When it comes to choosing the best entry level BlackBerry smartphone, there are two great choices, the BlackBerry Style and the Curve 3G. The Style 9670 is an upgrade of the BlackBerry Pearl with a new flip design and large interior screen, while the Curve 3G is the typical bar style BlackBerry with a full QWERTY keyboard. We will look at both phones to help you determine which one is best for your own personal needs.
Pros of the BlackBerry Style 9670
For users who preferred the small footprint of the flip phones will appreciate the Style 9670. The flip design keeps the phone compact with an external and internal LCD. The external LCD displays the time, signal strength, battery life and message notifier. While the internal 360×400 resolution screen displays the traditional BlackBerry menu screen, equipped with a full QWERTY keyboard. Although the style is not yet released, we are impressed by look of the spacious keyboard, which is a huge improvement over the Pearl.
The Style features a 5MP camera, the same one in the BlackBerry Bold 9780 and the Torch. We were impressed by the resolution and picture quality on the Bold 9780. Therefore, we expect the same quality on the Style since the phone uses the same camera.
Equipped with 512MB of internal memory and 8GB of external memory (included), the Style has plenty of room for pictures, documents and music. Of course, if you wish to expand the memory, microSD cards are available for additional external memory, but are not included.
The Style is a great looking phone, closed or open. We are anticipating the release because it bridges the gap for casual users to enter the BlackBerry market without the look of a traditional bar style BlackBerry.
The Style features the new BlackBerry OS 6, which gives for smoother menus and a better overall look of the programs on the phone. This is a huge improvement over the most recent BlackBerry OS 5.
Pros of the BlackBerry Curve 3G
We were very impressed when we got our hands on the BlackBerry Curve 3G when it came to navigating through menu screens and for messaging. The layout is similar to the higher-end BlackBerry devices, such as the Bold 9780, but with harder keys and a more plastic appearance. However, messaging on this phone is effortless and clean, despite the budget design.
The days of picking a cell phone carrier in order to obtain a BlackBerry device are over. The Curve 3G is offered on all major networks, including some prepaid ones. This was certainly a pro for any user looking to obtain a BlackBerry without switching carriers.
The Curve 3G comes equipped with 3G data and voice service as well as Wi-Fi. On the Verizon model we tested, we found the network speeds quick and efficient on the 3G network. However, network availability and speed largely depends on your service carrier.
It’s a BlackBerry
The overall appearance resembles its predecessor the Curve 8300 and 8500 series. This is a good thing if you want a name brand phone that has all the functionality of popular BlackBerry devices, including a decent multimedia player, camera, web surfing, GPS, games and much more. We were not at all disappointed by this budget smartphone based on its overall usability and familiarity to top BlackBerry devices.