BlackBerry Pearl Features Move to RIM Business Phones

BlackBerry 8800 adds the Pearl trackball, built-in GPS, multimedia and SD expansion slot to bridge the gap between consumer and business features.

February 15, 2007

3 Min Read
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Research in Motion, which has been slowly adding consumer-type features to its e-mail-centric BlackBerry, has finally gone all the way, delivering the new BlackBerry 8800, which sports the best features of its recent hit, the BlackBerry Pearl, while keeping a business focus.

Unlike the Pearl, the BlackBerry 8800 retains a full QWERTY keyboard rather than moving to the smaller SureType keyboard, which puts multiple letters on a single key. That, along with the BlackBerry's usual em-ail capabilities, keeps it on target for business users.

But the new 8800 also adds features that competitors like the Palm Treo and Windows Mobile phones already have, including the ability to handle audio and video files, a microSD expansion slot and built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) capabilities. The phone runs on quad-band GSM/GPRS and supports EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution) data services.

Applications include phone, e-mail, text messaging, Web browser, organizer, multimedia and BlackBerry Maps. The screen is 320x240, and the phone features speakerphone and Bluetooth 2.0 capabilities, plus a media player and stereo headset jack.The BlackBerry 8800 will be available from a variety of carriers beginning later this month.

In other RIM news, the vendor said today it will offer Blackberry Connect Software on five new Microsoft Windows Mobile-based devices from mobile phone maker HTC.

BlackBerry Connect supports push-based wireless email access, wireless email reconciliation and attachment viewing in conjunction with both BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Internet Service.

HTC released the new HTC S710 this week, a compact handset that looks like a phone, but includes a concealed semi auto-sliding keyboard to allow for email and data input. Users are able to view their email, Word and Excel documents on the 2.4 inch screen with landscape view option. The HTC 710 operates on GPRS/EDGE networks and supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0.

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