I've had my 8220 for a little over a week now-thought I would post up my impressions-feel free to add your own!
First some general observations:
This device has somehow gotten the tag of being an "entry level" or "kids" BlackBerry. Rest assured, this is a fully functional BlackBerry device, with all of the capabilities of the 4.6 OS.
I'm currently sitting at 55.3 MB of free space in the on-board memory, with a couple of added themes, three additional games, a couple of other 3rd party apps and a boatload of e-mail and SMS riding along. Keep your media on your Micro SD card and memory should not be an issue. ( I am currently using an 8GB card).
The form factor is new to RIM-and yes, it's is a slicker, "softer" look than BlackBerry users are used to seeing-but I don't see it as a gender-specifc handset , any more so than a flip phone from Motorola or Samsung. So, consequentially, I'm not really buying the "chick phone" arguement, either. Yes, I've already dropped it once, with no harmful effects, so it passes the "ndub33 klutz durablity" test. SOFTWARE
-I'm using the 188.8.131.52 OS that came with the T-Mobile devices. It is a bit laggy at certain junctures ( Most noticable when I'm activating my Bluetooth headset), but the lag isn't a show-stopper.
In addition to the Precision T-Mobile and Precision Silver themes that came with the device, I also have the Titanium Fusion Flip Today Plus (by Jason Calhoun) and the Reflex 2.0 Today Plus (from bPlay) themes. I would love to see some additional theme support for the 8220. Seems like it has gotten overlooked in the rush to get cool new stuff developed for the Bold and Storm.
I deleted the Suduko and Word Mole games (personal preference), but added Hearts, Ka-Glom and Ma-Jhong. Adding themes and games was easy, simple and troublefree.
Overall phone reception is outstanding, and my e-mails from both BES and BIS syncronize flawlessly, and arrive to my device with the same efficiency that I have come to expect from RIM.
The new clock enhancements are great! I have used my BlackBerrys as alarm clocks for years, the new functionality makes it easier to adjust and more user-friendly. I find it particularly useful to be able to activate "snooze" with the volume keys. HARDWARE
Overall, the Build seems very sturdy, although I do have a little bit of play in the hinge. I'm assuming this is just my device, as others I know with 8220's don't seem to have this.
The front surface is a total fingerprint magnet, and I am sure that I will scratch it at some juncture. I have also noticed that the keypad will leave marks on the internal display. So far, I can wipe them off, but I wonder what this will look like six months from now.
The keypad design is inutitive to use and looks almost like a touch screen when backlit. I have an 8100 in my past, so SureType wasn't new to me, and has never really bothered me (HINT: If you look at the display while you're typing a word, it will just mess you up-finish typing the word, then look at the options that SureType provides you on-screen).
The display itself is vibrant and eye-catching. I found that zooming my old 320 X 240 wallpapers (from my 8320) didn't really create the effect I wanted, so I re-sized them all to 240 X 320 on my PC and reloaded them to my Micro SD using Roxio.
The alerts on the external display are fantastic. I love having the ablity to preview an e-mail, SMS or BBM message without having to open the flip.
I'm not real thrilled with the conversion to the micro USB connections, as I now have a pile of old standard USB cables and chargers that are more or less useless to me. I did purchase an extra micro USB cable and charger, as I like to have a full set up at home and at work.
Overall, I would give this device an 8-it has all of the good, solid RIM basic technology onboard. The clock and external display features are big improvements. Some minor design rework would address some of the minor hardware issues.
Don't let the fact that iit is a flip phone scare you off.