Blackberry 8800 is the latest on the line of RIM smart phones – feature rich and visually and functionally inspiring. It is also the thinnest Blackberry handset yet. Going straight into its specifications, the Blackberry 8800 comes equipped with a QWERTY keyboard – unlike Blackberry Pearl – and a trackball navigation system. It appears that Blackberry had finally come into terms with the fact that joysticks are not great devices for navigational purposes, especially to zip through a phone menu. The QWERTY keyboard can be a bit confusing in the beginning, but as the user starts typing on it, gradually he/she will get used to it.
If there is another major difference between Blackberry 8800 and the Pearl, then it is the absence of the camera. Blackberry has dispensed with the camera in 8800 for a more reliable feature, the GPS, to track down roaming business users and devices. Even though, the Blackberry 8800 does not have Google Maps in it, the bundled TeleNav GPS Navigator does an exceptional job in giving the user the right directions always. The local search function also works very well.
The display of 8800 is quite bright (320 x 240 resolution) and offers good visibility in all lighting conditions. A built-in light sensing device adjusts the brightness levels of the keypad and screen accordingly to optimize visibility.
Blackberry 8800 supports EDGE and quad-band GSM/GPRS networks with reasonable data speed. For moderate to extensive browsing needs, the handset performs reasonably well. Regarding email, if using the Blackberry web services, the phone supports as much as ten corporate and personal e-mail accounts, the setup being one of the easiest one could find in any of the smart phones on earth. Attachment support is excellent – users can view Word, PDF, Excel, and JPEG files – even though there are no way you could edit the office documents. Using the Desktop Manager, the Blackberry user could synchronize the memos, calendar, tasks, and contacts with the relevant organizer tools such that every relevant piece of info will be updated in the required applications simultaneously.
Like all other phones in its category, the Blackberry 8800 also offers an assortment of multimedia features that include music and video, ring tones, and images. The Media Manager utility can be used to import photos, and videos into the device, even though, as mentioned already, one may not be able to take pictures or record videos using 8800 as it lacks a camera. The media player supports the file types – MP3, AAC, and WMA music files, as well as WMV video and MPEG-4 files. DRM support however is absent.
Other voice features include voice-cancellation for better audio performance, VAD – Voice Activated Dialing – with Speaker Independent Voice Recognition, call forwarding, conference calls, and smart dialing, a high quality low-distortion speakerphone, and dedicated ‘mute’, ‘send’, and ‘end’ keys.
Finally, the pricing, the Blackberry 8800 carries a price tag – £299 – that falls in between Blackberry Pearl and the Cingular 8525 (£399). Given its features, however, this is a quite reasonable price (Its competitors also carries a similar price tag). For more info on Blackberry 8800, see the Blackberry home website.