The BlackBerry 8800 is a very capable Smartphone. Email is tops - better than any other device made. Web browsing was very pleasant and quick and there is enough multi media content to satisfy most users. The lack of a camera is understandable from a business perspective, but it would be nice to see this offered as an option for consumers.
As a phone, the 8800 was quite capable as it was as a PIM. The addition of a built in GPS with bundled software made this a very useful device.
It is the "feel" of this device that might be what turns some off. It is slippery and not as "rugged" feeling as previous BlackBerry devices or other hot smartphones like the Q or the BlackJack. There is a noticeable "Flex" when holding this device. It is not as though this feels "cheap" but it does feel like that if it were dropped (as does happen to many phones) it might not survive the fall as well as a sturdier phone.
The 8800 also felt a little "big" in my hand. It is wide and certainly noticeably heavier than its smaller sibling, the Pearl. It is, however, not really much bigger than the Motorola Q even though it feels wider and heavier.
The screen is gorgeous, the trackball is hands down the best means of navigation on a Smartphone today and the OS is far less buggy than Windows Mobile and just as intuitive (if not more so) than the venerable Palm OS - may it rest in peace.
For me, I will stick with the Pearl - it has all the features in about half the size. If you need a full keyboard or you need a business oriented BlackBerry without a camera, I would not hesitate to upgrade to the 8800. If like everything about the BlackBerry but you really want a Camera and maybe even WiFi, the rumored 8300 should contain both of these and will be released in the next month or so.
- Great BlackBerry email
- good phone features
- good call quality
- easy to use and powerful PIM features
- fully QWERTY keyboard
- built in GPS
- Feels a little slippery and "plasticy"
- No camera
- no streaming video capabilities
- 2.5 mm headphone jack needs an adapter for most headphones
The BlackBerry 8800 is available for US$299.00 after rebates and with a 2 year contract from www.cingular.com. It can be found for less on Amazon.com or Wirefly with their contract restrictions and clauses.