When the BlackBerry Z3 was first released on May 13, 2014, it made history as the first BlackBerry phone produced by a partnership between its original manufacturer (BlackBerry Limited) and Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn. The phone was geared towards Asian markets, most notably Indonesia, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines. It was also released in select African markets. The Z3 is designed as the entry-level version of the BlackBerry Z30, a high-end smartphone that was released the year before.

Weighing 5.78 ounces, the BlackBerry Z3 has a front featuring smooth glass that comprises the 5-inch capacitive touchscreen, with a resolution of 540 by 960 pixels. The rear has a texturized soft-touch plastic with the iconic BB logo placed in the center. The physical measurements of the phone are 5.51 inches in length, 2.87 inches in width, and 0.37 inches in thickness. The Z3 is only available in a black color finish. As this is a brand-new phone, the device does not have any new features or specs from what would have been previous iterations.

The Z3 is one of the first devices to be pre-installed with the BlackBerry 10 operating system. (The specific version of the operating system is 10.2.1.) Users, however, do have the option of upgrading it to v10.3.1. The chipset on the phone is the Qualcomm MSM8230 Snapdragon 400, which consists of a dual-core 1.2 GHz Krait 200 central processing unit and an Adreno 305 graphics processor.

For random-access memory, the BlackBerry Z3 has 1.5 GB. The phone also has 8 GB of flash memory storage for music, video, pictures, apps, and other types of data. It does have a microSD card slot that enables the user to add up to 32 GB of flash memory. The primary, rear-facing camera on the Z3 is a 5 megapixel (MP) one that records video at 1,080p; and it has picture-enhancing features like geo tagging, auto and touch focus, LED flash, face detection, panorama view, and high-dynamic-range imaging. On the other hand, the secondary, front-facing 1.1 MP camera records video at 720p.

On each BlackBerry Z3 is a non-removable lithium-ion battery rated at 2,500 mAh. The battery provides up to 384 hours in stand-by time, up to 15 hours and 30 minutes in talk time, and up to 84 hours in music play.