BlackBerrius Maximus: "The 8220 Edition" - One Cool "flippin" Phone
OK - I already know what you are thinking - BlackBerrius Maximus and the Pearl "Flip" 8220 sounds like an oxymoron. Well, hang on to your hinges because this is one very capable little Smartphone. How capable? Well, it provided conversation, music and entertainment for over three hours in the car with a 13 year old - enough said? Details after the jump!!
I had to take a trip down to Connecticut - about three hours plus from our home - to visit family. It was just me and my 13 year old daughter. Conversation is usually good for about 20 minutes with a Teenager - so that put us to the ramp to get on the highway - but that was about it.
"What's that?" my daughter asked. "It is a new BlackBerry I am writing a book about," I said to her. "Cool" - she replied - "is that a Flip phone BlackBerry?" Now, I knew I had her interest - "why, yes it is I replied." "Well, I bet it can't do all the other stuff your Curve or that Bold thing can do" she said - as if almost daring me to put this thing through its paces.
Never one to back down from a challenge, I took the bait. I gave her the 8220 to look at and play with. "No Cribbage on this one?" she said at first. "Not yet, I replied - but it has lots more games out of the box than any of my other BlackBerrys." She started playing Typing tutor, Solitaire, Brickbreaker and Texas Hold ‘Em. "Cool" she said again. "I like the way this feels" she said. "It is awful small to be a BlackBerry."
"Let's see what it can do" I said to her. I switched my car stereo (with built in Bluetooth stereo) to the BT Audio mode and asked her to start up the Media Player. "Wow, how much music do you have on here?" She asked. "Almost 4 Gigs worth" I replied. She picked something we could both tolerate (boy, that's not easy with a 13 year old) - and she hit play. Effortlessly, the Pearl 8220 played music through the Stereo - it sounded great. "Hey," she said. "I think this sounds better than the iPod did?" "Wow" I thought to myself.
Then, I realized what was happening. Before our trip, I had paired the 8220 with my Car Speakerphone on the visor since that has noise cancellation and the car stereo does not. But, it was also now playing music through the stereo. We were on to something. I asked Sara to call me with her phone to test something out. She called and the music stopped and the phone call now came through the Speakerphone on the visor. "Wait a second" I said in a startle. "This thing is connected to two different Bluetooth devices at the same time!" I couldn't contain my excitement. "Dad," she said. "You really are a nerd."
The insult notwithstanding, I blurted out "Sara, do you realize what we just did?" "Killed 45 minutes of the trip?" She said coyly. "No," I said. We have just bifurcated Bluetooth!" I said with glee. "Dad," she said again..."You really are a nerd." "No, "I protested - we have bifurcated Bluetooth - I think we invented something here." "OK," not satisfied, I asked her to take the phone while Bluetooth was bifurcated - and streaming music through the stereo and ready to connect to the speakerphone - and connect to IM. "Take the phone, Sara. I want you to log on to AIM (the icon is already there) and I want you to try to talk to your friends while we are doing all this Bluetooth stuff." "Ok," she said - "My dad is asking me to go onto IM - Cool." She was on in two seconds and carrying on her furious typing while we listened to music and were still connected to a second Bluetooth device.
"Hey Dad," she said - the red light is blinking. "OK, hit the red button and see who it is from" I said. She read me my email from Martin and then went back to IMing her friends. "What now?" she asked. I thought for a minute..."Start up a game, but don't close the program. Then, go back to IMing your friends and let's see if the music skips or stops." No problems there. I asked her to go to my options and check my memory - I still had tons of free space in RAM - wow.
For our next task, she fired up one of the videos loaded on the Micro SD card. She watched the movie and I listened as the audio came through the stereo. Occasionally, she would go back to her IM discussion and check my email for me. Throughout the trip I would ask her to go Online, read the headlines from the NY Times, check my stocks, see the weather forecast - all without a hiccup. No battery pulls, no out of memory errors and plenty of battery life to spare.
Now, this little phone may not be the "flagship" of the BlackBerry line - but in my real world teen age torture test, this phone was passing with flying colors. This little guy was able to handle everything I threw at it and then some. It was functioning as a music player, a video player, a communication device, a Portable Entertainment System and...it could bifurcate Bluetooth. All in all - this 8220 has earned the BlackBerrius Maximus title of "One Pretty Flippin Cool Little BlackBerry." I pronounce the "Flip" to be BlackBerrius Maximus approved. Now, what will I do on the next car ride with my daughter to top this?