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printed April 21, 2014
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Review: BlackBerry 9670 Style

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

Screen

The Style has two displays. The outer display is monochrome most of the time, but will flash some color when there are incoming messages. It shows the typical signal and other status indicators, as well as a large, analog clock. It is fairly bright and viewable indoors, but outside it is absolutely worthless.

The internal display offers a roomier 2.7-inch diagonal with 360 x 400 pixels. It isn't the highest resolution display out there, but RIM is able to make this one look good. Colors are warm and rich, and there is very little raggedness to text, icons, and images. It is exceptionally bright both indoors and out. I was able to read it in direct sunlight just fine, though it was washed out a bit.

Signal

As with nearly every other Sprint phone I've tested in the metro NYC region, the Style held onto two bars most of the time. The bulk of the time I spent reviewing it, it latched onto Sprint's EVDO network, though I did see it dip down to 1x a few times in poor coverage areas. When traveling around NJ, I had no problems receiving or making calls. I didn't miss any, and didn't drop any. That's not the story in NYC, however. Manhattan's concrete jungle is a challenge to any network, and the Style missed several calls when I was walking around the West Village. Data speeds were inconsistent everywhere, in good coverage and in bad. Sometimes data seemed to arrive instantly, and other times it would freeze up and hang.

Sound

Call quality on the Style was very good, though not perfect. Most calls were clear of background hiss and noise, but every now and then those with whom I was speaking took on a robotic, digital tone. Earpiece volume was acceptable for most regular environments, but even with the volume set to its highest level, Style users might find it difficult to hear conversations in noisy places. The Style's speakerphone sounded good and it was sufficiently loud. I had no problems using the speakerphone in a crowded restaurant (yes, I was *that* guy for a few minutes). The ringers and alert tones can be set to good alarm clock levels, but not rock concert levels. The vibrate alert was a touch too gentle for my taste.

Battery

It should be no surprise to those familiar with BlackBerrys that the Style has excellent battery life. It easily makes it through two days on a single charge, if not three. Even with heavy web use, messaging and phone calls, the Style's battery indicator barely budged the first day I tested the phone. Light users can make it through a weekend getaway without a charger, no problem. Road warriors who will be using their device all day long will want to bring the charger with them on any business trips.

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