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i had wanted a blackberry but on pay as you go not on a contract and bought this when it was on offer. i was really excited to try out my new blackberry and the novelty was there for about 6 months. i like that i could pick up all my emails from yahoo to my own sites emails and everything between.
yes its compact but that's not without its disadvantages too. it has a qwerty keyboard so going from a normal phone keyboard to that was strange.. compounded by the amount of letters per key.. OK its only a maximum of 3 but i can type by touch usually and a year down the line i still cant with this and i consider myself to be relatively skilled in both my phone and keyboard skills.
it also feels like its more there to get your emails on than anything else... ok u have your phone itself and can pick up facebook myspace etc but it definately doesnt feel right picking them up on there.. i bought it for an overall communication expierience and dont really feel thats what it gives
I decided to purchase a Blackberry, after previously owning a Motorola RAZR, which in the end I was tired with, especially as it stopped working one day due to apparent "water damage", or so the shop tells me.
I needed a brand new phone experience, and what with the iphone being slightly out of my price range as I was simply looking for a PASG phone, this seemed the right choice for me.
One of the initial things you notice, and that was shown to me by the sales agent at the shop, is this phone has no "arrows", infact it runs on a rollerball which is ideal for scrolling through webpages and texts.
After getting it set up to the internet (you had to call Orange in my case), I was away exploring all the features. Like an iphone, it does have an app section with everything from games to sat nav, but perhaps the best feature personally was the ability to combine all your mail, facebook, myspace etc to one place - your inbox. I've found this invaluble, especially if you are on the go and need to message someone on say facebook and you can't get to a computer, it's also great for checking google too.
However in terms of appearance, The Blackberry Pearl 8120 in Titanium, which is the shade I own, is no pretty thing to be carrying around for a somewhat girly girl like myself! There were other colours avalible, such as red or black, but only if you went on contract which I thought was a little unreasonable as you'd end up paying more for the same product.
However I have also seen businessmen on the way to work using this phone, particularly communiting which leads me to thinking if you want a phone that looks as smart as your tie, which you won't be embarrassed about taking a call from in the office, this could be the phone for you.
It does come with a protective wallet to keep your Blackberry safe from scratches and similar damage, but this almost seems like a hassle to have to carry around, especially as the phone is not exacly slim compared to other models on the market.
It does have a camera/video camera function. For quick, on the go snaps I would say it is a fairy decent piece of technology. The video function is less impressive, especially as the sound recording capabilities are quite poor when you play it back. However when you consider all the other functions this phone does, perhaps it is too early to expect outstanding working features on your average PASG purchase.
It also has a clever voice recognition service, activated by a button on the side of the phone, which will say "say a command" once you hit it (which can be a little annoying if you hit it accidently which I often do).
There is also a built in memory card slot (smaller than an SD card), a usb port for charging, a headphone jack and also volume controls built into the side of this phone.
If you're not ready for an iphone but want a phone you can use on the go to access emails, social networking sights and also have some organisation in there, in the form of a planner and address book, this is the phone for you.
I lost a good portion of my hearing to meningitis in January 2009. Prior to that I used my phone to communicate primarily through voice calls, but without my hearing I really struggled to use my old phone. This phone saved my sanity because I could still communicate very easily!
It has all the features you would expect - phone, text, push email, camera, video, facebook app, twitter app, any app you care to think off...
The keyboard is smaller - as the phone is narrower - than other blackberry's. No bad thing and it is easier to use than my BB 9000 I have for work, once you know where the keys are.
I find using a BB so much cheaper on my pocket - I use email and facebook which is already included in my monthly fee rather than make phonecalls or texts. I have reduced my monthly bills from £30-40 pcm to £10-£15 pcm. I have this on a Pay as you Go contract with orange - you pay £5 pcm for all the blackberry features. If you have the money to pay up front and plan to use it for its data capabilities rather than calls, I would highly recommend this option.
It has a reasonable amount of storage for phone, photos and music. It syncs with my laptop very easily.
I have had this phone for over a year and it is still going strong despite a lot of abuse.
During the last decade, I have never owned a camera phone and this includes almost every mobile phone and device has now got some kind of camera built into it one way or another, never the less I've been stuck with the same phone for a good few years now and this is being because I have never seen the point in having the latest mobile phone every year since I only use my phone for texting and the rare call or two.
But after breaking my Nokia 2310 after a good 4 years of loyal service, I placed it in a small dust proof bag, said a little pray and hide it in my broken technology cupboard. Since I'm what some people call a teenager (I'd say a young adult), I required a new phone as soon as possible, so after cleaning out my piggy bank of pennies, I managed to shovel together £120 to get myself a Blackberry Pearl 8120 (may I say the cashier lady wasn't too pleased with all my pennies)
It's all about the specifications these days, the smallest, the fastest and what can hold the most songs, picture and videos and may I say this phone isn't a letdown at all in that department.
Make: RIM Blackberry
As many of you may know Blackberry is almost world famous for making Business phones more in the fashion of a PDA rather than a phone. Blackberry have a reputation of making high quality mobile devices with more peaks than a Welsh countryside and were the innovating minds behind Push Email on Phones, so if any brand you got to trust to make a quality PDA/Phone you can trust RIM Blackberry.
Model: Pearl 8120
The Pearl's are the smallest phones Blackberry make and unlike the standard full Qwerty keyboards, which Blackberry's are famous for, the Pearl's provide you with a half Qwerty, which means that instead of having a letter per key, you have 2 letters per key, but it is set out in a Qwerty style. The 8120 is the first Pearl Model to feature WiFi, which is a massive bonus for this phone.
Memory: 64mb built in (expandable up to 4 GB via Micro SD)
Memory seems to be the most important thing for some people, as it means they can take more pictures, have more songs and ringtones stored, the Blackberry Pearl 8120 has 64mb built in, this is used for applications other software related utilities, everything else goes on the
Camera: 2 mp (Picture and Video Enabled)
Smartphone's, especially from 2007, don't typically have good cameras, and this is no exception, only featuring a 2 mega pixel camera with nothing fancy, can record video and sound.
Size & Style: Candy Bar - 107mm (Length) x 50mm (Width) x 14mm (Depth) - Weight 91g
The phone is the standard candy bar style and it's a pretty standard size allowing you to hold it comfortably. It is very small compared to the standard Blackberry's (example Curve or Bold). The phone is also surprisingly light in weight.
Not forgetting the most important aspect of this phone being that it's classed as a Smartphone, which means it offers computer like functions and capabilities. The phone supports a large amount of applications which can be found in the Blackberry App World and different Apps take advantage of your phones intelligence. If you acquire the right apps, you can right Word documents, Create PowerPoint's, Email and run applications like Google Maps, GPS and many more.
When I first picked up the phone I was surprised at how slim and light it was as I was expecting something heavy and thick as I'm use to seeing my friend's Blackberry which is big, thick an heavy, and this phone seems to be the exact opposite of its older cousin.
The aesthetic design is exactly what you'd expect of a Blackberry, has a shine polished casing with a silver trim going around the side where all the side buttons are located. The main colour varies from Black, Blue, Pink and Red, but mine is the Titanium colour which may I say looks very nice and business like going well with Blackberry's brand image.
Overall the phone is quite strong and sturdy, however because of it's somewhat shine exterior, it feels that a dropping this phone in the wrong position could really damage its aesthetic appearance. But like all Blackberries' it is provided with a leather pouch and it is a good idea to keep it in there to maintain it glossy finish.
The Blackberry Pearl has a track ball controller which is used to navigate around the menus, before I tried it on my friends Curve; I wasn't too warm to the whole Trackball idea, I thought it wouldn't be accurate or very functional. Now using it on a daily basis, I've gotten use to it and it is fantastic way to navigate around with incredible ease, especially as the application menu get very long.
However I've heard that dropping the phone or getting some dirt or mud on the front could really damage the trackball by making it stick and not correspond as well as it should. But it is very easy to recover the little ball and clean out whatever could be causing the interference and possibly replace the ball (replacement can be found on eBay).
Calls and Texting
The main functions of a mobile phone are calling and texting.
Calling is very easy, you type in a number or get a contact from your address book (Blackberry's list of contacts), and call them, simple as that. The call quality is good and you can set how loud the speaker is with the volume buttons on the side. A great peak of the Blackberry is that if the person you talking to asks you for someone's number you can navigate to your Address Book and get it without dropping the call, which is very useful (you can navigate anywhere in the phone during a call). However I did how some problems with configuring the Voicemail, which was a massive nuisance as after 20 seconds of calling it would go to Voicemail, after a bit of research I found out it was the same problem on all Blackberry (typically on Vodafone), but all you do is disable the Voicemail and its fine. But seems a bit of a nuisance as I thought there was something wrong with the phone and was on the verge of sending it back!
Texting as never been easier thanks to the half Qwerty keyboard and amazing predictive texting, I can type out a 160 character text in less than 1 minute, and it used to take me as long as 5 minutes with the standard phone keyboards. The predictive text is something to praise, you can basically type as you would on a normal keyboard (considering its 2 letters per button) and it recognises the word and chooses it for you, and its 98% correct, also it is very good with names and even capitalises the first letter. If you are using slang or a word that's not in the dictionary, you can either add it in by going into settings or manual type it out and it will add it automatically.
Ease of Use
This may be the worst thing about this phone; it is not very user intuitive and therefore quite difficult to get use too. Although it gives the impression of ease, it is like a digital egg hunt, the option you want will not be where it should be. A good example is deleting all messages in your inbox, it took me a good few minutes of hunting to find that you have to go right to the top, press menu and select Delete Prior, and I did this because a friend of mine who's owned a Blackberry for a good year asked me, and this is only one the many options I had to figure out because the simplest task is not that simple. But this is what distinguishes the Pro Blackberry user from the Newbie, and it is a sense of achievement once you've tamed yourself to know the ins and out of the Blackberry Operating System.
Blackberry pride themselves in being one of the first to provide the internet browsing capability, so you'd think they'd have mastered this feature after a good few years, but from my experience, they haven't.
The 8120 model is the first Blackberry Pearl to provide WiFi and this was one of the features that won me over. But the WiFi isn't all that good and requires a lot of configuration to make sure that you are in fact using WiFi and not GSM, EDGE or GPRS (network Internet), and accidently spending 30p per 15mb (on Vodafone Pay As You Go). I suggest taking your Sim out and connecting to your home Wifi a few times and making sure your browser only connects to WiFi for its internet.
Overall there are a good many problems with the internet, and after a month, I'm still struggling to get it sorted out, so I must say that if you want a phone with good WiFi, I'd avoid the Pearl.
The newer Blackberry's support applications, similar to the Iphone or Ipod Touch, but there are less of them, and a smaller variety. Also I find there are many more problems with them than you'd expect. First you must have the app supported by the firmware (my Blackberry Pearl 8120 is 4.3), updating your phone seems quite complicated from my research, and I'm not sure if it's even possible with the Pearl.
Most Apps are not supported by the handset apparently, the MSN Messenger App, which is bundled with the phone, tells me it's not supported by the Handheld. This is almost the same with other apps, which load up but you can't control them.
Basically the applications aren't as controlled as the ones on the iTunes store, and therefore there is a chance they'll not work for this specific handset.
The camera is only a 2 megapixel, it doesn't do any image stabilisation or anything advanced, it comes with 5x zoom for pictures. Not much to say apart from the pictures comes out in a reasonable quality and the video is similar, but don't expect to be filming for Blockbusters with it.
One big addition in this phone is the Media Player, which once entered appears to be a whole interface, the phone has a 3.5 mm Jack on the side which means that any retail headphones will fit in, and there is no need to overpay a ridiculous amount for specific Blackberry Headphones.
On a whole the Media player support MP3, AAC, AMR, Polyphonic MIDI and WAV sound/Music formats and MP4 and H.263 for video, so on a whole a pretty good media support.
A big peak of the Blackberry is that it uses special hardware/firmware acceleration to transfer files from the computer to the phone in record time, which means it's faster than almost any other phone out there.
One of the worst things about this phone is the ridiculous battery life, the phone can barely pull through 2 days on its battery on full charge and with basically no use and less than a day if you keep WiFi or Bluetooth on or use it a lot. I usually come home and stick it on charge; a good purchase for this phone would be a Charging Dock which I plan to get in a few days.
But the horrible battery life is balanced out (kind off) by having a standard Mini USB interface meaning that it's not only easy to charge, but placing it in the USB on your computer or using a USB charging adaptor, but there are hundreds of devices that charge on the go that support Mini USB. Plus the chargers and cables are dirt cheap for the Blackberry because of this.
Although I've had very high hopes for this phone because of the great features it advertises and the excellent reputation Blackberry have, I can't help but be slightly disappointed. Not only is it very hard to find things in this phone, its battery life is atrocious, by the time you find out where the phone has hidden its texting function, you'd ran out of battery.
The WiFi is very weak and loading is slow, even if you're standing next to the Wireless Access Point you'll be struggling to load a website.
But even with its many flaws this phone has a bit of a charm, a sort of 'hate to love it' vibe around it, with its many features and functions, and not forgetting the bragging right about owning a Blackberry is sorely big headed but even so, you can type a text out faster than the typical phone user and the calendar and memo pad are priceless in terms of organisation and if you've got time, you can sync your calendar with your computers calendar so you always know when your appointments are among many other things.
Although I've spent a good bit of money on this phone, I really don't feel the urge to recommend it to anyone, because of its many flaws, this phone is hard to manage and the good majority of people will not like it. But personally after a good time period has passed you get use to all the flaws and being too warm to it, and I find the predictive texting and half QWERTY keyboard outstanding.
If you are looking for a great entry into the smartphone market, this is it. How did I ever cope without being able to get my email as I was walking down the street, let alone msn messenger, twitter and the internet. Now with the addition of the new operating system from RIM you can edit my word and excel documents as well.
The 8120 is relatively easy to set up. especially the push email which is what blackberry do best. The tech support is always there if you get stuck and there are plenty of helpful internet sites that opened my eyes as to what was possible with this phone.
Blackberry do email on the move better than any of their competitors. I work with people that use the i phone and a range of nokias, sony erricson and have done a fair bit of comparrison. The phone is quite intuitive, synchs with outlook contacts, notes, diary and learns new words when you type. I love it.
On the downside the internet browser is a little limited and the price you pay for a small phone is a small screen and that's pretty much it.
Blackberry Pearl 8120
Not quite a Pearl, but certainly not a dud.
~ So just what is the Blackberry Pearl? ~
Today's phones are pretty much like mini computers, allowing you to call, text, take photographs, videos, listen to music, and record notes.... Just about everything you can think of. I will include the rigid specifications of this phone at the very end of this review since not everyone wants to read them all, but just wants to know - how does this phone perform?
Apologies in advance, I've tried to keep this as short as possible - but somehow I just couldn't say all I've wanted to without going over my usual limits by some margin. If you're not interested in a long review, then I've just highlighted some points towards the very bottom which I hope can help.
~ So what can we do? ~
This phone has a lot of features. I'll try and look at them all.
I'll start with text messages. In the olden days, when I was a mere...... woman in my 30's...... you could type out a message using the keypad on your phone. The Blackberry Pearl has a keypad that is almost identical to the keyboard you find on your computer, although some letters do double up on a key to save space. But not only can you text, today you can send pictures, and even some videos. This is known as SMS and MMS. The Pearl allows for both and uses WAP technology to achieve it. Although SMS is the most common way for people to communicate on their mobile phones, MMS is rapidly catching up.
Email. Not just one either, but multiple email accounts (up to 10) for each handset.
You can also synchronize the accounts with some desktop programs (most notably Outlook Express), which also means you don't have to type in all kinds of stuff, like your email address book you have stored on your computer, but simply ask the phone to find the accounts and add them.
You can now also open up various attachments that might be sent via email, something you couldn't do so long ago. There are some applications available that will also allow you to edit attachments if needed (although I've never used them so I can't comment as to how they work, or how good they are - sorry).
Instant Messaging. So you're not content to just have email or text messages and you want to communicate with someone in 'real' time? No problem since the Pearl also offers you the chance to use instant messaging applications. These include Yahoo, Google and Windows Live (formally known as MSN). We have the Yahoo application on our phone, but we've never used it, so I won't be doing any further reviewing on this.
Social Networking. In recent years, places like Facebook, have become a big part of Internet usage. With the Pearl, you can add MySpace, Facebook and Flickr applications to the phone. We've added Facebook and find it's a great application.
Built in Camera. Well, I remember our first digital camera, having got one not long after they first came out. It classified as a VGA type, and then we moved on to a camera that was 1.3 MP's (Megapixels). We felt like we had won the lottery with that new camera - and now just 8 years later, we have the Pearl offering you a 2 MP camera, with digital zoom and even a flash!
The camera will also record video for you, including sound. Will wonders never cease?
We can also use the phone as an MP3 player, and in some cases, you can also watch video clips.
It also allows you to use it as a GPS system, with the Blackberry map system application available. Again I've yet to use it so can't comment on how good it is, other than to say the premise sounds promising.
You can use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on the phone. Again great if you're on the move and want to be able to do things without having to connect up fiddly wires, and it gives you a great hands free option when driving.
Wi-Fi means the phone can also give you mobile streaming. In other words you can watch news, television or even a site like YouTube on the go.
Finally, you have a clear screen in which to view those clips, expandable memory using small media cards (known as microSD cards), which allows you to add all this content to your phone and a small, lightweight phone.
~ So how does it all stack up? ~
Well to begin with, I'm going to have to review the phone provider (Orange) as well at times. I'm doing this because there were occasions whereby Orange and Blackberry got involved with the setting up of the phone, and to not note the Orange involvement would simply only give half the picture. I will though try and keep it to a minimum.
To begin with, the phone is neatly packed up in a box, and ours came with a mains charger, USB charger (you hook it up to the computer). This also acts as the way to synchronize the phone with your own computer applications (See Outlook Express earlier as an example).
The mains adapter is built in such a way that allows the pins on the plug to be interchanged, allowing for the use of it in various other countries. It seems to be coming a more and more favoured way to produce chargers like this.
We also had a nice leather protective case. While it doesn't fully cover the phone (its top opening) it does offer the main phone screen and keypad some protection. Another nice touch since a lot of mobile phones today only offer covers as additional extras.
Our phone also came with a 1GB MicroSD card installed. While the phone has its own memory of 64kb, 1GB is a nice addition.
Our phone is Indigo in colour with chrome edging, and it does have a nice deep purple/blue hue to it with the chrome giving a nice contrast. It is comfortable to hold (even for me with arthritic hands) and has a nice feel about its overall weight. Light enough, but with enough weight to stop it feeling flimsy in your hand.
Underneath the screen you have a trackball, which so far has held up well to the use we've given it. The trackball is used for navigation within the applications on the phone, and you can adjust the pressure required in the settings option.
To the left of the trackball, furthest away, you have the green icon key, which is commonly used as the call key. Sandwiched between the call key and trackball is a key to access the main menu on the phone.
To the right of the trackball, furthest away, you have the red icon key, which is commonly the end call key on phones today. Between this and the trackball is a curved arrow key, which is known as the back button key. Allowing you (unsurprisingly enough) to go back on yourself, much like you would use the back button (if you know what this is of course) on your computers Internet browser.
Below this, you have the main keypad that allows you to access the numbers and letters needed for using the phone.
Screen resolution is excellent, even for quite a small screen (in today's market anyway) and we've already watched some video clips and have been very impressed with the overall quality. You also get good quality showing when using the Internet or similar applications.
The camera is on the back top of the casing, and is incredibly easy to use. One feature a lot of phone cameras have been let down on before in the past is lighting in poor light conditions, and while this is never going to compete with a regular digital camera, we've been impressed with the pictures we've taken so far, even those in very poor light - as long as you aren't too far away from the subject of the picture. The zoom, again while not to the standard of a normal camera is another step up from many on the market and worked fairly well, without losing too much picture quality, although it doesn't really work when using the flash.
Music playback can be via a standard 3.5mm jack plug socket and while we haven't done much this way, again we've got no complaints about the sound quality being heard. It is a little fiddly to get the application going, and isn't the most smooth of operations on the whole phone, but considering its just one small facet of its entire use then its just about okay but others might find it more annoying.
Battery life has been okay. Its what I consider to be about mid-range for something of this type. It's far better than some phones, even when used heavily - but not quite up there with the best. But still, its okay and just about does enough to make it work well, without getting frustrated at having to recharge to often.
The Keypad uses something called Suretype (as well as predictive text), and because its set up with a keyboard setting in mind, it does take a little getting used to the letter layout compared to the older style mobile phone I've been used to.
The Suretype also took some getting used to - and while I found it frustrating initially and it caused some problems with my arthritis, once I got used to it I can type out reasonably well (on my good days).
You can also set up some voice commands for some of the more basic features on the phone. This is great for me because of the arthritis and when my hands are playing up - I don't have to worry about trying to fiddle with the keys. It also took a little getting used to, but was worth persevering with.
Using the main menu is easy and for the most part intuitive, which is just as well, because this leads on to my main complaint we have against this phone.
~ Instructions for use ~
Now I'm pretty comfortable with most electronic goodies, like mobile phones, computers etc. I might not be an engineer with a degree, but I'm pretty clued up and do understand a lot of things easily.
However, the information booklets and leaflets that came with this phone are a huge letdown. Not only Orange's, but also unfortunately Blackberry's. I believe the Pearl is also available on O2, so I don't know how their information sheets might compare - but it does still leave Blackberry's booklets being far short of the mark. And for a company of this type I find it surprising. This means the set up became a nightmare.
I've used WAP services on a mobile phone before, and also used Wi-Fi services on other hand held devices, and yet it took us 2 days, 4 phone calls to Orange, numerous looks at Blackberry's site, and finally a private forum (message board) to get the information we needed to get our phone activated so we could begin using the internet. It all sounded so simply on the information Orange and Blackberry provide. Just follow these steps and bingo - you have can get applications like Facebook.
No you can't!
What you get is frustrated, confusing and often conflicting advice from customer help - just one example with an Orange leaflet we had in the box - to get online just follow these steps. Dial 450, then press options 2, 4 and finally 4 - and your done. And it all goes beautifully until you get the second option 4..... whereby you get a lovely message saying "Sorry, this options is not available."
But your leaflet is telling us it is available.
So you phone customer service, and they say, "oh but we need to register you phone".
Brilliant, why couldn't someone mention this in the blurb because there is nothing (and I mean nothing) about having to go through this, or better still (because we're using a pay as you go service) can someone not have told me when I called up yesterday to sort out the call plan, since it was impossible using the instructions given (you seeing a theme here).
Its new to us I say, so what do I need to do, because following these instructions doesn't work?
"What do you want the phone primarily for?" They asked.
Internet and texting mostly I replied. And I can't get the internet, please help.
"Oh go you need to go on Dolphin call package," I get told breezily.
Do I need to do anything else I ask?
"Oh no, but it can take up to 48 hours for this package to become fully active, which means you might be charged for some use on the phone in the meantime."
So nothing happens - We check with Blackberry's site and they say - contact your service provider if you have any problems connecting online. Which leads me back to this latest phone call to customer service. They ask for some details (which I'd already given to go on the Dolphin call package, but don't let that stop them from a good thing)......
I am then told I will be up and running in the next hour with a full WAP service and I'll be getting messages about this, plus how to use the service and get links to services such as the facebook application.
But hey presto - We're still getting nowhere....fast!
So one more check on the Internet, before once again giving Orange a ring.
Only this time I get taken through a series of steps that completely duplicate what I had done earlier.
In all fairness this customer service advisor does seem to have more knowledge about the situation, and cannot understand why we haven't been getting the messages through and our phone hasn't been registered.
So we sit and wait, and while we are waiting to see if the messages will arrive (Orange due to phone back in an hour to find out if we have), my partner is looking online to see if there is anything we can find that might help. Perhaps we have a dud phone?
An hour later Orange phone back - we're still without a message, and my partner is still trying desperately to find anything online about it all.
And then its spotted - on a private forum. Just a simple few lines:
This model is known to have a problem when waiting to receive the Host routing message. If you're not receiving this message, just open the back, pop out the battery, slot it straight back in again - and it usually works.
So, I flip the battery out, slot it back in.....and the second the phone kicks back in to life - bingo. The message appears!
So, if this is a known problem, why don't Orange and Blackberry mention this? I don't know, but I've contacted both and said they should. Will this make any difference? I doubt it, but at least I've tried.
~ Final thoughts ~
So, this is a great, in fact in some respects a brilliant phone.
But getting it set up is a nightmare, and I admit had we known it was going to be so difficult before we bought it - We might well have looked elsewhere. But I'm pleased we stuck with it and I would simply say if you look to buy this phone.
1) Ignore most of the information booklets it comes with. They are pap! Look online for independent sites, which will give you pretty much all you need to know.
2) You need to get a Host routing number before you can begin to use the internet system properly, so ask your service provider to walk you through this and then, if a message doesn't appear within the hour, flip the battery out, then put it back and see if that helps. If that still doesn't work, give it about a day, flip the battery a second time - and then do it all over again!
3) This really is a fully functional phone and does a lot, and it has a lot going for it. However, Blackberry are set up heavily towards business customers, so the website isn't really great for the personal user.
4) Information Booklets and Leaflets fail to show some basic information you expect to find, like how to change ringtones. Poor - particularly surprising from Blackberry.
5) It does seem to take longer than the older phones we've had to 'boot' up if the battery runs out, or you take it out for some reason. You do need a little patience. I don't know how other phones of this type compare, but thought it worth mentioning.
6) But despite the problems, this is a great phone and one we are more than happy with and it was actually worth going through all the problems we did to get it working properly, because once it did it really does do the job.
Features Available (taken from the Blackberry site).
Corporate data access
Size and Weight
Length 107mm 107mm 107mm
Width 50mm 50mm 50mm
Depth 14mm 14mm 14mm
Weight Approximately 89g 91g
Keyboard - SureType® QWERTY keyboard with SureType software
3.5mm stereo headset capable
Integrated earpiece/ microphone
Bluetooth® technology Bluetooth v2.0; headset, hands-free and serial port profiles supported
Font size (user selectable)
Light sensing screen
Approximate Battery Life
Standby time 360 hours or 15 days
Talk time 240 minutes or 4 hours
Expandable memory - support for microSD card
Flash memory 64 MB
RIM® wireless modem
Works with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server for Microsoft® Exchange
Works with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server for IBM® Lotus® Domino®
Works with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server for Novell® GroupWise®
Integrates with an existing enterprise email account
Password protection and keyboard lock
Support for AES or Triple DES encryption when integrated with BlackBerry Enterprise Server
Optional support for S/MIME
Europe/Asia Pacific: 1800MHz GSM/GPRS networks
Europe/Asia Pacific: 900MHz GSM/GPRS networks
Costs vary, as do the call packages. We paid £156-99 at Argos (including £10 for airtime), and on contracts you often only pay monthly.
4 out of 5 stars from me. Despite the problems we've had getting it set up - once we did it was worth it, and we do really like the phone.
I was pursuaded into buying a Blackberry Pearl by a friend who is addicted to her 'BB' as she calls it. I wasn't too sure but decided to give it a go. How glad I am! Although I am also now addicted.
The best feature of my phone (apart from it being Pink!) is that I can talk to other people who have a blackberry through messenger instantly and for free. Even when my friends are abroad we can exchange photographs, voiceclips and messages by using the PIN service and not being charged extra. I use it to quickly get in touch and can easily copy and paste information and phone numbers into it.
The other thing is it is easy to get and use useful applications. In particular I use Facebook, which is easy to update on the move. The other feature I find is a fantastic is the 'Panic Button' application which you can download for free. You fill in emergency contact numbers and then should you be in an emergency can press the button and within ten seconds it sends a panic message to your specified contacts. It also send the GPS co-ordinates of where the message has been sent from. It can also send emails with the GPS location pinpointed on Google Maps.
I love the fact I can get emails on the move, it has quickened up my personal and business life. I love the fact it has a small red light that you can set to flash when you get a message or email, so you can glance across at it and see if you have a message without having to grab your phone.
The 'predictive text' is called SureType and is the best predictive text I have come across. It also has a dictionary you can add to to add your own words. It automatically recognizes names and last names when you have placed them in the Address Book.
Another great thing is you can set a password to enter everytime you lock your phone, so no-one else can use it. You can also get cases that automatically lock your phone when you place it in the case.
The phone takes a standard USB connection - the same as most Sat Navs, cameras etc and I have found this great when I've forgotten my phone charger as so many people have this connection.
Sometimes the phone crashes, or the PIN BB messenger stops working for no apparent reason. This can be rectified by turning the phone off, taking battery out and putting back in, turning phone back on.
Some of the settings are a little difficult to find though there is a help section. Some are not in the most obvious places.
Sometimes when the phone is locked it can be quite easy to accidently make an emergency call - not good!
The battery life is quite short if you use it for lots and lots of things over a day.
Overall the phone has honestly changed the way I communicate with friends and business contacts and I honestly don't know what i'd do without it!
Iv had a blackberry 8120 on contract for about 14 months now and am so far on my 4th one! The first one completely crashed within days and would repeatedly type xxxxxxxxxxxx when any button was pressed, the second one kept turning itself off for no reason, then all the messages in the sms, sms, email and facebook inbox would be deleted, the third one was sent out with a foreign keypad on so the button display didnt match what was being typed and my final one so far has only had minor problems and **touch wood** is still doing fine.
The caseing seems to get scratched very easily, i am by no means heavy handed or rough with my phone but I still keep finding new scratches all over it, the rollerball jams easily and gets discoloured very quickly.
However since having this phone I am a converted Blackberry fan, i love the ease of having all my email addresses on my phone, a facebook and msn application and the blackberry messenger.
I probably don't use my phone to its maximum potential as I dont require most of the business applications such as excel etc but its still good to know they are there if needed. I would definately reccommend this phone, but buy from a shop or get on a contract, then if you do have problems you can get a replacement
I've had this phone for a while and after about 8 months, the roller which you use for the navigation stops working and it seems like there's dirty on it so it prevents you using it and it gets very annoying after a while. When reading messages, I now have to use the "2" and "8" to go up and down on the messages which I shouldn't have to do. I have it on contract and, it advise you get it on contract because it's not worth having it on PAYT as you won't be able to enjoy all the benefits as it's costly to keep it up and running - Plus, I don't think it's worth the money you'd pay for it on PAYT. I'd recommend it but the roller puts me off and I don't know if it's just my phone or others but overall, I'd get it on contact, not PAYT.
I have had this phone for a while now - and my contract is coming up, so I will be getting a new phone. I will probably want to stay with Blackberry - but I have not had a smooth ride with this phone! I noticed (or rather my friend asked me why I wasn't replying to her texts!) that some texts weren't coming through. I did a quick search online for the problem & they suggested deleting some pictures or ringtones that I don't use, as sometimes the storage (or lack of) effected the texts (don't ask me how, as I do have a media card in the phone also which I assumed the pictures and tones would be saved on) anyway, it worked, they started coming through again. Also the roller ball in the middle of the phone doesn't like going left now, which is a shame as I love the 'Brick Breaker' game which features on the phone. Anyway, its great for being able to use the internet and get my e-mails sent to me, but it also means I am always contactable! Not so great.... sometimes I wonder if I should just go back to a normal old style phone!!!
To conclude. The camera is second rate, not very sharp. The ringtones are good as you can use real tones, but most phones can now. The layout of the keys are confusing at first (they are like a keyboard) but now I am used to them I'm not sure I could switch back! The e-mail is easy to set up and link with my hotmail account. The internet doesn't let you look at all sites (possibly just with Orange as it safeguards some sites). The screen is nice and bright and clear. Navigating is easy & you can design the layout of the 'desktop' how you want, like the order of things, for example mine goes key lock, sms, email, phonebook, call register etc etc to less important ones.
This is a pretty good phone, I will always by a phone with internet access like this one from now on!
It is sleek, not too chunky, but easy to use. I have to admit when I first got it I was baffled. I am always great with phones, and can work out how to use them without the need of a manual. not with the blackberry. it took me ages to learn how to type on here and how to use it, but once learnt, it is actually easier to use than other phones! The buttons are set out like a keyboard, so does take a bit of getting used to.
The picture is very good, you can change your wallpaper like most phones, the camera isnt great, but its better than other phones I have had and still does the job.
It has features such as email, address book, calendar, free internet browsing, media player, video recording and player, mp3 player, blackberry chat, maps, voice notes recorder, games, voice dialing, password keeper, memo pad, and much more!
The best feature for me has to be the free internet and access to emails, it just comes in so useful!
The only problem I have had is that it does break a bit, I have had to return mine twice now, but guess it doesnt help that i drop it all the time!
The memory is great, I never have to delete anything, and the battery lasts ages too. I would definitely get a blackberry again, couldnt live without it!
As far as I'm aware this phone is available in many colours including blue, red, black and pink. I know there's definitely pink as this is the one I chose, it was free on a £20 O2 contract. I chose the phone honestly because it was the only pretty pink phone on the market, I find some slightly tacky but this had a little class and personlity. However, even though my reason of chose was superficial, I was soon to find out just how good a BlackBerry was.
The actual phone is nice to hold, the buttons aren't too small and neither is the screen. It's not one of these silly thin phones or touch phones, I can feel the buttons I press and I can fee the phone in my hand. The numbers are set out as normal but the keyboard is like a computer and follows the QWERTY layout. I found the keyboard hard to use at first but soon grew fond of it, I'm a fast typer on the computer so I was soon using this to my advantage and became an equally fast texter. As well as texting, this phone also allows you to e-mail and better yet, recieve e-mail which is great if you're expecting something important.
The phone also has camera and video features, to be honest these aren't the best features the phone has to offer but I guess it had to lack something. The camera is just 2MP which is nothing compared to the new phones on the market that start off at 5MP and even 8MP. The videos come out slightly blurry and the flash is very bright and not high tech t all. Saying all this, I have taken a few good shots so it's not all bad.
The memory on this phone is not a lot but mine came with a free memory card, I'm sure most do so this is an advantage because some memory cards retail at over £10. This allows you to store more pictures, e-mails, videos, texts and music. A great feature of the phone is the roller ball, similiar to the ball found in old computer mouses, this makes viewing texts and web pages easier as you can scroll much quicker saving time, so this really helps you navigate around the phone.
With smart phone, you can add applications such as MSN, Facebook and MySpace, maeaning instead of going onto the internet each time and typing in the web address and then logging into your various networks, you can simply click on the application and then your chosen page is laid out in a mobile friendly page. This way you can do what you usually do on the computer but in a phone friendly way. Many applications are free to add, so that's one less thing you need to pay for.
You can also get GPS as one of the applications. It works really well and so if you need directions or can't afford a Sat Nav for the car, this is the app for you. One slight downside is that it takes a long time sometimes to find a sattelite which is needed so the GPS can locate where you are, no a good thing if you're in a rush.
The battery life is realy good, one charge overnight usually lasts me 3-4 days depending on how much I use it during this time. What annoys me is the annoying flashing light that lets me know it needs charging, suely the bttery would last longer if there was no light but I guess the ligt is better than a constant vibration or tone.
One last thing that I don't get is that when you're on very low battery, instead of just switching off, the phone first switches off the mobile network meaning your phone is still on and working but you can no longer make or recieve calls/texts. What's the point in that? Just switch off! The whole point of the phone is to make calls, why stay on and make me believe that I still have enough battery to make calls when I actually don't! Excuse my rant, I just needed to get it off my chest. But apart from this, it really is the best phone I've had in a while and I do recommend it.
One of the reasons I decided to get the Blackberry pearl was because it's a smart phone, it does a bit of everything and the main reason I wanted this phone was to go on the internet, and check on facebook and my email etc.
The phone I sturdy and feels solid, it's light and easy to use although the QWERTY keyboard is a bit hard to get use to but you soon get the hang of it.
As I said the phone does a bit of everything you can take pictures and the phone also has a flash, The images can be a bit blurry but its ok while taking pics outside, with just 2mp there are better options on the market but this phone can do everything so I will let it off.
You can do movies but you will need to buy a larger memory card if you want to save them and send them to friends or upload to your computer etc.
I'm not sure how big the standard memory card is but it's big enough to store a fair amount of pictures although videos obviously use a lot more space.
I love the roller ball function on this phone; it's like a little mouse which makes it easy to navigate, especially around WebPages.
I have many applications I have added to my blackberry, mainly Msn and yahoo messenger so I can keep in touch with my friends on the go and of course facebook so I can update my status.
You can add applications easy by going to the homepage using your blackberry and they take a couple of minutes to download, some are free and some charge a fee.
Lots of applications are free to download although I barely look these days as the ones I have downloaded I barely use but I don't tend to fiddle around with my phone that much.
Its very American this phone a lot of the applications such as finding a good film or restaurant are aimed at the American consumers which is a tad annoying.
You can get GPS on this phone although i have never used this I think you have to pay something like £20 to get the application on your phone although I am not 100% sure on the cost.
To lock the phone it's pretty annoying not like some Nokias where the keypad locks automatically, I'm forever calling people in my pocket. I have had a look but can't find anything to put it on auto lock so if anyone knows please give me a shout.
Also there's this little button on the side of the phone and when pressed it shouts "SAY A COMMAND" In a really LOUD American accent which annoys the hell out of me, I'm sure I could programme this button for another function but I haven't bothered to find out as yet.
Also this "SAY A COMMAND" button is a voice prompt but you have to talk with an American accent to really get it to recognise names in your address book, to be honest its easier to just ring using your fingers.
This phone does everything pictures, videos, internet the only thing it doesn't do is go to work for me and clean up.
The phone is really good with battery life but this all depends on how much your using it I guess.
Good all rounder phone for a good price probably grab one of these on eBay for £140
Also when I got my phone from the 02 Shop I got a Pink one, they also had a blue one but these were only available on contract.
I love my blackberry pearl. It is my favourite phone thus far. It is stylish, came free with my dolphin orange contract and its smaller than the regular blackberry.
To start with I will admit that there were a few issues getting used to the QWERTY keypad (even though i use a computer daily) and the roller ball 'enter' and 'move' button. However, after a couple of weeks it gets easier and now i wouldnt return to any of my old phones.
The internet on it is relatively fast for a mobile and connects anywhere which is useful if you dont know your bank balance and need to check when shopping etc.
The ability to add emails, word, powerpoint etc is very useful and I have no complaints there. Well alright the fact that I cant figure out how to turn the tone off when an email comes through is pretty irritating. But thats more my laziness than the phone itself.
The thing I would note as the main problem with the phone dependant on what you are buying it for is the camera quality. I tried to take some pictures of the snow and it was very pixelated and dull looking.
Finally the last issue i would comment on is the scroll bar when the phone is locked. I have had my phone since september and have called emergency services 3 times now as the second option on the scroll bar is to call them and the first option after that is to agree to call. This is very frustrating as i do not like to waste their time.
I'm embarrassed to admit this but I'm going to do it anyway - here goes - the only reason I first got my Blackberry was because it was pink. I'm sorry girls - I have just admitted I am a girlie idiot and unlike most people, didn't do extensive research on features and benefits of getting a Blackberry - I just picked it because it was pink.
Aside from the colour the Blackberry has many many more good things about it which I have discovered over the past 8 months or so.
When your shiny new Blackberry comes out of the box it is supplied with a USB charger cable (very good for keeping at work and charging from the laptop), a US plug adapter (useful for travelling), a holster (of which more later) and a software CD. Now again i'm going to make myself sound bad here but I have never installed the CD - I'm sure when I do I will discovered many more exciting things I can dow ith my Blackberry but for now I'll stick tot he basic functions I use.
Obviously the Blackberry is a phone, it's primary function is this and it's great at it. Battery lasts for ages - the holster has a special sensor which turns the screen off when the phone is inside, thus saving on battery. You can also set the phone to have different responses to things depending on if it is in it's case or not i.e. it can be on silent but when in the case on loud or vice versa. I receive my work and personal email to my Blackberry - which is great for me as my office doesn't allow access to hotmail etc. In the same vein I also have facebook, msn and gtalk on it which are all banned in the office - so at least I can stay in touch if I need to.
My Outlook calendar synchs with my Blackberry which is great -it's not always instant but I am lead to believe this is an improvement I will see when i install the software!
The phone has all the extras you would expect from a mobile these days - half decent camera, calculator, taks list, voice recorder, phone book, games etc. Specific Blackberry extras include maps - a kind of walkers sat nav, and voice dialling. The best thing by far about my Blackberry though is Blackberry messenger - it's like msn but for blackberry users and means your friends ith Blackberry's can communicate with you for free -it's a great tool and often I don't use anywhere near all my allocated texts because I use messenger (obviously your friends have to have Blackberry's too - which is a downside).
The only problem I have come across with my Blackberry is that every now and again it has a memory overload and clears all my messages and texts from the handset - you can get round this by turning it off regularly, deleting old messages and saving important things to the SIM or a memory card which you casn insert. It's not a big thing -it just scared me the first time it happened!
So after making a decision based on colour I was lucky and ended up with a great phone with loads of useful features - and of course..it's pink!