In the current smartphone landscape, hardly any manufacturer makes phones with hardware keyboards. BlackBerry for years has been an exception to the trend.After all, the company has been single handily responsible for popularising the trend of the QWERTY keyboard.
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Unfortunately, back in 2013 when it launched products based on its new BB10 OS, it launched devices like the Z10 and Z30, which used a touchscreen interface and they were not well received by the BlackBerry faithful. While there was the Q10 smartphone, it too was a change for many people who were used to the BB7 based devices because it lacked the traditional BlackBerry trackpad, hardware buttons, and shortcuts.
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The BlackBerry Classic is literally a throwback to old Black Berrys. It is almost identical to the Bold 9900 from 2010-11, which perhaps was the last successful BlackBerry smartphone.
The sole purpose of the Classic is to bring back the highly sought after QWERTY keyboard in a design that was well-loved by its users, leveraging a modern operating system, which now even has support for Android applications. Does it succeed? Well, we intend to find out. Generally, the call quality was fantastic and we rarely faced dropped calls. Even loudspeaker was loud and clear for both calls and listening to music. The phone supports 4G network in India. The BlackBerry Classic packs in a 2,515mAh battery, which lasts around 20-22 hours on average. While we did not run any benchmarks on the phone, but in the week we tested the device, it showed impressive battery life.
Often the phone would still have around 10-15 per cent battery life the next morning even if we did not charge it overnight. Our tests included 2 email accounts, social media accounts, a bit of streaming music, YouTube, 40 minutes of web browsing, 1 hour of editing text on the word processor, and 15-20 shots using the camera on an average. We also made around 2 hours of phone calls on average. Even frame rate drops are few. Games like Asphalt 8 and Real Football are available.
The Amazon app store adds more games into the mix. Most of the Android games work fine, though we will not call the performance exemplary. The phone supports 16GB of storage, which can be expanded by up to 128GB using the microSD card slot.
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The BlackBerry Classic offers sound quality during calls. It maintained strong signals in areas where the iPhone 6 failed. We tested the phone using a Vodafone SIM in Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon.