After briefly dabbling with touchscreen-only phones, it looks like BlackBerry is getting back to developing phones with physical keyboards. The move probably won’t help convert iPhone addicts stick their phones in a blender and go buy a new BlackBerry. But it could help the company hold onto existing customers who prefer the feel of an actual keyboard to a virtual on-screen one.
The recently launched BlackBerry Passport has an entirely new, touch-sensitive and tiny keyboard below an enormous square screen. The upcoming BlackBerry Classic takes a different approach by packing a relatively high-resolution square display over a more traditional looking thumb keyboard.
While BlackBerry hasn’t shared many details about the upcoming Classic yet, a series of leaked photos and specs paint a pretty goo picture of what to expect.
- 720 x 720 pixel, 3.46 inch TFT LCD touchscreen display
- 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core CPU
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB storage
- microSDXC card slot for up to 128GB of removable storage
- 8MP rear camera with auto-focus and flash
- 2MP fixed-focus front camera
- 35-key backlity keyboard
- Optical trackpad plus escape, menu, and other buttons.
Other features are said to include NFC, Miracast wireless display support, and video output via SlimPort.
All told, the BlackBerry Classic packs a lot of the features you’d expect from a modern smartphone… in a package that looks more like a traditional BlackBerry device aimed at folks who spend a lot of time using a mobile device for email, SMS, and other messaging tasks.
The phone’s also a lot smaller and easier to slide into a pocket than the BlackBerry Passport, which has a 4.5 inch square display and a body the size of an actual passport.