BlackBerry OS is the operating system that runs on Research In Motion's BlackBerry, one of the most popular and infamously habit-forming handsets on the market today. BlackBerry OS supports office-friendly features like wireless online e-mail and calendars, as well as the BlackBerry Message option (which lets you send SMS-style messages to other BlackBerry users). And now newer versions of the OS and more-powerful versions of the hardware have made it a more-powerful and more-capable platform for games.
Hardware, Accessories, and What to Expect
BlackBerry OS is, of course, exclusive to Research In Motion's BlackBerry handsets. The newest models of BlackBerry include such features as a GPS, and pretty much all of them have a set of onboard QWERTY keyboard buttons. Many modern BlackBerry handsets use a plastic trackball located just above the keyboard as a navigation device, though RIM now seems to be moving in the direction of adding touch-screen functionality in newer models with the BlackBerry Storm, which also has an accelerometer. While modern BlackBerry handsets offer an impressive amount of computing power, if you find yourself experiencing less-than-optimal gaming performance, it can be a good idea to cut down on downloads and remove apps that you don't plan on using anymore to free up memory, and you should consider shutting off memory-hungry applications you aren't currently using, such as 3GS and the GPS. Be advised that different handsets may have different input and button layouts that may not be as comfortable for gaming. Take a look at different handsets and try to get a sense of which one works best for you.
For the latest reports on the best handsets for this and other operating systems, visit CNET's regularly updated Best Cell Phones roundup.
Games and Where to Get Them
The officially sanctioned source of BlackBerry applications, including games, is RIM's own BlackBerry App World, which can be accessed either through the BlackBerry App World app or by browsing the Web. BlackBerry has a decent variety of both paid and free games accessible from App World. Most of the top-ranked premium BlackBerry games can be had for less than $10. BlackBerry App World games include arcade-style action games, card and word games, and puzzle games, among others. However, if you're enterprising enough, you should be able to find plenty of other free and premium BlackBerry games on the Internet.
Pros & Cons
PRO: BlackBerry OS comes on popular handsets whose e-mail sync and calendar functions let you work and play.
PRO: The BlackBerry Message system lets you easily keep track of incoming messages while you play.
CON: BlackBerry OS currently appears on only one handset with a touch screen, the Storm, though this may change over time.