Wireless PDA and more, Blackberry 7230

Research In Motion’s BlackBerry is a PDA with a built-in GPRS modem, so there’s no dialling in — e-mail is delivered to your handset automatically and sent when you press send.

As well as being a handheld e-mail terminal, the BlackBerry is a conventional mobile phone, so you can make voice calls and send and receive text messages on it. And it has all the PDA applications you’d expect — diary, contacts database, to-do list, memo pad, alarm clock, calculator and game (BrickBreaker, a version of the classic Breakout).

These applications are written in Java, an independent language developed to run on any machine, but they are effectively proprietary. When using the desktop syn­chronising software they prove no less compatible with Windows XP than Pocket PC applications.

Introduced to Australia by Telstra, Black­berry is still only available as a corporate business tool — the cost of server software required is simply out of the consumer league. Telstra does say it is planning to offer a Small to Medium Enterprise version of the package by year end.

Unlike most PDAs, BlackBerry does not have a touchscreen and stylus, which is a big plus in our opinion. You navigate using a thumbwheel at the side, which you also press to select. Situated below is an escape button. The tiny Qwerty key­board is surprisingly usable despite its small size. It’s good enough for composing short e-mails and a breeze for text messages.

After one charge the battery lasted for a week of a few brief phone calls, several dozen text messages, well over 50 e-mails, and a high score of 4585 on BrickBreaker.

To get your company e-mails forwarded incorporates a layer of complexity that only an IT professional would tackle. We have a few other minor quibbles, too: the Can­cel button is easily pressed by mistake just picking up the device, and clicking the thumbwheel without rolling it requires a precise but gentle touch — not something you’re thinking about if you’re in a hurry.

And the alarm doesn’t work when the device is off, unlike many mobile phones. So if you’re using BlackBerry as a travelling alarm clock, you have to leave it on overnight and hope your sleep isn’t disturbed by your stalker, spouse or bozo colleague who doesn’t appreciate the time difference in New York.

But these really are minor issues. To use the BlackBerry is to love it.

BlackBerry is the closest we’ve seen to a universal handheld communicator: e-mail, SMS, mobile phone and PDA all in one pocket-sized package, with a decent colour screen and no stylus to lose. If there was a foolproof, easy way of integrating private and company e-mail accounts it would be truly magical.

In brief.

RIM BlackBerry 7230
E-mail, phone, text and PDA in one pocketable package. Offers Tri-band support for international roaming (on 900/1800/1900MHz GSM/GPRS networks).
Price: Free on an over 24-month contract, with $95 a month minimum spend. This includes unlimited e-mail, calendar, contacts and tasks. Mobile phone calls and WAP usage is additional.
Distributor: Telstra
Phone: 1800 726 008


Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?