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BlackBerry 8800: RIM does satellite navigation

RIM has joined the sat-nav bandwagon and produced a GPS-enabled BlackBerry -- it features the Pearl's trackball but there's no 3G or Wi-Fi connectivity

Last week Research in Motion (RIM) announced a new BlackBerry handset called the 8800. Aesthetically, the 8800 looks like a combination of the BlackBerry 8700g and the BlackBerry Pearl, but on the inside it features something not seen on any previous RIM device to date: a GPS sat-nav.

The 8800 uses the very latest SiRF GPS chipset to provide users with fast access to satellite navigation on the go. Having built-in sat-nav means you can receive an email on the 8800 about an appointment and then simply use the same device to get you there.

As you can see in the picture, the 8800 has a large colour screen and uses a similar trackball to the Pearl to navigate through the menu. Other features include voice-activated dialling, speakerphone mode, Bluetooth, an MP3 player and an expandable microSD slot for storing all your data.

Unfortunately it doesn't feature 3G or Wi-Fi connectivity, and while you do get EDGE (2.75G), we're really disappointed to see that there are no high-speed options. This would have been really useful to download data quickly.

Whether this will put RIM behind some of its competitors who are rolling out HSDPA (3.5G) and Wi-Fi devices is yet to be seen, but we hope it makes a 3G version of this device at some point in the future. Expect a full review soon. -AL

Update: We now have a full review of the RIM BlackBerry 8800 live in our Reviews channel.