Maker of the Blackberry smartphone, Research In Motion (RIM), announced Wednesday the release of the company’s first flip phone- the Blackberry Pearl Flip 8220. As part of RIM’s continual expansion from the corporate market into the consumer market, new consumer-oriented Blackberries have been expected and the new flip smartphone delivers just that.
With a quick flip of the wrist, the user gains access to web browsing, messaging services, camera functions, video, music and even the ability to make or answer phone calls. With the external LCD display, users can preview incoming email, text messages and phone calls without ever needing to use the new flip feature, but the internal LCD display does offer an attractive and large 240 by 320 resolution transmissive LCD display for added detail. Both displays are able to automatically adjust its brightness according to ambient light levels. The Blackberry Pearl Flip 8220 uses quad-band GSM/EDGE, has Wi-Fi, measures 3.9-inches by 1.9-inches by 0.7-inches in size and weighs in at 3.6-ounces.
One attraction of Blackberry phones has been the tactile Qwerty keypads they offer and although the new Pearl Flip does not use a full sized keypad, it does feature SureType technology, allowing the user to use the hybrid Qwerty keypad as if it were virtually a full sized one. With the built-in 2-megapixel camera users are not just limited to taking photos, but video recording is possible as well and users can upload their photos directly to sites like Facebook and Flickr. The built in Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) allows users to potentially save some money by being able to check email, shop online, make phone calls and stream video when connected to a Wi-Fi network without ever needing to use a cellular network.
The Blackberry Pearl Flip 8220 does not feature GPS as some other Blackberry Pearls do, nor does it have a tethered modem capability, but it does have a 128 MB flash memory, a trackball, the BlackBerry Maps software, a 3.5-mm headphone jack, a 4-hour talk time, a 14-day standby time and most the other features offered by other Blackberry Pearl models today. Available in black or red, the new smartphone should be available this fall from T-Mobile, with further information to come then.