UPDATE: This preliminary review was written after a limited time with this device. A more in-depth review is now available. It can be found here:
The BlackBerry Style 9670 clamshell flip phone is the newest offering from RIM and Sprint.
More than just a latest offering, the Style is significant because it's different from what we've come to expect in a Blackberry. As its name would suggest, this phone is actually... stylish! It's also powerful, easy to use, has a great external display, and manages to fit it all in a clever form factor.
It is available exclusively from Sprint for $100 with a two-year contract and $100 mail-in rebate.
This preliminary review is based on a brief time with this new smartphone. A full review will be available in few more days.
DESIGN & BUILD
The Style is the most fashion-forward clamshell/flip phone since the RAZR and Moto Pearl. When it's closed, the Style is about 2/3 the size of a Storm or iPhone and just a little thicker. It is adorned with a smooth plastic back, black polished finish accented with a pewter bezel.
The device feels solid and secure in the hand and I wouldn't think twice about dropping it. Because of its slick finish and convenient form factor it slide effortlessly in and out of my pocket.
There is a large 2-inch external color display complete with the status information you want in a hurry -- message counter, battery life, signal strength, clock, and even previews of messages via the side convenience keys.
Cracking open the device continues to reveal a treasure trove of delights. The internal 2.7-inch QVGA display looks nicer than its specs would lead you to believe.
Buttons and Other Controls
But the best part about the Style is the keyboard -- gone are the days of SureType and wavy keypads, replaced instead by the proven easy-to-use accurate keyboard from RIM's 9000 family.
The optical trackpad is a necessity because like many BlackBerrys, the main display isn't a touchscreen. It's responsive though it occasionally required a little more pressure than I prefer, even after changing the settings.
There is an oddly amount of dead space between the top row of keys and the four function keys (talk, BlackBerry key, return, end) that should have been put to better use.
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