The one time giant in the smartphone market, BlackBerry unveiled the new BlackBerry Classic on Wednesday which meant to bring the company back to its roots and lure back traditional customers. The Canada-based company said that it is planning to work in collaboration with various carriers all over the world in order to reach more customers.
This is the fourth handset release by BlackBerry this year and the company’s latest smartphone offerings have experimented with shape, as seen on the BlackBerry Passport, and also dropping the physical keyboard altogether in models such as the Z30 and the Z10. With Classic, the company has returned to its roots with signature BlackBerry phone features such as a physical keyboard and trackpad.
The Chief Executive Officer of BlackBerry, John Chen, said in a statement, “When I went to visit the CEOs of top banks in [New York], a lot of them pulled out their old BlackBerrys and said: ‘Don’t mess around with this’. I listened.”
The new Classic phone looks very much the company's last successful mobile phone model, the much-loved BlackBerry Bold 9900 but runs on the newest iteration of its operating system, which can handle running Android apps as well. While the new BlackBerry Classic isn’t a copy of the Bold 9900 it’s been designed to invoke similar feelings in consumers.
The Classic features a 3.5-inch 720×720 pixel display on top of a full Qwerty keyboard, Corning(R) Gorilla(R) Glass 3 for greater durability powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor found in the Q10. The Classic also has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, expandable by a microSD card up to 128GB in size. It can do Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 4G/LTE and Bluetooth 4 LE.
The BlackBerry Classic also offers a large non-removable 2,515mAh battery and state-of-the-art battery optimization software. With up to 22 hours of battery life, users can be confident that BlackBerry Classic will be ready to deliver results when most needed. It also sports a 2MP front- and 8MP rear-facing camera with advanced optics and upgraded imaging sensors.
The new BlackBerry Classic will benefit from BlackBerry’s upgraded software, BlackBerry 10, featuring Blend, the nifty Hub feature, BlackBerry Assistant, and the Amazon App Store pre-installed. The device is available for sale for $449 in the U.S. and 499 Canadian dollars in Canada via Amazon.com and BlackBerry.com. It will come later to AT&T and Verizon. That is almost $50 more expensive than a BlackBerry Bold 9900 but less than Apple’s latest offering iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus phones, which started at $649 and $749 respectively.