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The BlackBerry Flip Phone – A Smart Phone, Dumb Phone or Both? Karishma Sundaram | , 1:36 p.m. March 1, 2009 2009-03-01

BlackBerry phones are usually considered to be feature-rich smart phones, so when Research in Motion (RIM) releases a BlackBerry flip phone, it is something quite out of the ordinary. 

Flip phones target an entirely different market segment than smart phones. Flip phones are meant to look good, click a picture of average quality, send and receive text messages and finally for incoming and outgoing calls. There is no requirement for word processing, push email or synchronization between multiple devices. In fact, a feature like word processing is superfluous on this kind of phone as the screen size is limited, and therefore there is not enough space to view documents let alone edit them. 

Hence flip phones are usually simple devices, which are aesthetically pleasing; with a small build and sometimes decoratively packaged. In essence, they are inexpensive, and sometimes referred to as ‘dumb phones’.

BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230

The phone is an attractive model, with a traditional clamshell design. It comes in two different colour schemes – a black on black one, and a black on metallic pink one. The phone’s outer cover is a glossy black, with a slight sunken display and the camera towards the hinge of the phone. The handset seems a little thicker than other phones of a similar pattern, but not enough to make a great difference. 

Keeping to the BlackBerry format, the keys are laid on in a compact version of the QWERTY keyboard, where two letters are assigned to one key. The technology used here is known as SureType. The handset will also have the trackball for navigational purposes, a familiar feature for BlackBerry enthusiasts. 

The BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 has video recording with a fairly average 2 megapixel camera. Bluetooth has been built into the handset along with a media player. In terms of Internet services and capabilities, the mobile phone has Windows Live Messenger, along with the ability to screen HTML pages on the phone itself. 

Space is perhaps not a great consideration with these kinds of phones, however it is nice to have the option. The BlackBerry Pearl Flip comes with a 128 MB built right into it, along with Micro SD expansion slots in the event the user requires more space. 

The mobile phone has a number of connectivity options, not the least of which is that the phone is 3G enabled. It also comes with WiFi and GPS. The mobile phone handset also incorporates voice activated dialing.

Carriers in Canada and the US

Currently Bell and Telus are bringing out these phones. The competitive pricing will perhaps go a long way in marketing these phones, as both carriers are offering astoundingly low prices for 3 year contracts. The price increases as the duration shortens, of course, and the highest price tag or $500 is for the contract-less phone.

The clamshell phone is not the usual run-of-the-mill flip phone, and has managed to keep all the features usually synonymous with flip phones, while paring down some of the great features that make BlackBerry phones so immensely popular. 

Check out the phone at the BlackBerry website, here.

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