Aircel has launched Peek, a single purpose email device in India. The device comes with a full QWERTY keypad and a 2.5″ screen, is attractively priced at Rs 2999, and allows users to access unlimited emails on the move. It supports up to three POP3 or IMAP accounts from service providers like Gmail, Yahoo! or Hotmail, as well as corporate emails. More importantly, like the BlackBerry, it has Push mail which delivers all new mails to the inbox. The company claims that it only takes 60 seconds to set up the email accounts in the device.
For Rs 2999 all a user gets in India is the device: Aircel’s plans appear to be rather expensive: on prepaid there is an unlimited email service for Rs 897 for 90 days after which subscribers can opt for Rs 89 for 7 days or Rs 299 for 30 days validity. For Postpaid, Peek users will be charged Rs 897 for three months unlimited email service and Rs 299 per month after that. That’s rather high for a device that you can’t use to make calls. So you’ll keep two connections and devices – one for email, word documents, excel sheets, pdf and images files, and one just for making calls? I’m not so sure…
It appears that the Peek isn’t made to compete with the Blackberry: it will attract users who primarily use the Internet for sending and receiving emails but cannot afford a Blackberry; setting up GPRS in India is often a pain, leave alone setting up your corporate email.
A few features are missing in India, from the US version of Peek: In the US, along with unlimited email, Peek also allows unlimited text messaging. It also has an app store with applications like Peek Social with which users can update status and view friends’ status updates as well. Other apps include maps, apps for Twitter and weather updates. WiFi capability and an Internet browser would also have helped.
One thing that really works in Peek’s favor is its battery life. Unlike the ‘power sucking’ smartphones (well, or for that matter, most Nokia phones) that GPRS bleeds dry, Peek claims to have a battery life of 2-3 days.