The BlackBerry Style is Research In Motion’s first BlackBerry flip phone. It certainly is stylish enough, but does it live up to the hype? I have owned the Style for 2 months now. It is my first BlackBerry, and as a longtime Sprint customer I was drawn to the good looks of the phone, plus BlackBerry’s reputation for business-oriented smartphones. I can say that the BlackBerry Style is a solid phone, however it certainly has its drawbacks.
The Style has a large 2 inch external screen, and a 2.7 inch main screen. It is powered by a 644 Mhz processor, which can give a certain lag time or latency when trying to access applications, even when making calls. This is certainly the main drawback to the Style; however this is minimized by keeping unused applications closed. It uses Blackberry 6 for an operating system, and it certainly has a logical and intuitive layout, even for BlackBerry newbies like myself. It has a 5 megapixel camera, which has excellent resolution as far as cell phone cameras. It even has a dedicated option to automatically upload your picture to Twitter, Facebook, or an e-mail address. In fact, the e-mailing capabilities is what BlackBerrys are known for, and I was certainly impressed by what the Style could do. I get real-time alerts whenever I get an e-mail, and I have icons on my menu for my different e-mail accounts. It also routes all e-mails and messages into one folder, with a dedicated icon on your menu. Sending professional e-mails are a breeze on the Style, especially with its easy to use QWERTY keyboard. The keyboard even has a dedicated $ key, perhaps reiterating the fact that BlackBerrys are phones first and foremost for business professionals! The Style has enough style and features that the average consumer can find a lot to like about it, too.
The phone itself is solidly built, and comes with 8 gigabytes of memory (upgradable to 16GB). The call quality, which is still the most important feature on any phone, is excellent. I rarely, if ever, experience dropped calls, and get excellent reception and clarity even when my phone signal isn’t very good.
The one drawback to the Style (and evidently for all BlackBerrys) are the applications. RIM does have many applications available, albeit far less than for Android, Java, or Apple phones. But many of the apps are incredibly overpriced, and require immediate payment through PayPal or your bank account when purchasing (I have previously been able to purchase applications and had them charged to my next monthly bill, without immediate payment). There are some free apps and games, but the vast majority are not worth downloading.
CONCLUSION: The BlackBerry Style is the perfect combination between a stylish flip phone, and BlackBerry’s strengths in business application and uses. There are certainly better phones out there, but the Style is more than adequate for the average consumer or business professional.