BlackBerry gets serious: unleashes 'no-nonsense' Blackberry Classic

BlackBerry has unveiled its BlackBerry Classic smartphone which, as the name suggests, harks back to the classic days of BlackBerry and the Bold 9900.

The Classic is a 'no-nonsense' phone with a physical QWERTY keyboard built with productivity in mind, but of course making a number of tweaks and improvements over the Bold 9900 formula.

The BlackBerry Classic offers 60 per cent more screen real estate than the old Bold, and it lasts 50 per cent longer in terms of battery life (with up to 22 hours of longevity). Naturally, it boasts zippier performance levels too – BlackBerry claims the browser is three times as fast, for example.

The display is a 3.5in touchscreen with a 720 x 720 resolution (for 294 dpi), and the screen is made from Gorilla Glass 3. The phone is powered by a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core CPU backed with 2GB of RAM, and there’s 16GB of storage (with microSD expansion so you can add up to 128GB).

The cameras are 8 megapixels on the rear, and 2 megapixels on the front, both with “enhanced optics”.

And of course there’s the traditional QWERTY keyboard and trackpad, with the new BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 on board. The OS is also bolstered by BlackBerry Blend, which enables communication across multiple devices, and the BlackBerry Assistant, a digital assistant which can help you manage emails and apps via voice or text commands (and it will respond intelligently – for example, if you use text commands, it’ll respond silently, and if you’re talking to it, the assistant will use speech).

John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry, commented: “We listened closely to our customers’ feedback to ensure we are delivering the technologies to power them through their day – and that feedback led directly to the development of BlackBerry Classic.”

He added: “BlackBerry Classic is the powerful communications tool that many BlackBerry Bold and Curve users have been waiting for. It’s the secure device that feels familiar in their hands, with the added performance and agility they need to be competitive in today’s busy world.”

Unfortunately, BlackBerry has now fallen down such a deep hole as far as the smartphone world is concerned, it’s difficult to see any sort of meaningful comeback happening – though this device will certainly have its hardcore fans in the business world.

The handset will set you back £349.