BlackBerry Z30 Unlocked GSM Smartphone Opens Door to Android Apps
REVIEW: The big new BlackBerry Z30 GSM handset eliminates one of the major stumbling blocks to using BlackBerry devices with its ability to run Android apps.When Michelle Maisto reviewed the BlackBerry Z30 in November 2013, the phone was only available from Verizon as a CDMA device and it came with a subsidy and a mobile service contract. Since then a great deal has changed. The phone is now available in a GSM version, meaning it can be used worldwide, and it's only available as an unlocked phone without a contract, either from BlackBerry or from Amazon, where it costs less. You can use the Z30 GSM in the United States on either AT&T or T-Mobile, where the phone will work with either carrier's HSPA+ or LTE networks. This phone will also work globally on GSM, 3G, most HSPA+ and some LTE networks. The phone supports T-Mobile's WiFi Calling, but that requires a release of BBOS that was not available for testing. This test was conducted using BBOS 10.2.1.3175, which has the ability (along with some other release numbers) to run Android software. The ability to run Android apps is a significant development for BlackBerry, if only because it provides a doorway to a vast collection of software that BlackBerry users have only dreamt about until now. BlackBerry does this by creating an Android-compatible container in which the app runs, while the phone still supports its full, real-time multitasking and strong security.
But running Android apps isn't the same thing as going to the Google Play store and just downloading an app. Because this isn't Google's operating system, Google Play isn't available. Instead you will need to browse to 1MobileMarket or the Amazon app store, download the store apps and then use those to search for the apps you want to download. This isn't as cumbersome as it sounds, and most Android software works fine.