Product Type: Blackberry Smartphone
Newest Review: ... days but after that got used to it and loved it. I would say if you move over to Blackberry bare with it as it does take a bit of time to g... more
Forget Captain Sparrow's Pearl......This is the one to have
Blackberry Pearl 8100
Member Name: yackers1
Blackberry Pearl 8100
Advantages: small, full QWERTY key pad, pushes email, functional, stylish - it's a Blackberry
Disadvantages: Doesn't push Hotmail
****Overview of the Pearl****
Measuring 107x50x14.5mm, and weighing in at a meagre 89.5 grams, the BlackBerry Pearl 8100 is currently the smallest BlackBerry smartphone on the market. Whilst being small in size, the Pearl is not small in features and has all the usual functions of the Blackberry range.
The Pearl has all the normal smartphone capabilities including a high quality phone, internet browser, email service, messaging services and instant messaging amongst others.
The keyboard is the full QWERTY style and provides Sure Type technology. There are additional buttons either side of the numerical keypad enabling the full keyboard, but unlike other Blackberrys, there are two letters on each button as opposed to one.
Navigation is achieved via a trackball between the keypad and the screen. It is very smooth and allows the user to make selections from the menu system easily.
I found the QWERTY keyboard took a bit of time to get used to but if you persevere you'll get there, and once you do it is fantastic and you'll never go back to traditional keypads.
The buttons are quite small so if you have large hands or have larger fingers then you may struggle.
The Pearl has a large high resolution screen providing up to 65k colours. It is light sensitive and fully adjustable to suit all lighting levels in both outdoor and indoor environments.
The Pearl comes with an HTML Internet browser and allows the user to view Web sites in HTML format. The user can browse the Internet like they would do from their office or home computer. Like all models from Blackberry, the Pearl contains an embedded RIM® wireless modem and a quad band network connectivity enabling the user to use the Pearl in many countries including Europe, North America and Asia.
The internal flash memory is 64 Mb which is adequate unless you are going to load the Pearl up with the many applications, ring tones, wall papers, themes, MP3s and short movie clips available.
If you are planning to do this then it is possible to increase the memory of the Pearl using a micro SD card, which can be bought from numerous places for little money.
The manual states that the battery will provide the user with up to 360 hours of standby time and up to three and a half hours worth of talk time from a fully charged battery. Whilst the battery life is very good I believe 360 hours to be a bit of an exaggeration since I have to charge mine up every 3 or 4 days depending upon how much I use it.
The Pearl has Bluetooth® and can be synced to the PC or laptop via Bluetooth connection or USB cable connection. Personally, I find the USB cable connection more reliable since there has been instances when the bluetooth connection has been lost once the Pearl and my laptop have been connected for a few hours.
The Pearl has a full outlook system and by syncing it to your PC or laptop it is possible to update your diary and organiser as well as transferring files between the two devices.
The Peal has GPRS and Edge technology providing fast data transfers and downloads.
Like all bluetooth enabled phones the Pearl can be wirelessly connected to all bluetooth enabled devices including hands free headsets, in car speaker solutions, lap tops/PCs and other phones.
The camera lens is located on the back of the Pearl's casing and is 1.3 megapixels, which is not brilliant considering that some of the Sony Ericssons now include a 8.0 megapixels, but it is adequate to catch some OK pictures.
The camera is easy to use and has dedicated zoom and capture keys. It has a flash and zoom option that helps to increase the quality of the pictures. The screen is used as a viewfinder so it is possible to see how the picture is likely to look before it is actually taken.
It is possible to take self-portraits using the small mirror situated next to the camera lens. This is ideal for those wishing to snap a profile picture for a community or blogging site, or those who are just plain vain.
You should remember that the Pearl is primarily a phone and if you want good quality photos I would suggest using a digital camera.
The Pearl has a built in media player allowing the user to play music in many popular music formats. The user can listen to their favourite music when they are out and about on their mobile phone.
Whilst it is ok I find the quality of the sound to be poor, even with headphones, but then at the end of the day the Pearl is primarily a phone and emailing device. If you want good sound then I would suggest an iPod or other designated MP3 player.
It is possible to play and record video footage in MPEG4 & H263 video format. This can subsequently be saved, edited, played or shared.
****Using the Pearl to make a call****
The user can use voice dialling to make calls which is a quick and simple way to make a call without having to scroll down phone lists and contacts to find the number.
There is a hands-free speaker system allowing the user to take a call over the phones speaker system allowing a hands-free call.
To make a hands-free call you need to be close to the Pearl's speaker so it is not an ideal solution. If you prefer to make hands-free calls then I would suggest using a separate headset or other bluetooth device.
****Using the Pearl for messaging****
The Pearl can be used to send and receive text messages, multimedia messages, instant messages and emails.
The message services are easy to access from the phones main menu and are easy to create and manage.
The Pearl can play ring tones in a variety of formats including MIDI, MP3 and polyphonic.
Ring tones are clear and the volume is perfectly loud enough.
****Personalising the Pearl and other functions****
There are loads of pictures, wallpapers and themes that can be downloaded from the internet in order to personalise your Pearl.
The Pearl has a document viewer that can read files in either Word, Excel, PowerPoint or PDF format.
The Pearl comes with BlackBerry Maps allowing the user to view maps on their handset. In addition to this it is possible to download Google Maps.
Games, such as bass fishing, poker and baseball amongst many others, can be downloaded and played on the Pearl.
Useful applications, such as a calculator, Vlingo and Blackberry Wallit amongst many others can be downloaded and used on the Pearl.
Pinstack.com is a must use site for all Blackberry owners since it provides free ring tone, wall paper, theme and application downloads.
The Pearl is a small, powerful, functional and stylish smartphone combining all the usual Blackberry capabilities in a smaller package. It does take a while to work out how to use it to its full potential and the QWERTY keypad takes a bit of getting used to, but once the learning curve is over it is a fantastic phone.
It can be used to play games, play music, take photos and browse the internet, although you should remember that this is primarily a phone so the audio and visual quality is not brilliant and should not be compared to designated cameras and MP3 players.
Pinstack.com is a great site containing many useful applications, games, wallpapers, themes, ring tones and the like available for free download to all Blackberry users.
Summary: Everything you need in one small and stylish package