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T-Mobile Selling BlackBerry Flip

Customers can nab Research In Motion's first clamshell BlackBerry for $149.99 with a two-year service contract with T-Mobile.

BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220

BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220
(click for larger image)

Mobile professionals wanting the power of a smartphone with the ease of a flip-phone design are in luck as T-Mobile is now selling the first clamshell BlackBerry.

Originally announced at the CTIA trade show last month, the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 can now be had for $149.99 after rebates and a two-year service contract with T-Mobile.

The flip phone is noticeably larger than clamshell phones like Motorola's Razr, but reviews say it feels light in the hand. Like the BlackBerry Pearl, the Flip has a SureType QWERTY keyboard for composing e-mails and texts and a trackball for navigation.

The smartphone sports an external display that lets users preview incoming calls, e-mails, texts, and photos without opening up the phone. On the inside, there's a 2.6-inch screen with 240-by-320-pixel resolution that the company said has crisp detail and contrast.

The Flip is still a BlackBerry, so it will have integrated access for push corporate e-mail, and it works with Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus, Novell, Web-based e-mails, and more. Flip users will be able to view and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files on the handset with the pre-loaded DataViz Documents To Go software.

Some users may be turned off by the lack of 3G connection, but the Flip does have EDGE network support as well as built-in Wi-Fi. The smartphone will have Bluetooth version 2.0 support for headset pairing, stereo Bluetooth, and more.

For multimedia, the Flip can play multiple audio and video codecs, and users can sync their DRM-free iTunes songs with the BlackBerry Media Sync application. Research In Motion's clamshell smartphone also has a 2-megapixel camera that can be used to record videos.