BlackBerrius Maximus - part V - the Flip Edition!

By Gary Mazo on 27 Oct 2008 12:52 pm EDT
BlackBerry Maximus - Flip Edition!  

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 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?

Read More BlackBerrius Maximus

Topics: Editorial

Reader comments

BlackBerrius Maximus - part V - the Flip Edition!


I was one the fence about adding this phone to my collection, but after the results you received from the gauntlet you put it though, I have to say I'm sold.

I am glad to hear the great reviews. I upgraded from the 8120 in which I really love, and anytime you get a new phone your always skeptical. I will be messing with mine for the rest of the day. Lack of productivity at work! LOL


I was watching CNN and the reporter did her entire interview with her BB flip. This phone seems to more than hold its own...

>Now, what will I do on the next car ride with my daughter to top this?

To sounds like a 13-year-old I'll start by saying

Like, Duh. Storm?


As with Don, I was deciding on whether or not I wanted to add this phone to my arsenal. After reading this post and listening to my friend (who by the way has never owned a BB prior to 8220) I am definitely considering getting one now.

Thanks for the review!

Both my brother and boyfriend like the BB OS and features but hate the form factor ("I'll never have anything but a flip phone again!"...yeah okay guys...) so I think this is the perfect compromise. If Rogers can release this before Christmas I'll have two under the tree for my boys!

I've decided to "downgrade" from my Curve 8320 to this phone, partly because I love flip phones, and partly because of shiny toy lust.

Can anyone tell me where the best prices are? I'm not upgrading through my carrier because their new under contract upgrade guidelines are a joke. I'm looking for a T-Mobile 8220 for under $300. Any suggestions?

I never thought about putting my Flip through that kind of test. Good to see it stand up like it did.

And they say Pearls are for girls!

I've had this phone for a few weeks and it's a nifty little device, just like the review pointed out.

I actually like it a lot better than my old Curve 8320, but this is probably because I'm really using it as a second phone off my @Home T-Mobile service and not my primary business phone, which is an iPhone (yes, I like typing on the touchscreen better than the upcoming Storm, which I've also played with, and suffer only for the inevitable addition of cut-and-paste.).

In fact, in light of my disappointment with the Bold (the best of the new bunch, but already six months old), the Storm (transitional at best, with the Storm 2 and 3 coming out next year), and the Javelin (great form factor, but again I already have my iPhone AND 3G), I'll be holding onto to the PearlFlip a good long year while the other BlackBerries make their inevitable migration to all carriers before the Magnum arrives.

That's the one I'm waiting for. All the rest, save for the PearlFlip are transitional devices. But I do think RIM could have a nice littler executive phone if they went with the luxurious, watch-like build of the Bold in a flip phone factor. Most CEOs, according to various surveys, value the phone portion of their smartphone above all else. They would rather just review emails and attachments and phone in their thoughts or type a few notes in an email, and the SureType keyboard is more than adequate.

This phone would probably be well received by my wife if RIM ever decides to make an "8230" (CDMA) version since we are Verizon customers.


David R. You are a massive idiot. Typing on the Iphone is horrible compared to the Storm. The iphone is garbage its a good ipod and web browser with a shitty sms and phone app thrown in and ppl are followers so that's why they buy the crap. Verizon turned it down cause it's garbage. The Storm beats the iphone on everything cept browsing(barely), Wifi, and fluidity. But a new OS will fix that. The Storm is awesome. I wish Apple would copy RIM now and make a good Iphone. Build a new OS. And put a flash iphone camera is shit.