Back to the Basics: BlackBerry Launches the Classic

By Darren Orf on at

Today, BlackBerry pulled the wrapper off the Classic, a smartphone that conjures up memories of the Canadian company's Qwerty-powered past.

BlackBerry's more recent smartphone offerings have experimented with shape, as seen on the quirky, square BlackBerry Passport, and also dropping the physical keyboard altogether, such as the Z30 and the Z10. As "classic" suggests, BlackBerry returns to its roots, which was the promise CEO John Chen made almost a year ago at CES 2014.

The Classic has a 3.5-inch 720x720 screen resting on top of a full Qwerty keyboard, all powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor and 2GB of RAM. That means most graphics-heavy applications probably won't cut it on the Classic, but this smartphone has more of a business vibe anyway, and Chen agrees: in a commentary posted on CNBC, Chen sees the Classic as fulfilling a "very specific need", and that need is the business-minded consumer as suggested by location of today's announcement: the heart of New York's financial district. Also, this video:

The classic will come with 16GB of storage, an 8-megapixel camera, and a reported 22 hours of battery life. BlackBerry also makes it easy to compare the Classic to your BlackBerry 9900 (you have one of those, right?) It's definitely better as the BlackBerry suggests, of course that phone is three years old so that kind of makes sense.

The Classic will benefit from BlackBerry's revamped software, BlackBerry 10, featuring Blend, the nifty Hub feature, BlackBerry Assistant, and the Amazon App Store pre-installed. You can nab it on for £350 and via BlackBerry.