If you’re still rocking a BlackBerry Classic or any other handset running BlackBerry OS, I’m sorry to say that it’s time to buy a new phone. As of January 4th, old BlackBerrys can no longer make calls or texts, access the mobile internet, or dial emergency services like 911. The party’s over!
Back in September of 2020, BlackBerry announced that it would retire legacy services for old phones running BlackBerry 7.1 OS, BlackBerry 10 software, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1, and earlier versions of these operating systems.
This transition is part of a broader change in the smartphone ecosystem that’s outside of the BlackBerry company’s control. Mobile carriers and the FCC are slowly transitioning to 5G mobile networking, so they need to terminate 3G and 2G services to free up the wireless spectrum. (Other products, such as the first 3G Kindle e-readers, have also lost mobile networking access.)
Unfortunately, it’s hard to get the CrackBerry fix these days. BlackBerry still sells QWERTY smartphones (now with Android), but models available for purchase are a few years old and not really worth buying. At the time of writing, the only “modern” QWERTY phone is the Titan Pocket, which runs Android 11.
I should also point out that BlackBerry is supposedly working on a 5G phone, but we haven’t heard any news about the device since last year. You can join the BlackBerry 5G waitlist to be first in line if the phone ever materializes.
Unihertz Titan Pocket, Small QWERTY Smartphone Android 11 Unlocked NFC Smart Phone (Support T-Mobile & Verizon only)
The Unihertz Titan Pocket is an affordable QWERTY phone that runs Android 11, features dual-SIM support, and works with NFC contactless payment apps. It works with the big three carriers, and it's the best option if you want a BlackBerry-style phone in 2022.