The BlackBerry Z3: Developer Specs


I’m lucky enough to have a BlackBerry Z3 on my desk so I can play around with it and develop apps. In my completely unbiased opinion, I think this is a solid device. The Z3 feels great in your hand – perfect size for one-handed use – and is easy to build apps for.

You’ve likely already seen our pre-order announcement for the BlackBerry Z3, including our full overview of the device’s specs, but let’s take a closer look at some of the things you need to keep in mind when developing apps for it.

As a developer, it can be challenging to design your app to fit on different devices and resolutions. Luckily you can rest assured that your app should scale to fit and run on the Z3 right out of the box. Even though the Z3 has a lower physical pixel density than the Z30, thanks to hardware-powered scaling, everything on the device believes it’s the same 1280×720 resolution as the Z30!

That being said, let’s take a closer look at some of the specs and some differences you could run into while developing for the Z3 compared to the Z30.

Knowing the Differences Between a Z3 and a Z30

Again, while the Z3 has a lower physical pixel density than the Z30, your app will be scaled automatically and, for all intents and purposes, your app will believe it’s running on a device with a resolution of 1280×720, just like the Z30.

Z3 and Z30 Display Side-by-Side Comparison

 Display BlackBerry Z3 BlackBerry Z30
Screen Size 5” 5”
Scaled Resolution 720×1280 720×1280
Pixel Based Resolution 540×960 720×1280
Aspect Ratio 16:9 16:9

Z3 and Z30 Sensors Side-by-Side Comparison

Note the difference in sensors between the Z3 and the Z30. The Z3 does not have a Magnetometer or Gyroscope sensor.

 Sensors BlackBerry Z3 BlackBerry Z30
NFC No Yes
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Magnetometer No Yes
Proximity sensor Yes Yes
Gyroscope No Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes Yes

TL;DR for Developers:

  • Apps and assets designed for the Z30’s 720×1280 resolution are automatically scaled in hardware to support the Z3’s 540×960 display.
  • There is no NFC, Magnetometer or Gyroscope sensor.

If you find this post useful, have questions, or just want to keep up-to-date on all things BlackBerry Development, follow me on Twitter at @chadtatro!

Chad Tetreault

About Chad Tetreault

A developer at heart, I’ve been coding in some shape or form since the age of 13. Nowadays I focus on building awesome cross-platform (Android, iOS, BlackBerry) mobile web applications powered by Cordova, JavaScript, and AngularJS.