It's fair to say that BlackBerry's back is against the wall at this point. By most counts, it's been surpassed in market share by Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, and the gap between it and iOS and/or Android is rather enormous. Rather than throw in the towel, however, BlackBerry opted to launch the Z30, it's biggest, fastest, and most advanced smartphone ever.
The major selling point here is that the BlackBerry Z30 brings a 5-inch display to the mobile party. Whether you want to consider that a big-size smartphone or a phablet is up to you; either way it's a generously sized Super AMOLED display, though BlackBerry opted for a 1280x720 resolution (295 pixels per inch) rather than go Full HD 1080p (1920x1080).
While talking about the hardware, it also features a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with a QuadCore Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of built-in storage, 8MP rear-facing camera, 2MP front-facing camera, microHDMI output, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0LE, 4G LTE radio, NFC support, and a 2880 mAh battery that BlackBerry claims will last up to 25 hours of mixed use.
On the software side, the Z30 ships with BlackBerry 10.2, the latest version of BB10 with "hundreds of refinements" and a bunch of new features. Among them are things like a BlackBerry Priority Hub (manages your conversations across multiple mediums), message previews in whatever app you're using, and more.
The BlackBerry Z30 will be available through select carriers and retailers around the world beginning next week in the U.K. and Middle East. All other regions will see the smartphone in the holiday season. Pricing has not yet been announced.