Don't Flip Yet—This BlackBerry's Still in Beta

A rare misstep for RIM, the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 combines interesting new hardware with software that's a bit underbaked. Hold off on buying a Flip until there are software revisions to fix the many bugs I encountered on my early review unit.

I question the reason for the 8220's very existence. but RIM execs insist that there are a lot of people out there who won't buy a phone that doesn't flip. So the first clamshell BlackBerry device was born. When it's closed, the Flip is about the size of a BlackBerry Pearl 8120, with a handsome black face and deep red body. There's a big external screen and a camera on the front, and various buttons and ports on the sides (including the useful BlackBerry mute button). The microSD card slot on the side even accepted the latest 16GB SanDisk card without a problem.

The crisp 2.3-inch, 320-by-240-pixel screen and a hybrid SureType keyboard were both a pleasure to use. But in terms of software, my 8220 was so buggy that it felt as if it had been released too soon. On the first call I made from a Bluetooth headset after a cold reboot, when I flipped the phone closed, a garbage message briefly appeared on the external display. When I played music, closed the flip, and hit the up and down volume buttons quickly in sequence, the external display went wacky. And at one point, the external screen clock just vanished—I could bring it back only with a cold reboot. But the biggest problem, by far, was with the Web browser, which struggled with JavaScript and loaded pages at a painfully slow pace. Wi-Fi wasn't much better. Overall, RIM has built some solid hardware here. But I can't recommend a phone that's this buggy until the kinks have been worked out,—SS

PC Magazine January 2009


©2009 Cellphones Info | by TNB