BlackBerry 8800 review slights design, says device is OK anyway

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I really wish that reviews were either “hot” or “cold” – none of this middle-ground nonsense where the consumer gets confused (and I really think we’d have a lot more satisfied customers this way, too).

What has me thinking like this is a recent piece from the Associated Press that says sure, the new 8800′s alright, but RIM didn’t really do too much on the design end of the spectrum. I think it’s a little more than alright, but then again, I’ve yet to caress the 8800, so maybe the AP’s right (doubtful).

Where the launch of the 8700 in late 2005 brought a brand new look to the BlackBerry, the 8800 is basically a puffed-up version of the black Pearl (RIM recently introduced a white Pearl). It’s got the same shiny black front and back, the same silver sides and nearly identical detailing in the look and placement of buttons and orifices.

Granted, I myself found the Pearl to be a gleaming specimen, an eye-catcher that could prompt device envy from those around me. Part of the allure was that it was entirely different from the other two BlackBerry product lines.

This time around, it was a letdown to see so many obvious similarities in the redesign of the 8700 — even if the 8800 is undoubtedly prettier than the 8700, as well as the unchanging, ever-boxy Treo from Palm Inc.

At least we’ve got one thing in common on that whole Treo thing. Let’s just let the device speak for itself, shall we?