The BlackBerry 8800 today kept me up-to-date on e-mail, some text messaging, and a few Internet searches. The GPS was quite useful as well. With Google and a GPS on hand, all you need to know is the name of your destination, and you can then find the address and the route. Or maybe even a vague idea of what you want, can then turn into a Google search, and then some results, which can then a physical address that you can feed into the GPS.
And what about that trackball in the BlackBerry 8800?
If you have seen the BlackBerry Pearl, or referred to the 81-day-experiment when I was reviewing the Pearl, you know already that I found the trackball in the BlackBerry Pearl to be an easy and efficient navigational tool. The trackball now made it into the BlackBerry 8800--and with it, the return key on the right, and the menu key on the left. The trackball and these two keys are pretty much your way of navigating the BlackBerry 8800 menus and applications. No stylus, no touch screen, no 5 way navigation (even though the trackball is nothing but an elegant and more refined 5 way navigation)!
And how about the keyboard of the BlackBerry 8800?
I found the keys to be slightly closer together than the BlackBerry 8700, which in turn has the keys closer together than the earlier BlackBerry 7200-7900 series. At first, I was a little cautious whey typing on the BlackBerry 8800 keyboard, and thinking that I was going to accidentally hit the adjacent keys. However, I am finding out that the keys are well pronounced and have this slightly-elevated edge which makes typing easier.
If you happen to be a BlackBerry user, you will be happy to learn that the shortcuts are the same BlackBerry shortcuts that you are used to in the BlackBerry 8700 or 7200-7900 series. They add yet another level of efficiency to the device. If you enable the shortcut keys on the home screen, you can then launch most of the BlackBerry applications with one keystroke, such as A for Addresses, M for Messages, and L for Calendar. If you enable the shortcut keys in Calendar, you can fully navigate your calendar with simple keystrokes such as switching to the week view by pressing W, and then navigation to the next and previous weeks using N and P, and switching back to the day view by pressing D. There are many more shortcuts, and even though they are not necessary for operating the BlackBerry 8800, they can be very useful. I will be mentioning more of them in the next few days.
Stay tuned for more BlackBerry 8800 experiences this week!