Today’s the day, BlackBerry fans. The BlackBerry Classic has arrived.
The BlackBerry Classic is the new flagship phone from BlackBerry, offering a combination of the new BlackBerry software and design and old-school BlackBerry hardware features. The Classic’s got a 3.5-inch 720x720 square touchscreen on its face, and below that is a tool belt that calls back to the BlackBerry Bold hardware of old with Send, Menu, Back and End buttons as well as an optical trackpad that can be used to play Brick Breaker. Below that lives BlackBerry’s bread and butter: a physical keyboard. Buried inside of the BlackBerry Classic’s 10.2mm-thick frame lives a 1.5GHz Qualcomm MSM8960 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a microSD slot that supports cards up to 128GB in size. There’s a 2515mAh non-removable battery powering the whole package, and the Classic’s also got 4G LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 LE and an FM Radio. Finally, the Classic sports an 8-megapixel auto-focus camera on its rear and a 2-megapixel shooter on its face.
On the software side of things, the Classic comes preloaded with BlackBerry 10.3.1, which offers features like the BlackBerry Hub that holds all of your messages — including email, BBM, texts, calls, social media and more — as well as the BlackBerry Assistant digital assistant. There are also a pair of app stores included; BlackBerry World is home to productivity apps, while the Amazon Appstore offers Android apps that can be loaded onto the Classic.
The BlackBerry Classic can be purchased from Shop BlackBerry, the company’s online store. Pricing is set at $449, and the units come unlocked and ready for use on GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile. The Classic supports LTE bands 1/2/4/5/6/13/17/25, so it should play nicely with a lot of operators. BlackBerry says that U.S. carrier-specific versions of the Classic will be offered “at a later date.”
So that’s BlackBerry’s new flagship model. The Classic is definitely reminiscent of the BlackBerry phones of old that were offered when the company was a larger player in the mobile arena. With the Classic, BlackBerry hopes to win back consumers that may have left the platform for another OS, combining updated hardware with a physical keyboard and optical trackpad. If you’re looking for an updated version of the BlackBerry that you loved a few years ago, the Classic could be for you, especially since BlackBerry has addressed its app problem by preloading the Amazon Appstore for Android. Stay tuned and we’ll share our impressions of the Classic with you as soon as we get our mitts on the device.
Now that it’s officially official, what do you think of the BlackBerry Classic? Will you be buying one?
UPDATE: AT&T and Verizon have confirmed that they'll carry the BlackBerry Classic. Verizon says it'll sell the Classic in Q1 2015, but neither carrier has announced pricing details. You can find images of the Verizon-branded Classic below.
UPDATE 2: Bell, Rogers and Telus will offer the Classic in Canada. Bell will price it at $49.95 on-contract, Rogers will sell it $49.99 on-contract today and Telus will offer it at $50 on-contract later this week.