BlackBerry Flip Phone Now Available

By Naomi Graychase

October 13, 2008

RIM and T-Mobile announced today the release of the first BlackBerry flip phone. The phone features integrated 802.11b/g for unlimited "HotSpot Calling" over accessible Wi-Fi networks.

T-Mobile USA and Research In Motion (RIM)  today announced the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 smartphone—the first BlackBerry flip phone—is now available to consumers in the U.S.

Wi-Fi is a central feature of the phone, which can be used for voice and data. It also includes support for T-Mobile’s Unlimited HotSpot Calling service, which offers unlimited, nationwide calling over any open WLAN, including T-Mobile HotSpot locations nationwide to subscribers of the plan.

The BlackBerry Pearl Flip includes an external display for previewing calendar reminders, e-mail, text messages, and phone calls before opening the phone to receive them.

Available currently only in black, the Pearl Flip will be available in red later this fall.

“The flip phone remains the vastly dominant and preferred design for mobile phones in the United States,” said Leslie Grandy, vice president of product development, T-Mobile USA in a press release today. “Being the first company in the U.S. to offer the unique BlackBerry experience on a flip phone is a huge benefit for T-Mobile customers.” 

The 3.6-ounce smartphone includes T-Mobile features, such as myFaves along with signature BlackBerry features, including SureType. Six popular IM clients are supported, along with up to ten e-mail accounts).

The quad-band (GSM/GPRS/EDGE/Wi-Fi) handset ships with 128 MB of flash memory, a 256MB microSD card, and support for up to a 16 GB microSD/SDHC card. Also included are features mobile phone users have come to expect, including a 2.0 megapixel camera with digital zoom, built-in flash, and video recording (which requires a microSD card), and stereo Bluetooth.

8220_left-angle_half-open_sm.jpg

 “The BlackBerry Pearl Flip takes all the advanced features and refined usability that customers have come to expect from BlackBerry smartphones and makes them available in a friendly and innovative design,” said Mark Guibert, vice president of corporate marketing, Research In Motion in a press release today. “Whether they are sending text messages or e-mail, listening to music or simply making phone calls, customers are going to love using this phone.”

The BlackBerry Pearl Flip is available in T-Mobile retail stores, online, or by phone (1-800-T-MOBILE).

For news and reviews of other BlackBerry devices, read "First BlackBerry Bolds Released," "Wi-Fi Comes to BlackBerry," and "Blackberry Addiction: It's Not Just for the Fortune 500" or visit our sister publication, PDAStreet.com.

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