Review – Blackberry 8820

I am not a big fan of Blackberry especially not their earlier models. Due to an odd twist of fate (see ‘Quest for a Camera-Less Phone’) I ended up with a blackberry 8820. Since the phone has been around for a while and has been discontinued from production it’s a bit too late to come up with a review for this phone. However I am not one to let trivial facts prevent me from posting my thoughts. Lets dive right in.

The Blackberry 8820, like its poorer cousin 8800, is a pretty handsome phone. It looks very professional and has a good build quality. It’s full QWERTY keyboard looks a bit cramped with no space between the keys, but let me assure you they are one of the best I’ve used. Something about the shape of the keys and the placement of the ridges that make hitting the precise key you were gunning for. Typing long messages or emails are quite simple and the spell check is also fairly good (however I do miss predictive text). Menu options are quite basic I have to say I quite like the trackball navigation. It’s very accurate and takes up only a small amount of real-estate. It’s a pity that the trackball is such a dust magnet and cleaning it could be a pain.

The Blackberry 8820 has a single (mono) speaker on top of the phone. It’s a pretty loud and clear speaker and is more than sufficient for a speakerphone call or listing to music. The media capabilities of the device are rather poor. It can only play a thin list of formats so most of your videos will need to be trans-coded for the device. Audio quality through the supplied headphones and about average. They can go quite loud but bass reproduction is severely limited. There another major negative point to be noted. The phone comes with a 2.5mm audio jack as opposed to the standard 3.5mm jack. Also this 2.5mm jack only supports blackberry and Motorola handsfree sets and not the Nokia ones so availability of replacement headphones will be another pain point. I personally suggest option for a good pair of Bluetooth headphones. I use Motorola S9 stereo Bluetooth headphones. They are very comfortable, give a good bass response but need to be changed frequently (because I use them a lot).

There are a number of applications and games for the blackberry 8820 however very few of them are free. Another issue is that most of the applications need BIS to be activated in order to function properly. As I did not do so I cannot comment on the apps. On the gaming front, from what I can tell blackberry’s cupboard is quite bare. Yes this is a business-centric phone but that’s no excuse not to have some fun fast paced action games on the phone. No wait I forgot, the hardware can’t take it. Yes the hardware is pretty low spec. Essentially packman is about as good as it gets.

Customizations – there are a number of themes for the device however most of the good ones are not free. In conclusion this is not for the young media consuming music playing mobile phone customizing gaming junkie but rather for a simple professional who just wants email, listen to the occasional tune and not bother about touch screens or sliding out keypads.

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