What can you say about the BlackBerry Classic? This phone is the epitome of what a BlackBerry phone should be. The metal chassis and frame give it a feeling of sturdiness and solid build quality, The Classic is a solid and heavy phone because of the bigger design over the Q10 and the Bold 9900. But despite its obvious weight, itís a very comfortable phone to hold. The back of the Classic is curved on its edges and covered in a textured plastic which provides grip, making it an incredibly ergonomic phone for your hands, be they large or small.
The appeal of the BlackBerry Classic is the traditional physical QWERTY keyboard. For those who were touch-typing on virtual keyboards and you found the Q10 too tiny, the Classicís keyboard should be a breath of fresh air.
Keeping with traditional BlackBerry phones, the toolbelt is back BlackBerry fans! The ďBlackBerryĒ menu button opens up the settings drop-down menu from the home screen. Press it again, and it selects whatever is highlighted. In the Hub it opens the side menu. The back button takes you back, but can also be used to close running app windows on the home screen. All very handy when you need it.
And then thereís the trackpad, which works well. For old school BlackBerry users who want to avoid touch screen use, you can get around almost entirely by using just the optical trackpad. Call and end call buttons do what you expect they will. I donít really see a downside to the re-emergence of the trackpad or the toolbelt. That addition just enhances the experience of using the BlackBerry Classic.
Overall, the phone looks and feels like a high end device but only you will know that you paid far less than what people think you will have paid. Itís a must have device.
The display on the BlackBerry Classic is mid range. Itís a square 3.5-inch, 720x720 resolution LCD panel with a pixel density of 294ppi. It is far from a terrible display though. . Itís bright and has great viewing angles. Whites donít tend to change when holding and viewing the phone from different angles. Colors are natural too. Screen warmth can be controlled to your liking. Text is pretty sharp, but the curves on letters and numbers could be smoother.
The Classic is built for productivity; emails, messaging, web browsing and calendar management itís fantastic. And because thereís no keyboard taking up space on the screen, you can see much more of the text than you might on another smartphone.
Performance and Battery Life
For the most part, moving through the user interface is a pleasing experience, but open an app and the experience changes. Performance can be sluggish at times. That said, browser speed is very quick, even if the touchscreen response time isnít quite up to scratch.
BlackBerry 10 OSís intuitive gesture based system, moving around the phone is slick. With the addition of the 10.3.1 upgrade, a great device becomes greater. Battery life is very good. I can go most of the day on a full charge and end the evening with around 30% battery life left. This is after moderate use and with BlackBerry 10ís battery saving mode, you could possibly make it into the next day. You will like the battery life even if it is only 2515mAh. Itís not comparable to the Passportís battery but not much is.
Historically, cameras on BlackBerry phones have been an afterthought. BlackBerry has started paying attention to their customers wanting better cameras. The 8MP camera on the back of the Classic is decent enough to make your pictures look great. Items in focus and in good light are sharp, and colors are accurate enough. Sometimes pictures came out a bit fuzzy but not many times. If youíre in low light, the camera can struggle to take a decent picture and electronic dB kicks in to give a bit more grain that I would like in photos.
Overall the BlackBerry Classic is a winner. It is what a current BlackBerry user wants and it is enough of a retro BlackBerry phone to make former BlackBerry phone owners come back. Itís a current, up-to-date phone with great build quality and an almost perfect physical keyboard. It wonít win performance awards but then again, itís not meant to. Itís here for the productive person, the business professional who wishes to get things done with the toolbelt, the trackpad, the QWERTY keyboard and the solid BlackBerry quality that people know and remember.