The glossy black, silver edged BlackBerry 8800 is certainly a fashionable take on the business device. It's quite cumbersome but then it accommodates a large screen and a QWERTY keyboard.
Mobile email is, of course the shining light of this phone, but the BlackBerry 8800 features a host of other goodies including a trackball and QWERTY keypad, a large screen, instant messaging and GPS satellite navigation. But the lack of 3G or Wi-Fi lets it down.
The BlackBerry 8800 is simple to set up and use. We got everything up and running with just the Getting Started for company and we only really needed that to show us how to remove the battery case cover. The famous push-email is as easy as ever too.
The BlackBerry 8800 is the mobile emailer's weapon of choice, and it doesn't disappoint. The email functions are sterling. The user interface is clear and speedy too. The sat nav may not be as comprehensive as some rival packages, but it is certainly good eough for us.
300 minutes of talktime and 528 hours of standby put the BlackBerry 8800 in the top end of smartphones.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:48:51 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
It looks great, email is easy to set up, and it is very user friendly.
There is no 3G, Wi-Fi or camera.
After dominating the mobile email market for nearly a decade with functional and reliable smartphone devices, BlackBerry launched the design-focused Pearl 8100. Its success proved that business can be stylish, and the BlackBerry 8800 continues that theme.It has a glossy black front and rear casing, with shiny silver flanks and details. It is the kind of phone you'd expect the candidates to use in The Apprentice.
Happily, the looks manage to incorporate a QWERTY keyboard. Like the Pearl, the 8800 has eschewed the traditional trackwheel in favour of the excellent trackball that has you scooting round the device's icon-based menu system in double-quick time. Not only is it, it is very easy to control. In our opinion, it is, by some distance, the best joystick-like controller on any smartphone.
It goes without saying that most people considering a BlackBerry will require wireless email, and the BlackBerry8800 is as good as any device for push-email on the move.Our review device was already set up with a trial email account, but we also took the liberty of setting up a second ISP account, which took seconds. All you have to do is enter your ISP email address and a password and the 8800 will have the account up and running within 20 minutes. Each of your email accounts - you can manage up to 10 supported accounts at any one time - resides on the phone's homepage in the form of a series of mail icons. The name of each account is revealed at the bottom of the display as you run your cursor over it.But while it is incredibly easy to set up internet-based email accounts, if your company employs a BlackBerry Enterprise Server and you would like to access your work email remotely, you will probably need to get your IT administrator to get it configured properly. You can open email attachments and zoom, rotate and save them simply by clicking the trackball and choosing an option.
The BlackBerry 8800 also features BlackBerry Messenger, which enables you to have real-time instant messaging chats. As with a PC, the 8800 shows you how many of your contacts are online, and you can view your own status and add others to a conversation.Once you've set up your various accounts, if you like to keep tabs on all your messaging activity in one place, it is worth noting that all your most recent emails, instant messages, texts and MMS messages can be viewed by clicking on the Messaging icon on the homepage.
Sat nav has been available for smartphones for some time in the form of memory cards and separate GPS receivers which sit on your car's dashboard and connect to the smartphone via Bluetooth. However, top-of-the-range smartphones now have GPS receivers built-in.The BlackBerry 8800 comes pre-loaded with the BlackBerry maps navigation application, which serves up full zoomable colour maps with turn-by-turn voice directions.It may not offer the visual clarity of a dedicated solution from the likes of TomTom or Navman, but it will be perfectly adequate for most users' needs.