Summary: Compact and stylish, the Pearl puts full Blackberry functionality in your shirt pocket. And yet the compromises forced upon it may not be to your liking. That said, it works well enough, and it's sure to be high on the wants list of those who absolutely need to be able to read their emails while sunning themselves on a beach (that's all of us on this site then).
Pros: Size, easy to use and set up, trackball navigation, excellent Blackberry interface
Cons: Lacks 3G, Screen not ideal for larger web page/email viewing/reading, SureType keypad function takes some getting used to
Excerpt: There are times when smaller is not necessarily better, such as when cell phone makers try to shoehorn every conceivable technology into their cell phone despite all of the restrictive geographic logic. Not only are ergonomics compromised but trying to locate, program, and control all of the varying features becomes a nightmare, to say nothing of the pinhead-sized buttons.
Pros: Blackberry push/pull e-mail functionality; GSM EDGE/GPRS quad-band world compatibility
Cons: MicroSD slot behind battery; no Blackberry jog wheel; no standalone MP3 application; confusing menus
Conclusion: The BlackBerry Pearl is RIM’s ideal device to bring fresh recruits to the “CrackBerry” camp with its sleek style and new-user friendly features. In this fashion conscious mobile market, looks alone will sell quite a few Pearls. While traditional BlackBerry users will need some time to get used to the new keyboard and form factor, the updated software bundle including the media player, voice dialing software and Maps will surely move some of them forward.
Pros: Great looking device that’s not just flashy by BlackBerry standards but good looking compared to any other phone on the market. The bright display is impressive. The email setup wizard enhances the tried and true BlackBerry push email experience, especially for new users and those whose devices aren’t configured by an IT department. The security updates in the server to work with the Pearl will put IT managers at ease. We’re glad that RIM included an IM client for pop...
Cons: MicroSD slot is under the battery. Camera can’t shoot video. Bluetooth profiles are limited. The video player supports a small set of formats.
Excerpt: The Blackberry Pearl, also known as the 8100, is the first BlackBerry aimed squarely at consumers. The phone sports a built-in camera, music/video players and a bright 240-by-260 color screen. Unlike its suit and tie predecessors, the Pearl is very thin and fits nicely into a pocket. Of course there are some tradeoffs. The Pearl ditches the QWERTY keyboard and scroll wheel that made Blackberry famous.