Wednesday, February 21, 2007

BlackBerry 8800 Productivity Device for Cingular

The newer generation of BlackBerry devices features slimness and multimedia. Perhaps there is a bit of show business spirit in the design center. Or perhaps it's just a realization that both form and function need to be considered in a mobile wireless productivity device. The BlackBerry 8800 has both the form factor and the useful functions that will be appreciated by business and tech users alike.

This particular implementation of the BlackBerry design supports the Cingular network. It's a GSM quad band world phone with high speed download using EDGE cellular broadband technology. That gives it bandwidth up to 144 Kbps, more than adequate for email and small screen Web activities. A unique feature is support for Cingular's push-to-talk or PTT walkie-talkie services. PTT is handy for quick verbal communications back and forth. You go back to regular full duplex cellular phone service for those longer conversations.

BlackBerry made its name on text-based communications and this model offers full support. You get the BlackBerry email client that can integrate with up to 10 accounts for business-secure transmissions. You can view business document attachments in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint formats. BlackBerry Messenger also comes preloaded for instant messaging. Messaging is made painless with the full backlit QWERTY keyboard. Screen navigation is by trackball like the BlackBerry Pearl, replacing the previous track wheel.

Other on-the-go applications include full HTML Web browsing with bookmarks and BlackBerry Maps support. GPS locator is included as is Telenav. The digital assistant is becoming a navigation system as well.

Multimedia features include the ability to download and play audio and video files in MPEG4 or H.263 video and MP3 or AAC audio. Multimedia messaging is supported with add-on plans to the basic wireless service. Built-in memory is 64 MB, but you can add more by plugging in MicroSD memory cards. Note that this model doesn't include a camera. That makes it acceptable in many corporate environments where cameras of all types are prohibited.

Don't forget that the BlackBerry 8800 is also a cell phone. It includes Bluetooth wireless technology so you can clip a wireless headset on your ear and put the BlackBerry in your pocket. Or turn on the speakerphone for group conversations.

This new BlackBerry is no brick. It's svelte dimensions are 4.5 x 2.6 x 0.6 inches, with a weight of 4.7 ounces. The battery has enough power for up to 300 minutes of talk time and up to 578 hours on standby.

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