If you are an avid WhatsApp user and using one of the older versions of BlackBerry, Windows Phone or Symbian, you are out of luck.
If you are still using a BlackBerry smartphone or clinging to an old Symbian-based Nokia phone, it’s high time you may want to consider switching to Android or iOS. Well, your favorite instant messaging application, WhatsApp, is going to end support for BlackBerry, Symbian and even Windows Phone 7.1.
WhatsApp announced it will be ending support for BlackBerry, including BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, Android 2.1 and Android 2.2, and Windows Phone 7.1 – by the end of 2016.
Why is WhatsApp doing this? The reason is very simple — most of the mobile users across the world have shifted to Android and iOS smartphones. WhatsApp elaborates the time it had launched the app in 2009, about 70 percent of smartphones then ran on BlackBerry and Nokia’s Symbian.
But as of now Google,Apple and Microsoft account for 99.5 percent of sales, which back then had then mere 25 percent of the share. WhatsApp is now looking at the future, and wants to channelize its focus on the current and possible future mobile operating systems, and their updates.
“While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future,” WhatsApp said on its website.
If you are using devices based on these operating systems, you can’t really do much than upgrade to the latest Android, iOS or the new Windows Mobile 10 operating systems.
While BlackBerry users can use the BBM, considering that it is a cross platform messaging platform right. But it is highly unlikely that all of your friends might be using the BlackBerry Messenger. Symbian users can either use apps such as Nimbuzz, which is available for almost all platforms. But these alternatives are unlikely to ensure WhatsApp-like instant messaging or have all contacts with same instant messaging application.
BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 update is coming on February 19 for all of the company’s current smartphone line-up that’s not featuring the latest OS version. Currently, the BlackBerry Classic is the only one to run BlackBerry OS 10.3.1.
The information is unconfirmed by BlackBerry and originates from N4BB.com, who claim to have it from a source within the company. Regardless, the update will be available for the BlackBerry Passport, BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9983, BlackBerry Z30, BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10.
The latest BlackBerry OS version will come with an updated virtual assistant that will bring BlackBerry closer to the likes of Siri and Google Now. Additionally, version 10.3.1 will come with notification profiles, enhanced calendar reminder dialogs, task recurrence, mark pictures and videos as hidden. Other novelties include a battery saving mode and the option to restrict apps to run while minimized.
BlackBerry Classic key features:
3.5in screen with 720 x 720 resolution.
Physical keyboard; ‘Tool Belt’ buttons; and optical trackpad.
10.2mm / 177g.
Dual-core, 1.5GHz processor with 2GB RAM.
16GB storage, upgradable by up to 128GB via microSD.
Price as reviewed: £349.
BlackBerry Classic review:
Eight years on from Steve Jobs announcing the first iPhone, and giving the physical keyboard a kicking, BlackBerry has just released the Classic, a throwback to the company’s glory days which it hopes will win back the hearts of defectors who once put clicky keys and trackpads above touch screens and gaming.
Has it worked? Can a step backwards take the company forwards, or is creating a phone for a tiny and shrinking group of fanatics the last thing BlackBerry should be doing? We spent a week using the Classic to find out.
BlackBerry Classic: Look and feel
BlackBerry Classic review: Despite only featuring metal on its edges, the Classic is surprisingly heavy at 117 g
Instead of filling this review with cheap shots at how the Classic looks like something from a bygone age, I’ll instead praise it for being more purposeful and businesslike than any other handset on the market.
Yes, the BlackBerry Passport, with its crazy square design, is another option for spreadsheet-tackling suit-wearers, but the Classic goes about its business without compromising for users who demand a cartoonishly large screen for video and gaming.
The non-removeable plastic back leaves a little to be desired
Despite only featuring metal on its edges, the Classic is surprisingly heavy at 177g (an iPhone 6 heft comes a sense of high quality for what is, at £350 SIM-free, a modestly priced smartphone.
The non-removeable plastic back leaves a little to be desired, but otherwise I can’t really complain – the Classic looks and feels exactly as BlackBerry intended. It’s a modern update to the ageing Bold 9900.
My only criticism is how the power/screen lock button is at the top of the phone, making it a stretch for users with small hands; I’d rather it was on the right edge by the volume buttons.
BlackBerry Classic: Screen
Eight years ago we all thought the iPhone’s 3.5in screen was massive, but now that we’re comfortable with much larger offerings from Apple, the equally sized BlackBerry feels cramped. This isn’t helped by the Classic’s square screen ratio, but a resolution of 720×720 and pixel density of 294 per inch are respectable enough and produce a sharp, accurate and well-lit image.
Being square, widescreen video is never going to look great on the BlackBerry Classic, but that simply isn’t the point of this handset, which is more at home with email and presentations than cat gifs and YouTube.
BlackBerry Classic: Software and performance
A resolution of 720×720 and pixel density of 294 per inch are respectable enough(IBTimes UK)
Running BlackBerry 10.3, the Classic has a dual-core 1.5GHz processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, which is expandable by up to 128GB via a microSD card slot. It isn’t the newest processor – or the fastest – and although flicking through the home page and app selection is smooth, the overall experience is disappointing.
Aware that its own BlackBerry World app store selection is pitiful, the company has drafted in help from Amazon’s store, which gives users access to a catalogue of Android titles to install on the Classic. Sadly, there isn’t much here to get excited about and I found the experience often felt slow and clunky, as if playing games or flicking through Facebook are things the Classic is inherently uncomfortable with. It isn’t smooth and I regularly ran into lengthy loading screens in a variety of apps.
The Hub quickly becomes a mess of unread notifications and lost emails
The all-seeing hub was one of Blackberry 10’s standout features when it launched in early 2013, but log in with everything – email, Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn – and it quickly becomes a mess of unread notifications and lost emails. It takes a lot of work to keep on top of it all, and that’s without even adding my work email account.
Cameras have never been BlackBerry’s strong point and the Classic doesn’t change that. The 8-megapixel sensor produces average photos and is frustratingly slow to focus. I liked being able to take photos with a press of the trackpad, but there isn’t much else to write home about here.
A BlackBerry hallmark that thankfully remains is good battery life. It could reliably give two full days out of the Classic before reaching for the charger.
BlackBerry Classic: Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard is as good as it ever wasa nd so to the Blackberry Classic’s raison d’être – all those buttons. The physical keyboard has just about survived through Blackberry’s near-extinction in recent years, featuring on the Q10, Q5, and more recently on the Passport. But now its sidekick – known to BB fans as ‘The Toolbelt’ – is back, packing send and end call keys, a back key, and the antiquated optical trackpad.
I like having a physical end call/cancel button to get me back to the home screen with one press, and clicking the trackpad is a convenient way to take one-handed photos. Having never owned a BlackBerry , I found the trackpad less appealing, although BlackBerry power users will no doubt get their kicks from flicking through email without touching the screen.
The trackpad a less comfortable option to swiping the screen, but that being said the pad offers some neat tricks to select multiple items at once, although I suspect only veteran BlackBerry users would know about them.
If you must have a smartphone with a physical keyboard, then the Blackberry Classic is your best option
The keyboard is as good as it ever was, with tactile clicks, good auto-correct, and enough texture to make feeling your way around easy. It’s a much better keyboard than the BlackBerry Passport, which felt too wide and too short; adding a fourth row of physical keys instead of relying on adding rows to the touchscreen makes the Classic a more comfortable and intuitive experience.
BlackBerry Classic: Verdict
If you must with a physical keyboard, then the Blackberry Classic is your best (and almost only) option. The Passport benefits from a bigger screen and quirky design, but the vast size means it’s impossible to use in one hand, and cumbersome even in both.
The Classic was never meant to be anything more than fan service. It’s highly unlikely that any iPhone or Android owners will switch to this phone, but for businesses looking to upgrade their fleet of ageing Bold 9900s, the Classic makes for a safe and familiar proposition.
Ultimately, that’s all the Classic can ever really be.
BlackBerry Classic Scores:
8/10 and familiar, the Classic follows its mission statement to a tee, but feels at odds to everything else.
Build quality: 8/10 Classic feels like it was built to last, but that also makes it heavier than most.
7/10 and small, but that was always the plan and the quality is actually quite good.
6/10 app selection and mediocre performance, this is where the Classic falls down.
Camera: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 6/10 underwhelming and often slow, the camera does little to impress.
7/10 Classic does everything BlackBerry set out to achieve, but that unfortunately means it swims against a strong tide.
Neatly packaged and impressive build quality.
Keyboard and Toolbelt buttons are perfect – for those who want them.
Battery is always good for two days.
Square screen feels cramped.
App selection is poor.
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As expected, BlackBerry just launched the much awaited Classic in India today. The BB10 running smartphone will be available exclusively on Snapdeal from today, and is priced at Rs 31,990.
Design wise, the Blackberry Classic looks a lot like the mature version of the Bold 9900. It comes with a capacitive 3.5-inch touchscreen display, but also sees the return of the QWERTY keypad and trackpad. In the recent past, BlackBerry sought to eliminate QWERTY keypads and launched full touchscreen phones including the BlackBerry Z10, Z30 and the BlackBerry Z3.
But having realized that its core group of users still love the phones for the QWERTY keypad experience, the company has sort of gone back to its roots. After launching the Passport last year, the company has now launched the Classic. The latest smartphone is a nostalgic concoction of the extremely successful Bold 9900 design, which brings back the keypad as well as the trackpad. It however runs on the more modern BB OS 10.3.1.
At the event, Managing Director and Country Manager Sunil Lalvani showed off alll the new features that come with the modern OS. The Blackberry Hub, BBM Meetings and BlackBerry Blend are some of the embedded features in this device.
As far as the specifications are concerned, the Classic flaunts a 3.5-inch (720×720 pixels) display, and is powered by a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor paired with 2GB of RAM.
The smartphone also includes an 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and LED flash, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. It houses 16GB of internal storage which is expandable up to 128GB via microSD card. It packs a non-removable 2,512mAh battery and runs on BB OS 10.3.1, with support for apps from the Google Play Store as well as the Amazon app store. Connectivity wise, the device supports 4G LTE, 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Snapdeal has also launched a buyback offer, where existing BlackBerry Bold device holders will get to up to Rs 4,500 off on the BlackBerry Classic.
BlackBerry Classic Available On eBay