BlackBerry launched the Classic, a phone that looks deceptively like its wildly popular Curve and Bold phones, in a New Delhi event today and the reviews are already trickling in.
The general consensus seems to be that while this is a great device for BlackBerry fanatics who have refused to move on to the greener pastures of Android and iPhone, it's going to have a tough time convincing anyone who has moved on to move back.
Sure, it has the same QWERTY physical keyboard that has enraptured BlackBerry fanatics who used BlackBerry's Curve and Bold smartphones. QWERTY keyboards make us type faster and more accurately, goes the common refrain. Except that if you're used to virtual keyboards on your Android and Apple devices, it isn't always true.
"Going back to a physical keyboard this past week turned out to be cumbersome," writes Scott Mayerowitz of the Associated Press, who has been using an iPhone for the last four years.
Critics have also slammed the device for its lackluster camera. NDTV Gadgets says that the camera "took way too long to lock focus" and moving objects weren't captured very well. NDTV writes:
"Low-light results were highly unpredictable in terms of noise and sharpness, and objects at even a slight distance were not captured clearly. Videos are recorded at 720p by default and are a little shaky, with predictably low detail levels even in bright daylight."
Apps are a problem too. The phone comes with two app stores -- BlackBerry's own lackluster BlackBerry World and Amazon's Android Appstore, which offers a subset of the apps found on the Google Play Store. There's no Uber and no Instagram, for instance -- a deal-breaker for most people.
BlackBerry is also being called out? for pricing the Classic on the higher side at Rs. 31,990. Blackberry has a perception problem -- casual users outside enterprises are abandoning the platform in droves and BlackBerry needs to do all it can to stem the flow. Aggressive pricing should have been a key part of that strategy, especially when prices of high-end Android devices have tumbled in the last few months.
What seems stellar on the Classic is the battery life. On NDTV's video loop test, it lasted an impressive 14 hours and 54 minutes. That's no reason to switch, is it?