The 320 x 240 pixel screen also remains unchanged and it measures 2.5 inches corner to corner which gives a solid widescreen viewing area. It is sharp and bright. When it comes to creating and responding to mobile email, and entering any other kind of text, the qwerty keyboard of the 8820 is a great deal better than the SureType system used on the Pearl. I just can't get on with that.
In this case, the qwerty keys are large and lie side by side with no empty space between them. They are shaped so they are very tactile - maybe to compensate for this and cater for faster typing. I found the keyboard a little less comfortable to use than some, and I'm not sure I wouldn't have preferred the keys to be entirely flat. That said, I got used to it quickly enough, and tapping out emails was not problematic.
Above the keyboard and below the screen a bank of four buttons has the now ubiquitous miniature trackball in its centre. This globe has been around for a while now, but every time I see it I am taken with its good looks. The 8820 is basically black with white markings on the QWERTY keys and silver buttons and sides. The mini trackball is a globe of whiteness in all of this.
Using it is simplicity itself as you simply roll it with left or right thumb and press to make selections. I do find that scrolling through a list of oodles of emails or long Web pages is a bit slow though, and I'd really like the circular frame of the globe to have up and down functions so I could just press and hold for long scrolls, but the more I use the globe the more I like it.
With the 8820, RIM has essentially taken an already fantastic business tool and by adding Wi-Fi, made it even better. It's what the 8800 should have been from the start.