BlackBerry Classic release date, UK price

BlackBerry's Classic is now available to buy in the UK. Here, we bring you everything you need to know about the BlackBerry Classic, including its release date, UK price, specs and features. See also: Best smartphones 2014

UPDATE: see our full BlackBerry Classic review.

BlackBerry Classic release date: When is the BlackBerry Classic coming out?

BlackBerry made its BlackBerry Classic available to pre-order in the UK on 1 December, and as from today (17 December) it is available to buy direct from BlackBerry.

The Classic is expected to start shipping in mid-January, meaning pre-orders are unlikely to be fulfilled by Christmas. 

See also: BlackBerry Z30 review

BlackBerry Classic UK price: How much does the BlackBerry Classic cost?

The new smartphone is available to buy for £349 inc VAT SIM-free from BlackBerry. Vodafone has confirmed it will also stock the BlackBerry Classic for business customers from early January.

See also: BlackBerry Passport review

BlackBerry Classic specs, features & design

The BlackBerry Classic features full QWERTY keyboard, hence the 'Classic' in its name. That keyboard is paired with a 3.5in square touch screen, physical buttons at the bottom of the screen, and has the small square trackpad that users of BlackBerry devices pre-Q10 will be familiar with.

BlackBerry describes the Classic as "the ultimate communications tool." The slogan it uses is "we heard you, and we built it," hinting at the frustrations some users had with the Q10. See: BlackBerry Q10 review.

The BlackBerry Classic will also allow users to install Android apps through the Amazon Appstore, in addition to the (significantly smaller) range of BlackBerry 10 apps in the BlackBerry World store, which will be welcome news for many BlackBerry users. The Classic will run on BlackBerry OS 10.3.1.

The BlackBerry Classic offers 4G connectivity, has 16GB of storage, an 8Mp camera and battery life up to 22 hours from the 2515mAh cell.

"BlackBerry Classic merges the speed and performance of BlackBerry 10, with the familiar and classic navigation keys you know and love," reads BlackBerry's website. "Navigate with confidence using the optical track pad, menu and back buttons, or answer, start and end phone calls with the dedicated phone buttons. BlackBerry Classic designed from the ground up to meet the needs of productive people who appreciate the speed and accuracy that can only be found with a physical QWERTY keyboard."