updated 12:40 am EDT, Mon October 13, 2008
BlackBerry Pearl Flip
T-Mobile on Monday announced that the first BlackBerry flip phone - the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 -- is now available in the U.S., exclusively from T-Mobile. Originally announced in early September, the new BlackBerry Pearl Flip smartphone includes the same features as the BlackBerry Pearl, but adds a "spacious" keyboard for improved typing and dialing. The 3.6oz device is only 3.9" x 1.96" x 0.68" and will be available at launch in black (with a red variant planned for the "coming weeks"--as early as October 20, according to reports). The phone will cost $149.99 with a two-year contract.
Originally nicknamed the Kickstart, the new Blackberry device is the company's first clamshell, offering a external preview LCD for messages and calls as well as a large internal QVGA 2.4-inch diagonal screen (320x240) pixels supporting 65K colors. The smartphone also offers Wi-Fi Internet access (802.11 b/g) and supports Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) for bridging cell and VoIP calling on those carriers that support the feature.
Other features include a two-megapixel camera with flash and video capture, a full-size headphone jack, stereo Bluetooth support, and an externally available microSDHC slot that holds as much as 16GB of media. Offering the same BlackBerry OS as for the Blackberry Bold, it features a stronger full HTML browser and a media player to load iTunes songs from a Windows PC.
T-Mobile also said that the Wi-Fi-enabled phone provides connectivity for both voice and data, as well as support for T-Mobile's Unlimited HotSpot Calling service offering unlimited, nationwide calling over any accessible Wi-Fi connection including T-Mobile HotSpot locations nationwide.