The Video That Changed My Mind

BlackBerry-Classic-2The BlackBerry Classic. It’s been something that has been the source of much teasing within the virtual halls of the virtual offices of UTB blogs. There are a couple within the staff that have been anxiously awaiting the BlackBerry Classic, but most of us, haven’t really seen the draw of it. And I was one of those.

I was a BBOS lover. I remember when I traded in my old Curve with the trackball, for my Bold 9700 with the trackpad. No longer having to clean that little white ball, the trackpad was truly a leap ahead. And I loved it. And later on, I remember when I heard that BB10 would be leaving behind the track pad. I just couldn’t imagine no longer having that tool on my BlackBerry, and I was sure it was a mistake. Using my Torch 9810 at the time, I surely used the touch screen. I used it extensively. But I also used the touchpad. There was no better way of text selection, and going through BBOS menus, the trackpad was still the way to go.

Then I got my first BB10 device. My all touch BlackBerry Z10. And how I loved it. It was a different beast altogether from BB10, and I suddenly understood that the trackpad just wasn’t necessary on the new BlackBerry. Touch worked just fine. Text selection worked just fine. Navigation was a breeze, and the swipe gestures were beyond intuitive. I didn’t miss the trackpad at all.

Until UTB blogs.

Working on UTB, there are certain things I do with my BlackBerry that I didn’t do as much before UTB. And to be quite honest, text selection accuracy, isn’t as great as I thought it was. Don’t get me wrong, it works, but I find it’s not quite as easy, not quite as fast as I want. And I missed the trackpad again.

Enter the Passport. The huge square screen is great. The specs, outstanding. But what really drew me in was the keyboard. The capacitive keyboard. Bringing back the text selection tool that I’ve been missing, with the amazing BB10 OS. Truly, the best BlackBerry device ever made.

To be followed up by the BlackBerry Classic. The device looks like a cross between the Q10 and the Bold of yesterday. And a few UTB’ers were very excited for it. And I couldn’t see why. They speak of one handed use. And it doesn’t make much sense to me. I have a touch and a qwerty, and when I use a phone one handed, I always reach for the Z. Sorry James, sorry Blackjack, but when it comes to one handed use, nothing beats flicking words on the amazing BlackBerry virtual keyboard. And they speak of the tool belt.

The Classic BlackBerry toolbelt. I understand now, the want of the trackpad features. Features which the Passport’s capacitive keyboard have no problems emulating. Then the other four buttons. You know the ones. Call, End, Menu, and Back buttons. On BB10? Why? The swipe gestures make these pointless right? Out of all the arguments I heard for these keys, the best I heard came from a certain dispatcher who brought up the point of emergency workers who wear gloves. Of course that makes sense. Physical keys can be a necessity for these people, where gloves don’t play well with capacitive touch screens. But I’m not an emergency worker. I live in central California. I don’t even own gloves. So the Classic held no interest for me. It was really just something I could use to tease BlackJack and James.

Until I watched it in action. Donny Halliwell’s unboxing video at Inside BlackBerry

All of a sudden, I remembered what it was like to use that toolbelt. The buttons I hadn’t missed at all on BB10, did they really just make BB10 better? I love the swipes of BB10, but it doesn’t get any quicker than a single button press to leave an app and go back to the home screen. And now I remember how I really used my legacy devices one handed. It wasn’t about input, although I surely did enough of that, it was about reading, it was about surfing, it was about consumption. And the touchpad is amazing for that.

In the last few moments of an unboxing video, Donny used the Classic, used the toolbelt, and made one person who honestly had no interest in the BlackBerry Classic, want one. Blackjack and James had been arguing that the Classic was all about productivity. I, like most of the UTB crew, thought they were crazy. Placing a toolbelt from yesteryear on a new BB10 device suddenly makes BB10 more productive? It made no sense. I still think Blackjack and James are crazy. But now I also think they’re right. And now, I can’t wait to get my own BlackBerry Classic.

We know that there have been many that were waiting for the Classic. Even more than I imagined. But how many others are like me, who have changed their mind about the newest member of the BlackBerry 10 family after seeing it in action? Let us know in the comments if you plan on joining the Classic club.


Founder & Owner of UTB Blogs. Former BlackBerry Elite. When I'm not talking or writing about BlackBerry, you'll find me using my BlackBerry.