BlackBerry Pearl Flip Hands-On

RIM is keeping the show exciting here by announcing and showing off the highly anticipated BlackBerry Pearl Flip, and its ugly step-sister, the iDEN capable Nextel BlackBerry Curve 8350i.

We just had a hands-on with the BlackBerry Pearl Flip and it’s a beauty of a device. The drop-hinge design allows for a spacious SureType keyboard that’s very comfortable to use. Its glossy external lid is also very stylish and will surely attract current as well as new BlackBerry users.

RIM’s senior director of product management David Smith told us that 70 percent of handset owners use flip phones, so it purposely made this a device that would begin to attract the flip phone market.The phone will be available later this fall in red and black. Pricing is still unknown.

We love that the Pearl Flip comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack for watching media on its crisp display and its 16GB microSD card, which is more than enough room to store movies and music on. The brand new 4.6 operating system is the same as is found on the BlackBerry Bold and there is an improved SureType experience as well.

Also in BlackBerry news this morning is Sprint-Nextel’s new iDEN push-to-talk capable Curve 8350i. This device uses the same battery as the 8800 series of BlackBerrys, so it’s a bit thicker than a regular Curve and naturally, a bit uglier too.

As Smith put it, this device “brings push-to-talk subscribers into 2008.” Those subscribers can use the device to surf the net and place push-to-talk calls and thanks to the extended battery life, they can work out in the field longer. RIM wouldn’t provide exact talktime or standby numbers during our meeting.

Check out our hands-on video with the BlackBerry Pearl Flip below.

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