Conclusion: A nice update to the wildly popular Pearl that should extend the line's life another year. RIM fixed the niggles we had with the first version-- namely moving the microSD card slot out from under the battery, tweaking SureType prediction, enhancing the web browser and adding WiFi. We'd have loved a GPS inside but given the Pearl's very small size, there may well be a limit to how many features RIM can squeeze in.
Pros: Great looks, incredibly light and quite small. Responsive and stable. The usual excellent push email is compelling if you're an email addict or messaging type. Bright and sharp display, excellent sound quality in call and for music playback through wired and Bluetooth stereo headphones. Has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack for music playback and the included headset is quite good too. Has WiFi, though the web browser isn't hugely faster when using WiFi (it probably hel...
Cons: Battery life could be better. Media player doesn't handle higher quality encoded video easily. Still no 3G. SureType may be hard to adjust to if you've been a full-QWERTY keyboard phone user.
Excerpt: The Pearl has a display of 65,000 colours at a resolution of 240 x 260 pixels. But such a small screen could give you eyestrain while viewing PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations.
Summary: T-Mobile customers looking to upgrade their BlackBerry Pearl or get their first smartphone will find a good choice in the RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8120. It's also compatible with T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home service and $50 cheaper than AT&T's model.
Pros: The RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8120 brings integrated Wi-Fi and works with T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home service. The compact smartphone also has an improved Web browser and a 2-megapixel camera with video recording capabilities.
Cons: The Pearl 8120's SureType keyboard requires a learning curve, and the camera's video quality is poor. It also lacks integrated GPS.
Summary: The addition of Wi-Fi and other enhancements make the RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8120 a nice upgrade, but we couldn't help wanting a little more from the smartphone.
Pros: The RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8120 for AT&T brings Wi-Fi to the slim smartphone, along with an improved Web browser and a 2-megapixel camera with video recording capabilities. The handset also has integrated Bluetooth, strong e-mail capabilities, and solid multimedia features.
Cons: The BlackBerry Pearl 8120 lacks 3G support and GPS. The SureType keyboard still requires a learning curve, and there was a slight background hiss during phone calls.
Summary: This latest wave of Pearls improves upon the originals in small but meaningful ways, and T-Mobile’s 8120 might be the most appealing of the bunch to mainstream consumers. Beyond the improved keyboard, camera, and headphone jack, T-Mob added WiFi support for data services and HotSpot@Home calling, and made the Pearl perhaps the best H@H handset in their current lineup.
Pros: Integrated WiFi for Web, Email, and HotSpot@Home UMA Calling; Trackball is easy to use; Integrated IM Clients; Second-to-None Push Email; 2MP Camera with Flash; 3.5 mm Headphone Jack; Compact Size