BlackBerry Classic Review: The Very Best of Yesterday | Pocketnow

spent a couple weeks finding out this isour video review of the blackberryclassic this review was made possible bythe folks at gsm nation offeringunlocked smartphones and top-tiercustomer service at gsm andby US mobile providing simplefully-customizable wireless service atNGO us as its name impliesthe blackberry classic is meant to evokethe best of times gone by for berryheads it’s heavy chassis combines coolmetal rubberized plastic and GorillaGlass 3 for a package that feelshigh-quality durable and above allimportant in the hand even tiny detailslike the travel and feedback of themetal side Keys contribute to thepremium feel it’s like a moleskin ofsmartphones an instantly recognizableinstitution that commands respectif largely from the old-school in thebest tradition of a blackberry thisfeels like a handset for work forgetting things done when the little redlight starts flashing central to thatperception is the 35 key backlitkeyboard one of the only physicalkeyboards you can find on the market andalmost certainly the best this of courseis BlackBerry’s bread-and-butter akeyboard for pounding out everythingfrom emails to essays and while I’mstill faster on a touchscreen I find I’moften happier typing on the classicphysical Keys lets you type by feel andthe tactility of the whole experienceelicits a sense of the familiar acomfort that modern touchscreens justcan’t reproduce and even if you’re notsusceptible to such romantic notionsthere’s a practical advantage here tothe BlackBerry trackpad has made itsreturn as part of the resurrected toolbelt even after so many years oftouchscreen dominance it’s still easierand faster to visita cursor or highlight text with thetrackpad like the physical keyboarditself it may seem like an anachronismbut it’s actually a very useful tool forthose whose mobile lives hinge on thetyped word of course the touchscreenstill persists and here we see theclassic fall more in line with modernconcepts if not modern specs the LCD issmall a 3.5 inch perfect square at 720by 720 not exactly ideal for thewidescreen world of media consumptionbut serviceable for everything else andsitting behind it is the same processorwe saw in the blackberry q10 backed upby the same basic memory loadout yep forthe most part this is a spec sheet from2 years agoclassic indeed but blackberry fanshoping for a full-on throwback won’tfind the stodgy software of old runningon the classic is the latest build ofthe new BlackBerry OS and that’s bothgood news and bad on the positive sidethe software is very fluid and in termsof animations quite responsiveconsidering the older hardware it’srunning on active apps are containedwithin frames on the home screen whichcan be closed or kept running a handyfeature for those who like to leave ayoutube video playing in the backgroundto the right set the cascading pages ofapps and to the left the BlackBerry huba unified inbox for every singlenotification no matter what happens fromconceptually speaking the hub is stillthe smartest part of the new BlackBerryOS as with the hardware the classicssoftware shines brightest when itleverages the keyboard you can unlockthe phone with two key presses ratherthan relying on the lock button or ascreen swipe just start typing on thehome screen to jump right into UniversalSearch scroll webpages emails or socialfeeds a page at a time with the spacebaror turn a page in Kindle the same wayjump to the top or bottom of lists withT and B search a web page for a specificword with s the list goes onpair some of these shortcuts with otherBlackBerry conveniences like thebrowser’s no frills reader mode and youget an interface that’s refreshinglydevoid of gimmicks or tricks at its bestthe BlackBerry user experience is one ofpowerfulsimplicity but BlackBerry 10 isn’t atits best in a critical area apps it’scommendable that the classic comesloaded with both blackberry world andthe Amazon Appstore and it’s awesomethat you can sideload almost any Androidapp you want but compatibility isn’tsynonymous with quality here runningAndroid apps within blackberry 10 is asluggish buggy experience at every levelfrom installation to everyday use that’sa natural consequence of running Androidapps on a non native platform with olderhardware but it can be very frustratingif you’re used to more powerfulmainstream smartphones even outside theAndroid runtime BlackBerry 10 just isn’ta fast OS the BlackBerry hub still dragsits feet on tasks as simple as openingmessages or marking items as read andFacebook Messenger is so slow to updateconversations within the hub that it’salmost unusable Universal search one ofmy favorite features of the platform isprone to missing the first fewkeystrokes if you’re in a hurry evenapps coded for BlackBerry 10 likeTwitter and Evernote are much slowerthan their Android iOS and Windowscounterparts and you can forget abouthardcore multitasking grinding theclassic to a halt is as easy as tryingto snap a photo while you’re streaming apodcast through stitcher even if youreally want to like this deviceshortcomings as fundamental as thesedon’t make it easyonce again the ship starts to writeitself when we return to thefundamentals I tested the blackberryclassic in both Las Vegas and GreaterBoston over the course of two weeks usmobiles connectivity is provided byt-mobile us and aside from a capacitycrunch at CES the network’s coverage anddata speeds have been impressive and theBlackBerry hasn’t had any troubleholding on to signal be it 3G LTE Wi-Fior the Bluetooth connection that powersmy LG tones phone calls are bright andclear on the earpiece with ample sidetone that evokes memories of oldlandline telephones speakerphoneperformance is loud and clear as wellthere’s not much to say about the 8megapixel camera except you’ll want tokeep a steady hand while shootingautofocus is not the fastest colors canbe quite saturated and rather nice andgood lighting turn the lights down andyou get the usual digital noise creepingin along with diminishing saturation andan even slower focus performance onenotable thing about the viewfindersoftware is that it’ll auto detectchallenging lighting conditions andsuggest HDR automatically also it’s gota time shift mode to compensate for ablinking or talking subject take theBlackBerry home or back to the officeafter shooting a few photos and you canuse the BlackBerry blended software toview the photos on your computer thencheck your calendar for your nextappointment and even tap into your hubto answer the emails you missed it’s alot like Motorola’s connect or a pareddown version of AirDroid and it’sconvenient if you do spend a lot of timein your desk though I wish the filemanager made it easier to bulk transfermedia finally battery life seems fairlytypical for a 2500 milliamp hour batterya BlackBerry’s estimate of 22 hours ofmixed usage seems ambitious but I neverhad trouble getting through a full dayeven with fairly heavy use during mytime with the blackberry classic I tookpages and pages of notes over severaldays and one of the world’s biggesttechnology shows I juggled traffic fromtwo email accounts as well as Facebookand Twitter and used blackberrymessenger to keep in touch with myiPhone Android and Windows Phone totingteammates I kept the calendar in synctook the occasional phone call kept aneye on the weatherwatched the odd video and even read mostof a novel in short I used theblackberry classic for work about 80% ofthe time and that’s when it was at itsbest in this respect the BlackBerrydiehards who shut down criticism bysaying it’s not a toy it’s a tool wellthey have a point for a consumer whowants a modern smartphone with all thetrimmings the classic is not the rightchoice hell it’s not even the wrongchoice it’s a terrible one but for theshrinking pool of workers for whom ablackberry is an employer issuedaccessory meantto help get the job done and nothingmore the classic is exactly what itneeds to be and nothing more if you’regonna be stuck in the past by personalchoice or by employer decree there’s nobetter smartphone to do it with than theblackberry classic once again thisreview was made possible thanks to adevice loan from GSM nation and usmobile pay them a visit in the links atthe description below and be sure tocheck out pocket now’s other recentreviews in the links above until nexttime this has been michael fisher withpocket now captain to phones on twitteroff to try for another high score inbrickbreakerthanks for watching everyone we’ll seeyou soon

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