BlackBerry Unveils The Pearl Flip 8220

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) on Wednesday unveiled its first ever flip smart phone, the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220, a turnaround on the original Pearl, which was released roughly two years ago.

Taking on a flip phone form factor, the Pearl Flip 8220 tweaks BlackBerry's traditional candy-bar style device format, targeting both consumers and corporate users looking for BlackBerry functionality in a streamlined flip phone format.

The Pearl Flip 8220, BlackBerry said, lets users message, make and receive calls, browse the Web, snap photos, watch video and listen to music. "It's all in your control with a simple flip," BlackBerry said.

The BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 is expected to be available from several global carriers in the fall. It will first be available through T-Mobile in the U.S. Pricing has yet to be announced.

The Pearl Flip is a quad-band EDGE smartphone that weighs in at 3.6 ouches and measures roughly 3.9 inches by 1.9 inches by 0.7 inches. It features to high-resolution, light-sensing color displays: an external LCD to view incoming calls, emails and text messages without opening the device; and an internal 240 by 320 LCD display for messages, video and Web browsing.

As a phone, the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 features Speaker Independent Voice Recognition (SIVR) for Voice Activated Dialing (VAD), support for mp3 ring tones, smart dialing, conference calling, speed dialing, call forwarding, voicemail attachment playback and enhanced background noise cancellation. It also features a speakerphone and Bluetooth 2.0 support.

The device houses a removable and rechargeable 900 mAhr battery that provides four hours of talk time and more than 14 days of standby time.

The Pearl Flip 8220, taking cues from the original Pearl, features a SureType QWERTY keyboard.

Users can access up to 10 personal and work email accounts, send and receive text and instant messages, and connect on popular social networking sites, like Facebook.

It also comes preloaded with DataViz Documents to Go software suite that lets users edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files from the device. The Pearl Flip is supported by BlackBerry Internet Service, BlackBerry Unite!, BlackBerry Professional Software and BlackBerry Enterprise Server to integrate with corporate email systems and IT policy controls.

The BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 also packs in a bunch of multimedia capabilities, including a new media player to view pictures, listen to music and watch video. The device syncs with Apple iTunes digital music and features a microSD/SDHC card slot to support up to 16 GB of storage. And support for High Speed USB 2.0 enables file transfers between desktops and the device and BlackBerry Desktop Manager includes Roxio Media Manager for BlackBerry to manage music and video files. Roxio Photosuite 9 LE, also included, lets users create photo albums and edit pictures.

Additional features include support for thousands of business and consumer applications; a 2-megapixel camera with flash, zoom and video recording; BlackBerry Maps; and an enhanced HTML browser to view Web pages in either column or page view. The browser supports TRSP for watching streaming video from mobile YouTube and the device supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and UMA, meaning the device can work on home and corporate Wi-Fi networks along with Wi-Fi hotspots.