RIM Debuts the BlackBerry 8800

Research in Motion unveiled the highly-anticipated BlackBerry 8800 device at 3GSM World Congress Monday, saying it would be available on AT&T in the US and Rogers in Canada.

The 8800 features a full QWERTY keyboard with trackball navigation. In addition, the phone includes built-in GPS, multimedia functionality, and expandable memory through a microSD slot.

Missing yet from the device is 3G support. Instead, the new BlackBerry would support the slower EDGE technology. Regardless, the phone should be enticing for those looking for a slim version of the BlackBerry that includes a full keyboard. The popular BlackBerry Pearl combines two letters to each key.

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"We spent a tremendous amount of effort refining the BlackBerry 8800, inside and out, and that effort will be evident to customers," RIM president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said.

The GPS functionality will be integrated into other applications. For example, after creating a route or map in the phone's maps feature, the user would be able to attach the map to a contact or e-mail them.

Also included with the 8800 is noise cancellation, voice recognition, speakerphone, light sensing technology, and multimedia functionality. It would also be compatible with the BlackBerry Internet Service.

RIM said the device would be available later this month from AT&T and Rogers, as well as additional worldwide carriers. Pricing for the 8800 was not disclosed.

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