As Samsung and Apple look stronger and stronger in the smartphone market’s top two spots and other Android-focused OEMs continue to make important strides (mainly Sony, LG, Huawei and ZTE), it doesn’t seem like Nokia and BlackBerry will get many more chances to up their game.

BlackBerry Z30 New BlackBerry Z30 pics surface, along with ETAs: this week in Asia, 2 3 weeks later in US

Heck, one could go so far as to say the Lumia 1520 and Z30 are the companies’ last chances of survival. Okay, maybe Nokia’s status quo is not quite so tragic, but I’m afraid BB’s “life” is indeed hanging by a thread.

And sadly, the Z30 doesn’t appear to be destined for greatness. With a spacious but mediocre (by today’s high-end standards) 5-inch 1,280 x 768 pixels resolution screen and modest (by any standards) dual-core 1.7 GHz processor, the handheld has been caught on camera a number of times before and is likely doing its last rumor rounds today ahead of its formal intro.

Photographed alongside Sony’s sizzling hot Xperia Z1, the Z30 doesn’t look awful by any means, rocking fairly slim bezels and an overall sharp, industrial look. Plus, if Pocket-Lint’s sources are to be trusted (and they usually are), BlackBerry will officially take the wraps off the phone on September 18 during special press events in France, Malaysia and India.

BlackBerry Z30 2 New BlackBerry Z30 pics surface, along with ETAs: this week in Asia, 2 3 weeks later in US

Two or three weeks from now (so sometime around October 1), it will be America’s turn to welcome the BlackBerry Z30, albeit there’s no word on when will the world actually see the 5-incher up on store shelves.

And you see, that’s the thing. At the absolute best, the Z30 will start selling in late October, at which point Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 will be a month old. Not to mention LG’s G2, which will be two months old. Or Sony’s Xperia Z1 and HTC’s One Max, also due out before the Z30.

Meanwhile, BB’s biggest and baddest device ever will probably come with 2 GB of RAM in tow, a 2,880 mAh battery, 8 MP rear-facing camera, 16 GB of on-board storage and microSD support. Not an awful spec sheet, mind you, but certainly not on-par with the lists of features rocked by all those above mentioned beasts. Anyone disagrees? Feel free to tell me why in the comments section below.

Sources: Crackberry, Pocket-Lint