BlackBerry haven’t been having the greatest last 12 months, losing their CEO and BB10 not getting the reception they had hoped. With John Chen taking the helm things have finally come with some semblance of stability and in one of the most pessimistic headlines ever from their Q4 earnings, BlackBerry didn’t lose AS MUCH as we thought.

The BlackBerry Z3 is the first of the new family of BB10 devices that BlackBerry are releasing. Codenamed Jakarta, the Z3 has already been in the wild for a month or 2, making its debut in Indonesia and drawing smatterings of praise from the people who were fortunate to get their hands on one. We managed to get our hands on a Z3 ahead of its local launch today and we are pretty impressed with what we found. Rome wasn’t built in a day, BlackBerry won’t be rebuilt in one either. This is a wonderful start to the FY15 set of devices and a great value proposition for its price.

More after the jump

BlackBerry Z3-17

The standard components you get with just about any phone these days, no frills.

BlackBerry Z3-16

BlackBerry Z3-1

BlackBerry Z3-2

The rear of the device is a dimpled rubberized plastic. It feels decent and not something you will find on a mobile phone of this price. I’m starting to like texturized covers on a mobile phone and the Z3 is a good example of how to apply it.

BlackBerry Z3-3

BlackBerry Z3-4

BlackBerry Z3-5

Power button as well as the volume rocker with the voice command button on the side.

BlackBerry Z3-9

BlackBerry Z3-10

 

Because the back is non-removable, the Z3 has a flap just like the Sony Xperia Z1/Z2 and it doesn’t look terribly out of place with a device like this.

BlackBerry Z3-6

BlackBerry Z3-7

BlackBerry Z3-8

In comparison to the Galaxy S5, the lack of a shiny metal exterior “rim” makes it look just as, if not more premium than the S5. Granted the specs are a long way away but I would definitely love to have a phone of that build in my hands. Kudos to BlackBerry for this.

BlackBerry Z3-12

BlackBerry Z3-15

BlackBerry Z3-14

BlackBerry Z3-13

All in all, BlackBerry have done a good job with this Entry Level device. Sporting decent enough specs to compete in the lower mid range as well as a build that can play right up there with the big boys. If this is how the first device of the FY15 lineup is going to be, it may be a very bright future for BlackBerry indeed.

The BlackBerry Z3 will be available from July 7th and retail for RM699