If you’re a smartphone fanatic you’ve had a lot to be
thankful for in 2014. Not only was it a big year for Android devices
with the HTC One M8, Moto X, and LG G3, but Apple’s iPhone finally
joined the big-screen party with the iPhone 6 and phabletized iPhone 6
Plus. Then, just days before the year was about to close out, BlackBerry
comes out of nowhere with the announcement of the Classic—a return to form for the company and a love letter to anyone who ever loved a BlackBerry device.
reminiscent of 2007, another stellar year for mobile gadgets, though at
the time it was hard to know what it all meant. Back then, the
BlackBerry Curve 8330 was one of the must-have devices. It was compact,
powerful, and had one of the best mobile keyboards ever conceived. The
camera was amazing for its day and it was a messaging and email
The iPhone debuted that same year, marking the
official start of the touchscreen revolution and the start of Apple’s
return to glory. The two devices were very different then, and their
distant successors are still very different now, but while Apple has
thrived and BlackBerry has fallen in the years since, they’re both still
here and they’ve both made huge leaps forward.

Mike Wehner

But which company has made more progress?It might
sound like an absurd question, given the collective love for the iPhone
compared to that of BlackBerry, but ignoring all the success of the
former and all the previous missteps of the latter, the Classic and
iPhone 6 are remarkably similar. Using 2007 as a starting point, here’s
how far each phone has come in the time since.

Battery life

iPhone: 250 hours (standby), 8 hours (talk time)
iPhone 6: 250 hours (standby), 14 hours (talk time)
BlackBerry Curve 8330: 264 hours (standby), 4.5 hours (talk time)
BlackBerry Classic: 365 hours (standby), 17 hours (talk time)
BlackBerry Curve was a bit of an under-performer in talk time battery
life, but the Classic dominates the new iPhone in both standby and talk
categories, making the winner here pretty clear.
Winner: BlackBerry


iPhone: 3.5 inches, 320x480px, (165ppi)
iPhone 6: 4.7 inches, 750x1334px, (326ppi)
BlackBerry Curve 8330: 2.5 inches, 320x240px, (160ppi)
BlackBerry Classic: 3.5 inches, 720x720px (294ppi)
you break this down into the percentage of size and resolution that the
new devices gained over their 2007 ancestors, the results are
split—Apple wins on resolution while BlackBerry gained more size,
relative to its 2007 counterpart. We’ll call this one a draw.
Winner: Draw

Processing power

iPhone: 412 Mhz ARM 11 CPU, PowerVR MBX GPU
iPhone 6: Apple A8 (1.4GHz dual-core CPU, Power VR GX6450 quad-core GPU)
BlackBerry Curve 8330: 312 MHz CPU
BlackBerry Classic: Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon (Dual-core 1.5 GHz CPU, Adreno 225 GPU)
devices made huge, almost unimaginable leaps in terms of overall power,
but Apple’s A8 chip is simply the best of the best right now, and every
benchmark test on the Web shows that without question.
Winner: iPhone


iPhone: 2 MP, 1600x1200px
iPhone 6: 8 MP, 3264x2448px (rear), 1.2 MP 720p (front), dual-tone LED flash
BlackBerry Curve 8830: 2 MP, 1600x1200px, LED flash
BlackBerry Classic: 8MP, 3264x2448px (rear), 2.0 MP 720p (front), LED flash
actually kind of remarkable how close these two devices were in 2007,
and how close they remain now at the end of 2014. Hardware wise—which is
the basis for this entire comparison—it’s coin flip.
Winner: Draw


are the x-factors—the hardware-level features that have been added
since 2007 that change the way you use the phones. They can’t be
measured with numbers, but they’re worth keeping in mind.
iPhone 6: Touch ID fingerprint sensor, NFC (Apple Pay), 3G, 4G LTE
Blackberry Classic: Touchscreen, optical trackpad (replaced trackball), NFC, 3G, 4G LTE
Winner: Arguably, the Classic has made bigger strides in the feature department than the iPhone.

An instant Classic?

BlackBerry Classic is an impressive device that—as far as hardware
goes—stands toe-to-toe with any competitor. Taking into consideration
the numbers, along with the addition of the touchscreen and trackpad,
it’s a bigger improvement over its 2007 counterpart than the iPhone 6
Now, before you crack your knuckles and prepare to launch a
barrage of insults into the comments section, let me just say that the
iPhone 6 is still a better, more capable device than the BlackBerry
Classic. In fact, the iPhone 6 may well be the best smartphone ever
made. That is largely thanks to Apple’s stellar iOS platform, a
staggering wealth of software-based features like Siri, and an endless
number of third party experiences on the App Store.
That being
said, anyone who hasn’t kept an eye on BlackBerry over the past half
decade or so will probably be surprised to see just what kind of a
device the company unceremoniously launched a couple of weeks before the
end of the year. It is, without a doubt, the iPhone 6 of BlackBerries.

Photo via Mike Wehner