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Hands-on with the BlackBerry 8830

Michael Caputo

Even though it just became available for consumers, Verizon has had its latest 'Berry available to business customers for some time now. Thanks to our favorite parcel carrier, we're able to bring to you The Network's latest pony into the BlackBerry stable, the 8830. Now even though this is a dual band 800 / 1900 CDMA device with a splash of 900 / 1800 GSM designed for international roaming, we think this device could be a big hit for most BlackBerry customers of Verizon even if they aren't travelers -- read on to find out why.

There are few cosmetic changes between this version and those of the Cingular and T-Mobile besides the color schemes. Something about this version's silver finish really makes it look svelte and there wasn't as much of a fingerprint issue like with the black version.

Blackberry decided to throw in a media center where users can listen to music, watch videos, view pictures and select ringtones all from their microSD memory card. This version supports up to 2GB worth of expandable memory.

Overall, this is a welcome addition for CDMA users, thanks to the smaller form factor, better battery life, more vivid display and enhancements to BlackBerry OS 4.2 not found on current Verizon BlackBerrys. The keys do seem to offer up a little less tactile feedback than the 8703 (nothing will ever replace the 7250, right, folks?) but the trackball is a fantastic addition over the jog dial. If anyone else was lucky enough to get one before today's launch date, let us know what you think of it!

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