True to its name, the BlackBerry Classic mimics the company’s phones of old, all while modernizing the hardware and software alike. To some extent, it succeeds: The phone itself feels great, and the operating system shows improvement, even if it’s still sort of stuck between eras. Most importantly, it does a great job of keeping you focused on productivity while employing BlackBerry’s signature security.
But the BlackBerry app ecosystem is a mess, with so many headlining apps missing between the two different marketplaces, and numerous apps not working as advertised. Moreover, that square screen isn’t designed for media or many apps, so the non-work experience suffers, and performance can be sluggish in spots.
As a secondary phone solely for work purposes, the BlackBerry Classic has value—particularly if you’re still rocking an older model. But as your sole smartphone, the Classic is too limited in its functionality and content offerings to come even close to an iPhone or Android phone. Pairing an older phone build and feature set with modern advancements might give the Classic a small bit of anachronistic allure, but the lingering sensation is that it’s simply outdated in key ways.
- Great build
- Strong keyboard
- Focus on productivity
- Bad app ecosystem
- Cramped square screen
- Slow, awkward UI