It seems that Research In Motion (RIM) just can't help adding new features to its BlackBerry line. It's barely six months since the 8800 was released and there's already a new model nipping at its heels. The 8820 offers the form factor and features of its predecessor but adds a couple of new extras - most notably Wi-Fi. RIM …
The 8820 is an interesting addition to the Blackberry line-up but we have been disappointed with the battery life and the overall build quality of the device.
The Pearl feels solid, while the 8820 feels a bit cheap to the touch. RIM may want to consider an aluminium product or something like the stainless steel Nokia 8800 (if they can keep the weight down) for the top end of the product line.
The review is correct about the "nuances" of the wifi settings and the applications' ability to exploit the high speed access - that's if you can get the device connected in the first place.
It is a good first try and is likely that it could improve with software updates.
No messages unless using GSM?
Windows Mobile devices also fail to be able to use WiFi connections for their Direct Push syncronization. I suspect it's nothing that can be fixed with a software update unfortunately.
It's a bit average
Having given out 4 or 5 of these things to users I wouldn't rate them at 90%; like nearly all RIM handhelds the PIM features are frankly average and all you're really paying for is the wireless functionality itself. Most of my users have no interest in anything other than the email and calendar functions. The calendar interface is particularly feeble and no better than what comes with my Palm TX. As handheld devices many Windows Mobile units are flashier and better designed, certainly a lot more glam. For what it's worth Blackberry handsets are very good at what they do and the wireless sync is without equal, but other than the physical formats getting glossier the basic functionality and refinement of the software hasn't changed in years. Mind, the 8820 is much better than the Pearl which is a horrible little troll of a handheld that sits unloved and unwanted on my desk.
No messages unless using GSM?
Really, that's quite a revelation, as I can send and recieve email with the mobile network turned off, whilst just using the wifi connection.
No, you misunderstand. Only the direct push and (I presume) the "instant" portion of RIMs solution fail to work without a cellular connection. You can still do manual syncronization with any other type of connection.
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