The BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 is equipped with a 3.5-millimeter jack, so we plugged in our Bose On-Ear headphones and enjoyed good sound quality when listening to various tracks, ranging from hip hop to classical. We also checked out a couple of MP4 video clips, and performance was a bit mixed. For the most part, playback was smooth, but there were a couple of occasions where the picture got choppy and sound was interrupted. The smartphone's smaller display also makes it less than ideal for longer videos. The smartphone's 2-megapixel camera took decent photos. Images were clear with nice definition; our only wish would be for a little more richness in color.
While we're disappointed by the lack of Wi-Fi, Alltel's EV-DO network did an admirable job, loading CNET's full site in 50 seconds and bringing up CNN and ESPN's mobile sites in a blazing 9 seconds and 11 seconds, respectively. The smartphone's GPS took a little while to get a lock on our position. We waited up to 10 minutes for it to find our location, and while BlackBerry Maps provided accurate turn-by-turn directions, maps were slow to render onscreen.
The RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 comes with a 900mAh lithium ion battery with a rated talk time of 3.5 hours and up to 9 days of standby time. The claimed 3.5 hours isn't very high, but fortunately, the smartphone beat the rated talk time in the battery drain tests by 2 hours. According to FCC radiation tests, the Pearl Flip 8230 has a digital SAR rating of 1 watt per kilogram.