BlackBerry is preparing to launch its fourth smartphone of 2014, following the Z3, the P’9983, and the BlackBerry Passport. It’s called the BlackBerry Classic, and we know it exists because not only was it officially announced during MWC 2014, but CEO John Chen briefly flashed it about during the closing moments of the BlackBerry Passport launch event. The phone has now been leaked in a series of pictures, along with a selection of specifications. Here’s what we know about the phone so far.
Pre-orders start ahead of December 17 launch date
At the conclusion of his BlackBerry Conference keynote speech, CEO John Chen announced that the long-awaited BlackBerry Classic will launch during a December 17 event in New York City. The mention of an official launch event should cheer up the BlackBerry faithful who found the Passport too unorthodox for their tastes. Additionally, the BlackBerry blog says that you can already pre-order the phone from the company’s website.
The Classic will cost you $450, but none of its specifications are listed. The pre-order page also warns that the Classic will not work on Verizon, Sprint, or U.S. Cellular, and is only available in select markets. Luckily for Kim Kardashian, the U.S. and Canada are both listed. Finally, the estimated ship date is set for mid-December. It looks like BlackBerry addicts may get their Christmas wish this year. If you’re one of those people, you can pre-order the Classic here.
Old school looks
If these high quality leaked pictures are of the real thing, then the Classic’s design will be familiar to all BlackBerry fans. The phone, also known as the Q20, looks a lot like the Q10, Bold, and Curve smartphones; complete with a modest sized screen, a physical QWERTY keyboard, and a five-button navigation and shortcut strip separating the two. The phone has a textured rear panel, plus a set of speaker cutouts running across the base of the device.
A sleep/wake key is fitted to the top of the phone, while a MicroSD card slot sits next to the SIM tray down the left-hand side. On the pictured model, the strip holding the camera lens and LED flash shows “Classic” branding. When the Q20 was announced at MWC, it was stated the Classic name would be worn by more devices in the future.
Old school specs
An extensive spec list for the Classic has been leaked. If it’s accurate, we can expect a 3.46-inch touchscreen with a 720 x 720 pixel resolution, and power from a dual-core Snapdragon processor running a 1.5GHz. Internal memory should be 16GB with the option to increase this using a MicroSD card, while RAM will be a respectable 2GB.
Photographic duties will be handled by an 8-megapixel camera on the rear, which is also equipped with auto-focus and an LED flash, while selfies will be snapped with the 2-megapixel front camera. Other notable features include NFC, a 2515mAh battery, wireless charging support on selected models, and noise canceling microphones.
Foxconn built hardware
Following in the footsteps of the Z3, the BlackBerry Q20 Classic should be built in Foxconn’s factories, with BlackBerry responsible only for the software side. We’re also expecting it to be launched mainly in BlackBerry’s most important markets. Whether this will end up including the U.S., or Europe, remains to be seen.