Five Reasons the Blackberry Classic is Classic    

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If you are one of us who drooled over the Blackberry Curve, desperately desired the Touch, or daydreamed to be in the league of the Bold, then check out the Blackberry Classic and see your urges rekindle!

I have been using the Classic for several weeks now, and at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, I’ve not had a better feel with a Blackberry device since the Bold 9000 and 9900. Both devices, popularly known in Nigeria as the Bold 1 and Bold 5, signified the accent of Blackberry to the top of the Nigerian smartphone ladder. The Classic can rebirth those past glories. With a stainless steel band around its frame, a Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 touchscreen, and a non-slip textured backplate which ensures a firm grip, the Classic is the blend of ruggedness and style. Like its ancestor bolds, you need not look twice to know that it is a device built to last.

The Classic doesn’t just pack the best of the past, it is also loaded with state of the art features. Its 2 gigabyte (GB) of RAM, 16GB internal memory (extendable by up to 128GB in MicroSD), and 1.5 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor put it in the league of the best smartphones out there. Still, that’s not all that makes the Classic classic; I’ve picked out five particular things that do. Check them out.

The wide-set physical keyboard

The Classic is made for lovers of the physical keyboard, those who some mistakenly call old-fashioned, but who are really just Classic.   

Blackberry Classic

The Blackberry Classic brings back the treasure of the full wide set physical keyboard with the custom navigational buttons, affectionately named “tool belt,” intact. The tool belt includes the Call, End, Back, and Menu keys, as well as the optical trackpad; jewels which the blackberry disposed of for no just cause (how glad I am to have them back!). Below the navigation keys is the standard four-row keyboard. The letters, numbers and punctuation occupy the top three rows while the space bar and Symbol keys the fourth (classic blackberry style).

The keyboard was central to my love for the Bold Series, and in the Classic it brings back the comfort in typing that I have missed for so long. Virtual keyboards are pretty cool, but the physical keyboard of the Classic is far more satisfying. With it I could type in the popularly uncomfortable Lagos ‘danfo’ bus with minimal discomfort. The optical trackpad also ensures I can go from top to bottom in one scroll, and that I don’t need to draw all over the screen when I want to highlight and copy text.

I have already begun punching through articles (like this one) with the Classic; something I have not been able to do without stress since the Bold 9900. However, it would have been nicer if Blackberry had extended the sweet gesture-tracking tech of the Passport’s keyboard to the Classic. Nevertheless, the return of the trackpad is more than enough makeup.

The Display

Much of the fanfare for the Classic centred on its legendary keyboard, but atop it is a screen that looks gorgeous like that of the Bold 9900, only that it has 60 percent more space.

 

With a bright 720 x 720 LCD display and 3.5-Inches touchscreen, it effectively dealt with the lack of space that I felt with the Q-series. Its 294ppi High Definition (HD) also ensures a colour-full and amazingly bright resolution.

I snapped my colleagues with the Classic. Isn't she just classic? The camera I mean.

I snapped my colleagues with the Classic. Isn’t she just classic? The camera I mean.

Walking under the sun, I did not need to strain my eyes while looking at the DPs of my BBM contacts. I also had the option of tweaking the screen’s white balance, something hardly any other phone maker allows.  It gave me the option of a ‘cooler’ white or ‘warmer’ white, I stayed with cool, the weather is already warm enough.

 

The Camera, with 8 megapixels at the rear and 2MP in front, is smart, even if not wow. Still, its default settings of 1:1 aspect ratio is great for shooting photos for Instagram, BBM and Whatsapp (profile pictures). However if you want other display formats (like the regular landscape pics) you can easily switch to 4:3, 16:9 or a new panorama mode. The camera is also quite fast, it snaps in a flash, literally speaking. The space bar is also a snap button, a cool feature first I first noticed in the Passport. The Camera also comes with a semiautomatic High Definition Resolution (HDR) mode that drops down whenever the camera is pointed at a brightly lit scene. The video camera, which can be set to 720p or 1080p, is also smart. Interestingly, I can edit my video shots or any video at all in my phone, straight from the options, without needing any of those special effects applications. For an Instagram fan and multimedia journalist like me, that’s awesome.

The Software

If the external hardware of the Classic is a lovely throwback, the software is a beautiful forward roll.

The Classic comes with a preloaded Blackberry OS 10.3.1.1154, which is a generation upward from the OS7 of the Bold (and other older Blackberrys) and a lot more improved than the initially released Blackberry 10. However, a further update is available, the 10.3.1.1779, and installing updates is now as easy as downloading a song or music

The Blackberry Hub is the shining light of the BB10, but it not the only light.

The Blackberry Hub is the shining light of the BB10, but it not the only light.

video from tooxclusive.com.

The shining light of the Classic (and indeed all Blackberry 10 devices) is the BlackBerry Hub. It is a unified inbox that packs in all of yours from whichever platform (Email, BBM, Facebook, Whatsapp, LinkedIn–just name it), and presents them to you in one swipe.

The Hub is not the only light though, there’s the Blend. It allows you to do several stuffs with your device like message or access files through other devices, like your PC or Tablet. All you need to do is connect your blackberry with your other devices via USB, Wifi or the Internet. To try this out, I connected by phone with my PC through the Blend using the internet, then I left the phone at home, took my PC to a neighbour’s house. And from my neighbour’s house, I was chatting on my phone’s BBM with my PC.

And then there are the headless apps–the ability to run apps in the background without an active frame. There is also the BlackBerry Assistant, which doubles as the search interface. It is the ask-me-for-anything app, and I did ask it some things like; “Where am I?” and it told me Isaac John Street, GRA Lagos (correct). “Tell Niyi on BBM I have you found fuel,” and it sent the message. “Read last mail from Ventures Africa,” it did just that. “Call Ehis colleague,” it asked me what number, I said work, and it called. Now, that’s classic.

I asked the Blackberry Assistant "Where am I?"

I asked the Blackberry Assistant “Where am I?”

However, I have to press and hold the play button to activate the assistant; I wish I could do so without touching my phone. That’s a little greedy from my side though.

Perhaps the weakest link of the software is its short supply of apps and games. There is still no Instagram in the Blackberry World, although there are able alternatives. That said, Blackberry makes up for the dearth of apps by enabling the OS10 to run android, and providing the Amazon Appstore for lovers of android apps. It would be perfect though if we can have Google Play, and with upgrades coming all the time, who is to bet against that. But I have to say, I don’t see the business-centric Classic user flirting all over apps, especially when he’s got the main Social Media apps and fantastic productivity tools.

The Browser

The Browser of the Classic is so efficient; I haven’t bothered checking for other popular browsing apps like Chrome and Firefox.

It is fast (I learnt three times the speed of the bold), smooth ( I did not have to zoom in and zoom out), and adaptive (it displayed Desktop sites without any troubles). It smoothly opened the desktop version of Gmail, I pushed it further with Google Drive, and still it did not fail.

Open Google Drive, no sweat

Open Google Drive, no sweat

The browser also has a few other interesting features such as the reader mode which provides a better reading experience for articles (like this one). The reader mode allows you to adjust the font size, search for a word in the piece, or invert the display colours between white on black and black on white for easier reading. The search engine has three options: Bing, Google or Yahoo. There is also the Private browser option, which enables you to prevent the record of what sites you visit or files you download.

The browser’s downloads option is also cool, you can pause your downloads, close your browser, and come back to continue where you left off. Your download automatically pauses if your internet connection breaks or your phone shuts down due to low battery. However, I noticed that sometimes the download starts afresh instead of continuing from where it stopped, after a break in internet connection or unexpected shutdown. It is also fun to watch YouTube videos on the browser, they are quick to load and hardly buffer, except, of course, your internet connection is poor.

The Battery

I suspect the Classic’s battery was built with Africa in mind; all it needs is about an hour of electricity and then you can count on it for the rest of the day.

The Classic comes with a non-removable 2,515mAh battery that lasts so long you only need to summon your charger once a day. After its first full charge, I used the Classic for whole day, playing around with all of its functions and apps, without needing a top-up. Since then I have found it unnecessary to carry my charger around, I just make sure the battery is full before I go to sleep at night, and my next charge time is when I return from the office the evening of the next day.

IMG_20150518_115842

It is not as if the battery is completely drained by the next evening; in fact what’s left of it is often enough to get me into the next day thanks to a new battery saving mode built into the BlackBerry OS 10.3.1. However, this means I have to endure the sacrifice of reduced or disabled functions such as screen brightness, location services, data services, advanced interactions, and CPU performance. The power saver normally kicks in when the battery life drops to 20 percent, but you can customize that to whatever percentage you want, disable the saver entirely. Gladly, there’s no network going off when the battery is low, as was the case of the older Blackberrys. Once I was on a phone call until the phone shut down. One thing I would have loved though is if the battery was removable like the bolds of before. But there’s no real need for that, considering the fact that it is so reliable you’ll find little reason to check on it.

I have to say, the Blackberry Classic is worthy of its name. I wonder how the company would have been able to do a better synergy of the old and new. For the Blackberry faithful, the phone is a must have. For Business-centric smartphone users, it is a perfect work tool. A lot of other ‘new age’ smartphone fans may think of it as rather too old fashioned. To them I say, “Watch out for the leap!”

 

By Onyedimachukwu Obiukwu

2013 in Review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,200 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Dine And Never Die: World’s First Underwater Restaurant

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I’ve seen pictures and heard of several great restaurants. I used to want no better dining experience than that of the Al Muntaha(meaning ‘highest’ or ‘ultimate’) restaurant sitting atop Burj Al Arab, standing on an artificial island, offering a view of Dubai with prices of rooms at the hotel varying from approximately $11,000 to $45,000 per night. It used to be my dinning priority once I made my first billion, but that has changed with my new finding.

 

Have you ever imagined dinning under water? What better dining experience can anyone have? Check out the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant in the Maldives and let it wow you if nothing does.

Situated sixteen feet under water, the establishment offers up 180-degree views of the sea life with its Western-Madivian fusion cuisine for fourteen lucky guests at a time. As you might imagine, reservations are strongly encouraged, though children under the age of twelve are not.

There is more to it than just dinning, as the space can also be transformed into a bedroom upon special request, though you can bet that cost you CashMoney’s cash.  Dining in such places could be very awesome, you know. It makes you feel immortal, like you can live forever once you dine there.

Tonto Dike: I Went Into Singing To ‘Get High’, But ‘Itz Ova’

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After she disclosed her intention to sing, Nollywood actress, Tonto Dike has been faced with criticism of all sorts. She’s been tagged ‘I go sing by force actress’ by some people. She didn’t allow criticsm put her down, and as planned, Tonto Dike released her debut singles on Wednesday, October 17, 2012.

God save our souls! Tonto Dike turned out a disappointment as feared by her fans and predicted by pundits. Her two songs were basically ‘the reincarnation of crap’. The two singles sums up Tonto Dike’s music career; she wanted to GET HIGH, but unfortunately, ITZ OVA even before it’s started. You gotta stick to acting sis, singing isn’t just for you.

The comments about her song on social media is just disheartening. Our heart goes out to her at this difficult time.

The Yellow Peril; Between The United States and China

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Many years ago, I read about the yellow peril in my old dictionary. My dictionary(Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, 1973 edition) defined the yellow peril as the supposed danger that the very large number of people in eastern Asia will destroy or take over the civilizations of the Western countries. The events that have unfolded over the years and the current situation of things reminded me of that old saying; the yellow peril.

Maybe only a few people heard it then as no one can state certainly the origin of the saying. This may be the reason why ‘the prophecy’, ‘the saying’, or whatever term we choose to use in referring to the yellow peril is coming true. The United States however seem to be aware of it as they are evidently doing everything in their powers to stay above China, the east Asia trail blazer in everything.

The rise of many east Asian countries over the years have been nothing short of magical as they have toppled many Western nations to become part of the leading economies in the world. Although China remains second in top world economies ranking, many Americans believe that US has fallen behind China. Japan, another east Asian country comes third on the list. Other east Asian countries like Korea, Taiwan, Siberia, Mongolia are not doing badly too. Despite many western economies having had to be bailed out of financial troubles lately, most east Asian countries remain economically stable.

China has been doing east Asia proud with her foray into every industry possible. After stamping down their authority in technology with many American companies investing there, they have gone into several industries and are giving western countries a run for their money. Reports suggest that China’s fashion industry is set to become the world’s second largest fashion market by 2020. The 530 American athletes at the 2012 Olympics wore blue blazers, cream-colored pants for men and skirts for women and blue berets with red and white stripes by American designer Ralph Lauren at the opening ceremony; all made in China. The US olympic committee was criticized by the American congress, calling the action dumb and self-defeating.

China has pushed the west further by her recent level of sports development. America has succeeded in luring European football stars to America over the years, with David Beckham and Thierry Henry plying their trades in America’s Major League Soccer. In the same vein, China has been able to bring football stars like Nicholas Anelka, Didier Drogba, and Yakubu Aiyegbeni to the country’s Chinese Super League. In fact, the battle was stiff in the Olympics for who would win as both countries shuffled for top spot; China later relinquished its lead to the United States.

Laura Wood, a senior manager at Research and Markets has reported that China has one of the fastest growing entertainment industries in the world. She stated further that global entertainment industry is expected to witness a growth of 10% in the next four years and the growth will be driven by China.

As insignificant as the music industry in east Asia may seem on world stage, it has been said that the level attained by China in just 30years took the west over 60years. Hopes are therefore high on the future of China’s music industry as well as other sections of their entertainment industry.

The yellow peril, a prophecy as it may seem may be coming true already. The west is wary of losing their continued world dominance sustained hitherto by the US. Other western countries might have lost the fight against east Asia but the US won’t give up without a fight.

Follow me on twitter @ScotorJay

A LEO’s Speech

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I was just going through my archive and I saw a speech I wrote for a friend last year; thought you may like to take a look.

The Speech of LEO Kayode Olawale, Immediate Past President of Unilorin Campus Leo Club at the Investiture Program of LEO Bolade Niniola, President, 2011/2012 Lionistic Year

Ken Blanchard once said;”I absolutely believe in the power of tithing and giving back. My own experience about all the blessings I’ve had in my life is that the more I give away, the more that comes back. That is the way life works, and that is the way energy works” This were the words that inspired me to join this great club. I eventually found a platform to give back to the society. It was like joining a family you never had, and I vowed ever since to continue doing my best to help the less privileged.

I was however given more than I asked for when the baton of leadership of this club was passed to me. Although I saw it coming because of the system of hierarchy in the presidency of the club, but it was a great challenge to be charged with the responsibility of leading a generation of impact-making LEOs in helping the under-privileged in our society.

Bill Gates asked a question; “Is the rich world aware of how four billion of the six billion live? If we were aware, we would want to help out, we’d want to get involved.” Even if we are not rich under the world’s classification of ‘rich’, there are millions of people that we are better than. We can start making a difference by helping this set of people. In view of this, the LEO club under my tenure as president embarked on some projects, and we finished most if not all.

The good work has continued has the baton has been passed to an amiable,intelligent, change-driven young man in the person of Leo Bolade Niniola who has taken up the mantle of leadership and is being inducted today. I appreciate your cooperation while I was president, and I believe you’d give him much more. I also appreciate our friends that have always been there for us, as well as past LEOS(although, once a LEO, always a LEO). We love you all, and I hope you’d never stop being there for the club.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to lead you guys in using our Time, Talent, and Treasure to serve the less privileged. Thank you.

Travails of The Failing Nation

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Nigeria is crying profusely that she needs a doctor. I bet we can all hear her cry. We must act now! We must wipe her tears. These tragedies must not continue. We can’t continue watching people die like animals. We must act now!

Yesterday, some people left their homes to go rejoice with a friend at Ogbomoso. They left Oyo hale and hearty and said bye-bye to folks back home who would expect them back before the end of the day. Their driver wasn’t overspeeding and he was following traffic rules until an ill-fated truck driver left his lane and hit the bus. All the passengers died. The men, the women, the children, the babies, the pregnant woman; they all died.

We are bearing the brunt of our Government’s incompetence; their failure to instill discipline in contractors and ensure projects are completed as at when due, their failure to reduce trucks, lorries, and tanker traffic on our highways by ensuring they only travel at night, or ensure a working rail system so that goods can be transported through rail and not by road. If you have ever travelled on Oyo-Ogbomoso road, you will understand that these big vehicles really need to leave our highways. The decision makers have not seen anything bad in this. How many more people have to die? The business moguls who own these trucks have not seen what their vehicles are causing. Maybe people who believe they are using their victims’ blood have a point. Afterall, this is Africa, the home of black magic. But, are you happy to see others cry?

This morning, two churches were bombed in Bauchi, eleven people died. I’m not sure if it was Boko Haram, but I think I heard someone say it was the group. Another menace in our society. Yet some people believe these attacks are politically motivated. Who are those people that rejoice in seeing others hurt? Are we still humans?

The tragedy continues as a passenger aircraft with 153 on board crashed into a residential part of Iju-Ishaga in Lagos State. All the passengers died. Only God knows how many residents of the area would be victims. Questions people have been asking circles around the cause of the crash. What could have caused the crash? The aircraft left Abuja for Lagos and was even close to the airport before crashing. We heard news of distress call made before the crash, but was anything done about that? What caused the crash? Could it be because the aircraft lacked required maintenance? Could it be the work of a suicide bomber? Did the pilot lose control? A journalist, Sonnie Ekwowusi wrote an article in one of the dailies last week about the deplorable state of a Dana aircraft he boarded from Abuja to Lagos, but was anything done about this? These are questions we don’t have answers to and we may never get answers to. The passengers are dead. The pilots are dead. Those are the people whose information would have been genuine, and they are all dead. That is all we are left with, grief and questions we may never find answers to. But what do we expect, I heard the aircraft is 22 years old.

Isn’t it time we took actions? If we do all we are supposed to do right and these kind of tragedies happen inevitably, wouldn’t it be easier then to just face God and cry as we let our hearts out to him?

Business moguls who could buy trains to transport their goods and help reduce big vehicles traffic on our highways, contracts that should finish projects given to them by the government, airline operators that cut down on maintenace budget, government that would not put the right policies in place; enforce right laws and improve the country’s situation, you all have God to answer to.

I hate to see the world cry. I guess you do. Keep doing everything wrong. God will judge you by the works of your hand. The blood of the innocent souls that died as a result of your actions cries for vengeance and God said “vengeance is mine”. I await how you will escape His wrath when he decides to unleash it on you and your children. May the souls of the departed rest in peace.

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