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BlackBerry Classic Review

BlackBerry Classic

Posted: , by John V.


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: 35; 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: 898; Member since: 31 Oct 2013)

Damn, i wanted it to be good.

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 17:46 2

39. Crispin_Gatieza (Posts: 2108; 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: 16598; 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: 16598; 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 (unregistered)

You're bias is showing.

posted on 16 Feb 2015, 11:58 1

142. meanestgenius (Posts: 16598; 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: 35; 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: 573; 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: 966; 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 (unregistered)

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: 2108; 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: 437; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)

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

posted on 23 Dec 2014, 08:20 6

11. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3814; 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.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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PhoneArena rating:
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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