BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 - silver (Verizon Wireless) review: BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 - silver (Verizon Wireless)

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The Good The RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 offers 3G, GPS, good call quality, and BlackBerry's strong e-mail capabilities. The clamshell smartphone also has a 2-megapixel camera and supports BlackBerry App World.

The Bad The smartphone lacks Wi-Fi, and the SureType keyboard takes some acclimation and isn't ideal for heavy e-mail users.

The Bottom Line While not the flashiest or the most feature-rich device, the RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip for Verizon Wireless is a decent and affordable choice for first-time smartphone buyers.

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7.0 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 7

Editors' note: The RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 for Verizon Wireless is similar to T-Mobile's RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220. For this review, we will be concentrating on the performance and different features of the Verizon version. For a full description of the smartphone's design, please see our review of the RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 for T-Mobile.

While the RIM BlackBerry Tour is currently the shining star in Verizon's lineup of BlackBerrys, one size does not fit all. The RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 offers an alternative to the carrier's customers with its clamshell design. The smartphone isn't quite as feature-rich as the Tour, lacking world-roaming capabilities and having a lesser camera, but it still delivers the BlackBerry e-mail experience and plenty of other goodies--just in a smaller, cheaper package. Like the Tour, the Pearl Flip won't suit everyone but it's a great device for those buying their first smartphone or BlackBerry. The RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 is available now from Verizon Wireless for $79.99 with a two-year contract.

We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900) in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless service and call quality was mostly good. We enjoyed clear sound and plenty of volume with very little to no background interruption. On the other side, our friends were mostly complimentary, though there were some occasional complaints about some distortion that made our voice sound robotic. Caller were quite impressed with speakerphone quality, however, and said it was even better than regular voice calls. We were also quite happy, as the speakerphone delivered good performance.

We paired the smartphone with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset and the Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones. Using the phone's 3.5mm headphone jack, we also plugged in our Bose On-Ear Headphones for a pleasurable music-listening experience. Unfortunately, the BlackBerry Pearl Flip does not support Verizon's V Cast music or video services.

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