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BlackBerry Flips Out - Clamshell Phones from BlackBerry

written by: Regina Woodard•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/7/2011

The standard form of most BlackBerry smartphones is the classic chubby, candy bar design with a screen and full QWERTY keyboard beneath. RIM has experimented with some other designs though, including touch screen phones and even the odd BlackBerry flip phone.

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    BlackBerry smartphones have been a popular staple for the business world, and also those individual users who enjoy the sleek design that the brand presents.

    The form of the BlackBerry has always been a standard candy bar phone - with a visual screen on the top and a QWERTY style keyboard underneath. However, RIM - the company behind the phone has done some experimenting with the phone design, introducing a BlackBerry flip phone in 2008 and recently releasing a new flip design with the Style 9670 model.

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    BlackBerry Flip Phones

    The first BlackBerry to feature a flip open design was the Pearl 8220, which was introduced in the latter part of 2008 and was first offered by cell Blackberry Flips Out - Flip Phones by Blackberry carrier T-Mobile. This phone was the first to offer a clam-shell form factor instead of the normal bar form that most BlackBerry fans were used to. The design of this phone was intended to help those users who were upgrading to their first smartphone, offering the ability to browse the web, watch videos, listen to music, check e-mail, and more.

    Besides the obvious differences between bar and flip phones, the Pearl had a sunken track pad and a bigger and raised keyboard, which differed from the regular style of a BlackBerry phone. This version of the Pearl line also featured a 2 megapixel camera, a full QWERTY keyboard, and wireless Internet support. The size of the phone, when closed, was about the same size as some of the other BlackBerry phones (such as the original Pearl or the Bold), though when the phone is opened, it has a much larger radius in terms of height.

    The latest BlackBerry flip phone to hit the market is the Style 9670, which features a very nice and slick design, a 5 megapixel camera, VGA video recording, trackpad, and full QWERTY keyboard. The phone also features the new BlackBerry OS 6, allowing for even faster web browsing, connecting socially, and checking e-mail.

    As with most smartphones, the Style supports apps to customize the phone to a user's personal preferences and increase the functionality, from health apps to entertainment. The height of the 9670 is 3 inches when closed, 6 inches when opened and it weighs about 4 ounces.

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    Where to Buy

    Currently, the only carrier that is offering the BlackBerry Style is Sprint. They currently offer a deal where you can get the phone for free on a contract. It normally costs $399.99, but interested users can receive this phone for free when they sign up for a two year contract with the cell phone carrier and choose one of the different plans on offer.

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    More Flip Phones in Future?

    Though RIM has only introduced two flip style phones, the reactions from users and reviewers has mostly been positive for this new design. Only time will tell if another flip phone is on the way for those loyal BlackBerry users, but it seems that RIM is not afraid to test new designs in order to diversify their range and attract new customers.

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    • BlackBerry Pearl 8200 Series,
    • Style 9670 from Sprint,
    • Style 9670 by BlackBerry,
    • Image via BlackBerry.