Last week I had the pleasure of heading to Woodbridge, Ontario for Telus’ BlackBerry 8350i launch event at AIM Autosport. AIM is a customer on Telus’ Mike iDEN network, and they were kind enough to talk about how they use the push-to-talk Mike network and why they’re so juiced to be getting the BlackBerry 8350i. I was also able to sit in their wicked sweet race car, which was sadly without an engine, and thus unavailable for a test drive (next time!). You can see all the photos after the jump, and there’s video on the way.
As for impressions, it’s hard to get a sense for the value of the 8350i, because we haven’t done extensive testing of the Mike network to see how cool PTT really is. Telus is going to send us a bunch of 8350′s for everyone in the office, however, so we’ll be able to say more shortly (I expect a lot of PTT silliness will ensue). As for my impressions of the 8350i as a device, I think it’s a winner over the standard 8330. While the BlackBerry 8350i is a bit longer and thicker than its Curve counterpart, it has a much sturdier build quality. It honestly takes me back to the days of the BlackBery 8700: you could throw the 8350i through drywall and it would come out the other side unscathed (it’s a long story). Wi-Fi is also a major bonus, and something I miss on my BlackBerry Storm.