Review: BlackBerry 8700g

Device supplies all of the connections, and its color scheme is brilliant.

Review of RIM's BlackBerry 8700g (with T-Mobile service).

Product name: BlackBerry 8700g (with T-Mobile service)Company: Research In Motion

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Price: $300 (after rebates, discounts) plus monthly voice and data service.Description: The latest wireless e-mail device from RIM features access to the T-Mobile EDGE network for high-speed wireless downloads and an Intel xScale processor, making attachment and e-mail downloads faster than before. Other features include instant messaging support (AOL, Yahoo, MSN and ICQ), Bluetooth wireless for connecting to a hands-free headset or synchronizing with a Bluetooth-enabled computer, and a full QWERTY keypad. The device offers as much as four hours of talk time and as many as 16 days of standby time on a full battery charge, and for phone calls the device can be used anywhere in the world that supports the GSM network (quad band 850/900/1800/1900 Mhz).Why it's a Toy of Summer: This may be the only device you will need on a vacation in order to “stay connected” while on vacation. The wireless e-mail alone will let you stay in touch with what's happening at the office, and you can even access network resources through third-party software. The quad-band support for voice calls means you can use this in case your vacation plans take you to Europe or other parts of the world, and you don't have to worry about how you're going to stay in touch.

But be warned – there's a reason that some people refer to this device as a “CrackBerry”: Sitting and answering e-mail on the device is very addicting, and this could be a bit difficult to hide from a significant other while on vacation (since most people know what a BlackBerry is being used for).

Quick Review: The first thing we noticed on the 8700g was the brilliant color screen and the very colorful icons on the user interface. The carrier (T-Mobile) has done a good job at making the BlackBerry seem fun – less of a “work” device and more relaxed (perhaps its experience with the Sidekick device has rubbed off on this device.

E-mail options are what you'd expect from a BlackBerry – you can grab e-mail from a BlackBerry Enterprise Server attached to an Exchange (or Lotus Notes) server, or you can use the desktop redirector software and forward Outlook e-mails to the device (but you have to leave your computer powered on for this option). Internet e-mail accounts (Yahoo, Gmail, etc.) are also supported, letting you have one device for multiple e-mail accounts. The phone service worked fine, whether a regular call or in speaker phone mode. The Web access and browser was what we expected, sort of a “meh” experience, but useful in a pinch. The main purpose of this device is to receive e-mail, and this it did admirably.


Related links

RIM's year of expansion rolls on in Asia

07/07/06

Hosted BlackBerry e-mail coming to a service provider near you

07/06/06

Linksys announces draft 802.11n products 04/24/06

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