Blackberry Pearl is one of the latest GSM handheld from Research in Motion (RIM). It is also the smallest of the smart phones marketed by RIM.
Straight into its specifications, the Blackberry Pearl is quite compact unlike the earlier RIM models. And the biggest trade-off happened in this process is the inclusion of the new SureType system, the keypad in which each button handles two letters, replacing the old and better looking QWERTY keyboard. It might take a bit of practice to get used to the keypad, but it is not cumbersome either.
Another change that RIM had introduced in its slimmest smart phone is the track ball in place of the scroll wheel in its older versions. In comparison, it is far easier with the track ball to make the selections, to zip through the menus in all direction, than with the scroll wheel that used to lie on the side of the device.
On its overall design, the Blackberry Pearl weighs 90.7gm and has a physical size of 107 x 51 x 15 mm. In rough comparison, it will be as thick as two iPod Nanos stacked together. Dedicated volume keys, a pair of programmable keys, and the key atop to silence all forms of alerts in one press, makes the phone flexible and easier to use. The call quality is reasonably good when compared with its immediate competitors, the Nokia E62 and Motorola Q, if not better.
Like all smart phones in its category, the Blackberry Pearl comes with a set of multimedia features, which include music and video, ring tones, and images. The 1.3 mp camera offers good enough performance, but the video quality is just ok. If you want to exploit its multimedia features fully, you might need a microSD card as the internal memory is too small for mass storage requirements (64 MB only). Blackberry allows users to expand the external memory up to 2 GB.
Blackberry Pearl supports EDGE and quad-band GSM/GPRS networks with reasonable enough data speed. The web browser it has is quite reminiscent of its earlier models, with less or no improvements. For moderate browsing needs, like looking up scores or specific data, however this seems quite enough.
Regarding email, setting up an email account with Blackberry Pearl is quite easy. Up to ten addresses are supported, the Blackberry Enterprise Server, BlackBerry Internet Service, and Exchange options being the major corporate tools. Attachments – images, documents, and PDF files – however are only viewable and cannot be edited. In that respect, it is more like in RIM’s 7100 series phones.
The most valued feature of any business phone is its different organizer features; Blackberry Pearl offers a variety of those, and that includes Outlook, Outlook Express, Lotus Notes and Organizer, Novell Groupwise and Sage ACT! Software. Using the Desktop Manager, the Blackberry user could synchronize the memos, calendar, tasks, and contacts with the relevant organizer tools such that every relevant piece of info will be updated in the required applications simultaneously.
To sum it up, Blackberry Pearl is a feature filled smartphone with more pros than cons. Its battery life is also very much ok, and the price tag, the cheapest amongst any Blackberry models! On a whole, it is a good business phone to start with.
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