BlackBerry Classic lands, updating the original smartphone

BlackBerry has pulled out all the stops as it tries to restore the number of its patrons, and the latest bait has been released on December 17: the Blackberry Classic.

(PHOTO: BLACKBERRY.COM)BlackBerry Classic: Backwards is the only way forwards

During the Mobile World Congress (MWC) held in Spain early this year, John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of Blackberry, dropped the bomb that they'll be introducing an upgraded and highly-sophisticated version of the phones people grew to love, the BlackBerry Bold line.

"In my first 90 days on the job, I consistently heard from our ardent BlackBerry customers that the hard buttons and trackpad are an essential part of the BlackBerry QWERTY experience, that made their BlackBerry smartphone their go-to productivity tool. I want these customers to know that we heard them, and this new smartphone will be for them," Chen said.

Known for its physical keyboard and topnotch durability, the Bold line has been, and still is, the company's best-sellers. BlackBerry Classic follows the Bold Touch 9900 released on May 2011, much to the fans delight. After more than three years tinkering with its technology, the new device is sure to surprise a lot of followers and nonfollowers.

"With the BlackBerry Classic smartphone, you'll get the familiar hard buttons and trackpad that you want, along with the best email service, the best keyboard experience and the best battery life possible," he added.

The 5.1-inches tall phone is sturdy, weighing 178g. The Classic also has the Bold line's staple physical QWERTY keyboard and touch-sensitive trackpad, which is now more responsive and easily-controlled. Its 720x720 resolution isn't bad for a 3.5-inch screen made of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It operates on BlackBerry 10.3.1, and is a battery beast with 2515mAh.

Its rear camera is 8MP with the front down at 2MP. It comes with 2GB of RAM partnered with 16GB of internal storage and a microSD slot to boost it to 128GB. It's powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon Dual-core clocked at 1.5GHz. You can run Android apps on the BlackBerry Classic, but it's very limited, so you still have to rely on the Amazon Appstore, which is a bummer.

According to Chen, BlackBerry Classic is designed to give the distinct experience that every BlackBerry QWERTY loyalist and high-productivity business customer absolutely love.

Plus, it's so affordable too. One month before the launch, the BlackBerry Classic was made available to preorder, tagged at $450.

This phone might just be the company's long-awaited ticket to getting back its market share.

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