Sneak Preview of BlackBerry Pearl 8220

The 8220 replaces the BlackBerry Pearl, according to various Blackberry aficionado Websites, although when contacted, RIM said it would not "comment on rumors or speculation."

The Pearl 8220 will launch on T-Mobile in the U.S. sometime later this year, and costs a reported $49.99 with a two-year contract, according to

New features on the 8220 include CellData, RIM's answer to Google's My Location, according to BlackBerry

Kevin Michaluk , who reviewed a pre-release of the phone, said on "It may not be something that existing BlackBerry or other smartphone users will flock to, but if it hits store shelves at a reasonable price it should be a top pick for flip phone lovers and feature phone upgraders."

Key features of the 8220 pre-release Michaluk tested include:

The 8220 features CellData, or what characterized as "RIM's answer to Google's My Location."

CellData works by recognizing cell tower usage and pairing it up with map data, according to, and is a "second-best to a full-blown GPS unit." Still, as they said, "Folks who grab the Kickstart will be able to get a rough idea of where they are -- not too shabby for what could be a $50 handset."

All in all, the 8220 received a favorable review from's Kevin Michaluk .

"While definitely divergent from other BlackBerry smartphones on the market, it only takes a few minutes of use to realize this is still very much a BlackBerry, which is a good thing," he said. "Overall build quality seems good. The SureType keyboard is massive, making it very easy to use. The least easy to use item on the KickStart is actually the trackball. and#91;Theand#93; design changes force you to approach the trackball from a slightly steeper angle, putting the trackball more under the tip of the thumb. If you're an existing BlackBerry user it will definitely take some getting used to. It's not difficult to use, just different." Michaluk said he also showed off the pre-release version of the 8220 to some phone store reps, one of which told him, "'If we start selling these (KickStart) and they're priced competitively, I don't think we'll be selling anymore of these' as she pointed to a couple of Motorola flips."