Take a Close Look at the BlackBerry Style 9670

The new BlackBerry Style 9670 has finally made its way into the wild and will be sold by Sprint starting on October 31st for $99.99 with a two-year contract and mail-in rebate. Sure, the ‘clamshell’ style might look pretty funky and I’m not sure if anyone still uses a flip-phone. Except maybe when their smartphone happens to meet an unfortunate end and a friend fishes something from the early 2000s out of a box as temporary replacement, but hey, someone has to like this right? And yes, this is what was codenamed the ‘Oxford’.

So what does the Style 9670 have going for it? What Research In Motion (RIM) prides itself on: a QWERTY keyboard. That is the reason why the Style looks so odd—the folding motion of the phone hides a full keyboard. Like other flip phones, the Style also features two screens: one inside for actual use (2.7” at 400 x 360) and one on the outside (2” at 240 x 320) for notifications and alerts. If you are used to a touchscreen smartphone like an Android or iPhone, the much smaller screen size and resolution will definitely come as a shock. If you’re a diehard BlackBerry user or don’t really care about screen size and just want to manage some emails and contacts, you probably won’t mind it much.

The BlackBerry Style also comes with BlackBerry OS 6 and the 512 MB of RAM seemingly needed to run it on CDMA networks like Sprints. The new version of BlackBerry OS (BB OS) runs well on the Style and even though it was designed for touchscreen devices like the Torch 9800, only having keyboard and trackpad isn’t much of a hindrance. You’ll probably find it your favorite version of BB OS to date and it offers social media integration features and a Webkit browser like iOS and Android feature.

The biggest flaw in the Style though comes from its form factor. For those who want a flipping smartphone, the Style comes in at 3.8” x 2.4” x .7” (HxWxD) and 4.6 oz. That is kind of big and heavy compared to some of the models out there right now. I would recommend playing with one at a Sprint store before deciding on it.

Overall, the Style isn’t as bad as you would think, and if flip phones and the ‘clamshell’ design are what you like, this is probably your best bet. BB OS 6 might not have the apps that its competitors do, but its email, messaging, contacts and organizer functions are still top notch. Let me know what you think of the Style 9670!

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