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RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 Review

BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230

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RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 Review
Messaging:

Like any BlackBerry, the Pearl Flip 8230 supports a whole slew of messaging options. Standards like SMS and MMS are onboard, as is support for multiple email accounts and BlackBerry PIN messaging.  Other preloaded IM clients are AIM, GTalk, ICQ, Windows Live and Yahoo Messenger allowing you to keep in touch with virtually anyone.

Email setup on the BlackBerry is about as perfect as it gets, we simply put in our email and password and that was it. Even with our uncommon work email we didn’t have to enter any server information. The push email arrived nearly instantaneously in our testing. With the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) the user can have up to 10 email addresses on one device.

The drawback on the Flip 8230 is again the SureType keyboard.  Ironically we love T9, but no matter how many times and how hard we try we just cannot get the hang of it.  As we already covered, the keyboard does not do the device any favors.


Connectivity and Data:

The RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 has EVDO Rev. 0 for 3G cellular data.  Wi-Fi is unfortunately lacking, but GPS is on board though seems to be locked on our Verizon Flip as Google Maps was not able to pinpoint us.  It has Bluetooth 2.0 (but no EDR) and supports the headset, hands-free and serial port profiles.

The browser is the same one found on devices after the Bold, and it’s still passable but not great.  Opera Mini should be an immediate download.  BlackBerry Desktop Manager handles desktop sync as always.  It is used to manage calendar, tasks, contacts and email synchronization with your desktop.  You can also use the data cable to load media onto the memory card, and Media Sync will allow for iTunes syncing of non-DRM files, like we’ve seen with other recent BlackBerry devices.


Multimedia:

The media player is laid out well and simple to use, but not overly loaded with features. It supports folders, and will sort your music by Artist, Album and Genres. It also supports album art and playlists, which the user can create on the go, and the other options are Repeat and Shuffle. Audio formats supported are MP3, MIDI, AMR-NB, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+ and WMA, while the video formats are MPEG4 Part 2 Simple Profile, H.263 and WMV.  Unfortunately there is no XviD or DivX support like the Bold or Curve 8900.  The landscape screen is not nearly as good for video as devices like the Curve 8900 and 8520, and though the software is the same we don’t see the Pearl Flip as a viable multimedia device.  The included stereo headphones are pretty poor, but the 3.5mm jack means you can use any headphones you want.  With our higher quality headphones music sounded much better.

Media player - RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 Review
Media player - RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 Review
Media player - RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 Review
Media player - RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 Review


The camera was very average, with color saturation, detail and graining being an issue.  Features are sparse; the user can set white balance and geotagging is supported, but other than that you’ll find nothing.  It took about two seconds to launch the camera and another one to snap a picture, but it took about seven seconds to capture another one.  The flash is ok at short distances, as you would expect from a single LED.  Videos cannot be recorded without a memory card, which is not included.  They can be captured in MMS (176x144) or Normal (240x180) modes, neither of which is all that great.

Outdoor pictures shot with the RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 - RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 Review
Outdoor pictures shot with the RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 - RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 Review
Outdoor pictures shot with the RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 - RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 Review
Outdoor pictures shot with the RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 - RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 Review

Indoor pictures - RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 Review
Indoor pictures - RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 Review

RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 Review


Software:

The RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 has 128MB of ROM and RAM.  The most notable included software is the DataViz Documents to Go package, which allows for viewing and editing of Office documents.  Other standard BlackBerry software is loaded as well, including Maps and Brick Breaker.  On the social networking front, Flickr, Facebook and MySpace are all preloaded.  Verizon has preloaded VZNavigator and Visual Voicemail on the Flip, both of which are paid services.

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PhoneArena rating:
6Average
Display2.6 inches, 240 x 320 pixels (154 ppi) TFT
Camera2 megapixels
Size3.98 x 1.97 x 0.69 inches
(101 x 50 x 17.5 mm)
3.60 oz  (102 g)
Battery900 mAh, 3.5 hours talk time

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