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BlackBerry Pearl 8220 coming to Rogers! What’s a Kickstart?


Rogers BlackBerry 8220

UPDATE: Our friend Fake Ted Rogers has also told us that the BlackBerry Pearl 8220 should also be arriving to Rogers in September like its T-Mobile counterpart.

UPDATE 2: If you were thinking this might be a Rogers-only thing, T-Mobile’s BlackBerry 8220 will also be named the Pearl.

The upcoming BlackBerry Kickstart is coming to Rogers sometime in Q3! But it won’t be called the BlackBerry Kickstart. Instead, the nascent FlipBerry will be called the BlackBerry Pearl 8220. Only time will tell if it will replace the candybar line of Pearls or run along side it.

There’s not much more than a few pictures and promises of the Pearl 8220 working on Rogers’ rebranded voice-over-Wi-fi service, “Talkspot“, but previous talk was pointing to a September launch on T-Mobile, along with a new CellData option to give some location info based on cell tower usage. An external LCD screen will also be on the BlackBerry 8220, marking it as a significant (and overdue) departure from the traditional BlackBerry form factor. This document from Rogers says the BlackBerry 8220 will have a “attractive price point”, which seems to confirm something within the supposed $49.99 price range.

Thanks Mike!

Full details of the Rogers BlackBerry KickstartPearl behind the jump!

BlackBerry Kickstart software peeped, packing CellData


BlackBerry Kickstart OS screenshots

While we’ve known that the upcoming flip BlackBerry Kickstart will be shipping with OS 4.6, one assumed that it would be packing all the same goodies as the BlackBerry Bold. Jibi managed to have some fun on the BlackBerry 8220 simulator, however, and got some virtual impressions of the device in action. The biggest addition is CellData, which is going to be a second-best to a full-blown GPS unit. By recognizing cell tower usage and pairing it up with map data, folks who grab the Kickstart will be able to get a rough idea of where they are – not too shabby for what could be a $50 handset. The BlackBerry 9000 will be making use of the same kind of technology, only in conjunction with proper GPS in order to improve accuracy.

Aside from that, the simulator was running with MyFaves on the home screen, confirming a T-Mobile launch. BlackBerry Messenger will also getting some updates which we had heard about before, such as sharing your playlist and “On the Phone” status with BB Messenger contacts. Of course the Kickstart will be including the Clock app we’ve been waiting ever-so-patiently for from the Bold. Don’t forget that the BlackBerry 8220 will be packing Wi-Fi as well, which means MyFaves, WiFi calling and cell tower location tracking are all going to be under the same hood. Not a bad little package.

(via BlackBerry News)

More pictures of the BlackBerry Kickstart’s software after the jump!

Survey guages BlackBerry Kickstart and Thunder hype


BlackBerry Kickstart, Thunder survey

Changewave recently surveyed 3,567 consumers to see how many are actually interested in the flip BlackBerry due in September or the touchscreen BlackBerry Thunder due sometime in November. 13% were somewhat likely to pick up a Bold or a Thunder, while a slightly lower 11% were somewhat likely to pick up a Kickstart. 4% of respondents were very likely to get the BlackBerry 9000 while 2% were very likely to nab the Kickstart or Thunder. Existing BlackBerry customers were two to three times more likely to grab the upcoming models, while Palm, Samsung and Motorola users are ripe for the switching. Those are some reasonably hopeful numbers, but it’s still hard to compete with the iPhone hype. What do you guys think – will the new form factors offer enough competition for the iPhone?

(via ChangeWave)


BlackBerry Kickstart video walkthrough


The unreleased flip BlackBerry Kickstart (aka the BlackBerry 8220) just got a nice video tour, showing off all the things to come this September from T-Mobile (hopefully for around $49): a 2 megapixel camera, WiFi, EDGE (sorry, no 3G), and an external LCD screen.

The big frame is striking, and not necessarily cumbersome according to Kevin – more room for the screen and keys makes for a better experience, on the whole. The notification light is in a new spot beside the camera, which is a surprising departure from the slim LED we’re used to seeing on the top-right of BlackBerrys for quite some time. The external display of incoming messages isn’t really new, but it’s cool to see the function in action. As for the the trackball, the previously mentioned recess makes navigation just a little bit trickier. Although many diehard BlackBerry fans have yet to really appreciate the new form factor, is anyone changing their minds on it yet?

Hardware aside, it looks like the Kickstart will be launching with OS 4.6 (same as the BlackBerry Bold) with about 75 megs of internal memory. New accessibility options make navigating a little bit easier on the eyes with high contrast and large icon modes available. The expanded Alarm app, now Clock, is also working like a charm on both internal and external screens.

(via CB)

Touchscreens and the BlackBerry Bold (BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 34)


BlackBerry Cool Podcast

First up, sorry for the lateness. The aforementioned server issues slowed production, but no worries- we still recorded and have a heaping two weeks’ worth of news for you this episode. The BlackBerry Thunder and iPhone 3G were both huge news items last week. There are lots of numbers on the ‘net to refute the iPhone’s hype, while the BlackBerry faithful are sticking to their guns and holding out for the BlackBerry Bold. Some more pictures of the BlackBerry Thunder have also floated up, showing off the on-screen keypad and media player, as well as a massive false start by Expansys. This week a lot of stuff was ramping up to a BlackBerry Bold launch, primarily in the form of OS 4.6 software.

Check out links to all the relevant news after the jump, as wells as options for streaming and downloading the BlackBerry Cool Podcast.

Click here to listen to the BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 34

Duracell releases BlackBerry portable battery chargers


Duracell PowerSource Mini

Two chargers were launched by Duracell today, offering BlackBerry users a full hour’s worth of talk time and the equivalent in data use. The PowerSource Mini is packing two miniUSB ports, in case you’ve got a RAZR that needs charging at the same time, and can charge its lithium-ion battery through your car, AC outlet, or even your computer. It’s a little bulkier than your standard charging cord, but hey, for an extra charge on the go, I think I could make some room. Duracell also kicked off My Pocket Charger which runs on two double-AAs rather than a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and has the added benefit of supporting microUSB in case you plan on picking up the BlackBerry Kickstart or BlackBerry Javelin whenever they come out. If you’re interested, the PowerSource Mini is going for $49.99 and the Pocket Charger for a more affordable $14.99.