BlackBerry Style 9670 Versus Torch 9800: Both $99 Right Now

The new BlackBerry Style 9760 features a clamshell design and is on sale from Sprint for only $99 with two-year contract and mail-in rebate. The Style comes with BlackBerry OS 6 and features both internal and external screens. Hold on a second though. AT&T has the Torch 9800 on sale for only $99 without any rebate nonsense for the holidays.

The Torch and the Style are completely different smartphones. Both feature full QWERTY keyboards and have two form factors—open and closed. While the Torch is a vertical slider, the Style takes the flip-phone route. What is surprising is that both of these are on the market for the same price. The Style lacks a touchscreen.

Both smartphones pack the same 624 MHz processor, 512MB of RAM and BB OS 6 but that is where most of the similarities end. Unless you count them both having 5 megapixel cameras. While the external display is a nice thing to have on a flip-phone like the Style for showing caller names and a clock, it doesn’t make up for the lack of a touchscreen. Sorry, but I can’t keep reiterating that enough.

The Style’s 2.7” internal screen comes in at 400 x 360 pixels while the Torch’s 3.2” touchscreen comes in at 480 x 360. The 80 pixel difference vertically counts. The Torch is also a world phone, allowing it to be used internationally with the right roaming plan. The Style is not.

Even one of the best features on the Style—BB OS 6—has some shortcomings on the phone. It might have the same processing power and RAM to run the same OS as the Torch, but BB OS 6 was designed with touchscreen smartphones like the Torch in mind. Sure, you can do everything in BB OS 6 without a touchscreen, but if you’ve used the new OS on the Torch, you won’t want to use it without the touchscreen.

The decision between the Style and the Torch also comes down to carrier. Sprint sells the Style and AT&T sells the Torch. If you are already locked into one or the other, you might not have a choice. If you are ready for a new contract, then definitely take a look at the Torch from AT&T. The $99 price tag for both right now certainly is interesting. Have AT&T and RIM killed the Style through pricing before anyone has a chance to buy it?

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