Similar to the BlackBerry Tour 9630, when you first look at the BlackBerry Onyx you're just not quite sure what you're looking at. The close-together keys with ‘guitar fret' separators scream Bold, yet the overall form factor is much more like the BlackBerry Curve 8900. That's part of the reason it seems weird that the Onyx would be a 9600 device. In terms of the device's overall dimensions and shape and feel in the hand, it's actually closer to the Curve 8900 than it is to the 9630. Like the Curve 8520, it features a little bit more rubber than were used to seeing, but the rubbery buttons give off a quality feel. And then when you pop off the Onyx's battery cover and see the Bold's battery, the confusion increases even more. With the BlackBerry Onyx it's like RIM simply grabbed the best DNA from each device and tossed it together to make a super baby, which in this case is not a bad thing.
Form Factor - The overall look and feel of the Onyx is slick. I
assume the gun metal grey metallic band around the device is actually
plastic, but it gives off a more metal-like feel than the silver chrome
on the Curve 8900 or 9630 or Bold. The Onyx feels very thin too. While
it's overall thickness appears to be the same as the 8900, on the Onyx
RIM has made the sides of the device a little less thick and instead of
having the display be flush (even slightly lower) than the side rails,
with the Onyx the display's edges are beveled down towards the side
rails. It's hard to explain, but overall the device simply feels thin.
The Onyx's footprint is much smaller than the Bold's and is even smaller
than the 9630. The beveled edge look continues through the top of the
device, which does feature the hidden lock and mute keys that so many
BlackBerry users have quickly grown to love. Walking further around the
perimeter of the device, the usual BlackBerry stuff is there. The Micro
USB charging/syncing port is located on the top left side of the device,
just below the 3.5mm headset jack. There's a lanyard hole on the left
bottom side of the device, just above the charging contacts - there will
obviously be a BlackBerry charging pod for the Onyx. Volume up/down
keys are on the right hand side, and as always, convenience keys are on
both sides of the device.
All in all, the look is a bit dangerous, a bit understated, yet dashing
at the same time. James Bond should scrap that Sony Ericsson crap in the
next movie in favor of a BlackBerry Onyx (damn, I know "Onyx" is just a
codename but it's a good sounding name... I wish it would hit as the
actual brand name).