You can also hook up your 8800 to your computer or your laptop and use it as a modem but, as we mentioned at the beginning, don't expect a plethora of connectivity options. The 8800 only has GPRS and EDGE connectivity, meaning you won't get 3G speeds out of it, but if you only need to check the odd email on a large screen it will come in handy.
You get about 64MB flash on-board storage space on the 8800 and there's an expandable microSD slot at the back that will support up to 2GB of data. That's enough to store about 480 of your favourite MP3s, or a bunch of pictures, Word documents and Excel spreadsheets.
Other features include voice dialling, a speakerphone mode, Bluetooth connectivity, the BrickBreaker game, a password keeper, alarm clock, calendar, address book, BlackBerry Messenger and the ability to download and install third-party applications.
You can synchronise your computer with the 8800 using the BlackBerry desktop software, which lets you exchange your address book, calendar, tasks, memos and other data via a USB cable. We found this useful to keep an eye on all our calendar tasks and it's not too hard to set up.
The voice quality during calls is very loud and clear thanks to the on-board noise-cancellation technology, which pretty much eliminates background noise and echo. The speakerphone mode is loud and can be used as a hands-free alternative, but we would suggest using a Bluetooth car-kit or headset if you're driving.
The GPS receiver, made by SIRF, is one of the fastest we have ever tested. After only standing outside for a couple of minutes the 8800 picked up more than one satellite signal.
We were really disappointed that the 8800 doesn't feature 3G or Wi-Fi connectivity. While the GPRS and EDGE connectivity is okay if you want to browse simple WAP sites, it seemed slow to load large, content rich Web sites. The same applied when we used it as a modem on our laptop.
Battery life lasted longer than expected -- about a week, even when we used the GPS functionality, made several calls and checked our emails. Using the GPS functionality for long periods, however, did drain the battery much faster than usual. If you are planning to use it in the car on a long journey then make sure to buy an in-car charger.
The 8800 is a classic BlackBerry device with a few modern touches and the added bonus of a built-in GPS receiver. After using it for over two weeks we found it relatively easy to set up and use and the email functionality is definitely handy if you need email on the go.
If you feel like you can live without its sleek styling and trackball then you might want to check out the O2 XDA Orbit, which also comes with a GPS receiver, or the T-Mobile Vario II, which features HSDPA (3.5G) connectivity for high-speed Internet access on the go.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Kate Macefield