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Review: New BlackBerry Screen Dazzles

Monty Solomon (
Tue, 1 Nov 2005 17:01:09 -0500

Review: New BlackBerry Screen Dazzles

By BRUCE MEYERSON AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- There are, by now, a slew of BlackBerry-like cell
phones with typewriter keyboards for mobile e-mail. But none,
including Palm Inc.'s popular Treo, has yet mustered a following that
resembles the malady affectionately known as "CrackBerry" addiction.

So it's no ho-hum when BlackBerry's maker, Research In Motion Ltd.,
overhauls its flagship device for the first time in nearly three

After a test drive of just two weeks, it's hard to issue a definitive
verdict on the new BlackBerry 8700, which debuted Tuesday through
Cingular Wireless at $300 with rebates and a two-year contract. But
there's little doubt the device, which does e-mail and telephony, will
please BlackBerry devotees on many fronts.

First and foremost, it's skinnier in width and thickness. That makes
the 8700 easier to grip as a phone, addressing one of the few common
complaints about its predecessors.

This means, of course, that RIM has gambled on rejiggering the layout
of the most comfy QWERTY keyboard in the thumb-typing realm. The
result feels a bit more cramped, and yet typing still seems simpler
and smoother than on comparable devices. But again, with only two
weeks of repetitive thumb motion under the belt, it's probably best to
withhold final judgment on the keyboard.

Other standout changes _ some that RIM first tried out a year ago with
the consumer-oriented 7100 BlackBerry _ include the addition of
dedicated "send" and "end" buttons for phone calls, a speakerphone
button, two customizable program keys, a doubling of internal memory
to 64 megabytes and a brilliant color screen.


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