BlackBerry Pearl 8100
- Sleek and slim design, Multimedia features, Trackball navigation, Same email capabilities as previous BlackBerry's, Wider appeal
- SureType can take some time to grasp, Keys quite small
Finally, a BlackBerry that appeals to the regular consumer. The Pearl is an excellent device that sacrifices none of RIM's famous email functionality while still managing to provide a compact and light form factor and multimedia capabilities.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
The BlackBerry has long been synonymous with business. Compared with today's multimedia-savvy phones, Research In Motion's addictive devices have had something of a staid image; but this has changed with the impressive BlackBerry Pearl 8100, the first BlackBerry to have a built-in camera, and both audio and video players.
Die-hard BlackBerry fans will be glad to hear that the addition of all these consumer-friendly features hasn't lessened the device's messaging prowess. The Pearl supports the RIM push e-mail technology that has made the BlackBerry so popular, and adding a POP3 e-mail account is a snap. You simply enter your e-mail address and password, and within minutes your messages will be delivered to the device. It also supports AOL, ICQ, MSN, and Yahoo instant messaging networks.
The candy bar-style Pearl has an attractive shiny black-and-silver finish. The handset is noticeably light and petite, weighing just 89g. However, its compact size comes with a trade-off; the Pearl's keys are quite small, so those with large fingers will experience problems typing.
Like BlackBerry 7100 series models, the Pearl features a SureType keyboard, a modified QWERTY keyboard that saves space by combining two letters on most keys. Once you start to type, the SureType system suggests words based on the letters that you've entered. When SureType guesses correctly the system is a wonderful time-saver, although this doesn't always happen, meaning it can become a time-consuming chore. The best feature of SureType is the fact that the Pearl will automatically scan all incoming emails, messages and phone book entries and add words not already in the SureType word list.
For navigation, an incandescent pearl-white trackball sits on the face of the phone, immediately below the display. This trackball replaces the standard BlackBerry jog wheel. The effect is aesthetically pleasing, but we're not sure how the trackball will hold up after a few months of use. It doesn't feel strong or sturdy.
In our tests call quality was mixed: On some calls voices sounded loud and clear, but on others we noticed a slight echo. The device's talk-time battery life is excellent lasting 8 hours and 34 minutes in our tests.
Among the Pearl's biggest attractions are its multimedia capabilities. The included 1.3-megapixel camera is easy to use, though it lacks a dedicated shutter control (instead, you press the trackball to capture shots, and roll the trackball to zoom in or out). The built-in flash is handy for low-light shooting. Picture quality was about average: bright colours looked washed out, and snapshots sometimes lacked crispness. The Pearl doesn't capture video, but it does play video clips, which look fantastic, if small, on its 240 x 260 pixel TFT display.
The Pearl is the first BlackBerry to be equipped with a music player. You can transfer AAC, MP3, and WAV files to the device via the included Desktop Manager software. You can also store music files on a microSD card (not included), but the card slot is inconveniently situated beneath the phone's battery.
Overall, none of the new features on the Pearl qualifies as truly innovative, but when you combine its well-executed features with RIM's messaging capabilities and the device's sleek look, the BlackBerry Pearl is clearly a winner.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Xiaomi planning second version of its revolutionary Mi Mix ‘bezel-less’ phone
- 5G progress at Ericsson could help enterprises work worldwide
- Apple smartphones outsold Samsung's in Q4
- Apple joins Wireless Power Consortium, charging up iPhone 8 rumor
- Google might be gearing up to remove millions of Play Store apps next month
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSecurity Solutions Architect - Consultancy - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCProject ManagerSA
- CCCA ITCM / ITCA EngineerNSW
- TPProject Manager to manage two concurrent ProjectsQLD
- FTERP ConsultantQLD
- CCSystems Engineer (Systems Architect/Designer)VIC
- CCProject Manager - Telco Networks EngineeringVIC
- TPDigital Strategist - Newcastle BasedNSW
- FTSalesforce AdministratorQLD
- CCProject Manager - Adelaide basedNSW
- TPTechnical Support Resource-Skype for BusinessVIC
- CCCommercial Contract AdministratorNSW
- FTSenior Solution ArchitectSA
- FTSenior Network AdministratorNSW
- TPAgile Business AnalystQLD
- FTSalesforce Technical Consultant/Architect Global IT Company - SydneyNSW
- CCMDM Consultant/DesignerVIC
- FTData AnalystQLD
- CCUser Experience Designer - Part time - Short contractACT
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- TPMid-Level Java DeveloperNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)VIC
- CCSolution Architect - Financial applicationsVIC
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)VIC
- TPMicrosoft Analyst ProgrammerSA