RIM Releases Clamshell Blackberry Pearl 8220 Smartphone

There's another member in RIM's Blackberry and it is a cute clamshell smartphone unlike its flattened candybar predecessors.

The 8220 will either woo potential uses or get boos from Blackberry fans as this particular form factor - elongated flip - had long been relegated.

The 8220 is not a bad phone though: it comes with two colour displays - the bigger one capable of displaying 240x320 pixels, a 2-megapixel digital camera, built-in WiFi, as well as support for memory cards up to 16GB.

The launch of the 8220 also hints at RIM's will to break into the consumer market with the phone being marketed for its multimedia friendly credentials as well.

Its large screen, it seems, makes it a perfect companion should you want to watch movies (from Youtube) or play games, stay in touch with your friends (thanks to Instant messaging capabilities) and it is even compatible with the Apple iTunes service thanks to the Blackberry Media Sync Application.

You will find the same Pearl trackball that's common to all recent Blackberries but RIM decided, this time around, to flatten the keyboard keys which should make typing even more difficult, especially as the 8220 keyboard format is different from the other Blackberries.

On top of that the battery life appears to be quite poor, there's no GPS and apparently no 3.5-inch headphone jack.

Nearly 75 percent of Americans own a flip phone and familiarity with this format is one of the reasons why Blackberry decided to launch a flip model (ed: although it is unlikely to have the same appeal on this side of the Atlantic).