BlackBerry Classic smartphone with QWERTY keypad launched for Rs 31,990 in India

16 Jan, 2015

BlackBerryAfter unveiling the same last month, Canadian handset manufacturer BlackBerry (previously Research in Motion or RIM) has finally launched the BlackBerry Classic smartphone in the Indian market. According to the company, the smartphone has been designed based on extensive customer feedback, and offers customers the performance of BlackBerry 10, with the DNA and familiarity of the 'classic' keypad experience.

BlackBerry claims that the smartphone offers a three times faster browser, has 60 per cent more screen space, and a 50 per cent longer battery life in comparison to BlackBerry Bold 9900. The device is available for purchase online (exclusively on Snapdeal.com) as well as at brick and mortar stores for Rs 31,990 in the country.

"With the launch of BlackBerry Classic, we bring back the QWERTY experience that made BlackBerry smartphones a users' go-to productivity tool. This device brings the best of BlackBerry features and the keyboard functionalities familiar to BlackBerry Bold and Curve users on a secure and productive platform," said Sunil Lalvani, MD, BlackBerry India.

Here is a look at the specifications of the device.

The smartphone sports a 3.5 inch touchscreen display (720x720 pixel resolution) with pixel density of 294 ppi and a 1:1 aspect ratio. The physical QWERTY keyboard comes with 35-keys and a responsive touch surface like a track pad that lets you perform many touch functions directly on the keyboard. It is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM 8960 processor. BlackBerry Classic has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory that can be further expanded up to 128GB with a microSD card.

The device has an 8 megapixel autofocus rear camera (with image and video stabilisation) with LED Flash that can also record full high definition videos (1080p) at 30 frames per second. In addition, it has a 2MP fixed-focus front facing camera for video calling that can also record HD videos (720p). On the connectivity front, the device has Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G LTE, as well as a microSD slot and a microUSB port.

The dimensions of the device are 131mm x 72.4mm x 10.2mm and it weighs 178 gm. The company has provided a 2,515 mAh battery in the device which it claims will provide up to 17.2 hours of talk time, up to 70 hours of audio playback, and 15.2 days of standby time. It comes with Near Field Communication (NFC), FM radio and has GPS (with A-GPS support). It is available in black colour.

Here is an introductory video of BlackBerry Classic.

The smartphone also comes preloaded with BlackBerry 10.3.1 operating system, which offers features like:

BlackBerry Blend: Brings messaging and content that is on your BlackBerry smartphone to your computer and tablet. Get instant message notifications, read and respond to your work and personal email, BBM and text messages, as well as access your documents, calendar, contacts and media in real-time on whatever device you are on.

BlackBerry Assistant: A digital assistant that can be used with voice and text commands to help users manage work and personal email, contacts, calendar and other native BlackBerry 10 applications. According to the company, BlackBerry Assistant intelligently determines how to respond to you based on how you interact with it– if you type, it responds silently; if you speak, it speaks back; and if you activate it over Bluetooth, it speaks back with additional context because it assumes you might not have access to the screen.

BlackBerry Hub: Offers a single place to manage all your conversations– email, texts, BBM, phone calls, social media and more. You can even glance at what's next in your calendar.

In addition, the Amazon Appstore comes preloaded on BlackBerry Classic, enabling users to access popular Android apps and games including Candy Crush Saga, Pinterest, Kindle for Android, and Cut the Rope 2, among others.

While it's a decent device, we are not so sure whether customers will be enticed enough to shell out upwards of Rs 30,000 for it. In September last year, the company had launched BlackBerry Passport, a smartphone that sports a square touchscreen, as well as a QWERTY touch-enabled keypad, for Rs 49,990 in India.