Obviously, the one thing that most users will get this device for is email. Whilst the Pearl is more of a multimedia and consumer friendly device, the 8800’s pedigree plants it firmly in the grasp of trigger-happy business folks, eager to get instantaneous updates on who-snogged-who at the office party and hilarious FWD: PETER KAY LOL jokes. Or stock updates and mission-critical business information – whatever.
Out of the box, setting up the 8800 for email has been made ridiculously easy by Research in Motion. Whilst the exact procedure will vary slightly depending on which network you get your phone through, the basic process is the same, with most choosing to simply rebrand the Blackberry web service. You can sign up for an account online, and this gives you an @blackberry.com email address. Log in with that on a computer, and you can set up as many as 10 email addresses that you’d like to check with your device. Common web providers have default settings pre-loaded, whilst you can enter server and login details for those not provided.
The web-based system makes it an absolute cinch to get your email diverted to the right place, and the device itself intelligently spoofs the email From field to be the same as the one the email was sent to. This means that email sent to your Gmail will automatically be replied to with your @Gmail address, and email sent to @veryimportant.biz will get automatically replied to with that address. This avoids the annoying situation where you accidentally reply to business email with a personal address, or vice versa, and is one of the things that makes it easy for power users to enjoy Blackberry.
Perhaps the simplest way to get email, if your service provider supports it, is to set a forwarder from your mail to your @blackberry email address. This avoids any kind of configuration whatsoever, and the device does the same spoofing trick in this configuration, too. This makes it ludicrously simple to set up your email to work with the device, and makes on-the-go email accessible to a whole new class of people who don’t/can’t have a Blackberry Enterprise Server installed (although, obviously, the device can still be used in more traditional big business configurations).
The 8800 still can’t edit Word or Excel documents, but the large screen does make it easy to view them, as well as PDFs. The system is backwards compatible with the vast array of third party Blackberry applications out there, which means you can always download and add in this functionality if you want it.