Tag Archives: Pearl Flip 8230

BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 and Samsung Code appear on U.S. Cellular site ahead of launch

Reaching out to all the U.S. Cellular customers out there who might feel a little left out with new phones being announced for other carriers, we’re trying our best to stay on top of the handful of handsets due out this month. While the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 and Samsung Code might not be the most exciting of the bunch, one of our sneakier readers managed to snoop dedicated pages for each handset live on U.S. Cellular’s site. Don’t try this at home kids — they’re not easily found from the main site. Hit the read links for each handset to see the full specs and sit tight as both the fliptastic 8230 and, umm, Windowstastic Code are set to drop later this month.

Thanks, TW!

Read (BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230)
Read (Samsung Code)

Verizon FINALLY announces the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230

*sniff* We thought this day would never come but Verizon has officially announced the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230. Available starting June 19th, Verizon asks that you fork over $129.99 after a $70 mail-in rebate on a 2-year contract. As for the specs, you know the deal: OS 4.6.0, 324MHz processor, external display, vertical QVGA internal display, SureType keypad, 2 megapixel camera with flash, GPS, so on, so forth. Anyone excited? The Pearl Flip is just as cool as the Tour, right?

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Alltel launches the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230

Alltel has just announced the latest addition to its handset arsenal and it’s a familiar face indeed: RIM’s CDMA varient of the Pearl Flip. In terms of specs it’s not the most ground-shaking Berry of the bunch but for $79.99 after a $70 mail-in rebate, it is most definitely a solid option for bargain-seeking BlackBerry addicts. There are two caveats to the $80 price point however — first, the obvious two-year contract. Secondly, users must select from among Alltel’s Smart Choice Packs starting at $69.99 per month. All Smart Choice Packs include unlimited data, Internet and email however, so it’s hardly a deal breaker. If $80 for a shiny new Pearl Flip 8230 isn’t low enough for you but you’re in dire need of a Berry, the Curve 8330 is now $50 after a $100 mail-in rebate and the Pearl 8130 is free after a $100 mail-in rebate. Yeah, we’d definitely go for the Pearl Flip. Despite the fact that it hasn’t yet popped up on the website, Alltel’s 8230 is available immediately in all 91 markets. Hit the jump for the full press release.

Alltel Wireless launches the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 smartphone
New flip phone joins Alltel’s impressive spring line-up of handsets perfect for moms, dads and grads

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – With wireless customers craving both style and functionality, Alltel Wireless announced today that the BlackBerry® Pearl™ Flip 8230 smartphone from Research In Motion (RIM) will be available in retail stores and online at alltel.com beginning in early May.  This stylish and compact smartphone puts customers in control of how, when and where they communicate and joins Alltel’s impressive spring line-up of phones that make perfect gifts for moms, dads and recent grads.

The clamshell design of the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 smartphone allows users to discreetly screen calls and preview messages on the high-resolution external display or utilize the large internal display to respond to calls or messages, view maps and web pages, and play games.  With a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels, the internal LCD displays videos and pictures in crisp detail and contrast.

“Alltel is committed to offering customers stylish and innovative phones, and the BlackBerry Pearl Flip gives customers the best of both worlds – a small, stylish smartphone rich in multimedia coupled with the industry’s leading mobile email and messaging capabilities,” said Angela Rittgers, director of product management for Alltel Wireless.  “As Alltel expands its handset lineup and showcases hot phones for spring, we know that the BlackBerry Pearl Flip will be a favorite with customers across the 22 states that we continue to service.”

Featuring a large SureType® QWERTY keyboard, an intuitive user interface with trackball navigation, built-in GPS with BlackBerry® Maps preloaded and support for locations based applications and services, and a 2 MP camera able to record video*, the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 smartphone is packed with powerful features, yet sleek enough to slip easily into a purse or pocket.  It also features full HTML browsing, a rich media player with the ability to sync music from iTunes® or Windows Media Player**, an expandable memory card slot (microSD/SDHC up to 16GB) and stereo Bluetooth® support.  Customers can activate the smartphone on BlackBerry® Internet Service as well as BlackBerry® Enterprise Server.

In addition to the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 smartphone, Alltel customers can choose from a wide-range of additional phones that make perfect gifts for any occasion, including Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and upcoming graduations.  Alltel is also offering the recently announced Motorola Evoke, great for social networking; the BlackBerry® Curve™ 8330, one of the most popular smartphones available today; the BlackBerry® Pearl™ 8130 smartphone, an impressive handset that combines multimedia and communications features in a compact design; the Motorola Hint QA30, a stylish, compact device with a slide-out keyboard; and the LG Rhythm™, allowing customers to bring their music with them, right on their handset.

Alltel Wireless is offering the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 smartphone for $79.99, after a $70 mail-in rebate, at Alltel retail stores and online at shopalltel.com. This discounted price is available to new and existing eligible customers who sign-up for a two-year service agreement on a qualifying Smart Choice Pack.  Smart Choice Packs start as low as $69.99 per month and include unlimited data, email and Web access.  Alltel has also announced that the BlackBerry Curve 8330 smartphone is now available for $49.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate, and the BlackBerry Pearl 8130 smartphone is free after $100 mail-in rebate.

Alltel Wireless continues to serve 2.2 million customers and operate in the 91 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs) that Verizon is required to divest. Alltel Wireless continues to be an industry-leader, providing choice and flexibility with its exclusive “My Circle” feature, providing unlimited calling to and from any 5, 15, or 25 numbers on any network. Alltel Wireless was also the first to offer Anytime Plan Changes, giving customers the flexibility to change their calling plans at any time without extending their contract.

For more information on the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 smartphone, visit alltel.com or blackberry.com/blackberrypearl.

* Video recording requires a microSD card, which may be sold separately.
** Using BlackBerry® Media Sync. Certain music files may not be supported, including files that contain digital rights management technologies.

Review: TELUS BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230

While this might come as a bit of a shock to some, there is a little known country just north of the good ‘ole US of A that just so happens to be home to the World’s second largest smartphone manufacturer. That country is of course Canada and the manufacturer is RIM. It used to be the case that BlackBerry fans in the US got the latest BlackBerry devices before Canada, but in recent times it seems that Canada has launched RIM’s latest devices long before its neighbors to the South — the exception to this being the Storm. Canadian carriers stuck it to the Americans once again however, when Bell was the first carrier to release the CDMA Pearl Flip 8230. Sure, a few hiccups six days after launch due to buggy software killed off a lot of the excitement, but thankfully for RIM, TELUS launched the Pearl Flip 11 days after Bell, a launch that went off without a hitch.

Now back in October we reviewed the GSM version of the Pearl Flip (the 8220) and found it to be a pretty decent device considering its affordability. However, we couldn’t help but feel let down by the build quality which made the device feel extremely cheap, and the ridiculously pixelated display. So does the CDMA Pearl Flip offer any notable improvements over its GSM cousin? Hit the jump to find out.

The Pearl Flip comes in the standard, old school BlackBerry box that has been around forever. Inside the box is a 900 mAh battery (the same C-M2 battery that all others Pears come with), a microUSB cable, stereo headset, travel charger, the standard new phone papers and installation CD and of course the device itself. An 8GB microSDHC card came loaded inside the device, though there is no mention of this on the box or on the TELUS website.

Our Pearl Flip was running OS 4.6.1.182, the latest official OS. We’re not going to get too heavy into OS related details in this review because we’ve already covered OS 4.6.x to death and there are no surprises here. In case you need a picture of what things look like in your head, just think of what’s running on the Bold and Curve 8900 and that’s exactly what you’ve got on a smaller scale. In terms of memory, the Pearl Flip has 128MB ROM / 128MB RAM. In terms of free memory, we averaged around 62MB after a battery pull.

As mentioned before, we were really let down with the GSM Pearl Flip and its poor build quality which made the device feel more like a working prototype than a retail model. Unfortunately, the CDMA Pearl Flip does not offer any improvement in this department. The build quality is not so bad that it will shatter into a thousand pieces if dropped a short distance, but compared to the rest of RIMs offerings — old and new alike — it’s probably the most cheap feeling device ever to bear the BlackBerry name. One part of the phone in particular we feel we have to single out is the battery cover. It honestly has to be the cheapest battery cover we’ve ever seen on a phone. It comes in at under 1mm thick and is not big enough to remain snugly in place — so much so that you can feel it move when typing.

Since we mentioned typing, we have to say that the keyboard has definitely grown on us. The keys are set up in a wave pattern and each key has a minute ridge on it to break up the monotony of typing on a flat key. Guitar-like frets separate each row of keys like they do on the Bold. They’re nearly flush with the keys, but they’re raised ever so slightly so as to make typing without looking a breeze. Of course being a SureType phone, strange typos are often made which make typing without looking a rather foolish move unless one doesn’t care about making typos.

The 2.4″ QVGA internal display on the GSM Pearl Flip sorely disappointed us but we’re pleased to report that the display on our 8230 was much more vibrant, crisp and colorful. It’s not better than anything else out there with the same resolution, but it does its job and it does it admirably well. As for the 1.6″ external display, we must confess that we don’t like it all that much. It does make things pretty simple by displaying messages without making one flip open the phone but the screen is so tiny and so dim that unless you’re in a pretty dark environment, it has a tendency to get very washed out. If you do find yourself in a dark environment by the way, the Pearl Flip does feature a 2.0 megapixel camera with flash. The pictures it takes are nothing to write home about but it will serve most people fine for the occasional candid.

As was long expected, the CDMA Pearl Flips does not have the WiFi but it does have GPS. If this were a more high-end device we’d do the typical bitching and groaning that so irks some readers… But alas, it’s a lower-end device meaning that yes, while it really, really, really does suck that users will be forced to pay data roaming fees while out of the country, at least the GPS is unlocked and doesn’t require a $10 per month subscription to TELUS Navigator, right?

It might shock some people to know that he Pearl Flip is running the same processor as the Pearl 8100 did back in 2006, but hums along rather well with the only major loading delays occurring where you would expect them, such as when opening a picture or starting a movie. There are times such as the aforementioned web browsing issues where it becomes pretty clear that OS 4.6.1 is pushing the 312MHz processor to its limits.

One of the first things that we noticed when handling the Pearl Flip was that it was having a difficult time maintaining full signal strength, typically staying somewhere between three and four bars while occasionally dropping to zero for a few seconds. We were able to isolate the problem to the device itself and rule out a network issue as we happened to have a 8830 on hand which was able to consistently achieve five bars. Because we didn’t have a newer OS build to upgrade to on hand, we’re unable to say whether or not this is a hardware issue or a software issue. Even with signal issues however, the Pearl Flip ran pretty fast with its EV-DO Rev. 0 connectivity but browsing anything beyond a WAP site on the thing is about as fun as looking at a photo of the New York City skyline on a postage stamp. That is, non-WAP websites load up pretty much like they do on a computer except that to fit on the screen the whole thing is zoomed out. By the time you zoom in to where text is legible it takes up so much of the screen that it requires constant scrolling which in turn makes the phone lag.

Conclusion:

If we were to rate the Pearl Flip against the best phones on the market like the Bold, Fuze and iPhone 3G, it would absolutely be crushed and no one can deny that. But doing that would be foolish as this device is not at all intended to compete with such devices. So, taking into consideration where it stands in the market place, what it offers and how much it costs, we’d have to say that the Pearl Flip is definitely capable of holding its own. So what would we rate the TELUS BlackBerry 8230 Pearl Flip? 3.5 BG’s out of 5.

 

 

 

Head on over to our gallery for more shots of the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 from TELUS.

Bell launches BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230

Surprise, surprise Canadian readers. Bell just became the first carrier to make the CDMA variant of RIM’s BlackBerry Pearl Flip a reality, and at a killer price no less. Bell’s Pearl Flip 8230 is available right now on the company’s site for a mere $29.95 with a 3-year contract. Don’t feel like signing three years of your life away? The 8230 will run you a ridiculous $349.95 with a 2-year contract, a whopping $449.95 with a 1-year deal or an unfathomable $499.95 with no contract. Seriously guys? As you well know, the 8230 packs 1xEV-DO, GPS, TV, radio and a SureType keypad into a slightly oversized clam shell form factor. It’s not the most solid piece of kit RIM has ever churned out but it’s definitely a great phone at a great price… As long as you choose the 3-year deal, that is. Good show Bell — now let’s hope Telus and Verizon aren’t too far behind.

Thanks, Bell Boy!

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