For a while there it looked as though push email would be shoved off the mobile map. But now Research in Motion (RIM) the company behind the Blackberry has reached a $612.5 million settlement with software company NTP it looks as though the millions of business people addicted to email on the go will continue to get their fix.

And to celebrate the more positive outlook, RIM has launched its best BlackBerry to date, the 8700g.

This new incarnation features all the communication features we've come to expect from a BlackBerry including the all-important email on the go and a QWERTY keyboard plus a whole lot more including a gorgeous 320x240 LCD screen with more colours on display than an LA gang war.

It's a dramatic improvement on older BlackBerrys, and the increased resolution makes reading emails a breeze, while the improved 312MhZ Intel processor handles documents with more dexterity than previous devices.

RIM toyed with a smaller BlackBerry in the 7100, but while the 8700g is certainly large for a mobile phone the return of the full QWWERTY keyboard is a key to the usability here. The keys are really good for typing emails, and much easier than trying to reply to people on say the SPV C600.

Our review sample was on O2, and the network made setting-up the email service simple. You get your own O2 mail address, but can also set up ten other accounts all via a website accessed on the device.

It's amazing how quickly emails come and go, and you quickly find yourself involved in conversations that have the rapidity of text messaging.

There are downsides though, and while the 64MB of memory is good, a way of expanding it would have been useful for the power user.

Also, as is becoming increasingly common with business-focused devices there's no camera. We understand the reasoning behind this (security), but it's a shame to have all that emailing power and no camera to produce your own attachments.

Verdict

Without doubt the 8700g is the best BlackBerry to date, but the really good news is that the service is here to stay.


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