BlackBerry Launches Classic

Today, BlackBerry has officially launched BlackBerry Classic, or Q20 as some call it, and it is available for purchase at the $499 from Amazon and other stores, unlocked. Here are some of the commercials that BlackBerry is using for Classic release. The first one is more oriented to the average users, while the second one caters to the professionals and businesses.

Another one

This one is Classic unbox video

Here is official launch video right from New York!

http://events.mediasite.com/Mediasite/Play/a9246ede4b724b8faa9bf494af742c561d?autoStart=false&popout=true

There is talk about the 2014 in retrospect, business deals, and other interesting things (Go check it we don’t want to spoil everything :D)

As you can see the tracking pad is back along with the additional tasters that were part of the old BlackBerry Bold line of phones, the ones that made BlackBerry successful and widely known.  Classic comes with new version of BlackBerry’s OS 10, 10.3.1. This version improves on the already successful 10.2 release, and makes it even better along with some design changes, most notably flat design. Along with that it comes with preinstalled Amazon Store which will allow you to get more consumer oriented applications for Android since BlackBerry is compatible with Android Apps (Current version is 4.3-4.4). There is still BlackBerry World which caters to more business oriented crowd.

Here’s what people on CrackBerry.com highlight as the most interesting features of new OS version:

  • BlackBerry 10 OS 10.3 features new icons, buttons and other UI elements, with a flatter, more modern design.
  • The menu bar along the bottom of the screen lets you access the Hub, Home screen, and application panels. The Home screen is now always available, even if there are no apps running.
  • Minimized apps are Active Frames. You can have up to eight Active Frames on your Home screen. The first app you minimize takes the top left position of the grid, and each new app follows sequentially. In BlackBerry 10 OS 10.3 you can reorder the placement by pressing and holding on any frame. The frames will begin to “pulsate”, like app icons, and you can then drag a frame to a new position.
  • With 10.3.1, apps now run in the background without an open Active Frame (“headless apps”).
  • Universal Search is always accessible from the Home screen. On the BlackBerry Classic, simply begin typing what you want to search for. BlackBerry 10 searches all the content on the smartphone and beyond, including the Internet. BES10 and BES12 customers can search work resources as well.
  • You can now access the BlackBerry Classic smartphone’s settings (Quick Settings menu) from any application by swiping down from the top of the display with two fingers. Swiping down with one finger typically opens the settings for that particular app.
  • You can now boost your battery life by up to 15% by customizing your Battery Saving Profile, easily accessible in the Quick Settings. Quickly select the settings you would like to restrict or remain active to conserve power.
  • Advanced Interaction uses the phone’s sensors to enable certain behavior, such as setting the phone face down to save power. To access, click on “Settings” in the Quick Settings menu and look for Advanced Interaction.
  • For improved multi-tasking, a small banner appears on the top of the homescreen and Hub that indicates when you are still on a phone call. It displays a call timer and whether or not the call is muted. Tap the banner to return to the active call screen.
  • Calendar reminder notifications have more options including a custom snooze time, quick access to “I will be late” and the ability to find the location of the meeting. If you have multiple reminders at the same time, they are displayed together.
  • Meeting Mode (in Calendar Settings) will automatically silence your phone when you are in a meeting. Meeting Mode is now a permanent profile within Notifications settings, so you can adjust the settings in the profile or in the Calendar settings.
  • Users will also have access to a selection of legacy BlackBerry ringtones that are familiar from BBOS. They can be accessed via the “Browse Tones…” menu in Notification Settings within the Settings Application.
  • Users now have the ability to create new notification profiles for their device, and will have access to a greater degree of customization within existing out-of-box provided profiles. Customize your profile including sound levels, vibration, sound notification during phone calls, instant previews and LED. You can also customize notifications for individual apps, contacts or messaging accounts. You can turn off all notifications and/or sound, select a different ring-tone, override the profile volume, and toggle vibration and instant previews on or off. You can also change the LED color for a specific app – there are 7 colors to choose from.
  • You can customize your Lock Screen settings. Go to Settings > Notifications > Lock Screen Settings. Here you have control over how to unlock your device, how notifications display on the lock screen and you can even customize a lock screen message.
  • Priority Hub makes it fast and easy to find the most important messages and information. Priority Hub learns what conversations and people are important to you, then collects priority messages across your email, social networking and other accounts to give you instant access to the conversations most important to you to, helping you stay organized and focused on your most essential tasks.
  • Tap the icon to the far right of the BlackBerry Hub label to open a context sensitive side menu (Instant Actions) that lets you quickly file or delete a message, or respond to a text or BBM. The side menu also pops up for a short period after you close a message.
  • Users on Active-sync with servers that support internal and external Out of Office will be able to set separate internal and external out of office messages from their BlackBerry Classic.
  • BlackBerry Classic users will be able to unlock their smartphone from either a screen locked or password locked state by pressing the “U” key followed by the “Enter” key on their device. This works when the display is off too.
  • The Amazon Appstore is preinstalled. You can simply download and run Android apps directly from the store.
  • The media player includes an equalizer with 17 different presets.
  • Remember has been redesigned to be simpler and easier to create and manage tasks. Entries can include notes you type as well as attachments such as photos, videos and voice notes.
  • You can now fill-in PDF forms, including adding a signature with the Adobe Reader app.
  • BlackBerry Assistant allows you to manage your work and personal email, contacts, calendar and other BlackBerry 10 features through simple voice and text commands. It helps you to execute important tasks quickly such as responding to important emails, scheduling a meeting or getting directions.
  • BlackBerry Assistant features deep integration with BlackBerry Hub, Calendar and Contacts, and provides unique voice-activated capabilities, such as having your emails read to you with the ability to reply back hands-free and eyes-free, or scheduling a meeting by saying “book an event.” BlackBerry Assistant has a best-in-class architecture and new language processing that yields a very high rate of accuracy and recognizes voice commands in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.
  • You can instantly reply to a BBM without even leaving the app you’re in, including from within the Hub and email. Tap the message to reply or tap the X to dismiss the message. If you dismiss the BBM message, it will continue to show as delivered but unread to your contact.
  • There is now a camera app in the Work Space. Selecting the camera icon in the Work Space will launch a version of the camera that saves photos and videos to the “camera” folder in the work perimeter.
  • You now have the option to save a Time Shift capture for editing at a later time.
  • Panorama is a new feature. When you start the capture, the display will guide you to align for the next shot and automatically capture it. Simply pan until the solid box fits into the frame.
  • You can manage your photos even more easily with the hide and map view features.
  • Story Maker has an auto- creation feature. The system examines your content then offers to create a Story Maker video for you based on that content. When you open the Pictures app and sort by date, look for this icon. Tap it to automatically generate a video.
  • BlackBerry 10.3 gives you extensive control over what appears on the Lock screen. You can even set a different wallpaper for the Lock screen and Home screen.
  • The BlackBerry Classic smartphone has a built-in FM radio. You can listen to local FM stations, which does not require any network connection and does not use your data plan.

 

Additionally to the Classic release, BlackBerry has also released Blend. Blend is an application which enables you to manage your mail and business network by using your phone or by connecting it to your computer or laptop. Overall, if you connect your phone to computer you will have option to manage messages, write emails etc. from your own computer but using your phone. The connection can also be done via Wi-Fi.

Here is the video that previews BlackBerry Blend feature.

 

 

 

Nikola Stojic
Law student, entrepreneur, writing about startups and tech, StartupBlink Ambassador

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BlackBerry Launches Classic

by Nikola Stojic time to read: 6 min
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