It is alive and it is kicking. The BlackBerry 8800 that is, and this time from Cingular first, unlike the BlackBerry 8100 (also known as the BlackBerry Pearl) which made it first through the T-Mobile channel.
I got my BlackBerry 8800 this week. While the 81-day-experiment in which I used 9 difference devices for 9 days each is over by now, with the arrival of the BlackBerry 8800, it is going to be extended to include the BlackBerry 8800. In other words, I will be using the BlackBerry 8800 for the next 9 days and writing about it.
Today, the BlackBerry 8800 is out of the box and posing for some photo shoots. As you can see in the pictures below, it resembles the BlackBerry Pearl quite a bit except that a) it has a full QWERTY keyboard b) is larger in size as a result and c) does not have a camera. In essence it is still a business tool similar to what the BlackBerry 8700 and earlier BlackBerry models have been for year. However it is a refined business tool that takes advantage of many of the innovations that were introduced by the BlackBerry Pearl.
In a way, the BlackBerry 8800 is proving that the dividing line between business and social smartphones is getting narrower. While the earlier BlackBerry 8700 module stayed away from music and multi-media, the 8800 offers music and multi-media and voice dialing and GPS capabilities among others. The GPS service, which I decided to subscribe to, costs about $10 a month. In the next few days, I will be setting it up, and see how well it does on the streets of San Francisco and Northern California. Let us see where the next 9 days will take us.
The BlackBerry 8800 trackball and full QWERTY keyboard:
The BlackBerry 8800 next to the BlackBerry Pearl:
The BlackBerry 8800 (front) is much thinner than the 8700 (back) and more slick in design:
More pictures with other devices are likely to be posted in the next few days! So stay tuned for more 8800 experiences!