Pricing: $99 with 2 year contract
Colors: Steel Gray or Royal Purple
RIM was kind enough to send us a test unit and I have been using it past two weeks. This model is RIM’s second attempt to flip form factor(First being the Pearl Flip, 8200 series). The Style is a great advancement in comparison to Pearl Flip. It boasts:
624 Mhz. CPU
512 MB onboard Memory
5MP Camera, supporting VGA video recording and led flash
Video formats: H.263, MPEG4 Simple Profile 3, H.264, WMV
Audio formats: MP3, AAC-LC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, AMR-NB, QCELP EVRC
Internal display: 360×400 pixel
External display: 240×320 pixel
1150 mAhr rated battery (Talk time up to 4.5 hours, Stand-by up to 10.5 days)
Bluetooth® v2.1 +EDR with followind profiles:
- Mono/stereo headset
- Phone book access profile (PBAP)
- Serial port profile
- Stereo audio (A2DP/AVCRP)
- Dial-up networking (DUN)
Full keyboard and a trackpad
800/1900 MHz CDMA/EVDO Rev A networks
Blackberry OS 6 including new web-kit browser supporting tabbed browsing.
Read on for my thoughts on the latest BlackBerry device…
At this age, I still don’t know why RIM is sticking with 512 MB only, whereas many other smartphones include much higher capacities. I know you can use a microSD card, but you cannot use that memory to install/run applications. Also the 624 Mhz CPU from its older units like 9700 is still present on 9670 as well, that one is another mystery. If they are worried about battery life, many modern CPUs offer slowing down, at least give the end users an option to run it high or low speed. My Pocket PC from 2002 was able to do it, why can’t BlackBerry do it?
Moving on, first let’s start with unboxing pictures:
BlackBerry Style 9670 comes in a nice black cardboard box which includes the unit, a microUSB cable, 8 Gb microSD card, battery, headset, a wall plug. Unlike many previous devices, there is no leather case
While the Style is much wider than the Pearl Flip, it fits in your hand nicely. Its measurements are:
Height: 3.78 in / 96 mm (Open 6.91 in / 175.5 mm)
Width: 2.36 in. / 60 mm
Depth: 0.73 in. / 18.5 mm
Weight: 4.62 oz / 131 g
I was surprised to find how light it felt in my hands, I guess I was expecting a much heavier device somehow. The first impression was this plus how glossy the unit was. It picks up grease and fingerprints on the outside very quickly . I am not going into the details of OS 6, as I am sure by now many of you already know what it provides. Instead I am going into the user experience. I have used many BlackBerry devices over the years, my last ones being Bold 9700, Bold 9650 and Storm 2. I am used to keyboard of 9700 as it is my personal device that I use very frequently. In comparison, the Style 9670’s keys are flat. It is harder to feel the spacing between the keys. However, in a few days, I got used to the keyboard and it doesn’t irk me anymore. RIM chose to provide only a single convenience key on the right side, along with the volume buttons. On the left side is the 3.5mm headset jack , microUSB port and microSD slot. The cover to the microSD slot can be tricky to open. The trackpad is slightly leveled up, so it feels better under your finger in comparison to other BlackBerry devices with trackpad.
The hinge feels sturdy and it opens and closes with some nice spring action. You can open and close it with a single hand, which is handy. The front screen displays the clock and your notifications. You can adjust the settings so that you can browse through your notifications and read them without opening the lid. The inside display is a 2.7 inch 400×360 screen. While the screen estate sounds smaller than many other smartphones, it is on par with other Blackberry devices. It is crisp, easy on the eyes whether you are inside or outside.
The camera on the Style is good. It has a 5-megapixel sensor and LED flash, auto focus, and image stabilization. On a slightly cloudy day, here is what it took at outside:
It also has lots of scene modes, like auto, face detection, portrait and low light. In a low light, with flash on I took the below picture:
Overall the picture quality is better than my 9700 or 9650. It is not perfect, but it will be fine as a camera on the go. Plus with its connectivity options, you can share your pictures instantly via Blackberry Messenger, emails, Facebook, Twitter and more.
The battery life was on par with the specs, after a day of average use I still had 40% charge, which is great. I charge my devices at night anyways. The call quality was good as well. The remote party was able to hear me clearly and vice versa. I also took the below picture to compare it with other devices:
From the top Style, Bold 9700, Storm 2 and Bold 9650.
Overall I like the Style 9670. It is great, especially if you like the clamshell design. And at $99 price point it is a great BlackBerry device. With its relatively snappy performance and a good camera, this device is one of the best mid-range offerings on Sprint.
- $99 price point
- OS 6 works snappy
- Trackpad feels more comfortable
- Fingerprint prone
- Keyboard is flat
- I’d expect better results from a 5MP camera