5 Ways The BlackBerry Z30 Is Not The Samsung Galaxy S4

BlackBerry Z10 Vs. Galaxy S4
Its processor might be an S4, but BlackBerry's latest smartphone is worlds away from the Samsung Galaxy S4. And although it's handsome and capable, The CRN Test Center believes the BlackBerry Z30 is hitting markets about three years too late to reverse the flagging fortunes of the once mighty darling of enterprise execs everywhere.

Still, BlackBerry CEO John Chen remains optimistic about a comeback and is banking on the company's roots in security-conscious defense and financial markets for its turnaround. But if marketing genius Apple is having trouble keeping up with Android, does anyone really believe that BlackBerry has a shot? If so, here are five ways that the BlackBerry Z30 is not the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Processing Power

Inside BlackBerry's Z30 is a Snapdragon S4 Pro. That's a Qualcomm system-on-chip with two Krait application cores and an Adreno 320 graphics processor. That's a perfectly acceptable CPU/GPU combination, but Samsung's is better and faster. The Galaxy S4 has a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 with four Krait application cores running at 1.9GHz. And the Snapdragon 600 employs a speed-enhanced version of the Adreno 320. Both come with 2 GB of memory for running applications and the operating system, and both come with 16 GB of storage that can be expanded by 64 GB via microSD card.

LCD Screen

Both devices are built around 5-inch super active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED). The "super" part just means that it's brighter and contains more pixels than regular AMOLED. In Samsung's case, it's a lot more. Resolution of the Z30 is 1,280 x 720, which calculates to 295 pixels per inch. And while the BlackBerry screen actually looks quite sharp and is plenty bright enough, it's practically blurry next to Samsung's. The Galaxy S4 faces the world with a full HD display -- 1,920-x-1,080 pixels. That's a whopping 441 ppi. Both offer multitouch capability, have proximity sensors and automatically adjust brightness based on ambient lighting conditions.


This one's real simple. Samsung comes with a 13-MP camera that takes amazing pictures using one or both cameras at once with software that's among the best we've seen. BlackBerry offers an 8-MP camera with minimal features. On the plus side, BlackBerry's main camera can capture full HD video at 30 fps and can make video calls. Samsung's has the same capture capability plus time lapse effects. Both include 2-MP front cameras, digital image stabilization, digital zoom, face detection, geo-tagging and touch-to-focus features; although BlackBerry's also takes a picture, Samsung's requires a second touch.


The Z30 is a tiny bit longer (5.53 inches) and wider (2.83 inches) than the S4 (5.38 x 2.75); but, ultimately, the differences are negligible with these biggish devices. They're also about the same thickness, with Samsung edging out BlackBerry 0.31 to 0.37. The real difference is the weight. At 4.59 oz., Samsung beats BlackBerry's 6 oz. by almost an ounce and a half. Both devices come with mostly plastic cases, but BlackBerry's is slightly textured and feels grippier than Samsung's. The Z30 is a great looking device, with its edge-to-edge glass and mostly black face. But we've grown accustomed to Galaxy's home key and buttons for navigation and menus. Their absence on the BlackBerry was a nuisance.

The Bottom Line

For organizations that absolutely, positively must deploy back-end messaging within their own walls, BlackBerry is really the only choice. But BlackBerry devices offer a comparatively small number of apps and just a single choice of carriers: Verizon. Those are serious downsides when put next to the hundreds of thousands of apps for Android and the availability of the S4 from all major carriers. Samsung, meanwhile, has put a huge emphasis on fortifying device security for the enterprise and bundles its Knox kernel-level security solution and boot protection with voice and facial recognition added to its numerical code and pattern-trace device locking systems. Both BlackBerry and Samsung include with their phones a locator app that can remotely lock a device and wipe all data. But with the shaky ground that BlackBerry's on, some companies will not struggle with the decision to choose Samsung mobile devices instead.