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Home > Hardware Reviews > Mobiles

Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Blackberry 8800

1. Introduction

logoA little over a month ago, I gushed in my review of the BlackBerry Pearl - the new, sleek and sexy smartphone from RIM. It was my first long-term experience with a BlackBerry and I was hooked - so much so that I abandoned my trusty Treo and adopted a Pearl as my primary phone.

Now, along comes the new BlackBerry 8800 to succeed the trusted 8700 series used by so many in the business world. Sharing a design similarity with the Pearl, but adding a full keyboard and a larger screen and larger size, the 8800 is the "New" BlackBerry we will most likely be seeing quite a lot of in the future. How does the Pearl's "Big Brother" stand up? Should I have waited and bought the 8800 instead of the Pearl? Read on for my thoughts.

Last year, it seemed that Research In Motion was at a crossroads - facing serious litigation that threatened to shut down their famous e-mail service, it looked like they might just about be at the end of their trackwheel. Well, they have emerged as possibly the fastest growing Smartphone manufacturer with lots of new, eye catching models released and more on the way. They did come to the end of their "trackwheel" however, as the famous trackball AKA the "Pearl" is now present on their flagship business device.

About RIM

Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including e-mail, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity to data. RIM’s portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry® wireless platform, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. RIM is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RIM).

Here are the features and specification for the BlackBerry 8800 from the RIM web site:

Features Available

The BlackBerry 8800 features complete functionality, including*:

  • BlackBerry® Maps
  • Media Player
  • Corporate Data Access 1
  • Wireless Email
  • Organizer
  • Wireless Calendar 1
  • Phone
  • SMS
  • MMS
  • Wireless Internet
  • Paging
  • GPS-enabled for Location-based Services
  • 64 MB of memory and expandable memory via microSD card*
  • Full QWERTY keyboard
  • The tethered modem capability lets you use the smartphone as a wireless modem for your laptop or PC**
  • Dedicated Send, End and Mute keys, a trackball navigation system, plus user definable convenience keys
  • Speakerphone and Voice Activated Dialing
  • High capacity battery
  • Bluetooth® capability for hands-free dialogue via headsets and car kits
  • Stereo headset capable
  • Integrated attachment viewing
  • Compatibility with popular Personal Information Management (PIM) software
  • High resolution, light sensing screen that adjusts lighting levels automatically for ideal indoor and outdoor viewing
  • Easy email set-up directly from your BlackBerry 8800 via the set-up wizard

Enterprise friendly

The BlackBerry 8800 works with your organization’s BlackBerry® Enterprise Solution to provide enterprise class functionality, including:

  • Advanced security features
  • Push delivery of data from corporate applications
  • Remote address look-up
  • Wireless synchronization with corporate PIM tools
  • Single mailbox integration

Unlike traditional mobile phones, the BlackBerry 8800 can be centrally managed and supported by IT departments.


Features Available

  • BlackBerry® Maps
  • Media Player
  • Corporate Data Access 1
  • Wireless Email
  • Organizer
  • Wireless Calendar 1
  • Phone
  • SMS
  • MMS
  • Wireless Internet
  • Paging
  • GPS-enabled for Location-based Services

Size and Weight

  • 4.49"/114mm (Length )
  • 2.60"/66mm (Width )
  • 0.55"/14mm (Depth )
  • 4.73 oz/134g (Weight )

Data Input/Navigation

  • Trackball
  • QWERTY (Keyboard )
  • Keyboard backlighting

Voice Input/Output

  • Headset jack
  • Integrated earpiece/ microphone
  • Built-in Speakerphone
  • Headset, hands-free and serial port profiles supported (Bluetooth® technology )


  • Font size (user selectable)
  • Color display
  • Backlighting
  • Light sensing screen


  • MIDI ringtones
  • Polyphonic ringtones
  • Vibrate Mode
  • LED indicator
  • MP3 ringtones

Battery Type

  • 1400 mAhr (removable/rechargeable lithium cell)

Approximate Battery Life

  • 528 hours or 22 days (Standby Time )
  • 300 minutes or 5 hours (Talk Time 2 )


  • 64 MB (Flash Memory )


  • RIM® wireless modem
  • Tethered modem capability 3

Email Integrations

  • Works with BlackBerry Enterprise Server for Microsoft Exchange
  • Integrates with existing business email account
  • Integrates with existing personal email account
  • Integrates with optional new device account
  • Includes desktop software
  • Works with BlackBerry Enterprise Server for IBM Lotus Domino
  • Works with BlackBerry Enterprise Server for Novell GroupWise 4

Accessories Included

  • USB cable
  • Wall Charger

Available In

  • Enabled for roaming between North America and Europe/Asia Pacific

Device Security

  • Password Protection and Keyboard Lock
  • Support for Triple DES or AES Encryption when Integrated with BlackBerry Enterprise Server
  • Pending Approval (FIPS Validation )
  • Optional Support for S/MIME

Wireless Network

  • North America: 1900MHz GSM/GPRS networks
  • Europe/Asia Pacific: 900MHz GSM/GPRS networks
  • Europe/Asia Pacific: 1800MHz GSM/GPRS networks
  • North America: 850 MHz GSM/GPRS networks
  • EDGE networks

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