BlackBerry's most recent smartphone release, the Passport, was a notable departure from its traditional device design -- and that was a good thing. The Passport stands apart from the pack because it is so unique, for better or for worse.
The company's next device, the BlackBerry Classic, looks a lot like some of the devices it released a few years ago -- and it's unclear if that's a good thing or not.
The Classic sports the "classic" BlackBerry keyboard, and even has a trackpad, a la the BlackBerry Bold 9900. The new, old school BlackBerry runs a new version of the BlackBerry 10 OS.
BlackBerry's Classic Web page boldly proclaims: "We heard you, and we built it," which suggests that old school customers have been calling for a return to some of the older BlackBerrys' design elements. And BlackBerry is gallantly responding to the demand. How nice.
The company keeps teasing the device by leaking bits of information and promotional content, like yesterday's "Official BlackBerry Classic Browser & Apps" video.
Honestly, though, the Classic doesn't appear to be all that different than the BlackBerry Q10, with the exception of an additional row of navigation keys and a set of software enhancements
I reviewed the BlackBerry Passport shortly after it was released, and to sum up a rather lengthy evaluation: I like it. However, I honestly haven't used it for a while, because it's too big for me carry around in a pocket. I switched back to my trusty BlackBerry Q10, which fits quite nicely in my pants pocket, along with whatever iPhone or Android device I'm using at a given time.
In other words, I keep coming back to my BlackBerry, even though it sometimes feels like it's holding on to me and not the other way around. I admit, as long-time BlackBerry user, I'm anxious to get my mitts on the BlackBerry Classic, and I'm looking forward to attending the launch event in New York City on December 17.
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