updated 04:05 pm EDT, Wed July 23, 2008
BBerry Kickstart Early Rev
Research in Motion's BlackBerry Kickstart flip phone today received a pre-announcement review today courtesy of CrackBerry that also reveals new information. The device will be split into several models as with the Pearl candybar depending on features: while the 8220 in the review is a Wi-Fi version destined for T-Mobile and its HotSpot@Home Internet calling service, an 8210 version (nicknamed the Seawolf) swaps the wireless for GPS navigation and will likely appear with AT&T.
The 2-megapixel camera, full 3.5mm headphone jack, and externally reachable microSD card slot are also now known to be part of the design.
In practice, the pre-production model is described as a potential advantage over the Pearl. The clamshell shape keeps the Kickstart smaller (if thicker) than other devices but still provides room for a new, larger SureType keyboard which is purportedly easier to strike and can be used more readily with one hand. The new BlackBerry OS is still in the early stages of testing at the site but is said to work effectively on the new, tall LCD as well as on the new external display.
A launch date for the Kickstart isn't definite but is rumored for September both for T-Mobile USA and for Rogers in Canada, coming in between the introduction of the QWERTY-based Bold and the touchscreen Thunder.