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RIM BlackBerry Style Review

Posted: , by Brian K.

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Interface and Functionality:

We covered the BlackBerry OS 6 interface in our Torch review, but this is the first time we’ve seen it on a non-touch device. The main elements of course carry over, but having to use the touchpad for all of your navigation does change things a bit. The homescreen is slightly different in that it has a persistent bar of apps down at the bottom. You can still scroll through the All, Favorites, Media, Downloads and Frequent categories. Each category has only one bar of apps, but clicking on it slides opens the tray to reveal the full list. This can also be accomplished by swiping down on the trackpad, a method we find more natural, but it is very inconsistent and often takes a few swipes to open the drawer.

The homescreen of the RIM BlackBerry Style has a persistent bar of apps down at the bottom - RIM BlackBerry Style Review
The homescreen of the RIM BlackBerry Style has a persistent bar of apps down at the bottom - RIM BlackBerry Style Review
The homescreen of the RIM BlackBerry Style has a persistent bar of apps down at the bottom - RIM BlackBerry Style Review
The homescreen of the RIM BlackBerry Style has a persistent bar of apps down at the bottom - RIM BlackBerry Style Review

The homescreen of the RIM BlackBerry Style has a persistent bar of apps down at the bottom


The notification area is worlds better than previous OS iterations. When you click on the bar it brings down a list of all your Messages, Texts, Facebook, Twitter, etc. updates. The new universal search feature is great as well (stolen directly from Palm, name and all) and allows you to quickly search your device by just typing. All the smartphone OS’s incorporate some form of this, but Palm does it best and by extension, RIM, since they use the exact same implementation.

Notification area - RIM BlackBerry Style Review
Universal search - RIM BlackBerry Style Review

Notification area

Universal search


The Setup and Options menus have been reworked so everything isn’t quite where you’re used to it being, but at the same time a rework was in order. Setup is especially improved; everything from email to Wi-Fi to social networks are all on one screen for quick and easy log-in to all of your services. We initially had some issues signing into our Gmail account and getting contact sync up and running and flat out couldn’t log into Facebook and Twitter, but a full wipe of the device cleared up those issues.

The Setup menus - RIM BlackBerry Style Review
The Setup menus - RIM BlackBerry Style Review
The Setup menus - RIM BlackBerry Style Review

The Setup menus


The staples like email, messaging, calendar and other PIM functions remain relatively unchanged. Everything runs relatively well on the 624MHz processor, but there were times when lag was noticeable, whereas OS 5 on the 9330 was nearly flawless. Overall we like where RIM is going with BlackBerry OS 6, but feel it is better suited to touchscreens and even still is about two years behind the time. OS 5 was simply a new coat of paint on OS 4; at least OS 6 is a new color but when you get down to it, this is still a BlackBerry, just like our old 7xxx devices. Sure, it has gotten sleeker and found a way to incorporate social networking, but there just isn’t anything really compelling that would make us choose BlackBerry these days outside of the Enterprise Server.

Calendar - RIM BlackBerry Style Review
Calendar - RIM BlackBerry Style Review
Calendar - RIM BlackBerry Style Review
Calendar - RIM BlackBerry Style Review

Calendar



Connectivity and Data:

The RIM BlackBerry Style 9670 is an EVDO Rev A device with support for Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR. Though sharing the 96xx model number, the Style is not a global device as were the Tour 9630 and Bold 9650. While this may disappoint some people, the Bold is still very much alive in Sprint’s lineup and the Style falls squarely between it and the Curve 3G in terms of hierarchy. The BlackBerry Style has half a gig of internal memory and ships with an 8GB microSD card with support for 32GB.

One of the main features touted in BlackBerry 6 is the WebKit browser, but honestly we weren’t impressed. It was better than the Curve 3G, sure, but pages still took way too long to load over both 3G and Wi-Fi. Our homepage, for example, took minutes to fully load over a 25Mbps Wi-Fi connection. It still very much feels like the BlackBerry browser of old, not like the modern browsers found on the iPhone and Android devices.

The RIM BlackBerry Style features a WebKit browser - RIM BlackBerry Style Review
The RIM BlackBerry Style features a WebKit browser - RIM BlackBerry Style Review
The RIM BlackBerry Style features a WebKit browser - RIM BlackBerry Style Review

The RIM BlackBerry Style features a WebKit browser


Included software is virtually not installed, meaning the icons are really links to download the real program, and pretty standard. In addition to the Sprint software suite you’ll find standards like Docs To Go, BrickBreaker and BlackBerry App World.

2 Comments
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posted on 04 Nov 2010, 07:33

1. relle19 (unregistered)


first

posted on 04 Nov 2010, 22:16

2. gord888 (unregistered)


I don't know how you came to the conclusion that the browser is sub par. RIM makes the best browser out there... Highest compatibility with html5 and css3, most consistent layout, and most efficient.

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Display360 x 400 pixels TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Size3.78 x 2.36 x 0.73 inches
(96 x 60 x 18.5 mm)
4.62 oz  (131 g)
Battery1150 mAh, 4.5 hours talk time

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