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BlackBerry Classic Continues Its Global Push With Strong Reviews And Use Cases

Perpetual Motion

Like a perpetual motion machine, the BlackBerry Classic keeps on moving, captivating users across the globe with its top-flight security, generous suite of productivity features, hybrid navigation melding a multi-touch screen with a full QWERTY keyboard, and classic navigation features – all kept at the ready with a solid 22-hour battery.

For a relatively small device, that’s quite a handful, and it’s probably why Mark Richardson, Chief Technology Officer at Rose-Richardson Enterprises, Inc. was able to pull a straight 24 hours (and then some) of work on it while traveling.

(Read his story HERE, and check out our prior review roundups HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.)

The BlackBerry Classic is currently available in multiple regions, from North America to Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and parts of Asia.

(You can read about availability by region and carrier/retailer in our updated blog HERE.)

In today’s news roundup, we see more accolades coming in as reviewers around the world get their fingers on the Classic’s timeless keyboard, along with a few use cases which surprised the reviewers when they compared the Classic with the iPhone 6.BlackBerry Classic on table

Reviewers Pit the BlackBerry Classic vs. the iPhone 6

In a piece in the Australian Financial Review called “BlackBerry Classic is faster than a speeding iPhone,” reviewer John Davidson decided to take the speedy input methods of the Classic and match them against Apple’s new flagship, the iPhone 6.

“Not long after taking delivery of the Classic, I did a test to see if it was still faster for me to use than other devices,” writes Davidson. “I chose a complex piece of text with relatively uncommon words [and] repeated the test until I could no longer stand it.”

Sounds interesting. I wonder what happened?

The results were surprising, Davidson found. “Swype … was by far the slowest for me . . . Next slowest was the handwriting recognition on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 . . . Then came the stock Android keyboard, [with the] second fastest the keyboard on the iPhone.”

I can see where this is going…

“But fastest of all by some margin, twice as fast as Swype and 30 percent faster than the iPhone, was the keyboard on the Classic,” writes Davidson. “Not only that, but it was the only input device that allowed me to take my eyes off the keyboard and look at the stopwatch while entering text. It’s so easy to use, and so fast.”

Forbes’s Ewan Spence had a similar idea, pitting the Classic against the iPhone in a business-use scenario.

Ewan Spence's piece for Forbes. Image Credit: Ewan Spence

Ewan Spence’s piece for Forbes. Image Credit: Ewan Spence

“[L]ooking at the business and enterprise side of things, [if] you’re looking for a design that calls for a lot of text input, then at first sight the BlackBerry Classic is the winner,” writes Spence. “The bulk of the BlackBerry allows it a basic and defining advantage over the iPhone 6 . . .  [T]he battery life has to be the key factor, so the BlackBerry Classic will edge the hardware victory.”

Spence also considered the role of the user interface (UI), writing, “[Looking] look at the devices from the enterprise viewpoint . . . BlackBerry’s contributions to a modern UI are twofold. The first is the gestures-based navigation, and the second is ‘The Hub’ . . . It’s a win for the BlackBerry Classic.”

Overall, Spence finds the Classic a worthy buy for its target market. “I’ve no doubt that after careful consideration, those well suited to the BlackBerry Classic will decide to buy the model,” he writes.

Going Back to the Keypad

“The BlackBerry Classic impresses us, not just with its suave look, solid build, and mouth-watering specs, but also for reminding us that the keypad wasn’t so bad,” writes Mid-Day scribe Hassan M. Kamal in an 8/10 review for the Indian publication.

Classic Keyboard

“All of it, from the color to its solid build (a stainless steel frame) and design [gets] a thumbs-up [and] the square-screen approach works well for the Classic, offering plenty of screen space to browse and use touch-based apps,” he writes.

Kamal also cites the trackpad (“adds to the browsing experience”), the front- and rear-facing cameras (“work great”), and the ability to take a picture by using the volume keys. Other highlights include the backlit keyboard, intuitive features (lift to wake, flip to mute, etc.), and the back button (“perhaps the most significant addition”), along with the robust security features, the Hub, native apps, and the voice clarity.

The “Best Phone from the BlackBerry Family”

In a fellow Indian publication, Rediff’s Nitin Sreedhar calls the Classic the “best phone from the BlackBerry family,” writing, “[T]he company has now brought back the features that established its credentials in the first place [with] a sturdy design [that’s] built to last.”

Sreedhar loved the keyboard’s “error-free results,” along with BlackBerry OS 10.3.1’s “smoother navigation” and the addition of the Amazon Appstore, which complements BlackBerry World in providing a diverse range of productivity and consumer apps.

He also points out the battery “will easily last you for a day on moderate usage,” says the camera “performed brilliantly,” and finds that the navigation options were “designed exquisitely.”

He ended his review with this: “QWERTY lovers finally have a device to look up to.”

unreleased BlackBerry Classic, Classic, Leak BlackBerry Classic

“Classic Design Never Dies”

“Classic design never dies,” writes The Hindu Business Line’s R. Dinakaran. “It remains evergreen in our minds and it becomes the benchmark against which everything else gets judged . . . After years of walking in the smartphone woods, BlackBerry has gone back to the future in style with its ‘new’ Classic. This new BB is more than just a case of putting ‘new wine in an old bottle’, it has done a great job of merging the old with the new. This is one device executives and businessmen can blindly invest in,” he says.

“The Classic is Making Waves” in the Philippines

“The Classic is making waves as BlackBerry staggers its release across markets,” writes OppTrends’ Pushpa Naresh, noting the strong local demand for the smartphone.

“Things are changing at BlackBerry, and apparently the pace is fast,” he writes, “[with the] latest launch [in] the Philippines . . . If the current craze for the latest smartphone is to be analyzed, the QWERTY keyboard is driving the demand. The traditional design of the keyboard combined with advanced security and speed factors, which BlackBerry has famously delivered in the past, appear to drive sales of the [Classic] . . . BlackBerry has upgraded the BlackBerry Bold 9900 [and the spiritual successor] will arrive with tripled browser speed, a 60% larger screen space and nearly 50% more battery life.”

Classic Listed Among the “Best Smartphones in the World”

The Classic also made a “world’s best smartphone” list over at Business Insider, put together by the site’s Senior Editor, Steve Kovach.

Kovach writes, “BlackBerry has gone back to the basics. Its latest phone, the Classic, looks a lot like the BlackBerry Bold from a few years ago . . . If you want a phone with a keyboard, the Classic is the best phone to buy.”

Pricing and Availability

BlackBerry is working with carriers and partners to deliver BlackBerry Classic to customers around the world. North American customers can purchase the BlackBerry Classic online today through and for $449 in the U.S. and $499 in Canada. More availability information here.

*Note that pricing differs per market.

Matt Young

About Matt Young

Matt Young is a writer and editor with experience in tech, music, news and entertainment. A current Performance Evangelist for Radware, Matt has previous experience with BlackBerry, and Avaya. He has a degree in Journalism from San Jose State University. Follow Matt on Twitter @techunraveler.