The new BlackBerry Pearl Flip provides flip phone fans with all the power of a BlackBerry smartphone in a fun and familiar design. One quick flip of the handset opens up a world of possibilities with the industry's leading mobile messaging solution and a wide range of impressive Internet and multimedia capabilities, all in one powerful yet approachable smartphone. You can send a message to your friends or family, make a call, browse the web, snap a picture, watch a video or listen to your favorite song. It's all in your control with a simple flip.
The quad-band EDGE based BlackBerry Pearl Flip smartphone presents a sophisticated look with a sleek design and a chrome-finished frame surrounding its smooth, luminescent face. Packed with an abundance of powerful features, it weighs only 3.6 ounces and measures approximately 3.9" x 1.9" x 0.7". Featuring two high-resolution, light-sensing color displays, the external LCD makes it easy to preview incoming emails, text messages and phone calls without opening the handset, while the large, 240 x 320 internal LCD displays messages, videos and web pages with impressive detail and contrast.
"The popularity of BlackBerry smartphones has grown tremendously around the world and the introduction of this exciting new flip phone will help extend the reach of the BlackBerry platform even further," said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO, Research In Motion. "The BlackBerry Pearl Flip is a full-featured smartphone with a unique and friendly design and it is a natural choice for flip phone users who want to start doing more with their phone than just talk."
FIRST CLASS PHONE
The BlackBerry Pearl Flip smartphone is a top of the line mobile phone that flips open and cradles the face naturally and comfortably during phone calls. It delivers exceptional voice quality and includes many premium phone features, including Speaker Independent Voice Recognition (SIVR) for Voice Activated Dialing (VAD), support for mp3 ring tones, smart dialing, conference calling, speed dialing, call forwarding, voicemail attachment playback and enhanced background noise cancellation. It also features a speakerphone and Bluetooth® 2.0 for use with hands-free headsets, stereo headsets, car kits and other Bluetooth peripherals such as a GPS receiver. The removable/rechargeable 900 mAhr battery provides four hours of talk time and over 14 days of standby time.
Featuring a large SureType® QWERTY* keyboard that makes typing messages and dialing numbers fast and easy, the BlackBerry Pearl Flip, like all BlackBerry smartphones, provides integrated access to the industry leading BlackBerry wireless services. Users are able to easily access up to 10 supported personal and work email accounts, send and receive text and instant messages, and connect on popular social networking sites with friends, family and co-workers. The DataViz® Documents to Go® software suite is also preloaded, allowing users to edit Microsoft® Word, Excel and PowerPoint files directly on the handset. The BlackBerry Pearl Flip is supported on BlackBerry® Internet Service, BlackBerry® Unite!, BlackBerry® Professional Software and BlackBerry® Enterprise Server, which provides tight integration with corporate email systems and the security and IT policy controls that enterprise customers require to confidently allow smartphones in their organization.
MULTIMEDIA TO GO
With an advanced media player for displaying pictures, listening to music and watching videos, the BlackBerry Pearl Flip is the perfect on-the-go entertainment center. Videos play smoothly on the large internal display, playlists can be managed directly on the handset and there's an equalizer with 11 preset filters - including "Lounge", "Jazz" and "Hip Hop" - for customizing audio ranges when using headphones or external speakers. The BlackBerry Pearl Flip works with the new BlackBerry® Media Sync application that makes it easy to sync iTunes digital music collections with the smartphone*** and it also features a conveniently accessible microSD/SDHC memory card slot that supports up to 16GB** for plenty of storage. High Speed USB 2.0 support allows files to be quickly transferred between a desktop computer and the smartphone and the BlackBerry® Desktop Manager software includes Roxio® Media Manager for BlackBerry® to help users easily manage their music and video files. Roxio Photosuite® 9 LE is also included for creating photo albums and editing pictures.
FULL FEATURED FLIP
The BlackBerry Pearl Flip packs an impressive range of features into its compact design, including phone, email, messaging, organizer, browser and multimedia applications, and it can also support thousands of other mobile lifestyle and business applications. It features a 2 megapixel camera with flash, zoom and video recording**** to capture memories while on the move, and includes BlackBerry Maps to deliver maps and step-by-step driving directions quickly and easily. An enhanced HTML browser displays web pages beautifully in either "Column View" or "Page View" and different emulation settings allow users to choose between desktop-style HTML content and the mobile version of web pages. The browser also supports RTSP for watching online streaming video from sites like m.youtube.com. In addition, the BlackBerry Pearl Flip smartphone features built-in Wi-Fi® (802.11 b/g) with support for UMA (unlicensed mobile access), extending wireless email and data coverage and supporting carrier enabled voice calls over home Wi-Fi networks, enterprise wireless deployments and Wi-Fi hotspots.
The BlackBerry Pearl Flip comes with a variety of accessories including a stereo headset, travel charger and USB cable. Additional accessories for BlackBerry smartphones, including holsters and totes, charging pods, premium earphones, Bluetooth headsets and the BlackBerry® Remote Stereo Gateway are available through retail outlets or online at www.shopblackberry.com.
You may know it as the RIM BlackBerry 9000, but on Sunday, Research In Motion officially took the wraps off the highly anticipated smartphone, complete with a new name. The "Bold" is in reference to the smartphone's gorgeous display, but it's also bold in that it represents a number of new moves for the company. Oh, BlackBerry Bold, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways.
The bold and the beautiful
As we just mentioned, the device gets its name from its screen. The BlackBerry Bold features a half-VGA (480x320 pixel resolution) and a 65,000-color display. During some initial product testing, research group participants repeatedly called the screen "bold" and "brilliant." The Brilliant moniker didn't really jibe with the company, thus the BlackBerry Bold was born.
So just how bold is it? Well, RIM stopped by our office late last week to show us the device, and let me just tell you, I was absolutely blown away. I can pretty much say I've never seen a better-looking display on a smartphone. Colors pop off the screen, and it's really amazing how sharp and crisp everything looks on the display.
We watched a couple of videos, and for the first time, we didn't notice any of the pixelation or blurriness that you typically get with phones. In addition, the menu interface has been revamped with a much more modern look and icons. Also, as you can see from the images, the BlackBerry Bold boasts a new design. It's more elegant than models past, with curvier edges and a silver trim that complements the black casing.
If you turn it over, you'll also notice that the back has a leatherette texture. No more slick plastic. RIM will sell replaceable backplates in different colors, including blue, gray, and red, if you want to individualize your phone a bit. The BlackBerry Bold measures 4.5 inches tall by 2.6 inches wide by half an inch deep, and it weighs 4.7 ounces.
Kevin Michaluk at Crackberry.com took a gamble, buying one on eBay, and posted a hands-on review. He made a good comparison of the device to the Motorola Q9h.
Finally, the BlackBerry Bold has a QWERTY keyboard that RIM likened to a modernized Curve keyboard, but I'm not really seeing it. Instead, it reminded me more of the BlackBerry 8830.
Now, I know some of you 8800 series users had issues with the keyboard, but I tried it out, and it's pretty easy to use--relatively large buttons with some spacing between the keys.
There's a heaping of wireless options on the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) BlackBerry Bold, but the most appetizing and notable item is the HSDPA/UMTS (850/1900/2100) support.
It's the first such equipped BlackBerry, and we all know that it's been a long time coming. RIM says the delay for bringing such a device to the market is that it wanted to make sure that battery life wouldn't be sacrificed at the expense of including the 3.5G technology. Hey, whatever the reason, we're just finally happy to have it.
You also get integrated Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g), Bluetooth 2.0 with full A2DP support, and built-in GPS (enhanced and assisted).
The RIM BlackBerry Bold is equipped with a 624MHz Intel PXA270 processor, whereas previous BlackBerrys had 312MHz processors, so technically, you should enjoy smoother and faster performance.
During our briefing, there were a few hiccups in performance, but we're going to keep our fingers crossed and chalk it up to the fact that it wasn't a final unit. There's also 128MB of flash memory and 1GB of onboard memory, which is all supplemented by the microSD/SDHC expansion slot (supports up to 16GB cards).
Multimedia, Web, and other good stuff
You still with me? I know this post is getting a bit lengthy, but there are just a few more highlights to note. First, the Bold includes an improved Web browser (thank goodness), with the option to view pages in a full desktop HTML style or a mobile version, and you can now more easily navigate pages with the trackball, which acts like a mouse cursor, and zoom in and out.
As for multimedia, the smartphone is equipped with a 2-megapixel camera with video-recording capabilities and up to 5x zoom. The media player also continues to support numerous audio and video formats, including MP3, WMA, AAC, DivX4, and WMV3 files, and the phone is equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack. By the way, the Bold has some pretty powerful speakers--none of that weak, tinny junk.
Oh, and hey, what's this? It's makes calls, and sends and receives e-mails, you say? Yes, you'll still get all of the voice and messaging features of previous BlackBerrys, and the handset will also come preloaded with Dataviz's Documents to Go suite, for document viewing and editing.
"When and where can I get one?"
Now that we've totally built up the device, and you're ready to run out and buy one, here's the letdown: the BlackBerry Bold isn't available quite yet. It's currently going through carrier certification, and although RIM wouldn't officially name the service provider, based on the 3G bands, you can pretty much guess who it will be (hint: starts with an A and ends with T&T). And while pricing will also depend on the carrier, RIM is guessing that it will be in the $300 to $400 range, and expected worldwide availability is "this summer."
OK, that's it! My fingers are tired from all the typing, so now it's your turn. Clearly, I'm pretty amped about the smartphone. Of course, the true test will come when we finally get it in for real-world testing, but from everything I've seen so far, the RIM BlackBerry Bold has huge potential. But what do you think? Hot or not? The commenting floodgates are open, so have at it.
Update: AT&T confirmed this morning that it will be the official carrier of the BlackBerry Bold but didn't provide any details on availability other than "later this year."