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BlackBerry Classic Review

BlackBerry Classic 6.5

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BlackBerry Classic Review

BlackBerry Classic Review
BlackBerry Classic Review
BlackBerry Classic Review

BlackBerry is bleeding profusely, struggling to stay afloat amidst the competition. By now, it’s quite obvious that they’re no longer the trailblazing company they once were – so they’ve tried to reinvent themselves with devices and a new platform to keep up with the times. From the all-touchscreen Z10, to its redefined QWERTY in the Passport, there’s no arguing that BlackBerry has been experimenting a lot in order to find that “right” form factor. Unfortunately, none of them have been able to make a significant impact on consumers. Enter the BlackBerry Classic, an old-school ‘berry that employs an iconic design. Indeed, it’s a modern spin on a classic, but is it something that’ll really bring back consumers to BlackBerry’s circle?

The package contains:

  • microUSB charging cable
  • Wall charger
  • Stereo headphones
  • Owner’s manual


Nostalgia comes full circle with this one, as we’re reminded of the BlackBerry Bold 9900.

Frankly, the BlackBerry Classic looks almost identical to the 2011-made BlackBerry Bold 9900 – though, it’s slightly larger in size. On one hand, we love the classic design, but on the other, we would’ve liked to see a more profound, evolutionary design. In all honesty, the design is a stark contrast to the BlackBerry Passport, which sports a daring industrial design for the times. Instead, the BlackBerry Classic comes off as tepid, one that attempts to give the classic design some notoriety once again, but comes off as being nothing more than nostalgic.

BlackBerry Classic
5.16 x 2.85 x 0.4 inches
131.1 x 72.4 x 10.2 mm
6.28 oz (178 g)

BlackBerry Classic

BlackBerry Passport
5.04 x 3.56 x 0.37 inches
128 x 90.3 x 9.3 mm
6.91 oz (196 g)

BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry Bold 9900
4.53 x 2.6 x 0.41 inches
115 x 66 x 10.5 mm
4.59 oz (130 g)

BlackBerry Bold 9900

BlackBerry Q10
4.71 x 2.63 x 0.41 inches
119.6 x 66.8 x 10.35 mm
4.90 oz (139 g)

BlackBerry Q10

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.

BlackBerry Classic Review

BlackBerry Classic Review
BlackBerry Classic Review

Boy does it feel good to see this classic keyboard again! It’s a hundred times more useful than the Passport’s awkwardly arranged keyboard.

Thank goodness BlackBerry decided to use the classic Bold keyboard from yesteryear, as opposed to the newer layout and style of the Passport keyboard. No longer are we struggling to type on this QWERTY, as it features the same sculpted keys, stainless steel band separators, and tactile responses that made the old BlackBerry smartphones such a joy to type on. At the same time, the Classic brings back the optical trackpad and physical set of buttons beneath its display – providing another alternative to navigation and operating the platform.


It’s not ground breaking in any sort of way, but its 1:1 aspect ratio is what gives it that “classic” BlackBerry look.

Gazing at the display of the BlackBerry Classic, it becomes clearer that this isn’t meant to be the most premium offering from the company, as it features a 3.5-inch 720 x 720 display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It’s smaller and lower resolution than the Passport display, but we find it more than detailed with its pixel density count of 294 ppi – that’s plenty enough to give fine details a fair amount of sharpness.

Impressively, the Classic’s display emits a potent 900 nit brightness, which not only makes it more than visible on the brightest of days, but it’s unequivocally the brightest display on a smartphone we’ve come across ever. Everything seems to be in good order with the display, since there are several great characteristics with it. However, our biggest complaint is actually is its size. Due to its square nature and smaller size, we’re constantly causing apps to “minimize” whenever we flick our finger from the bottom bezel towards the top – like the action needed to scroll vertically in the browser.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
BlackBerry Classic 900
BlackBerry Passport 894
BlackBerry Q10 242
View all

  • Options

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 06:19 4

2. Neros (Posts: 1016; Member since: 19 Dec 2014)

Ugly and sucky.

posted on 31 Dec 2014, 10:52 6

124. farrid (Posts: 34; Member since: 20 Jun 2014)

It has its intended audience and your not it so try not to feel too special. They didn't make it for kids that like cool tricks and big glitzy animations to make you think you have something amazing in your hand. This is for people who know what they want and want to get stuff done, not play games kido

posted on 26 Apr 2015, 19:17 2

143. loknarr (unregistered)

Yeah, it's not a TOY phone like alot of the junk on the market. I just got one a few days ago and love it.

posted on 02 Sep 2015, 19:46 1

146. robbster (Posts: 2; Member since: 26 Jul 2015)

Great response!

posted on 01 Jan 2015, 03:58 2

125. miles16852 (Posts: 241; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)

troll along please!

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 06:27 1

4. hafini_27 (Posts: 888; Member since: 31 Oct 2013)

Damn, i wanted it to be good.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 17:46 2

39. Crispin_Gatieza (Posts: 1642; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)

It is. You're just not going to know about it here.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 06:29 17

6. meanestgenius (Posts: 11473; Member since: 28 May 2014)

Hey Phonearena, next time try judging the device on its intended purpose. A multimedia device this is not. It's intended for BUSINESS. Food for thought.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 19:53 2

43. John.V (Posts: 99; Member since: 27 May 2011)

Its intentions, I hope, is to be a great smartphone - not just business.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 19:56 6

46. meanestgenius (Posts: 11473; Member since: 28 May 2014)

IT IS a great smartphone, geared towards business. How you can say it's not, and yet the iPhone, which sucks at basic phone functions, is regarded so high by you all at phonearena reeks of bias. Too much BlackBerry hate goes on at this site, and it's also perpetrated by the authors of this site.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 10:33 1

141. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 12941; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)

You're bias is showing.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 11:58 1

142. meanestgenius (Posts: 11473; Member since: 28 May 2014)

Dude, you're STILL responding to this article?? Let it go, dude.

posted on 30 Dec 2014, 09:40 4

123. whowhy5 (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Dec 2014)

It's intentions as presented by their CEO John Chen is to be a great business and productivity tool geared at their core enterprise customers, not to be a great smartphone for consumers who focus on multimedia, emojis, games and apps (even though users have access to the Amazon App Store, Blackberry World and with very little work the Google Play Store.)

This review should have been done based on who the phone was designed for and what it was designed to do. You wouldn't compare a mini van against a luxury sports car would you?

"The 2014 Ford Mini Van is really sluggish compared to the 2014 Porsche 911 and we aren't really sure why Ford would release such a vehicle."- Phone Arena 2014

posted on 11 Jul 2016, 09:34

148. bmobini (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Jul 2016)

Every tool has a purpose. In the same way that one would not attempt to cook food under a clothes iron, one should not expect to watch movies on a Blackberry. They are great phones that excel at their intended purpose, which is messaging. I have used various iPhones, Android devices, and even Windows phones to no avail. Typing on a touch screen is very inaccurate and spell check or correction incorrectly changes words to make my messages completely convey the wrong messages. I use an Android tablet for media consumption and my Blackberry for messaging and emails, since I am self-employed. Besides, watching movies all day makes one poor and fat.

posted on 29 Apr 2015, 09:55 3

145. farrid (Posts: 34; Member since: 20 Jun 2014)

You are like the kids in the new generation that know nothing but the touch screen and brainwashed on what you think should be. You obviously can't think outside of your box and won't appreciate the true benefit and functionality of BB10 phones. Your a slow learner and I will have to give you some slack I guess.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 07:32 1

7. Bondurant (Posts: 426; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)

A 3 layer keyboard of passport on the classic would be awesome. The screen being 3/4 the front surface of classic and keypad for the rest, cut off a bit more of the top bezels too. Would make the classic more next generation and attractive to non-business consumers.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 07:43 2

8. EC112987 (Posts: 761; Member since: 10 Nov 2014)

Besides looking at the score it was given...I read the first setence and knew it was going to bash this phone. Smh

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 07:52 5

9. toiletcleaner (Posts: 224; Member since: 10 Oct 2012)

You want a multimedia device, go and buy one Ipod touch. want a phone? get the Blackberry classic

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 19:55 2

45. John.V (Posts: 99; Member since: 27 May 2011)

How about wanting a great phone?

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 20:02 6

47. Busyboy (unregistered)

How about wanting an unbiased review?

posted on 25 Dec 2014, 09:54

111. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 12941; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)

How about getting over it

posted on 02 Sep 2015, 20:15

147. robbster (Posts: 2; Member since: 26 Jul 2015)

jez, nobody likes you! wonda why!

posted on 24 Dec 2014, 12:10 3

58. Crispin_Gatieza (Posts: 1642; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)

I defy you to find a better messaging phone or platform. Go ahead, I'll wait.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 07:58 4

10. Anshulonweb (Posts: 430; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)

wtf!....900 nits!...

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 08:20 6

11. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3724; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

How is 2515mAh a modest battery size for a device with a 3.5" screen? That's huge! Unless it is horribly optimized, this phone should get awesome battery life.

posted on 01 Jan 2015, 04:00 1

126. miles16852 (Posts: 241; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)

yes, it does, I have it, and so far it says battery is at 27% and time since last charge is 2days and 9hours!

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 08:56 8

12. fairnuff (Posts: 3; Member since: 23 Dec 2014)

6.5? really? 7.5-8 shouldve given it justice. its a business phone not an iPhone.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 09:18 3

14. SaintHelena (banned) (Posts: 397; Member since: 05 Nov 2014)

This phone is 4 years too late. It should be 4.5.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 09:43 6

17. fairnuff (Posts: 3; Member since: 23 Dec 2014)

4 years too late in what aspect? yes the chipset is bit too old but it's just right for a phone that doesnt run on android. funny how you called a phone with physical keyboard a 4 year old tech.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 10:57 2

22. SaintHelena (banned) (Posts: 397; Member since: 05 Nov 2014)

4 years ago it would be a great upgrade for the bold.
Right now... who cares.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 11:48 1

23. meanestgenius (Posts: 11473; Member since: 28 May 2014)

Clearly more people care than you are willing to admit, as evident by the many comments here. But someone who trolls BlackBerry as voraciously as you do wouldn't be able to see that.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 12:26 3

25. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 12941; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)

It is too late. Get over it

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 13:40 3

27. meanestgenius (Posts: 11473; Member since: 28 May 2014)

No one was talking to you, troll.

Get over that.

Now go and play with your bending app launcher.

posted on 01 Jan 2015, 04:00 1

127. miles16852 (Posts: 241; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)

obviously alot of people do! keep your opinions to yourself, there not even worth 2 cents

posted on 01 Jan 2015, 04:02 1

128. miles16852 (Posts: 241; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)

its a good thing your not working for BB, or you would have taken them under years ago!

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 09:36 2

16. toyboyz (Posts: 180; Member since: 22 Jan 2010)

6.5! What ever! I give it an 8-8.5 my only two disappointments should have been at least quad core and 1080p screen. :) But im still gonna pick one up for my collection ;)

posted on 11 Jul 2016, 09:36

149. bmobini (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Jul 2016)

A more powerful processor would reduce battery life drastically.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 10:17 7

18. TritonForceX (Posts: 60; Member since: 27 Sep 2012)

What is it with this site and Blackberry hate?

The article could use some editing of the main review. It does equal out to be a mid-range phone sporting a proven style, and geared more towards business users than casual users -- except for casual users who may be more in to texting and emails, social apps like Facebook and Twitter, and informative apps like Yelp. Lest we forget that Blackberry makes some pretty solid phones too that don't bend if you sit on them.

The actual review itself doesn't bother me too bad. I just hate the implied comments at the beginning and end of the review. Blackberry isn't bleeding anymore. They've leveled out and finding their focus. They've already said they're more interested in the business market, where they have made some progress. They are also powering Ford's Sync v3, which doesn't sound like bleeding to me.

Just because a company doesn't make the iPhone sweat from 1 new mid-range phone release doesn't mean they're finished and irrelevant. Get a business-centric person to do Blackberry reviews from now on. I think that's all most people here are asking for.

And may I add, this is another perfect example of how phones should be grouped here into categories, namely business, entry level, mid-range, cutting edge, and maybe outdated. Phones should then move between categories as they age. E.g. The Galaxy S3 would have debuted in the cutting edge category, but would have moved to the mid-range category when the S4 came out.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 10:56 2

21. SaintHelena (banned) (Posts: 397; Member since: 05 Nov 2014)

Perhaps you should read the review on the crackberry site, the web site with bias review that cheers blackberry device.

posted on 24 Dec 2014, 11:34 3

56. bambamboogy02 (Posts: 547; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)

So you are saying a web-site that has a history of reviewing one manufacturer's devices is a bad web-site to visit for a decent review? You are implying that since they review only blackberries, and gave this blackberry a decent review, they are not educated enough to give a any new blackberry a review? It's not like they have had older blackberry's to compare it to right? Like that would be an outrages thing to be able to do. Do you even understand that a Blackberry device isn't really a main stream person's phone? It's geared for business use. Are you going to imply that Trucks should get super low review because they get horrible gas mileage compared to cars? No! They get rated based on a scale made for Trucks. Trucks can get close to 23 MPG now, where cars can get 30+ (45+ for hybrids). So please keep your uneducated comments to yourself.

posted on 26 Apr 2015, 19:24

144. loknarr (unregistered)

I just got the Blackberry Classic and I love it...and as you say...it will not BEND like a cheap piece of s**t like the Iphone 6 hahaha...the kids buying the Iphone have been sucked in by multi-million ad campaigns.....talk about brainwashing!!

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 10:43 3

20. nyc_rock (Posts: 12; Member since: 04 Feb 2010)

Why should this be reviewed based on its "intended market"? Reviews, to mean anything, all must be based on the same criteria. If you happen to be in the intended market BB is targeting, what do you care about this review anyway? If it was written only for you, it would have been on sentence; Its a blackberry and the keyboard is great. End of review. It does nothing else but email and text. Thats all it does! It should get a 9 just because BB intended it to be useless to 98% of the smartphone market?

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 13:36 2

26. Busyboy (unregistered)

Again, that wouldn't be fair. How could you compare business phone to a multimedia made one? Reviews should be based on what it does and how well it does it, not compare it to others that were made for another purpose, being multimedia in this case. Terrible review

posted on 24 Dec 2014, 09:00

54. nyc_rock (Posts: 12; Member since: 04 Feb 2010)

The notion that a phone is designed solely for one purpose is completely antiquated. The argument has been lame for 4 years now. Thats why BB has the market share they do. My Android or Iphone is fantastic for work. And guess what? Its also fantastic for gaming and media consumption. Who knew??

posted on 24 Dec 2014, 12:15 2

59. Crispin_Gatieza (Posts: 1642; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)

You're 100% right. BlackBerry has 60% of the worldwide enterprise share because they make horrible YouTube players on their 1:1 ratio displays.

Yes, 60% of the enterprise segment. That's more than Android, iOS and Windows Phone combined. Enterprise and governments are the straws that stir the world's drinks, chew on that lame argument for a while.

posted on 24 Dec 2014, 13:49 2

65. meanestgenius (Posts: 11473; Member since: 28 May 2014)

Crispin said it best. BlackBerry handsets are made for the movers and shakers of the world, which do not have time for flying pigs and crazy kitchens.
BlackBerry also has an enterprise market share that puts iOS, Android and WP to shame on the enterprise field. You thinking that it's antiquated for a handset manufacturer to design a handset for a certain segment of the world is the reason why you probably aren't running any company yourself. You saying that is also like saying it's foolish to judge tablet solely against another tablet and that they should be compared to smartphones at well. You're reasoning is severely flawed. Androids and iPhones PALE in comparison at business to BlackBerrys.

posted on 29 Dec 2014, 09:01 1

121. farrid (Posts: 34; Member since: 20 Jun 2014)

Iphone is proprietary and too locked down. Android can be buggy especially the Samsung crap. BlackBerry is a nice mix in the middle with security, excellent text input (which I find to be most important and expandable memory in every device. It does everything my GS4 did and it's not buggy and snappy fast for messaging. Love that they are on track to come back and ear up market share again.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 13:47 2

28. meanestgenius (Posts: 11473; Member since: 28 May 2014)

Why should a review be based on its intended market? So it can be fair. I do not see iPhone reviews based on the enterprise market. BlackBerry devices should get the same fair treatment. Reviews, to mean anything, should be based on the capabilities of the device when compared to a similar device in its intended market.

If you think that all BB10 devices do is send text messages and emails, then you have just proven that you've never used one and therefore cannot speak intelligently on a BB10 device.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 13:59 1

31. ablopez (Posts: 224; Member since: 15 Apr 2014)

Well said Busyboy and MG. Comment #20 is pretty much just a trolling comment.

posted on 24 Dec 2014, 11:43 2

57. bambamboogy02 (Posts: 547; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)

Do you grade tablets the same as phones? or Vice-Versa? The answer is no. So why on earth would you review this a business device, the same as a personal device? I'm sure you do not put Chrome-books and laptops in the same category now do you? they both look similar and do just 70% about the same things, why don't you rate them together? Yeah...thought so....

posted on 23 Jan 2015, 02:23 3

139. LimoMike (Posts: 2; Member since: 28 Dec 2014)

I bought a Classic new off Amazon before Christmas to replace my Bold. Love it! They made it just for stubborn hold-outs like me. I have a nice Android for multimedia, the Classic is my business phone and I like my setup with seperate devices. You are right, the review doesn't matter to a Blackberry user.
It's a Blackberry, yes it's got a great keyboard, and what I specifically waited for; the trackpad & buttons are back. I may buy a second one and put it away for when I wear this one out.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 15:13 3

33. depeche (Posts: 63; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)

This is not a "multimedia device" and I did not hear what the outdated spec's were.

QNX nor windows 8.0/8.1 OS need cutting edge hardware to run well.

Blackberry has always been an excellent communication device and that continues:
Z10, Q10, Z30, Z3 and passport all fill certain areas of markets; are they for everyone NO.

I wish people and reviewers would have a little more open mind toward Blackberry and stop trying to predict when the company will die!!

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 15:51 1

34. PK1983 (Posts: 215; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)

This would have made sense in 2012 when the processor would have been the same one as the Galaxy S3 had, the camera and battery would be standard specs, and the phone would be seen as a smart evolution from the BB7 devices. Today it is $200 too much and 2 years too late.

posted on 24 Dec 2014, 23:15 1

103. dodger (Posts: 28; Member since: 03 Jun 2014)


posted on 23 Dec 2014, 16:33

35. corporateJP (Posts: 2431; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)

If it was $200 outright, I'd consider it as a backup because I love my Nokia but I hate it's OS and it will need to be replaced shortly. I'll just keep getting steals on Moto G first gens, I guess.

I hope they can find a way to get a device like this in the future into the proper price range for what it is.

I wish BB nothing but success.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 17:37 3

37. Crispin_Gatieza (Posts: 1642; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)

Well if this device gets a 6.5 because it's not a multimedia phone, then the iPhone (any of them) should get a 4 because you can't attach anything except pictures on the email client, can't do any bluetooth file transfer with non-iOS devices, can't use as a USB mass storage, can't play Flash content, can't upload files via computer, can"t...... Aw s**t, I'm getting tired.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 19:53 1

44. meanestgenius (Posts: 11473; Member since: 28 May 2014)

You are absolutely correct. The iPhone (any of them) even completely fails at its most basic functions, which is being able to make decent phone calls and send text messages(black hole, anyone?).

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 19:32 2

41. CitizenX (Posts: 21; Member since: 27 Jun 2014)

Only people who have never owned a BB keep bagging it. They are great phones now and always.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 23:01 3

51. bambamboogy02 (Posts: 547; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)

What exactly, did this phone get such a low score for? Was it because YOU, John V. , decided this wasn't multimedia enough for you? Or was it based on another opinion of yours? It's a blackberry, it has a specific niche in the market, it's not made to be your go to multimedia device. You praised the device for having the original keypad, which is a delight to type on, and comes pre-loaded with Docs-to-go to use for more than likely, business needs. Unless you are a college student trying to get your Paper done on this(Which I have done on a blackberry before) or working your excel spreadsheet on this, that is the one of the main reasons it comes with this app pre-loaded. You caught so much flask for this review because you rated a device geared for the business folk out there, against a gradient made for personal phone users. Also, as stated above, Iphone does suck for normal phone purposes, Android can take a hit for gaming, but that never has stopped you or phonearena from rating them high. So why would a business phone be graded using a scale meant for personal phones?

Also, why would this make the phone be ranked lower: "Scrolling vertically causes us to “minimize” apps frequently" I believe that is your personal mistake, and not one the phone is making for you. I believe you are scrolling wrong. Don't you get your toolbox windows to pop up on your Iphone when you scroll up in your browser? Or did you learn how to scroll with out putting your thumb on "that" part of the screen when you start scrolling up? or did you disable it all together from happening from apps? Or did you adjust and learn not to do it?

I would consider this review being biased or you just making an out right idiot mistake; I know you are smarter than this and I hope you will really take this into consideration next time you review a device. Thank you for your time in reading this. (Hopefully)

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 23:14 5

52. srgonu (Posts: 251; Member since: 13 Feb 2012)

John V reviews
iPhone : It runs one full day with moderate use. Great improvement and outstanding achievement.
BlackBerry : You get one full day and it is nothing spectacular.

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Display3.5 inches, 720 x 720 pixels (294 ppi)
Camera8 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, Dual-core, 1500 MHz, Krait processor
Size5.16 x 2.85 x 0.4 inches
(131.1 x 72.4 x 10.2 mm)
6.28 oz  (178 g)
Battery2515 mAh, 17.2 hours talk time

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