BlackBerry Classic review: For old times' sake

GSMArena team, 2 January 2015.

Good 8MP snapper

BlackBerry Classic packs an 8MP camera with single-LED flash. The interface is straightforward and doesn't have an overabundance options, but all the important stuff is there. There's a handful of scene modes and four shooting modes: normal, Time Shift, Burst, and Panorama.

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The camera UI

By default, the Classic shoots 1:1 square images at 2448 x 2448 pixels. This is essentially a cropped variant of its 4:3 shooting mode, which brings the image resolution up to 3264 x 2448 pixels. There's also a 16:9 mode that is cropped in the other direction, so it's recommended that you shoot in 4:3 if you want to use the full range of the sensor.

There's touch focus on board, and a digital zoom is available through pinch zooming. A nifty trick is swiping the gallery thumbnail in the lower left, which brings up a quick preview of your last shot taken.

The BlackBerry Classic camera has accurate contrast and exposure, resulting in well-exposed images. Resolved detail is on a very good level for 8MP camera.

Color rendering is balanced and not oversaturated as with the BlackBerry Passport. Noise is kept well within reasonable limits and there are no traces of excessive noise suppression.

Overall, we are very pleased with the image processing and find it quite mature.

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BlackBerry Classic camera samples

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BlackBerry Classic low light camera samples

HDR photos on the BlackBerry Classic work out great in various conditions. It's one of the best stock HDR implementations we've seen on a smartphone. The HDR photos have the information in both the highlights and shadows recovered in a nice and balanced way. Using the HDR mode often makes a lot of sense as it overcomes quite successfully the limited dynamic range that's inherent to smaller camera sensors.

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HDR camera samples: Off On

Good camcorder

The video camera has the same user interface as the still one. The video capture button is located on the right side of the one for still images.

BlackBerry Classic can record 1080p videos @30fps or 720p clips @60 fps. You can also capture 720p videos at 30fps as well. All video are captured with stereo sound.

The 1080p video clips from the device have 16Mbps bitrate, smooth and nice detail, and 192Kbps audio bitrate. The colors are not as oversaturated as on the Passport.

Video stabilization is also on board. Overall, the camcorder of the BlackBerry Classic turned out to be better performer than we expected.

You can also directly download a 1080p@30fps sample (0:15s, 30MB) and a 720p@60fps sample (0:15s, 22MB).