Blackberry Pearl 8220 - Blackberry's First Flip Phone

By Susan Hargreaves Mobile & Wireless, 8220, BlackBerry

Blackberry smartphones have followed a very set design over the years, the Curve editions are always slightly wider in girth but slim whereas the Pearl range is the closest a Blackberry phone comes to looking like a regular mobile device.

However, the manufacturer has tried a new design, new for them but not for the overall mobile phones market, clamshell phones have been around for over 15 years dating back to the first ever flip phone the Motorola Star Tac - if you are old enough you will remember that it was considered a major breakthrough in mobile technology.

Over the past few years the main four UK mobile phone manufacturers have all released at least one flip phone, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and most fanously Motorola who always seem to have a clamshell on the market so why has it taken Blackberry so long to produce one of these? More importantly, have they made a good job of it?

The new 8220 is actually a part of the Pearl range of Blackberry phones and when you see a picture you will realise why, the handset offers the same characturistic slim but deep build of the other Pearl models especially when fully opened.

The Blackberry Pearl Flip 8220, otherwise known as the Blackberry Kickstart 8220, is in short Blackberry’s first flip phone that offers all the added advantages of being a Blackberry smartphone but with the benefits of being a clamshell. This phone has caused quite a stir of late, with its reinvented design, RIM have pushed the boundaries that much further with what looks to be a very successful result.

The Blackberry 8220 Flip smartphone comes with the Blackberry OS v4.6.1 and has opted for a bigger 2.6 inch internal screen as well as an external LCD display. Although there’s no GPS radio the Pearl 8220 is still a Quad Band GSM device with GPRS support and EDGE technology plus WiFi connectivity.

The Blackberry Pearl 8220 Flip mobile phone weighs a little over 100g and features a new and improved HTML web browser that is not only capable of viewing desktop website versions but mobile versions as well. As with the majority of Blackberry devices the Pearl 8220 is just as capable as a messaging device as any other and with the presence of SureType just as easy. Supporting the likes of email and instant messaging with Yahoo! and Google Talk, the Blackberry 8220 Pearl shines brightly under scrutiny.

Sporting a 2MP autofocus camera with video capture for want to be photographers, the Blackberry Flip has something for everyone and music lovers will be pleased with the inclusion of a full media player with multiple audio support and 3.5mm audio headset jack. A stereo headset is included in the package.

This new clamshell device has initially been made available on O2 pay monthly contract deals in the UK, however the phone is set to enjoy further launches on competing network operators over the coming days, in conclusion the Blackberry 8220 Flip offers the same great features as the latest Pearl edition phones but with the added benefits of the keypad being hidden beneath the flip whilst not in use.

Whether this draws a new client base for RIM remains to be seen but clamshell mobile phones do have their enthusiasts who swear by nothing else, should they be considering a business enabled phone with a pleasurable side for those dull moments then the Blackberry Pearl 8220 ticks the boxes.

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