Blackberry 8700c announced

Blackberry 8700cResearch In Motion and Cingular have announced the Blackberry 8700c! Cingular will have an exclusive for "a period of months", according to RIM CEO Jim Balsillie. The first Intel-powered Blackberry has the same great keyboard as earlier models, but has added EDGE connectivity (alas, still no 3G). The Blackberry's excellent push-email has made it a big corporate favorite, so the lack of a camera on this version is unsurprising. The 8700c will ship on 21 November for $300 on a two year contract.

Key features:

  • EDGE high-speed data

  • Quad-band GSM

  • 320×240 QVGA screen

  • Bluetooth

  • 64 MB flash memory and 16 MB SRAM

MobileGazette has some further coverage and say: It looks a little like a cross between the BlackBerry 7100 series and the "classic" BlackBerry 7230 and 7290 when it comes to styling. There are several major improvements though, meaning that the 8700c is a significantly more sophisticated handset when it comes to technical specifications.

The screen is now a 320x240 pixel panel in 65,000 colours. RIM describe it as using "active matrix transmissive technology", which sounds more like the type of screen used in the 7100 series than the classic 7200 series. The BlackBerry 8700c is almost imperceptibly smaller and lighter than the 7230 at 136 grams and 110x70x20mm, so users who are familiar with older models will have no problem adjusting. However, that does mean that it's quite a large device to use as a standard mobile handset, but as the 8700c comes with Bluetooth, it can always be used with a compatible headset, or even by using the 8700's builtin handsfree calling. Talktime is 4 hours with up to 16 days standby.

RIM haven't mucked around too much with the excellent BlackBerry keyboard, but they have added answer, mute and hang up keys.. something that was conspicuously missing from earlier handsets.

Our verdict - the BlackBerry 8700c is perhaps not as feature packed as the Motorola Moto Q or Nokia E61, but it does seem to be very well focussed on the needs of businesses who may not be impressed by cameras, MP3 players and WiFi. The 7230 and 7290 devices have proven to be very popular with corporate customers and many individual subscribers, so it is quite likely that the 8700 series will be another highly usable and popular range.


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