BlackBerry 8220 Flip Pearl Unlocked Phone with GPRS, EDGE and 2 MP Camera--U.S. Version with 60 Day Warranty (Black)
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- 2.6 Inch LCD display
- Unlocked cell phones are compatible with GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile as well as with GSM SIM cards (e.g. H20, Straight Talk, and select prepaid carriers). Unlocked cell phones will not work with CDMA Carriers like Sprint, Verizon, Boost or Virgin.
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BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 is the first phone of the manufacturer in clamshell form-factor. Similar to the Pearl, it has trackball and SureType keyboard on the inside. As it is a clamshell, it has a second display on the front when closed, other specifications include microSDHC slot for memory, Wi-Fi and 2MP camera.
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Make sure that if you buy it, you can return it (if bad) with no hassles/restocking fees (example: Amazon and sold by Amazon).
Condition: Mines was like new (with covered screens), original box, USB cable, power cable, original CD (there's an update online), headset and small instruction booklet (does not look original). Mines had no software/hardware issues (no rebooting, no Bluetooth issues, no slowdowns, etc).
The advantages in general of the blackberry's are the great screen (geared for text readers) and the keyboard.
The bad is the Blackberry "WiFi situation": they want you to buy the "blackberry internet plan" which is a hookup with your cell phone provider. Cell phone providers will have different names for this plan but note that it will cost you in the US around $15-$20. If you have a prepaid plan they will tell you the plan is not available (unless you have a monthly plan). I don't recommend this plan (if you can get it) because I consider it a ripoff. That will probably be the biggest issue with this phone (and all blackberry's).
The workaround: If you want to use Wi-Fi they will use a combination of WiFi and GPRS/EDGE. For example when you try to use the BlackBerry GMail app from Google you will be able to install it halfway but when it tries to connect it will tell you, you need a connection. If you disable your data connection (GPRS/EDGE) you will get the same result and so on and so forth with different applications.
To get around this BlackBerry Wi-Fi situation you have to get applications that are not exactly BlueBerry approved (and you will probably not see in their new store) that allow you to use Wi-Fi ONLY and not a combination Wi-Fi/GRPS/EDGE (again they use EDGE/GPRS to check if you have the BlackBerry Plan if you don't they don't give you access). For example for GMail I use LogicMail (uses Wi-Fi only), UberTwitter, Opera Mini, Yahoo Mail (you have to use their website) with the Opera Mini browser because you won't be able to use it with the BlackBerry browser (these are the only ones I found that I installed).
Final review: Great phone, almost perfect form factor and screen (recommended 7 point font), almost perfect for SMS/MMS/emailing. Wi-Fi, Keyboard is better than a standard number keyboard but NOT better than a full keyboard (of course). If you can deal with the Wi-Fi issue (and sub par and very limited apps compared to the IPhone or even Windows Mobile phone) then this is a GREAT phone!
I can safely say that I have never hated a phone so completely and so acutely that it simultaneously made me want to smash it to bits and then shove a knife into my own forehead myself out of utter frustration. I suspect that I could not actually stand on the street and successfully smash it to bits because this phone will generally not let you do anything that you want to do, and its Byzantine menu system would somehow prevent you from doing any of the intended damage whatsoever.
Let's say something positive about this phone. The wi-fi works most of the time pretty well. When I get home, it automatically connects me to the wi-fi network so that I can make my calls without them counting against my monthly minute limit. And generally, as a phone and text messaging device, it works.
I have nothing else positive to say. I dread picking this piece of crap up every time I need to make a call, because:
* The software is incredibly slow and clunky. There is a slight delay when you're punching in numbers to dial (Note: this is geneally understood to be the primary purpose of a phone. Touch tone phones from the 1970s do not have a delay, but you will find this one particularly infuriating.) Every command seems to be beamed off the dark side of the moon before it is executed.
* You will never find the setting or icon that you are looking for by logic. There is no logic to when you have a menu, what you can do in that menu, or how to find what you need to do. Try changing your ringtone and you will see how much experience with this piece of junk software that Blackberry has designed to actually get there and do it. It's one of the most basic things that phone users need to do, but they have buried it quite effectively.
* The battery life is abysmal. I have taken pretty good care of this battery but if I don't plug it in every night I would have almost no juice left by morning, even if I hardly talk at all during the day and just have it on standby.
* There are two options for texting, prediction and double tap. The prediction is so painful to use because you have to switch between keys and the scroll wheel CONSTANTLY that I use double-tapping. Which takes forever to type anything in.
* The phone's time will slip behind from real time over the weeks and months. Ask the phone to get the time from the network - it will do it for a while, then start forgetting it again.
* I don't use it to access the internet - I did get a free month to do that, and it was very very very slow, even when there was apparently a strong network connection.
* The pictures it takes look pretty junky, even on the highest settings.
* Making the phone silent takes a few steps, and there is no way to select a custom profile so that, say, it vibrates AND rings for calls, in case you are mowing the lawn or something. You have the menu option there under Advanced to potentially do this, but the phone does not let you.
* When you missed a call, there is a little red light that comes on - but just for a while. After that you just glance at the phone to see if you've missed anything - it always shows green, so that you have apparently missing nothing at all. Nice feature. Then when you open the phone, you have to say OK to notifications of a missed call or a voice mail. You say OK, but that does nothing. It is so incredibly annoying to have to say OK every frigging time for no purpose whatsoever. When this happens, I want to take a Philips head screwdriver and hit that OK button on the screen really hard, for once and for all. It will never again ask me if that is "OK." This phone is not "OK."
Overall, this phone is just too slow.
Phone intermittently dies with full battery.
Latency issues. While typing in a phone number, the phone delays the response to pressing a key.
Slow response to get to apps.
Buttons on side make a creaking sound when pressed.
Internet is basically useless due to the EXTREMELY slow speed of the phone.
Camera shutter sound is always on and cannot be turned off.
Can't dial numbers like "1 800 directv" because the keyboard does not match the correct letter.
Can't turn off keypad tones unless everything is muted.
Camera quality is poor. Center of picture is clear and outer edges and other areas are out of focus. (with clean lens)
Simple volume/ringer commands are way too deep in the menu.
Voice command reacts to background sounds and randomly dial numbers. (if voice command is used)
PS If I could leave less than 1 star I would.