Research In Motion BlackBerry 8820
- Stylish, voice dialling
- No 3G, no camera, Pocket Office applications, GPRS and Wi-Fi can't always keep up
For those that don't need 3G or the Pocket Office applications you get with a Windows Mobile 6.0 device then the BlackBerry 8820 is a clear and highly desirable choice.
Best Deals (Selling at 2 stores)
Last year, RIM came out with a distinctly different-looking BlackBerry in the form of the ultra-desirable BlackBerry Pearl. Although it has since launched several handsets that go back to the older, wider design for which it's better known -- a design that's able to accommodate a QWERTY keyboard, the innovative rollerball of the Pearl has been retained in the BlackBerry 8820. This larger screen allows you to comfortably view plenty of information.
The BlackBerry 8820's orb glows white whenever the backlit screen is active and, when depressed, offers an intuitive way of scrolling in all directions around the screen. Given that mapping is becoming such an important element on handheld devices, this is extremely useful.
However, the BlackBerry 8820's GPRS and Wi-Fi can't always quite keep up. When scrolling around a map using GPRS, we found ourselves running out of map at the edges and, while the BlackBerry map service is good at displaying static information, the satnav you get uses satellites to locate you but doesn't tell you where you are already. Unless you're on an unlimited Wi-Fi data plan, the cost of grabbing location information over the air will rack up too.
The Wi-Fi setup was incredibly easy. Press a single key on the BlackBerry 8820 to scan for available networks and, three seconds later, our home network details appeared and we were logged on a couple of moments after that. One comment: when entering a password on a portable device, it's usual for the characters you enter to momentarily flash up onscreen before showing as x's, but here the whole string stayed visible until we pressed to confirm entry. It's a small thing, but could be exploited by someone looking over your shoulder.
Wi-Fi Internet should mean some form of VoIP calls but, crucially, it's offered only via UMA (unlicensed mobile access) not the more usual and widespread SIPS (session internet protocol service) which allows you to choose your own VoIP service.
You get GPRS/Edge/GSM networks and connectivity with all flavours of Wi-Fi, but there's no 3G on the BlackBerry 8820 -- something we understand maker Research in Motion to be working on.
Even so, we were able to download and install Pocket Express, an application on the BlackBerry suggestion list, in two minutes -- fast by anyone's standards.
You get voice dialling, a microSD card slot -- a useful means by which to add music, photos and video (there's no camera built into the BlackBerry 8820; choose the more consumer-focused BlackBerry Curve or Pearl versions if you want those sort of functions).
The styling of the BlackBerry 8820 is particularly attractive. From the marketing materials supplied with our review kit, it's clear that this is supposed to be the serious businessperson's handset of choice, with Pearl-esque black and silver styling and that wide, functional screen and keyboard.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Nokia-branded Android phones will return to the market
- Lamborghini claims 4WD will double sales
- Nvidia launches Tegra X1, bringing deep neural learning to self-driving cars
- Audi goes petrol-electric with the A3 e-tron first
- Ford equipping supervisory speed limits on 2015 Mustangs
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- CCMS SCOM AdministratorVIC
- CCSolutions Architect - Enterprise ApplicationsNSW
- FTPermanent Defence network engineer - career progression & flexible conditionsACT
- FTNV2 Defence Project Manager | Major exciting White Paper projectsACT
- CCService Provider Manager - DesktopVIC
- CCSolution Architect (security domain)VIC
- CCSystem Engineer - Server Migration experienceNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/J2EE) 160526/AP/506Asia
- FTSharepoint Developer - O365NSW
- FTSenior Developer (.Net)SA
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle) 160520/AP/985Asia
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/SQL/Web) 160519/AP/453Asia
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCIT Technical WriterACT
- FTFunctional Kronos ConsultantNSW
- FTProduct OwnerNSW
- CCData Feeds Developer | Financial Services | C# & SQLNSW
- CCProject SpecialistVIC
- CCChange Manager- ProcurementNSW
- FTGraduate IT Support OfficerNSW
- CCContract Programmer (HTML/JAVA/SQL) 160525/P/013Asia
- CCCampaign ManagerNSW
- FTSOA Tech LeadNSW
- CCSenior IT Security Specialist-SANS, ISC2, ISACA, ITILNSW
- CCBusiness Systems AnalystQLD