry for them. They have the job of trying to promote some product that is really inferior to what is already on the market. This is what I THOUGHT was going to happen with this challenge. Such a nice pleasant surprise to be wrong. Which strangely seems to happen a lot with me, but I digress. Anyway, awesome when a company actually makes a great product and is not afraid to put it to the test…even with an iPhone user :)

      • freddysrevng2

        Dan… you did a lot of things well on your review, frankly, a lot – especially coming from iPhone’s rather simple OS… after using the Z30….a “home button” seems so 2007…

  • brandon_martin

    I think your analysis is great. Apple has done a lot of great things with iOS and the 5s is actually fairly muscular, but the most important things I use my phone for are calls, messaging, browsing, and media management… and, well, BB10 is better for many of those things. I develop for all the major platforms, so I have a few devices, but the Z30 is actually my daily driver. I just wish they had a developer community as strong as Apple’s or Google’s. BB has done a great job of building very good APIs and the best HTML5 platform around, but… very few developers are taking advantage of all of BB10′s awesomeness. It’s not just disappointing that there aren’t as many apps on BB10 as on iOS, it’s disappointing that the apps aren’t a little better than iOS as BB10 is a better platform… but the community of developers just isn’t getting it done. Still, so long as BB continues to make such a useful device for 80-90% of my activities, I’ll be sticking with BB10.

    • Dan Dad Does

      Hey Brandon, thanks for the insightful comments. These is a very interesting point you make “It’s not just disappointing that there aren’t as many apps on BB10 as on iOS, it’s disappointing that the apps aren’t a little better than iOS as BB10 is a better platform… but the community of developers just isn’t getting it done.” Never really thought of it that way, but you are absolutely right. If there were BB10 versions of iOS apps that were far superior, it would change the way a lot of people look at BB10. Thanks again for sharing from a developers standpoint.

      • Igor Juricek

        Seriously, try the iGrann (instagram client) and Whine (Vine client) for BB10, they are IMHO better than the original apps :)

    • JimCanuck

      WIth the Android feature on 10.2.1 I am running Instagram, PayPal, Netflix, FitBit, TripIt, Olympic Hub, Wells Fargo and just today added the Harmony Remote app for the Harmony Smart Control. I can now run my TV from a BlackBerry 10. At the moment one needs to sideload the Snap BB10 app to access Google Play (hint: use the Playbook Chrome Extension) but BlackBerry is working on a proxy for Google Play to make it dead simple easy.

  • Jeff Macintyre

    BlackBerry world has a bunch of apps that fill the gap. For instagram try igrann for vine try whine.

    • Igor Juricek

      exactly, iGrann and Whine are IMHO better and more appealing apps than the original Instagram and Vine!

    • Dan Dad Does

      Hey Jeff – thanks – will have to check those out. Thanks very much for sharing with our readers.

  • Javier Lizardi

    Great review, finally a real life review of the BB 10 OS. A few things that helped me a lot. On the new OS you can install Snap, which is an app that allows you to install apps from google play in the z30 directly from the phone. Here is how to install it on the Z30 “This site helped me a lot with blackberry stuff Once I did that most of the 10% app problem was solved for me. I have an ipad for games, podcasts and stuff, but for the other 95% of the real world stuff i do I found BB10 to be a breath of fresh air and a better experience. One more thing, for instagram use Igrann and for Vine try Whine both available in bb world. Fantastic apps. Good luck to you.

    • Dan Dad Does

      Hey Javier – those are some excellent tips and resources, thanks very much for sharing with our readers! Now if Verizon would just push the 10.2.1 update that would make things much easier.

  • Igor Juricek

    Thank you for being unbiased, I also love the hub on my Z10, best unified communication

    centre ever. I just wanted to add, if you need more apps and those that are not available natively for BB10, you can always make use of Android apps. As of 10.2.1 update, you can install APK files directly, without any conversion, from either Google Play (via Snap client that you need to sideload) or via 1mobile and Amazon or any other Android app library.

    • Dan Dad Does

      Hey Igor, thanks very much for the great tips. I will say, if this had been a review of Verizon instead of Blackberry, it would not have had such a positive tone! As of today (2/19), still no 10.2.1 update here in the USA. Come on Verizon – give it up!

      • Igor Juricek

        The neverending story about the US carriers reluctant to push the update. Even T-Mobile CZ that I am on has already pushed it and so did Vodafone CZ that my sister is on. Almost seems like a conspiracy to kill BB in the US. BB should get things together and push the update globally as the Apple do with iOS. If you want to, search the CrackBerry forum for tips how to upgrade now without Verizon´s update push.

  • Chris

    BBM is going cross platform so the Facetime issue won’t be an issue soon either as it will include the video calls for iOS/Android.

    • Dan Dad Does

      Hey Chris, thanks for the comments. Would be a HUGE deal if I could Facetime from BB to all my iOS friends and family. Still will need to get them to install BBM, but at least it is free!

      • Stephen_81

        You wont be “Facetiming” with your contacts. your contacts will need to download BBM for their iPhones/Android devices to be able to Video Chat. You’ll notice better sound quality out of a iPhone to iPhone BBM video vs an iPhone to iPhone Facetime from the experience I’ve heard. The downfall is obviously you need to get contacts to download BBM but that shouldn’t be difficult as it is a social media + messaging app all in one without the middle man attack abilities like iMessage.

        I encourage you to download BBM for your iPhone and try it

      • JimCanuck

        You can also use Skype for BlackBerry for cross-platform communications. Skype has recently upgraded their iOS, Android and BlackBerry apps to support what approached HD Video pixel density if not the actual resolution (for instance 512 x 288 @30fps). BBM voice has the same voice quality as Skype while BBM Video, currently only on BlackBerry 10 devices but coming soon to iOS and Android, appears to have at least the same resolution. A recent release of Skype for BlackBerry not only has the HD video but also much improved overall performance on a BlackBerry.

        • freddysrevng2

          @ Jim… BBM Video Chat from my Z30 to a couple of Z10 owned by colleagues – blows Skype away in ease of use and video/audio quality…. not even close…

          • JimCanuck

            No argument there; I have had great BB10 to BB10 video calls; now to see how it performs cross-platform. Keep in mind Skype also works across PC’s – a big benefit if you have a laptop or desktop as well as a mobile smartphone.

  • Syaz

    Great review. For once, it seemed like a reviewer took the time to actually try the phone, rather than rehash what other media outlets stated at the first OS 10 iteration (10.0).

    If you’re willing to sideload one single app (Snap), your device will be opened up to the Google Play store. It’s awesome. Some apps just wont work (they require Google Play services), but for the most part, I have not come across many that fail.

    Thanks for being honest and impartial, despite being a self proclaimed Apple Fanboy!

    • Dan Dad Does

      Hey Syaz, thanks for the comments. If you want to go ahead and post a link for the easiest way to sideload Snap, that would be very helpful for our readers who want to try that out. If our comment system won’t allow the link, just use the Contact Us page and drop us an email and we will get it up here. Thanks!

      • Syaz

        Consider it done:
        Crackberry Link explaining how to do everything. It took me about 4 minutes to install… And now life is pretty fantastic. Credit goes to the developer and to Bla1ze at CrackBerry for the instructions.

        • Dan Dad Does

          Thanks, but just for our readers to be clear – they need to have 10.2.1 before they can follow this procedure. As of 2/19, in the USA on Verizon, they have not sent the update past 10.2.0

          • Syaz

            Ah yes, I had forgotten (I was also posting from my mobile; easy to miss questions)… I’ve had 10.2.1 for months now (before the official update, I had a leaked version) and forgot that the US carriers haven’t graced their users with this latest (and to some, gamechanging) update. File that link away for when you guys do get the update.

            Thanks again Dan.

          • Graham Fluet

            You can install 10.2.1 yourself pretty easily. I don’t have the specific instructions, but it’s basically
            1. make a full backup of your phone in BB Link
            2. download and run the installer for your specific phone
            3. Restore the backup you made in BB Link

            that’s literally all i had to do on my Q5, and it preserved all of my setting while giving me access to new feature. You do have to restart a couple times to make sure all configuration files get updtated though.

          • Cletis

            Dan, that’s incorrect. Verizon has been on in the USA for over a month.

          • Dan Dad Does

            While I am often wrong and easily confused and distracted by shinny objects…I do know that on Z30, with Verizon, in the US, the current version of OS is as of 8:35am EST on 2/20/14. I have asked people direct at BlackBerry and they confirm that Verizon has not pushed 10.2.1 yet in the US.

          • freddysrevng2

            you need 10.2.1… a number of BlackBerry owners are loading “leaked versions of 10.2.1″ on their Z30, Z10 and Q10′s – and having a lot of success with Netflix etc… I will wait for the official launch of 10.2.1 from my carrier…

      • JimCanuck

        Snap and loading Android apps do require 10.2.1. (The Android player in it is based on JellyBean 4.2 instead of Android 2.3 and is much better.)

  • Kyle

    Excellent review all your points.
    Couple things I would like to add.

    1/ FaceTime and PhotoStream is great but only limited to iphone users. BBM is cross platform and can be used by both iphone and andriod users. Currently only BBM Voice is offered for non Blackberry Users but soon in a future upgrade BBM Video and BBM Screen Share will be available.

    2/ I agree Blackberry Appworld has limited apps, but there are native substitute apps available that can be used as replacements for your popular apps. There is a native igrann and blackgrann app for instagram and a native whine app for vine etc.

    Also blackberry users can download snap app from and gain access to google play. Currently I have Netflix and Spotify operating on my Z10 and they both run flawlessly.

    Great work on the review and thanks for showing the initiative to review blackberry products.

    • Dan Dad Does

      Hey Kyle – thanks for the comments and tips – good stuff. Yes, would be a major plus for me if BBM for iOS allowed Video and Screen Share. Thanks for the link to Snap, once Verizon pushes 10.2.1 I will check it out.

  • newcollector

    As a Z10 user running OS, it is a snap to download instagram and netflix from android. They run like a charm. Yet there is a BlackBerry World app called Igrann that is a portal for Instagram. The app issue, except for facetime, now becomes mute. However, shortly through the cross platform BBM, video calling will be made available.

    • Ryan Rodrigue

      Cross platform video calling will be nice. I’ve used voice calling and it works great. I made a call from Ontario, Canada to St Lucia in the Caribbean.

  • newcollector

    Forgot to mention: nice review. Very fair.

    • Dan Dad Does

      Thanks very much for taking the time to check out the review and comment. Will check out Igrann.

  • Stephen_81

    Excellent comparison. As a Phone geek I want to give you so many points and directions to get more out of your Z30 and show why it is much better ( especially once you can move to OS10.2.1 from 10.2.0 ) but I’ll refrain because I like the tone of the review.

    This review was done as an everyday non phone geek would use their device. You’re not talking cloud integration solutions, you’re not talking about security, you’re not talking about Enterprise support. And I like that.

    I like your 90/10 rule, I too am similar with my devices and I prefer BlackBerry above all else having had the iPhone4S for a year.

    I do hope you revisit your BlackBerry Z30 vs iPhone5 ( or iPhone6) later and give a similar review as you become more familiar with the device.

    • Dan Dad Does

      Thanks for the comments. Absolutely right, we did not touch on security, business vs personal profiles, etc. From a business standpoint, the BlackBerry has a tremendous amount to offer, but I think most people know this.

      I do think a follow-up review is in order as I use it more and once I have 10.2.1

      • Stephen_81

        I encourage you to reach out on twitter or sites like and ask about getting the most out of your Z30 . The #teamBlackBerry hashtag is very well searched and supported and the community is very eager to help people learn more about BlackBerry.

        A few things to learn about
        BlackBerry Reminder app with Evernote integration
        BlackBerry File Manager with DropBox and integration
        BlackBerry Share Framework

        These are things that while Business user focused really are useful for parents and your everyday person with almost no setup and you forget you’re using the apps.

        My twitter is @stephenbb81 if you are looking for a friendly name to bounce ideas off of or want someone to BBM with that can show you the more advanced features.

        Enjoy playing with 2 devices That is how I learned the most about both iOS and BlackBerry 10 having both in hand and always comparing them to eachother.

        • Dan Dad Does

          Thanks for all this – some great info and definitely helpful! Does appear that BlackBerry has a very passionate community of users.

      • xBURK

        Ohhhh, I missed that you didn’t have 10.2.1 yet. Don’t let the .1 think this is not a major update. Out of the three updates this year, this is the one that truly makes bb10 amazing. You’re in for a real treat.

  • JimCanuck

    I’ve made a few responses to other comments but your review helps significantly to validate what I have felt have been the strengths of BlackBerry 10. One point: I am testing a new version of an app for iOS, Android and BlackBerry where the developer is using Phonegap for cross-platform development; I am in agony when typing on the iPhone 5 keyboard. Arghh!!

    And my suggestion for accessing all those apps on iOS – I use a Z10 (getting a Z30 soon) and iPad Air with a Bluetooth keyboard. They make a great combination.

  • Easy-G

    Glad you were able to take the Z30 for a spin! It’s really too bad that it takes some time and interest to get the most out of BlackBerry 10 (loading the latest leaked OS and installing Android apps like Netflix, etc.).

    I think your 90/10 rule sums it up quite nicely. With access to Android apps I would say it comes up to 95/5! However, there will always be that Apple exclusivity that some people can’t part with in their daily drive (Facetime, AirPlay, or other Apple-exclusives). When your circle of friends and family are primarily on iOS, Apple services become much more compelling.

    • Ryan Rodrigue

      It’s not a leak anymore and can use a number of third party Android app stores to get your .apk files. I can confirm Netflix Works great, especially with miracast.

    • Dan Dad Does

      Thanks for the comment. I would tend to agree – if you have access to Android apps, probably getting closer to 95/5. Funny, you said in 2 paragraphs what took me over 1,000 words to convey :)

  • Dan Dad Does

    Hey, just wanted to say a big Thank You to everyone! You guys (and gals) have left such great comments, filled with great tips, info and insight. New readers, if you only have a few minutes, skip my review above and just read these comments – probably has better info:) Seriously, was worried this would just become a silly battle of iOS users versus BB OS users and who could knock the other one more – but just the opposite has happened. We have had readers provide great input, different opinions and somehow I have not even been called an idiot… yet. Thanks!

    • JimCanuck

      One thing about BlackBerry, there is a very loyal group of BlackBerry fans who understand its potential. (Just ask the CEO of T-Mobile, if you have been following that story.) If they have one frustration, it’s the app situation but it has become much better over the past year. And the Z30 has lots of yet unseen potential with some of its technology. These loyalists really appreciate that you have taken time to check it out and to provide a real user experience appraisal. (Most just tend to write off BlackBerry because they don’t understand the underlying business potential that is being leverage under the new CEO.)

      • Dan Dad Does

        Hey Jim – very well said and thanks for taking the time to provide all the tips and info. Kudos to the BlackBerry fans for being loyal and I will also say very knowledgable.

  • HDLuffy

    Z30 is absolutely the most underrated phone on earth with highest bench mark speed test browser. It’s funny since the old BlackBerry had the worst stock browsers.

    • Dan Dad Does

      Thanks for the comments. It is interesting that the Z30 gets a 9.9 User Rating on PhoneArena – higher than the iPhone 5, 5S or Samsung Galaxy S3, S4. Clearly BB folks love the Z30…and I can see why. A beautiful phone.

      • HDLuffy

        I wish I had the z30.

      • freddysrevng2

        For further Z30 better than iPhone 5S’s and Galaxy S4 ratings …. please feel free to also take a look at those on Verizon, Amazon and Rogers’ websites…. Verizon has Z30 at 4.9/5 stars and 97% of owners would recommend to a friend with over 70 counted…. best phone in the world that few know about…

        I have had mine for over 2 months – upgraded from a Galaxy S3 – that I had for a year – Z30 is superior in every way – except until 10.2.1 come out next month – I don’t have Netflix that I don’t use anyway….

  • Victoria Villalobos

    Thanks for the awesome review! I like the “real world” focus you brought to the table. I spent two months with my Z30 and loved it from the get-go. I switched from my iPhone to BlackBerry because of privacy concerns in the aftermath of the PRISM scandal and I was really worried it would be a downgrade. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I not only liked the device but that ultimately I prefer it to either iOS or Android.

    And with the latest BB10 update I can run just about any Android app I want to (including Netflix) with no problem. It’s amazing to be able to have Netflix running on your phone and connect it to a hotel TV via an HDMI cable. That comes in handy for traveling with children. :-)

    Thanks again for your review. Maybe we’ll get a chance to pull you over to the BlackBerry world once BBM add video to the cross-platform offering which would replace your need to FaceTime!

    • Dan Dad Does

      Hey Victoria thanks for the great comments. The whole NSA PRISM scandal is another angle which we didn’t even get into. Seems to be a common thread I am finding, people who go over to BB10 for some reason, expect to miss the iOS or Android world they came from, but then have no regrets and love their new home. Maybe there is a Disney movie in all this :)

      • Victoria Villalobos

        I’d watch that movie. :-)

    • freddysrevng2

      Great stuff, Victoria… I am going to rent “Dallas Buyer’s Club” from BlackBerry world on my Z30, this weekend, and play it on my Samsung Plasma TV…. BlackBerry world, has a number of excellent features about it – rent/buy movies, songs, apps and you never hear a positive thing about it …. app gap will slam shut with 10.2.1 – I wonder what the “rap” on BlackBerry will be then… stay tuned…

      Enjoy your Z30 – I have had mine for 2 months… best phone I have ever owned out of about a dozen at this point…

      • Victoria Villalobos

        Sigh. I would still be enjoying it if I hadn’t spilled coffee on it. Back to the Z10 for now. Still a good phone.

  • Dan Dad Does

    Hey, I hope BlackBerry is paying you, because that was some incredible information you just laid out :) All awesome stuff, will definitely use as a guide as I explore the BB world in more depth. I am sure it is very helpful for many of our readers as well – Thanks!

    • veeru789

      I wish BlackBerry pays me for that :p
      but just doing my bit in spreading the word.

  • xBURK

    Hi. I stumbled on your video from another site today. So glad I did. I’ve registered and look forward to reading your articles. (I’m a new proud Father myself) Without getting into boring details, it’s important to realize that BlackBerry has had a brand new management team since November 2013. Blame it on many things, but the old management is the biggest contributor to BlackBerry’s bad perception. This alone is a huge reason why the public has little knowledge of the brand new BB10 operating system. On the other hand, BlackBerry’s employees deserve credit. BB10 has had three major updates in one year. All bringing hundreds of improvements. I own a Z10 and I’m naturally biased of course. At any rate, I thank you for taking this challenge. IPhones are truly amazing in their own right, but it’s nice to see other options are just as good or even better for some people’s needs. All the best.

    • Dan Dad Does

      Thanks for the comments. That is very interesting and would explain a lot. It is incredible how little I knew about BlackBerry before this challenge and I have been to CES for the past 4 years, we review a good amount of tech gear – so we are sort of in this world. Excellent point about people not really knowing about BB10, but once they try it out, they will be very surprised. Congrats on being a new Dad!

  • orgasmicDANGER

    Why didn’t you just download the APK file for Netflix or whatever you wanted and then install it onto your Z30? Did you update to yet?

    • Dan Dad Does

      Thanks for the comments. Point of this review was to experience the Z30 as a “average” consumer would. Pull it out of the box and activate with the software provided by the carrier. Here in the US, on Verizon, with Z30, the “latest software” is still 10.2.0

      • redshiftquasars

        Here’s a cool little tidbit for you to take advantage of while using the Z30(or any other BB10 device). When replying to an email, if you find that you also need to CC someone else, it will show you some appropriate choices for that particular email, if you select a different email from a totally unrelated person and reply you will see a that the choices for adding a CC will be totally different from the first reply. How do they do that?

  • louis

    And don’t forget that bb z30 also has usb otg so You can attach an usb memory key or hdd as well :-)

    • Dan Dad Does

      Thanks for the comments. Yes, the USB OTG and Miracast did not make it into the review, may have to include in a follow-up.

  • PowerWheelz #BB10

    I would like to see a follow-up review once you get 10.2.1 update and try loading Android apps. Whether it be side loading snap(best option in my opinion) or installing amazon, aptoide, or 1mobile apk directly.
    You can wait for Verizon to release the update or load the version the rest of the world already has. Might help push the American companies along.
    Great review. I so want a z30!

    • Dan Dad Does

      Thanks for the comments. Will definitely update once I get 10.2.1. Sounds like a major improvement.

      • Raoul Duke

        Thank you for the insightful review, DDD. BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 runs Netflix, Instagram, etc. now. As you mentioned at the end of the video, you can install Android app files directly on the BlackBerry. One way is to install the curated Amazon Android app store and download Android apps from there using an Amazon account. Another way is to “sideload” an app called “Snap” (developed by a BlackBerry user and available at and it will act as an interface to Google Play, giving you access to the entire Android catalog using your Google login credentials.

  • Bold

    I have been checking out the Z30 for the past few weeks (currently on the iPhone 4S). The battery life, larger keyboard and sound quality would make my life much easier since I am out and about on foot most of the day (no car to recharge in). I am starting to lean towards the BB now. Nice review, I look forward to reading the followup.

    • Dan Dad Does

      Thanks for the comments. I was amazed that the Z30 actually has double the battery amps over the iPhone 5. This really makes a huge difference in day to day use.

  • HDLuffy

    dont forget it has expandable memory SD card slots that can hold 64gig cards.

    • Dan Dad Does

      Excellent point and should have been mentioned. This is a major limitation with the iPhone, if you went with a 32Gig (as I did) and you fill it up (as I did) only option is to delete things. Being able to pop in a SD card is great on the Z30.

  • peter

    I’m a loyal BlackBerry user, but when friends ask for advice on a new phone the first thing I do is find out if they have specific needs which will best be served by a particular phone or OS. I really appreciate finding similar attitudes online.

    As other folks have noted, you can download 10.2.1 directly from BlackBerry instead of waiting for your wireless provider. Once you have that installed, the Google Play store is wide open using Snap. Not all the apps I’ve tried work, but the vast majority of them do. has a list of confirmed working apps.

    With the latest version of BBM for Android and iOS, both video and audio calls are possible across platforms. The trick is to convince people that installing another app is worth the inter-operability it affords.

    Here’s the link for OS 10.2.1:

    • Dan Dad Does

      Thanks Peter – some great info!

  • VeryGoodIMO

    Good review but yo just point on the things you didn’t like.
    BBM is already available for iPhone and Android. In fact, this is a good thing for Blackberry now as you will have better experience using BBM on Blackberry. Also, the latest BBM update comes with BBM voice and channels.

    BB10.2.1 is already out and there is no dearth of apps on Blackberry now. Install what you like on your BB10 with peace of mind of using Blackberry security with vast number of apps from Android.

    • Dan Dad Does

      Hey, thanks for reading and commenting. I do believe I listed a number of things I liked about the Z30. I did put BBM on my iPhone, but as of now still no video or screen sharing.

      Here in the US, with a Z30 and Verizon, they still have not updated users to 10.2.1 – but will definitely follow-up when that update comes out.

      • louis

        Here in NL I got 10.2.1 almost a month ago on my Sim-lock free Z10. Maybe with providers like Verizon and T-Mobile it has to do with the fact that it’s now possible to Phone each other for free via BBM?

  • John

    First chance I have some spare change I’m upgrading my Z10 to a Z30.

    • freddysrevng2

      Probably be a while, John, since Apple is still playing “catch up” on a larger screen which will be too late…

    • Stephen_81

      It will take a long while before a HUB like feature makes it to iOS, It would take a fundamental shift at Apple. Apple places Apps in silo’s so to speak they don’t interact with eachother the HUB requires app integration so iOS would need to address that. It wouldn’t be as simple as opening up access to do so because you run into a whole new batch of security issues and resource eating issues so they’d have to address that and Apple is historically slow at addressing security so a change of such magnitude would take a long time.

      I can see Android and Windows Phone both bringing in a more HUB like experience in the next 2 generations of their OS as it truly is fantastic. BlackBerry has an edge now, they must keep improving upon it while trying to fix their unwarranted tarnished band.

      • John

        Is the BlackBerry edge because BB10 is built on QNX?

        • Stephen_81

          BlackBerry’s edge is they built the OS from the ground up with these ideals in mind.

          Just like all the silly talk about how “BlackBerry should have brought BBM cross platform sooner” and then comparing them to WhatsApp and the like, the Problem BBM had until 2012 was it was a BIS service, Whatsapp never had legacy to deal with when they built there platform, BlackBerry did with BBM.

          BlackBerry10 was built from the ground up abandoning legacy, Just like Apple did with OSX, Abandoning legacy means they can build for what they want and not break things. iOS is now long in the tooth and would have to fundamentally change. They could do it with a UNIX code, heck Android could do it without QNX, QNX was just the foundation BlackBerry needed to start their new OS

  • freddysrevng2

    nice work, veeru… well played..

  • akamanonthemoon

    Great review!! I await for the Z30 to be released on AT&T soon!!

    • Dan Dad Does

      Thanks for the comment, it will be better when more carriers offer the phone.

  • Abdullah Hadi

    really loved your review. I am long lover of BB phones since 2007 and currently running Z30. Seriously the phone is under rated and I was amazed with how beautifully you compared the 2 phones. It must be an eye opener for all. Also wanted to share with you a link. This asian guy has made many BB videos and he does in in funny way, but I want to share it so that you can see some cool features which are real easy to miss. Just search “bye bye blackberry z10″ on youtube

  • Brian_Pelican

    Great real life review. I was a little bit wary of upgrading to the Z30 but now when I look at my old 4″ phone I find it hard to imagine going back. The browser in BB10 is light years ahead and having installed several android apps, notably Netflix, Scrabble, Zinio & Flappy Bird, there’s really no app gap any more. The curved edges of the glass make the gestures smoother and easier, the colour of the display is so rich and like you said, the battery goes all day even with heavy use. To stay in touch with other platforms there is Skype, WhatsApp and cross platform BBM so lots of options but I still tend to use text messaging & email most and this is again, far superior on BB10 than Android or iPhone. 2¢

    • Dan Dad Does

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. The curved edges really are a nice touch – feels good in your hand.

  • Dana

    I have had both a Z10 and a Z30 which I use in my business. There are two things that I think are incredible which no one has commented on, one of which even the BB tech people knew nothing about. The first, and for me, this alone would make the phones worthwhile(you can do this on the old ones too) – if you put a phone number and email address in the “notes” section of your contacts, the number and email address are hot. For example, put your family name in as a contact, and then in the “notes” section of that contact put in all the names of family members and their phone numbers and email addresses. If you want to call someone in the family, just go to the contact, thumb down to who it is you want to call and hit the number and it calls. You can not do this on an Iphone or an android. So, in a business environ., put in a company name as a contact, then in the notes section, all the people you deal with there – no more searching for “what was his/her name?”. No more trying to remember a number while you dial it, while driving (in theory of course since none of us would ever do that.)

    The second thing is the File Manager app, built in. With this, I can access my computer from anywhere in the world as long as it is on and I have wi-fi- you can open the files, play videos from the computer, open documents, edit them, save them, send them, print them, etc. No more having to carry a thumb drive of files, it is all accessible from your home/business computer. (If it is slow to work, just go to settings, blackberry lind, and then turn it off and on.).

    Thought I’d throw this into the mix. I have an iphone5 and prefer the BB’s head and shoulder over them.

    • Dan Dad Does

      Hey Dana, thanks so much for leaving these great tips. I did not know about their Contact list family trick – will have to try it out. Excellent tips – thanks again for sharing!

  • Peter

    Verizon is finally rolling out the 10.2.1 update for the Z30 today. I’ll look forward to your updated review and please let me know if you need help downloading SNAP.

  • Pingback: BlackBerry Z30 Review Update, Who Knew .1 Was So Big? | Dad Does

  • Dan Dad Does

    Hi All – If interested, we did post an update to this review, our experiences using the 10.2.1 OS and some of the more advanced features on the phone –

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