Less than three months after we first told you about the Blackberry 8700g's impending arrival in Spain and the UK, it hit our very own shores today as an exclusive to T-Mobile, which is carrying it for $399—or $299 after a $50 instant rebate and $50 mail-in rebate. We hate rebates, but whatever.
CNET got to roadtest the 8700g for a few days and scored it eight out of ten, pronouncing it excellent. It has a lot of technical details in common with its cousin, Cingular's 8700c, but they say it sets itself apart with how it handles email:
The differences between the 8700g and the 8700c center mostly on the e-mail and messaging departments. The smart phone can still sync with your company's BlackBerry, Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino, or Novell GroupWise server to deliver corporate e-mail in real time, and it continues to support up to 10 personal/business POP3 or IMAP4 e-mail accounts. However, the 8700g makes it easier to set up e-mail accounts right out of the box, thanks to the BlackBerry Internet E-mail service. A utility on the device, aptly named Set Up Internet E-mail, guides you through the whole process, and it doesn't involve much more than inputting your e-mail address and password. We used it to add our Yahoo account, and it was a snap—decidedly easier than with the 8700c. We received messages in our in-box after about 20 minutes. Also, e-mails sent and received from personal e-mail accounts are now reflected in the source account. In other words, if you use the 8700g to send a message from your Comcast account, the message will also be in your Sent folder when you log on from your PC; you also have the option to delete messages on your handheld or on your handheld and in-box. And there's some extra good news for Yahoo users—thanks to RIM's expanding partnership with Yahoo, you can now enjoy the joys of push technology and receive your Yahoo mail in real time.
If you're begininng to wonder if this is indeed a kinder, gentler Blackberry, damn straight it is—RIM's decided not to stick us with its proprietary instant messaging system this time and has added support for other IM services like Yahoo, ICQ, AOL, and MSN. Google Talk works with the 8700g as well and there is of course support for SMS and multimedia messaging as well.