Yep, it’s all good and official now, shortly after the invitations to Vodafone’s Italian launch party were sent out. In order to accent the maiden voyage of the GPS-enabled Pearl, Vodafone’s giving out a free year of its navigation software and unlimited plans for 25€/month on a BES and 15€/month for BIS users. The release only mentions a black case, so those other colours are probably Italian exclusives. Tough break, Spain. Regardless, this is the first new BlackBerry of 2008 and knocks off one of the four or five that we can look forward to. What’s next? The 8110 will be packing a 89 € pricetag, or $US 130, for anyone looking to grab one.
Principal features of the BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone:
• Provides an exceptional user experience through its trackball navigation system and RIM’s popular SureType® keyboard system which allows a narrower handset design while maintaining easy phone dialling and message typing.
• Comes with a 2 megapixel camera with 5x digital zoom and enhanced flash. The camera also supports video capture in two resolutions: 240×180 or 176×144 for sharing via MMS.
• BlackBerry Desktop Software that includes Roxio® Media Manager for BlackBerry®, a powerful media manager application that allows users to easily search for media files on their computer, view and organize them, create MP3 music files from CDs, add audio tags and album art, create playlists and copy or convert pictures, music and videos for optimal playback on the smartphone. The application also includes Roxio Photosuite® 9 LE for enhancing pictures and creating photo albums on the PC.
• Supports the Bluetooth® stereo audio profile (A2DP/AVRCP), and comes with a standard 3.5 mm stereo headset jack so that users can plug in their preferred headphones or speakers.
• Includes Speaker Independent Voice Recognition (SIVR) for Voice Activated Dialing (VAD), Bluetooth® 2.0 support for hands-free use with headsets, car kits and Bluetooth peripherals.
• Externally accessible microSD/SDHC card slot for additional storage of music, photos and videos (8GB microSD/SDHC cards are now available on the market)
Vodafone offers its business customers the BlackBerry Enterprise Server software, which tightly integrates with IBM Lotus® Domino®, Microsoft® Exchange and Novell® GroupWise® and works with existing enterprise systems to enable secure, push-based wireless access to email and other corporate data. Vodafone also provides BlackBerry Internet Service, giving individual users access to up to 10 supported business or personal email accounts (including most popular ISP email accounts).
The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 is available from 89 € (excluding VAT) together with a BlackBerry data plan and a “25 Más” (25 More) voice plan.
*Notes to the editor:
1. Together with “25 Más voice” plan. These prices do not include VAT
2. The Vodafone GPS Navigator service is available from mid February for clients with a BlackBerry data plan activated on the BlackBerry Pearl 8110 smartphone. The service can be applied to one SIM per device and does not include roaming. The standard service includes the Iberia price package (Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar). In addition, all Vodafone Spain customers that have the BlackBerry solution activated can access the Vodafone GPS Navigator on a free 14 day trial at www.vodafone.es/navigator. The smartphones compatible with Vodafone GPS Navigator are: BlackBerry® Curve™ 8310 and BlackBerry® 8800. Vodafone GPS Navigator is also compatible with BlackBerry® Curve™ 8300, BlackBerry® Pearl™ 8100, BlackBerry® 8707v, BlackBerry® 8700v, BlackBerry® 7130v and BlackBerry® 7100 through the use of a external GPS receiver connected through Bluetooth.
3. Vodafone GPS Navigator is available through the following packages: “Iberia” (Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar) for 9.95 € per month and “Europe” (Germany, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Vatican City, Denmark, Slovaquia, Spain, Finland, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, San Marino, Sweden and Switzerland) for 14.95 € per month when either is combined with any BlackBerry data plan.
4. Value-added services are not included. Vodafone live! is also available for the BlackBerry® Curve™ 8310, BlackBerry® Pearl™ 8100, BlackBerry® 8800 and BlackBerry® Curve 8300 smartphones.