BlackBerry Z50 and Q30 could be the next flagship BB10 devices

Ian Hardy

November 18, 2013 7:24 am

BlackBerry has promised to release “2 high-end devices and 2 entry-level devices” in the near future. We’ve already seen the entry-level C-Series leak online, but new rumours have surfaced that could give a bit more insight into what the Waterloo-based company has planned for 2014.

According to an overseas report, BlackBerry will release a full touchscreen flagship called the Z50, a follow-up to the Z10 and the 5-inch Z30, that will sport a 5.2-inch 1080p display and quad-core processor. The Z50 will apparently go on sale sometime in Q3 2014. In addition, a continuation from the Q5 and Q10 is in the works and will be another touch/QWERTY called the Q30. Specs are unknown and it’s reportedly launching Q2 2014.

Of course, these are just rumours until BlackBerry confirms them. For now we have the current lineup and BBM.

Source: BBin, Ctech

  • Super_Deluxe

    And then Android OEMs will be on qHD displays by the time that’s out. Lol go figure blackberry.

    **wqHD displays

    • Quantos

      I’d tend to agree with you there. If BB released a 1080p, quad core right now, that would only equate the competition. It’s bound to be behind the competition come Q3 2014.

      The one thing that I don’t understand is how exactly they expect to engage people to switch. It takes considerable effort to get a person to switch from one OS to the other. You need a combination of strong arguments; amazing value, amazing specs, amazing marketing, etc. You don’t get that by releasing a flagship device that’s already more than a year behind in terms of technical specifications :/

    • Super_Deluxe

      Exactly. I don’t understand why they won’t just jump to the up to date specs if they’re gonna be late. Like in this case skip 1080p and go straight to wqHD screens. I know it isn’t gonna be easily noticeable by the naked eye at that screen size but I’d rather be up to date in terms of specs if I want to price my flagships so high. If don’t come out with Snap Dragon 800 processors either. It should be priced at around 450-500 because spec whores on Android, which I’m gonna admit I’ve became after I’ve joined the Android ship, will just ignore it and consider it an overpriced midrange device.

    • hahaberry

      And that’s all they are is overpriced midrange junk.

    • ELLAS

      So what you are telling us is that all the iPhones to date are JUNK too right? BB10 devices are far from junk, they are the best in the industry. Especially the Z30, that is a device to be proud of.

    • djorourke

      Not all their efforts are to encourage folks to switch.

      I work at one of those organizations that hands out BB’s to employees as an essential tool. The other platforms are still not an option for us for security reasons. The fact that they keep bumping specs helps enterprise staff stay content with the platform, even if they don’t match Android top-tier specs (a fault that Apple also has).

      I’ll say I’ve carried a BB for 8 years. Before BB10 I wasn’t at all pleased with the devices. But my Q10 has been good enough that I’ve stopped carrying my Nexus 4, and now carry only one device.

    • iPlunks

      With that new update to 10.2.1 I think its called would allow sideloading to the OS. This now causes the berry to be unprotected as the apps you download are not coming from google play store

    • J-Ro

      Side loading is cool but I don’t see the point. Aside from the offical instagram and Vine, most popular apps are in BB world.

    • hahaberry

      Bb world blows the biggest chunks of them all, and you know it so stop denying it, lol.

    • MXH070

      All android apps are placed in a sand box and can only operate with in it. Let’s be honest android apps from the play store or any other store has a chance for malware.

    • macy

      What I’ve heard that there’s no need for sideload, you can directly download them from a paralel app store!

    • Sweet

      BB10 has allowed users to sideload Android apps since the beginning. What’s different in 10.2.1 is that you can apparently sideload .apk files, whereas in previous versions of BB10 you had to convert those .apk files to .bar files.

      That’s my understanding. I haven’t tried it yet.

    • J-Ro

      I think their largest hurdle is going to be the average consumer. The one thing I like about my Q10 is how fast it syncs with my emails. I get them faster than I do to my desktop. I still have my S3 but I use that now like a micro tablet.

      I think the phones will catch on more when people realize they aren’t as bad as they all think.

    • djorourke

      I agree.
      There’s a locomotive of bad press that doesn’t do the platform justice.
      The OS is pretty slick. The devices are good. And with the OS updates allowing more simplicity around running Android apps, the app-gap has dramatically closed. It’ll be tough to get pundits to take a second look, but the product is pretty good.

    • charlie2010

      Consumers rate bb10 phones much higher than galaxy and iphone owners, its only the forward thinking and objective media ‘experts’ that trash it…..sarcasm.

    • hahaberry

      Newsflash, all phones work the exact same way nowadays, as do tablets since its not the device reaching out for email, its the push service sending it to you.
      To be honest apples push sends the fastest, with bbry in last place as easily witnessed by the notification tones going off around me.

    • J-Ro

      You have that backwards. The iPhone normally takes 15 minutes to sync and only gets it immediately with good timing.

    • hahaberry

      You’re so wrong dude. So wrong. Look, I hate apple, but it doesn’t change the fact they have the fastest hardware, largest and best ecosystem of apps, and for reasons unknown to me, the fastest push. Even gmail push on iOS is faster than android. Bbry tones are heard in the background anywhere from 15 seconds to 2 minutes behind, each and every time. Sorry.

    • J-Ro

      I guess we will have to agree to disagree. I have had different experiences with each device.

    • hahaberry

      All I can say is you need to get out more. Or better yet, just get with a bunch of friends that have different devices at the bar or something and make a game of it. You’ll see.

    • J-Ro

      I have done that, which is why I have to disagree. I have gotten a different experience entirely.

    • Shill Detector

      Somehow I don’t believe you. I’ve seen waaaay too many devices in my day and what I said is definitely the norm. Oh well, congrats to you, I guess.

    • WTangoFoxtrot

      I can already see the Android disclaimer saying “Compound retinas required to distinguish any real difference..”

    • charlie2010

      Hilarious…good point.

    • jroc

      qHD is 960×540. These came out a couple years ago.

    • Super_Deluxe

      You’re right. I meant wqHD :D

    • Ray Taylor

      I think chasing the resolution and processor core dragon is not a good strategy. It is not a differentiating factor but just says me too! But this is at the cost of battery life. The Z30 uses the same screen tech as the Galaxy S3/S4, but really, you cannot see the difference between 720p and 1080p as we already achieved pixel density that any improvements are not noticeable. Going to wqHD on a 4.5-6” display is laughably insane.

      I would gladly trade a 1080p or wqHD display for a better panel and battery life. And I could care less how many processing cores my phone has, or (for now) 64 bit address space when most phones are still running 1 GB of RAM and only starting to go to 2 GB. As long as my Z10 is smooth and fast I don’t even see the need to upgrade as what is important is already there.

      All this to say is there seems to be a lack of intelligence in the smart phone feature set wars. Except for Blackberry and to a large extent, Apple (for refusing to follow the bandwagon).

    • thisiscjay

      Pretty much this

    • Matt

      I disagree here. The difference between my S3 (720) and N5 (1080) is very apparent. There simply are no pixels on my N5. They just are _not_ there.

      I’m reminded of the first time I saw a “retina” display on an iPhone4 in comparison to my 3GS. It hurt my eyes to go back.

      That being said, the S3 is still very useable and a 720 screen is nothing to sneeze at. wqHD seems to be excessive in a 5″ screen… but the same was said about 1080.

      I agree otherwise. Specs are not the be-all end-all of a phone. My S3 doesn’t seem much slower than my N5 other than intensive 3D games.

    • Columbo

      I’m not sure if the average consumer will care. Personally I don’t think the human eye can even reliably tell the difference. Anyway when average people go buy phones they want to know about the OS, the camera, the battery life, the storage… you rarely hear people talk about pixel quality. They all look fantastic regardless.

    • Super_Deluxe

      Yeah I know but if it’s priced right meaning less than higher end phones that will have better specs then it’ll be fine. And judging from their pricing history I wouldn’t hold my breath for “fair” pricing.

    • ELLAS

      You have no idea what you are talking about nor do you know anything about hardware specifications. If you think Quad-Core CPU’s and a 1080p screen and 13MP camera etc., will assist you with your Android device, than you could not be MORE WRONG.
      Its an illusion to anybody that thinks otherwise.

      Though Specs do count, to a certain extent, but not for Android, nor iOS. Not even BB7 devices. They only count for both BB10 and WP8 at this time. More so for BB10 due to the fact its a TRUE Multi-Threading OS down to the micro-kernel. No other Mobile OS can compete with that.

      Until Android is completely overhauled and iOS is trashed with something better, your precious specs are meaningless FACT…

  • Francois Roy

    The LAST ones, you mean..?

  • eszklar

    Re: Z50 specs: this phone need to come out NOW instead of Q3, 2014. I’d like to see a 5.5″ or even 6″ version instead of 5.2″. BB 10.2.1.xxxx looks very promising but BB is always behind the ball spec wise for their hardware. If MS can step up the specs for their Lumia 1520 why can’t BB step it up? Good luck in any case.

    • barrist

      > this phone need to come out NOW instead of ____

      Basically sums up Blackberry the last few years.

  • St. Misery

    Android’s spec war is only amongst its own OS, BB10s specs are in line with or greater than most of the stuff from Apple or WP.
    Being the current owner of a Z10 I can say I’ve found 2 areas that are holding them back; first is apps, second; its not easy to use, probably a strong part of the reason why it tanked in the US.

    • djorourke

      I agree with the two areas you list.
      BB should have blown their ad budget on solving the second issue. Once you realize that swiping up from the bottom is the equivalent of the iPhone home button, things become a bit easier. But the hub’s insistence on returning to where you last left it as opposed to defaulting to an “all” view, is sure to confuse a rookie user.

    • charlie2010

      re: Once you realize that swiping up from the bottom is the equivalent of the iPhone home button

      I dont think iphone owners are capable of mastering such a challenging and steep learning curve….their os is so dumbed down its nothing more than a glorified app launcher…..perhaps after iOs copies a few more BB10 UI traits will the iSheep be ready for bb10

    • hahaberry

      Hey Mr. Delusional… Did you miss the notice that apple holds the world s crown on fastest hardware out there,/bar none? Lol

    • barrist

      lol so the only things holding it back are applications (who uses those anyway…?) and it’s usability… no biggie.

    • Sweet

      “… its not easy to use…”

      IMO, it is easy to use, but it’s not obvious how to use it. They’re changing that a bit in 10.2.1.

      The BB10 UI seems to be designed for usability performance (require the least amount of effort and steps while still accomplishing a lot). That’s great for people like me who want a powerful and efficient UI and are willing to learn how to use it, even if it means reading a manual.

      But not everybody is like that. Lots of people want to the UI to “tell them” (in a figurative sense) what they have to do, even if it requires lots of steps to accomplish the task. The PC version of Windows has been like that since about Win98 up to Win7 — the Start button tells you where to start, but in the end, accomplishing your task requires lots of steps.

      It’s great that we have different UIs to meet everybody’s needs.

  • yadeed

    The issue is that they cannot charge premium prices with no apps and last year spec. They need to change their price structure if they want to win the masses and create mind share. Note: I have a playbook that by they way was built with obsolescence in mind; at that time they said BBM do not need the latest hardware it run just fine as it is…well make a guess it could not be updated because the hardware is a joke. Thank G-d I bought this junk at 199 not 600 like others.

    • bbrysucks

      The easiest solution to this sorry heap of a company is for people to stop buying their garbage. Unfortunately as witnessed here and in every bb article, you have a select group of rejects that continue to believe that one day they’ll become someone, similar to their mind share that bb will become something. Not gonna happen though.

    • macy

      With the name that you have selected for yourself, it shows that your agenda is to bash them.
      BTW the only thing that sucks is you.
      BB won’t go anywhere!

    • yadeed

      macy how old are you?..I guess 12 y/o? keep your prejudices, inadequacies and limitation to yourself….this is a transliteration of a Hebrew name do not be so butt hurt if you do not get it and go and troll to your mom.

    • Matt

      Totally agree. BB’s devices cost too much for what they are, and their pricing structure would benefit from discounting handset prices to gain marketshare, a la Google’s Nexus.

      I don’t expect the subsidy to be THAT drastic, of course. But if the shareholders would make a concession and drop their profits x% to push their hardware, I’m certain they’d see a return. But what do I know? I don’t run a multi million dollar company… :-)

  • lborsato

    It’s as if BlackBerry’s marketing department is trying to kill the company.

    Hey Mr. Customer, you were probably thinking of buying our “flagship” Z30 this Christmas season, weren’t you? Or you could wait a few more months for our even better “flagship” Z50.

    Of course just before you but that Z50, we’re going to announce our new “flagship” Z70.

    Who are they making these phones for anyway? I thought they said they were going to focus on Enterprise?

    Maybe “focus” means something different in BlackBerryese.

    • Columbo

      Well first off, these are just rumours, not announcements by BlackBerry. And second, I could say the same with any company. Why should I get the iphone 5 when I know the 6 will be out next year? Why release the nexus 5 if the 6 is already in development? It’s just how things work in this industry.

    • lborsato

      Of course it’s how things work in this industry. But most companies keep phone rumours in check until after the Christmas shopping season. iPhone releases on new phone a year, early for Christmas usually. Most companies seem to have much better timing.

    • Columbo

      I don’t really agree. I was hearing rumours about the iPhone 6 before the 5 even launched (you can find some on this very site). And even if there are no outright rumours, it’s clear as day to everyone that there will be a new model for all the major phones in about a year. I don’t know who released this BB rumour but frankly I’d be shocked if the new phones come out less than a year after the Z30. Seems exactly on par with Apple, google, etc. Also in a way this almost works in BB’s favour – if there are still rumours coming out about upcoming phones, it subconsciously gives people the confidence that this company will be sticking around.

    • lborsato

      “frankly I’d be shocked if the new phones come out less than a year after the Z30″

      You mean unlike how the Z30 came out 7-8 months after the Z10? Yes a news model in a year does seem pretty standard, but within 8 months they’ve had the Z10, Q10, Q5, and Z30.

    • Sweet

      The Z30 was released in Q3 2013 (calendar year) so it makes perfect sense to release its successor one year later (Q3 2014), just as every other phone maker does.

      This recent BB rumour is no different than the recent rumours leaked about the next iPhones (larger screens, wrap-around display, etc.)

      Secondly, how is the Z50 not an enterprise phone ?

    • Matt

      The Z50 is to enterprise phones as a Lexus is to fleet vehicles. You don’t see the police riding around in Lincolns.

      You COULD market a high-end car as a fleet vehicle but you’d have a very select clientele…

    • Sweet

      My point is that there is not enough info about the Z50 in the article to determine if it’s an enterprise phone or not.

  • Tuan Bui

    As an Android user I see no reason leave googles superior ecosystem or ios for for that matter. BBM coming to multi platform was the last straw that broke the camels back. They should focus on app developers and advertising. Or maybe just leave BB10 and jump to android. Enough with these BB10 devices. What’s going to be difference this time around? Maybe put another celebrity in office lol.

  • Knacker

    One would think they’ve learned from their mistakes. Q3 of 2014. No they didn’t. Happy waiting BB fans!

  • Sweet

    Comparing phones that run different software platforms by comparing the specs of their CPUs, without considering the efficiency of the platforms, is stupid, misleading and ignorant.

    If you want to compare phones, you first have to compare the efficiency and performance of the software running on it. You do that by running the software tests using common hardware (in particular, the CPU). For smartphones, you would need to compare phones that run dual-core CPUs. Once you do that, you’ll see which platforms need to run quad-core CPUs and which ones can run just fine with a dual-core CPU.

  • southerndinner

    These will still sell less than a niche product like the Mega or HTC Maxx

  • HankBizzle

    I don’t give a rats a*s about tech specs and OS’s, all I want is physical buttons! I made the jump from BB to a HTC desire HD a few years ago and hated touch screen typing. I then got the HTC One X, and I still hate touch screen typing! I have an iPad and hate touch screen typing even on that! It just plain sucks! I want either a really good Android device with physical buttons or I’m just going back to a BB.
    Only apps I use are Twitter and SoundCloud anyway!