BlackBerry Goes Old-School With BlackBerry Classic

Canada-based BlackBerry is reaching into the past to reel in customers of the present by releasing BlackBerry Classic, a new phone that borrows design cues from the company's popular Bold and Curve smartphones. That means it features a built-in QWERTY backlit keyboard and trackpad embedded underneath the Classic's 3.5-inch square touch screen. How retro.

However, don't let the new phone fool you. Despite the "classic" form factor, there's plenty of modern hardware under the hood to get things done faster than before. The specifications include a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, and a microSD card reader capable of an additional 128 GB of storage.

The specifications also show that the phone has a 720 x 720 resolution (294 PPI, 24-bit color depth), an 8MP auto-focus camera on the back with a 5-element F2.2 lens, a 2MP camera on the front capable of 720p video recording, Wireless N and Bluetooth 4.0 LE connectivity, Miracast support and an FM radio. Other hardware ingredients include NFC connectivity, six sensors, and a battery promising up to 22 hours of life on a single charge.

BlackBerry Classic is based on the company's BlackBerry 10.3.1 operating system. This platform includes an "instant action bar" that dumps the user's most accessed apps on the center of the screen. The new OS also includes the company's first digital assistant, which can be used with both verbal and text commands. The service will respond by voice if the user speaks to it and will respond by text if the user types in a command.

"We listened closely to our customers' feedback to ensure we are delivering the technologies to power them through their day – and that feedback led directly to the development of BlackBerry Classic," said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO at BlackBerry.

The new phone comes packed with two app stores: BlackBerryWorld and Amazon Appstore. The company indicates that the former solution is best suited for business professionals, whereas the latter provides Android-based apps and games such as Candy Crush Saga, Kindle, Pinterest and more.

Additional services and features provided by the new phone include the BlackBerry Browser, which is compatible with HTML5. BlackBerry Blend crams all messages received on the device into one application for tablets and computers, including emails, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) conversations, text messages and more. There's also BlackBerry Hub that serves as a single destination for the same conversations on the phone.

Customers interested in purchasing BlackBerry Classic can do so here. The phone is available unlocked on BlackBerry's store front and on Amazon for $449.99.

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  • Barantos1
  • sunflier
    dang, it looks like someone 'crack-berried' the guys nose on the screen.
  • 3ogdy
    iPhone, Blackberry Edition
  • jverducci
    It is also worth noting that Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 MSM 8960 Blackberry is using with this phone is a dual-core. However that should not determine whether the phone is a success or not; I'd imagine they would not have picked it if it did not run well on the Blackberry OS. Taking away from personal experience, however, my last dual-core phone was one of the Motorola Droids and it was a terribly buggy/laggy experience. Android is different and I haven't used Blackberry OS before so it very well could be more than enough. Hopefully this isn't the final nail on Blackberry's coffin as their last failure ended with many lay-offs. Though this time, they're sticking with what (previously) worked, not going too far into "innovation" so hopefully this doesn't end up like the Passport.
  • dark_lord69
    Sorry blackberry, the grass really IS greener on the other side...

    I had multiple blackberry's over several years (not a fanboy just happened to end up with blackberry's) but I got frustrated that all of the apps other people loved on their phones were not available in the blackberry app store. Infact like 90% of the apps people love are NOT available on blackberry which made me want an android. I love my new android and I will never go back. I did however like that my blackberry phones had an SD expansion slot. My phone could hold 32GB SD Micro + 8GB Internal = 40GB of music!
  • vern72
    Shoulda released it from day 1 of BB10.
  • thundervore
    They still don't get it. Companies that have tons of BES5 licenses are not willing to buy new BES10 servers and BES10 licenses, they rather just have people bring in their own device and install Good Enterprise or Iron Mobile.

    If the person looses their phone, well guess what, it is their problem. The company do not have to provide them with a new device.

    Sorry but I don't see this bringing them back in the spotlight.
  • photonboy
    Second image is BACKWARDS...
  • sportfreak23
    Atleast BB is doing what they do best. Not that garbage they tried to copy.
  • rdc85
    This what happen if they neglect quality... (and maybe late in embrace new tech)

    as former user (have 3 of the phone)
    i can said the build getting much lower each time i change the newer models,
    It's only leave a bad memory about the brand, and will never buy them again..

    their BBM is still useful thought, still like it..