The classics never die!
Blackberry has released a phone for all of it's hardcore OS customers, that will give you a bit of Deja-Vu followed by the warm fuzzy feelings that you had when it was THE smartphone for power-user business types. Although not a high-end smartphone in terms of power, the Classic surprises with stainless steel rim and camera ring, and a rubberised back that gives a premium feeling several grades above the cost of the device. It's retro in that it looks a lot like the BB Bold's popular design from a few years back, with a no-nonsense look that's all about the business. The Classic also brings back the tiny trackpad that we all know and love, and lamented when the full-touch-screen phones took over entirely.
A touch of refinement
The 3.5" touchscreen is a brilliant IPS display with 294 PPI (720 x 720px) resolution and stunning 24-bit colour depth, leaving it just shy of Apple's original Retina screens. Unless you're squinting at the phone a few inches from your face, you're probably not going to notice, and pixels are tiny enough to be inoffensive. Fonts looks smooth and modern.
Looks the part, but man, that processor...
The specs for the phone are adequate, though not up to spec with top-end smartphones like Samsung, the Classic sports 2 full GB of RAM, and a rather disappointing 1.5ghz processor which are speedy and efficient with B10 OS, but far behind recent android Smartphones in terms of speed and parallel processing cores. Vs iOS and Android, we did notice the lag in launching apps.
Room to expand
The only model available is the 16GB version, but you still get the external storage expansion via micro SD card up to 128GB.
Backed by brilliance
Of course, the main reason to have this phone in the first place is the 35 key backlit physical keyboard, which is the same premium quality experience of yester-year, and one of the few features that keep them afloat in an industry dominated by Android and iOS devices.
A first BB Phablet
At first glance this passport-sized phablet seems more novelty than serious smartphone contender. Sure, it has most of the high-end specs you'd expect for a flagship phone, such as a 4.5in screen sporting 453 ppi ips display (1440 x 1440), a stainless steel frame, and great sound quality (but that's always been a staple for the company), complete with a Quad-core 2.26 GHz processor, 32GB internal storage and what may be the best 13MP camera to date.
Is it hip to be square?
Don't get us wrong, it's an attractive device with premium look and feel, but it sacrifices a lot to that physical keyboard in terms of screen real-estate. But as usual, it's what you don't see that makes the difference.
The keyboard, for example also acts as a trackpad, which is much more useful than endlessly tapping the back-button on other smartphones, for example, and the physical keyboard can be hotkeyed such that a long-press to your "e" key can instantly launch your email. Keys are of-course user-programmable in this way, and soon we were putting our iPhone using staff to shame with our custom sets of killer hotkeys. It makes for a much more productivity-based workflow that is blazingly fast on BB OS 10.1.
Dat app gap!
True, apps that require google services will not work, which is unfortunate, but not a dealbreaker for enterprise users, whom this device was designed for. We might have a hard time replacing our own iOS and Android powerhouses around the office with it, but if you have the desire to be a bit different and stand out from the obvious choices, with the Passport, we've there's very little to complain about.
Brown is the new Black
Whichever new BB suits your needs, we've got you covered with our Vintage line of premium leather wallet cases that will turn heads and keep your device in top condition as your daily-driver