Barcelona (Spain) – Research in Motion (RIM) today announced a new Blackberry smartphone. The new 8800 merges the form factor of the traditional Blackberry with the piano-black design of the 8100. The new phone comes with integrated GPS and a n illuminated “Pearl” trackball.
Other than the original 8100 Pearl, the 8800 tries to appeal to traditional Blackberry customers with a security-focused, but enhanced feature set. As the original Blackberry devices, the 8800 is wider than the 8100 and offers a full QWERTY keyboard.
There are plenty of new features in the 8800, for example a multimedia features such as media player, which the device borrows from the 8100. It also carries over a translucent and illuminated trackball unit, which has given the 8100 the nickname “Pearl.” Unique to the 8800 is a built-in GPS unit that works in conjunction with RIM’s “Maps”. The software has been a part of Blackberry phones for some time, but so far required an external Bluetooth-enabled GPS receiver.
According to the manufacturer, the piano-black 8800 is the thinnest Blackberry yet and comes also with improved voice recognition, Bluetooth 2.0 capability, noise cancellation, call management features such as smart dialing, conference calling, speed dialing and call forwarding, as well as dedicated “send”, “end” and “mute” keys. Additional features include a 320×240 pixel color screen as well as a MicroSD card extension slot.
RIM said that the 8800 will be available from a variety of carriers worldwide beginning in February 2007. Pricing has not been announced.