Reviewers share an initial skepticism over the BlackBerry Style 9670, followed by a generally positive verdict. The Style is BlackBerry's second attempt at a flip phone but its first with a full QWERTY keyboard (the now-discontinued Pearl Flip had a compact SureType keyboard, where some characters share keys). Sascha Segan of PCMag.com says that consumers ultimately will judge the Style "based on its flippiness."
Segan calls the Style a "chubby flip phone" at 2.4 inches in width and 0.7 inches in depth when flipped shut. Opened, the device is 7 inches long, and Intomobile.com's Simon Sage says that there's a lot of wasted space. Reviewers find the build sturdy, but some complain that the glossy front attracts fingerprints too easily. The Style is the second BlackBerry to ship with OS 6, which had to be redesigned to work with the Style's optical trackpad. The first OS 6 BlackBerry, the Torch (free with new/renewal contract), has a touch screen. Reviewers say they the OS translates well, and they also note that even if the Style has a slower processor than the Torch, performance isn't affected. The Style comes with some preloaded apps, and it can access the BlackBerry World app store, but reviewers point out the dearth of downloadable apps (about 16,000) compared to what's available to Android (more than 200,000) and iPhone users (more than 300,000).
There are two displays on the Style, and the smaller external one gets mixed reviews. Nick Mokey at DigitalTrends.com finds it sharp, but PhoneScoop.com's Eric Zeman says it's "absolutely worthless" outdoors. The internal 2.7-inch display surprises reviewers, however, performing well despite its low 400-by-360-pixel resolution. Many reviewers find the keyboard too flat, though most say the keys are responsive enough. Critics say the WebKit browser performs better than older BlackBerry browsers, but they stress that it can't compare to the full browsers on the iPhone and Android devices. Sprint's 3G EV-DO connection enjoys favorable feedback from CNET's Nicole Lee, but Mokey says he finds the Wi-Fi connection "abysmal."
Music playback receives favorable reviews, but the media player blocks all other functions on the external display, Sage says, so you can't easily multitask. Reviewers are pleased with the 5-megapixel camera's photo quality -- save complaints about dimness for indoor shots -- but they say its placement makes it easy to cover the lens with your fingers. Mokey says the lowly VGA video capture capability is "a bit of an embarrassment" because it's well below smartphone standards, but other testers are pleased with the video quality. The Style's call quality is generally praised; battery life receives mixed reviews -- some find it excellent, while others are disappointed with its 4.5 hours of talk time (rated), which is paltry compared to other BlackBerry phones.
CNET presents a detailed review of the BlackBerry Style 9670 with test results of its various features. PCMag's and Intomobile's reviews are mostly neutral, recommending the Style to Sprint users who prefer flip phones. PhoneScoop.com's and Laptop Magazine's reviews are generally positive, while DigitalTrends presents a critical but still fairly positive take on the device.
Nicole Lee says the Style is a great smartphone overall. However, she finds the keyboard too flat and the design a bit bulky. CNET's tests find the phone's call quality excellent, network coverage good and battery life longer than promised.
Review: RIM BlackBerry Style -- steel gray (Sprint), Nicole Lee, Oct. 28, 2010
Sascha Segan recommends the Style to Sprint users who have a preference for clamshell designs, though he also lists several phones he thinks are better options. Like other reviewers, he says the "weak selection of apps" is a sticking point as is the somewhat flat keyboard. Overall, he says it's a great messaging phone.
Review: BlackBerry Style 9670 (Sprint), Sascha Segan, Nov. 2, 2010
Nick Mokey calls the Style's design "unapologetically fat," and criticizes several of the phone's features. He sees no significant improvement on the WebKit-based browser compared to older BlackBerry browsers, and he finds Wi-Fi reception "abysmal."
Review: BlackBerry Style 9670 Review, Nick Mokey, Feb. 14, 2011
"The Style is a solid effort from RIM," Eric M. Zeman says. While BlackBerrys are lacking on the media front, it's not their focus in the first place, he notes. Zeman likes the Style's messaging features though.
Review: Review: BlackBerry 9670 Style, Eric M. Zeman, Oct. 28, 2010
Simon Sage lists three selling points of the Style: a better keyboard, the latest OS 6 and the flip form factor. However, he thinks it will be a hard sell next to some Android devices.
Review: Review: BlackBerry Style 9670 – RIM's Next Flip, Simon Sage, Oct. 30, 2010
6. Laptop Magazine
Sean Ludwig declares the Style a solid choice if you want a flip form factor and a "messaging phone that can do more." He says that it's "more satisfying than the $199 Torch" in some ways, because he finds the touch interface of the Torch sluggish.
Review: BlackBerry Style 9670 Review, Sean Ludwig, Oct. 26, 2010