Price: Rs 31,990
Plus: TrackPad, Keyboard
Minus: Price, Apps
BlackBerry Classic is a smart blend of the BB 10 operating system with the old hardware of the Bold 9900 (with navigation keys). Even today, BlackBerry fans swear by the design, keyboard and trackpad of the Bold 9900.
Interestingly, the all new Classic is designed on the same lines. There is a touch display and the old navigation keys, including the trackpad and the back key, are back. Above all we have the best four row QWERTY keyboard that makes the Classic the successor to the Bold 9900.
Design: The design of the Classic is very much identical to the Bold 9900. But hold it in your hand and you will feel the difference. The Classic has got a 3.5 inch touch display along with a row of navigation keys followed by four rows QEWRTY keypad. But it is slightly thick from the back. Weighing 177 grams, it does feel slightly heavy to hold but has got a build quality. The power key sits on the top with the volume keys on the left edge. The textured back is non-removable and the SIM slot along with the micro-SD card slot are placed on the left.
Keyboard: In today's date, there are hardly any smartphones, except BlackBerry, that boast of a physical keyboard. And the one added to the Classic is the best. The 35 key backlit keyboard on this smartphone is a delight to use. Typing is smooth and one doesn't end up typing wrong alphabets. Honestly, I wasn't sure about using a physical keyboard after being addicted to the touch phones for over four years now. But it was a smooth experience.
BlackBerry OS 10, Trackpad and Performance: The BlackBerry OS 10 has been all about the touch interface. For unlocking the device, we had to swipe from the bottom to the top. While this continues to work, pressing 'U' followed by enter key also unlocks the phone. Swiping from left to right used to open the Priority Hub and showed emails, texts, BBMs, notifications, etc. The same can be accessed by using the trackpad. Swiping from the bezel towards the top minimized the running app and now hitting the back key too minimizes the apps. BlackBerry has smartly integrated the trackpad with its BB OS 10. I also enjoyed navigating using the trackpad that made it easy to operate with a single hand, eliminating to reach out the top of the display. I wonder what took
BlackBerry so long to bring back its trackpad along with the new OS?
The Classic is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 8960 chipset - 1.5GHz dual core processor and is paired with 2GB of RAM. Honestly, the processor is a bit old. However, the main functionality of checking emails, browsing the web and downloading apps from the BlackBerry World worked smoothly. There is also an Amazon App Store too for downloading apps. The only issue with the BlackBerry smartphones is the lack of apps in the BlackBerry World. While it supports Android apps too but the experience wasn't as great and there was a lag.
Camera: BlackBerry has added an 8MP rear camera to the Classic, which isn't too bad when it comes to capturing images. In a decently lit surrounding, the camera captures decent images. While they look good on the phone's display, zooming in the image shows some noise. The auto-focus works quickly. Other than capturing images on auto mode, one can select from action, whiteboard, night and beach or snow. There is also an HDR Mode, Time Shift, burst and Panorama mode onboard.
Battery: The Classic has got a 2515mAh battery onboard that lasted me over a day and a half with hours of calling, web browsing, BBM, Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Bag it or Junk it: If you are addicted to a keyboard, this is worth an upgrade. But is priced slightly on the higher side.