The new Blackberry Pearl is a superb smartphone that comes packed with an array of features and looks more like an average mobile than an email device. It is simple to use thanks to its trackball key and incorporates all the intelligent features of the original Blackberry.
Blackberry has managed to keep the handset slim, with a depth of just 0.57” and weight of 88g. The handset’s small form and chrome and black finish mark a departure in style for the usually businesslike brand and make it a pleasure to hold and use.
The screen is a tad too small to read big emails on but is still clear and sharp. The front fascia lacks the usual QWERTY keyboard found on most Blackberries and instead uses a 20-key SureType keyboard, which isn’t quite as efficient to use for texts and emails as the QWERTY.
Beneath its sleek exterior the Blackberry Pearl 8100 is a quad-band GSM/GPRS and EDGE-enabled, but lacks 3G. However, this smart handset more than makes up for it with Bluetooth connectivity, a loudspeaker, voice activating calling, and technology which makes it clever enough to sense when to adjust the background lighting for when indoors or outdoors.
The Pearl also includes a web browser with ultra fast download speeds, while its Blackberry interface does take a while getting used to. There’s also the inclusion of a music player and a 1.3 megapixel camera on the rear of the phone with its built-in flash and 5x digital zoom, highlighting the more consumer-appeal angle Blackberry have taken with the Pearl.
The Pearl 8100 is the first BlackBerry to sport a memory card slot, with a 64MB miniSD card included. You can, of course, invest in larger capacity cards.
Last but not least the Pearl features push-email (as with all Blackberry’s), which means mail is automatically delivered to your device as it’s sent, without you having to attempt to retrieve it. The BlackBerry Pearl 8100 supports a wide variety of email accounts including ISP email using POP3 and IMAP4, the latest versions of Microsoft Outlook and Exchange, and enhanced access and features for Yahoo! and Gmail accounts, plus access to Yahoo! and BlackBerry instant messaging facilities.
All these added features help the Pearl to become one of the best looking and powerful personal organisers on the market – a truly great smartphone.