What's a BlackBerry, and Why Do I Need One?

First introduced in 1999, the BlackBerry is a wireless handheld device used as a mobile telephone, with other services. Other features of BlackBerry phones include push email, text messaging, Internet faxing, web browsing, and includes PDA features such as address book, calendar, and to-do lists. The newer models: Pearl, Curve, and 8800 series, also include digital camera and media player features. Virtually everything you need is available in one small device. If you currently carry a cell phone, PDA, MP3 player and other devices, and are considering lessening the amount of stuff you carry, here is information you can use on the latest BlackBerry wireless devices. Information includes prices, where to buy, hooking up to a network so you can use it, features of the various models, and more. When you have finished reading, we hope you will find yourself a little bit better informed about the BlackBerry wireless phone and which model will serve you well. Read on!

The Pearl, Curve, and 8800 Series BlackBerries

The Pearl, Curve and 8800 Series are the latest models available from BlackBerry. Here's features and information for each one.

  • The Pearl is touted as being "Small, Smart and Stylish." It comes wtih a 1.3 megapixel digital camera, SureType keyboard, media player and web browser. It supports email, text and instant messaging, and is an organizer as well. And of course, it's also a mobile phone.
  • The Curve is a little bigger and features a 2.0 megapixel digital camera, text and instant messaging, and allows you to receive and send emails too. It's an organizer, media player and web browser as well, and you can access BlackBerry maps to help you find any location.
  • BlackBerry 8800 Series smartphones have even more features than the previous two. Standard features include GPS, BlackBerry Maps, multi-media player, and offer email and text messaging, instant messaging, organizer, and advanced phone features.

Purchase Information, Including Pricing and Service Plans

Keep in mind that the BlackBerry's primary function is as a mobile phone. Therefore, you will need to sign up for a service plan in order to use the BlackBerry smartphone for more than just an organizer. If you already have a cell phone provider, that should be your first stop to purchase your new BlackBerry, as well as a plan to go with it. There are often rebates and discounts available through the wireless providers, so it makes sense to check here first to purchase your BlackBerry smartphone. Retail price on a BlackBerry Pearl is $399, so any deal you can get through a wireless provider is more money in your pocket.

If you don't already have a wireless provider, here are some suggestions for major carriers who offer plans for the BlackBerry smartphones. You may be pleasantly surprised to find some good deals when you purchase your BlackBerry smartphone through one of these providers.

Offers rates as low as $39.99 per month for 600 minutes for your phone plan, plus $19.99 for data plan for the BlackBerry Pearl smartphone. The data plan is needed for your emailing, text and instant messaging, and with T-Mobile the data is unlimited. At the time this article was written, purchasing a BlackBerry Pearl phone through T-Mobile, complete with discount and mail-in rebate, would only cost you $149.99 instead of their suggested retail price of $349.00.

Verizon Wireless
Service plans for BlackBerry phones through Verizon start at $79.99 per month for 450 minutes of talk time, and include the data plan. Phone pricing ranges from $199 to $299, including discounts and rebates.

AT&T Wireless
Monthly rates range from $29.99 on up for phone & wireless plans. Features these three BlackBerry models, however phone price information is only available by calling their toll-free number.
At the time this article was written, there were some pretty amazing BlackBerry prices available through on the Pearl. While we can't say what they were due to confidentiality agreements they entered into with, these prices were way lower than those prices quoted on the wireless providers' web sites. And they also provided links to activate your wireless service if you need it.

Final Words

The BlackBerry smartphone is one of the better known of this type of cell phone, organizer, media player and camera. If you want to trade in your current cell phone, PDA, MP3 player, and digital camera for one useful gadget, the BlackBerry smartphone should be on your list of possibilities.

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