As many of you have already read, everyone who attended the BlackBerry Developer Conference this week received a brand new device (or voucher for those who wanted a Bold or Storm .. since they haven't been released in the US yet ). My 'instant gratification syndrome' kicked in and I chose the new Pearl 8220.
I haven't used a Pearl (suretype), for more than two weeks (when I sent my Berry in to Colorware), since April of 2007 when I purchased my first QWERTY device, the 8300 from AT&T. I'll admit that after using QWERTY for over a year, the suretype devices do take some getting used to again. We will see how this one fares, as I could always go back to the Curve.
The outside of the phone reminds me of the original 8100; its shiny and a fingerprint magnet. I've already sent in a request to BestSkinsEver to get going on an 8220 skin. It would definately help on the fingerprint issue. The LED is round and quite larger than all other devices in the past. I can only guess that they made it so that it matches the flash on the other side of the camera lense -- symmetrical. There are four choices for the outside clock display (analog, digital, flip clock or LCD Digital).
inside screen/analog clock
If you are a theme builder like me, the outside screen is 100% customizable, with the ability to move elements around. (I am going to apolgize ahead of time for the glare on the screenshots)
As mentioned in previous posts, this device has a new charger/USB port. The side keys are a hard plastic (instead of chrome and/or rubber) with a 'mute' key on the top left for muting incoming calls (it does not send straight to vm, just mute).
You can preview new messages, calendar items, bbm messages, etc on the outside display. If you have multiple new messages, just use the volume up/down keys to scroll thru all of them in preview mode. (also see screenshots below)
Some new things I have noticed:
New menu for moving apps into folders
New BBM smileys
Five new games; Word Mole, Texas Hold 'Em King 2, Klondike, Trooper Typing and Sudoku (on of my favs)
Two separate icons for media and music player (although you can get to the music thru media too)
The keys are going to be a little harder to get used to than I thought, but I like them. At a glance, they seem to be flat, but after running your fingertip over them, you can tell that they are raised just slightly in the middle. They do have a certain tension under them, so it is easy to miss a letter here and there when typing. The trackball is sunk which, IMO, is the best part of the design. (although I am probably going to regret having to take it apart to clean when that day comes)
One major issue I have noticed in the past two days is the signal. I can only hope that it is something with AT&T and not the device itself. My email and BBM seem to come in spurts, all at one time .. making me believe that its losing network connectivity. I will keep watch and hope that it gets better. I noticed the same thing on my curve the past few weeks, so I am going to continue to blame AT&T instead of RIM, for now
Lastly, a picture to compare the 8100 Pearl, the 8310 Curve and the 8220 Pearl