So here’s some preliminary information about me that will be relevant: I’m an Android user. A Samsung Galaxy S3 to be exact. Before I got this Android for Christmas, I owned an iPhone, a Blackberry, another iPhone, and another Blackberry, in succession. And since acquiring my Samsung Galaxy S3, I had the option to swap to the iPhone 5. I turned it down.
You see, I’m not an Apple fanboy. I like my Mac and I appreciate using my iPad on the go, but I very much dislike iOS. I know. This is going to upset some people. We get attached to our phones like we get attached to our parenting styles. It becomes highly personal and disagreements about rival phone choices turn into outright wars.
I’m not trying to start a war. So, if you’re a diehard iOS lover, you might not want to read this post. But, if you’re interested in technology, as I am, or if you’re looking for a new smartphone in a ever-growing market, or if you’re getting a little tired of iOS, or if you just like to read the words I write (aww, I love you too!) then this post is for you!
I recently had the chance to use the BlackBerry Z30, the current flagship Blackberry, for a few weeks. We’re no stranger to BlackBerry smartphones in this house. My husband uses one through work and (because we believe that Canadian cellular companies are robbing Canadians blind because they can) he recently decided that it would be his primary phone (his current model is the Z10, though he recently used the Q10). And, as said above, my first and third smartphones were BlackBerry (though I couldn’t tell you the models now. I suck at this tech reviewer thing).
But the question is – is a BlackBerry Z30 really a good option for busy Moms?
We know that smartphones are a critical item in many a Super Mom’s utility belt. It is our wallet full of photos, our memory keeper, our scheduler, our distracter, our novels, our coffee money, and sometimes our work. It is our line to the outside world when we’re home and our line to home when we’re out. We have them, we use them, we love them.
But, what kind should we use?
iPhones and Androids are incredibly popular with the Mama crowd. I’ve found conflicting reports about whether iPhones or Androids come out ahead in the demographic, but they are definitely the front runners. I was left wondering if BlackBerry could compete.
The short story is, it can now. I was actually surprised. BlackBerry smartphones are known for their security and their keyboard, none of which were particularly applicable to my life as a connected mother. But the Z30 was a massive step up from the previous Blackberry smartphones I had used with the keyboard and trackpad and small screen. The Z30 is a slick looking phone. At a few millimetres taller than my Samsung Galaxy S3, it fit incredibly nicely in my hand and it didn’t have the awkward keyboard that I never really liked (though I know some people love it, which is why BlackBerry continues to make phones with the physical keyboard). The thing is, the BlackBerry Z30 could be mistaken for any other large-screened smartphone, and that isn’t a bad thing.
My biggest concern with the BlackBerry operating system was the lack of app support. It was the reason I left BlackBerry all those years ago – I wanted Instagram. And while Instagram (and other equally important apps) are not native to BlackBerry, the most recent update to the BlackBerry operating system (named 10.2.1 by a dysfunctional marketing department) allows users to access the Android app market and the Amazon app market, essentially making any concern about missing apps disappear.
The BlackBerry ecosystem has some pretty neat features, including a hub that manages all notifications and updates, the ability to wirelessly charge, a beefed up version of BBM, a feature that lets you take multiple photos in one sitting and choose the best looking face for everyone in the image, and an app called Story Maker that is likely the easiest video creation app on any smartphone. If you’re used to the iOS, you’ll also notice a pretty awesome notification light that notifies you of updates without needing to listen for alerts, a much better keyboard, a larger screen, and the ability to multi-task between apps.
What the BlackBerry Z30 has that neither my Samsung nor the iPhone can compete with is battery life. The Z30 could withstand more than a full day of my heavy use and notifications without being charged. Neither my Samsung nor any iPhone that I’ve ever heard of has been able to do that.
All in all, the BlackBerry Z30 would be a good phone for a Mom. It doesn’t reek of bureaucracy. It can do nearly everything the iPhone and the Android can do with a few extra cool features of its own. The BlackBerry Z30 is a legitimate phone choice and shouldn’t be overlooked the next time you’re looking for a phone upgrade. (Especially if you’re on iOS.. ahem).
I was loaned a BlackBerry Z30 to review but received no compensation for this post. Okay, perhaps I won a little goodwill with my husband, but that’s about it.