After months of anticipation, we have finally received official word on the first full-sized BlackBerry flip phone. Yesterday Sprint announced that the Style will go on sale October 31 for $99.99 on contract. While it is the newest BlackBerry model, it’s not exactly the most heralded. I’ve heard many people instantly turned off by the idea of a flip QWERTY BlackBerry, and I’ve seen many turn away in disgust after seeing the actual design. But the Style does have its strong points. Is it the right device for you? We’ll take a look at the Style as it compares to the two other new BlackBerry models, the Bold 9780 and the Torch 9800.
The Style, of course, has two different sizes. Open it measures 175.5mm x 60mm x 18.5 mm. That’s considerably larger than the Bold, obviously, and it is actually quite a deal thicker than the Torch. The Bold and the Torch, in fact, are just 0.6mm apart, while the Torch and the Style are 1.9mm apart.
The Style, at 4.6 oz., is actually a bit lighter than the Torch, which weighs 5.7 oz. The Bold, obviously, is lighter than both.
You might think that the Style screen would resemble the Torch screen, sans the touch capabilities. But the internal screen size is actually closer to the Bold than the Torch. The Style’s internal display measures 2.7 inches, while the Bold is at 2.44 inches and the Torch is 3.2 inches. In terms of resolution the Style appears a bit lacking, too: Style: 360 x 400
Torch: 360 x 480
Bold: 480 x 360 The Style, of course, has that external screen. It measures 2 inches and is of the same type as the internal screen (QVGA). It has a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels, or the same as the Curve series.
Here’s an important point. RIM devices have typically lagged behind the rest of the market in terms of processor speed. It is, in fact, one of the biggest complaints I’ve heard about the Torch. While many new smartphones features 1GHz processors, the Torch clocks at just 624MHz. Both the Style and the Bold do as well, so there’s not much to compare here.
Memory and storage
The Bold 9780, the Style, and the Torch all feature 512MB of RAM. Where they differ is with internal storage. I haven’t seen a solid number on internal storage for the Style or Bold, but they figure to be either 254 or 512MB, meaning that most storage goes to the memory card. Thankfully, with BlackBerry 6 that means expansion up to 32GB. The Torch, of course, reigns supreme with 4GB of internal storage.
All three models appear to have the same 5 megapixel camera with 2X zoom.
Worth a look?
It’s pretty clear that RIM was going for form factor over everything else with this device. Functionally it doesn’t offer any advantages over the Torch or the Bold. It is bigger than both models, which will certainly turn off some potential customers. The external display is nice. I suppose I’ll have to get a hands on with that before I make any further judgements on the Style. But, as it stands, the Style offers little that you can’t get on other devices. If you already weren’t a fan of the form factor, there’s nothing present that will change your mind. I can’t imagine this device selling even half as well as the Torch.