Exclusive: The BlackBerry KickStart Flip Experience

By Kevin Michaluk on 28 May 2008 02:12 pm EDT

[ Images Pulled By Request ]

The BlackBerry KickStart is getting a little more REAL each and every day. Following up on yesterday's latest KickStart sighting, today we are bringing you an exclusive first look at the BlackBerry Flip Experience. Click on the images above to zoom in on all the details.

From the slides you can see RIM is not sacrificing any of the BlackBerry experience on the KickStart. When it comes to making calls the KickStart will work like any other flip, and when it comes to messaging, flipping the KickStart open will be like pulling an existing BlackBerry Device model from its holster. As one would expect, you will be able to use the music player with the phone closed.

Voice - When it comes to making calls, the BlackBerry Flip Experience will be like all Flip phones. Opening the flip will answer a call and unless connected to a Bluetooth headset, closing the flip will hang up on the caller (always a satisifying experience!). The external LCD will display who is calling, and if the caller is in the user's Address Book the external LCD will provide the CallerID Picture and Name. 

Messaging - The goal here is to match the experience of pulling a current BlackBerry device model from its holster. This holster-like experience extends to Email, IM, SMS and MMS. When a user receives an incoming message, opening the flip will auto-open the incoming message. Just like incoming calls, the external LCD will will display who messaged them and provide a brief preview of the content. Closing the flip will mark a message as being read.

Missed Alerts - If a user has several missed alerts or messages waiting to be read, the user can browse the missed alerts on the external display. If/when a user finds a message they want to respond to, opening the flip will auto-open that particular image. 

Music - The external LCD display will allow the user to see basic music information - album art, song title and artist, and timeline. When listening to music with the flip closed, the Mute Key will function as Play/Pause, the Volume keys will adjust sound levels and Pressing and Holding on the Volume keys will take you to the next/previous track. 

On the rumor end of things, we've received word that the BlackBerry KickStart will ultimately ship with OS version 5.0 (Bold owners will be able to upgrade from 4.6 to 5.0 when released).

* Update * Since posting this, now we're hearing that as of right now OS4.6 is what is being tested on the 9100 (aka KickStart), which makes it seem more likely the device will ship with OS4.6.  5.0 is in the works though - could be that we'll see 5.0 debut on the 8xxx series and then make it's way onto the Bold and KickStart. 

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

Exclusive: The BlackBerry KickStart Flip Experience


I am going to be continuously weary of RIM's new BB flip. Although the tech. is there to compete with other flips, lets just hope it wont fail like the alleged touchscreen as the possibility to (when compared to the iPhone)

Funny - a non BB guy here -- but I think the Kickstart is going to do very well -- at LEAST as well as the Pearl. The number of people out there who have stuck with their RAZRs or even upgraded to the RAZR2 and been unhappy with it is enormous. They're sticking because they want a flip phone, pure and simple. Truth be told, I want a flip phone sometimes too -- it's just crazy convenient to have a physical mechanism to cover keys instead of a keyguard and it feels really satisfying to be able to to slap a phone closed to hang up.

As a cochlear implant user, the length of this phone is the selling point for me. My "ear" is located an inch above and behind a normal persons ear, and those short little crackberries just did not cut it for me. I'll be paying the early adopter premium price on this bad boy, for sure.

This looks great. For some reason I've always liked flip phones so this is perfect. However, the big question is what providers and if it has 3G. So far the rumor is no 3G and a release on TMobile, neither of which work for me.

I remember when we saw those promo sheets, they all said T-Mobile on them, so at least that answers your carrier question. Which T-Mobile, however, is another question entirely. As far as 3G, I hope so, but if they don't, I hope they do with it what they did with their CDMA 7250 and release a firmware update to enable 3G.

hummm cool... but that made me remember something: Where's the update to 4.5 that would be released to Curve and pearl?!?!?!

That is funny. Read the text message on the third and fifth image. Apparently the person doesn't like Matt Damon and his movies. Obviously this presentation was assembled by someone at RIM. Matt Damon haters!

That's ok. I don't like Matt Damon either. Except in Team America, where they make fun of him. mattttt daaammmon

Basically, the first slide and all the slides on the right are pretty basic features which already are available on most flip phones, such as alert user with missing call/message, open to answer and close to end, see basic info of the phone thru outer screen, and etc. I think all these slides are from the user guide or something similar. It is kinda lame to show them on the product presentation or introduction. RIM, if you need an ideas how to improve your user experience on a flip phone, head to sonyericsson or any other JDM vendors.

i think it would be awesome to have a flip phone that has a full qwerty keyboard....that might only be me who thinks this though lol

Word out of the "Rumors In Motion" camp is that 5.0 handheld code will also be including a new version of BlackBerry Messenger...which will be require a min of 4.5 anyways as well as some sort of remote access applications allowing you to log into/control your PC from your BlackBerry...think Rove Mobiles PC Mobilizr.

Hey kevin, do you know if this text message alert system will be used for non-flip phones? I want to be able to go straight from standby mode to seeing a message (just like answering a call) and not have to get off standby, click on the message icon, the click on the message

i just posted about this in the forums this morning

Will Pearl owners be able to upgrade their OS this summer? Or is that just for people who buy the new model BBs?

god if they made a suretype slider i'd be all over it. this, i'll have to see in person before I buy. It is tempting, though. I'm not big on flips, and while my curve is small it might be nice to have something smaller.

It the pic from earlier this week it looked like it flipped open to flat, rather than to a slight face-framing angle. It seems like that would make it awkward to talk on... Does anyone know if that's the case?

In my opinion, a bb flip phone is a great idea. I would love the built-in screen protection & no need for keyguard, and the feeling of slamming it shut after a high tension phone conversation. I think a full keyboard on a flip phone is a bit overkill though, I'd go with a suretype qwerty like the pearl. as for os 4.6-5.0, I won't hold my breath just yet, my lips are turning blue for an official 4.5 :) But that's only my opinion