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A Perfect Union

I tested the BlackBerry 7100g about a year ago. It was a valiant effort to marry a cell phone with an e-mail device, but it was an ugly marriage. To slim down the unit for phone use, BlackBerry ditched the full QWERTY keyboard for a cell phone-like design where each key is assigned multiple letters. That made typing long e-mails nearly impossible. The 7100 also lacked BlackBerry's signature ruggedness. The other phone-BlackBerry combination was the 7200 series, which was basically a PDA masquerading as a phone. It was about as comfortable as holding a brick against the side of your face.

With the release of 8700c, BlackBerry has created a near-perfect smartphone.

staff Writer

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