We didn't particularly like the pre-installed maps -- they seemed slow to load and didn't display enough information. There were also no voice commands, which made it difficult to use as an in-car satellite-navigation system, and the lack of an in-car holder made it difficult to put it in a visible place.
These GPS functionality problems can be fixed, though. You can, for example, install better mapping software with voice commands and there are in-car holders that will support the 8800 in an appropriate place. It's just a shame that these solutions aren't included in the box.
Fortunately, the more expected features, like email, work very well. Setting up email is straightforward and you can create up to ten personal or work email accounts. If your office has a BlackBerry Enterprise Server installed, you can use your 8800 to receive all your work emails instantly via its push technology.
The other option is to use the setup wizard to create personal email accounts, which is very easy to do. Alternatively, you can set up the BlackBerry desktop software that will redirect your Outlook emails straight to your phone, but you will need to leave your computer on in order to receive any emails.
The pre-installed document viewer will open JPEG, PDF, Excel and Word files. You can also use the 8800 to view videos in MPEG4, H.263 and WMV formats and there's an MP3 player that supports MP3, MIDI, AMR-NB, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+ and WMA formats.
You can search through tracks very quickly using the trackball, but we found the music player itself quite disappointing. It lets you play and pause tracks, but you can only shuffle or repeat tracks within a playlist created in a folder -- you also can't adjust the equaliser or create playlists.
Fortunately, the music player's sound quality is good, so if you don't mind the lack of features it won't disappoint too much. The video player is also pretty good but the 8800 is no video iPod, so don't expect to see a very sharp picture.
Getting music, videos or any other digital content on to the 8800 is really easy. You can either send stuff over using Bluetooth or connect the 8800 to your computer via a USB cable and set it to mass-storage mode. Then all you need to do is drag whatever files you want straight on to the 8800.
Alternatively, you can download content from the Internet using the 8800's Web browser. Don't expect Firefox capabilities from the browser -- as with most mobile phone browsers it has its limitations. We were, however, pleased to see that you can view pages in mobile or desktop mode and that there's a page overview function.