RIM unveils new BlackBerry Pearl 8100

RIM has launched the BlackBerry Pearl 8100, its first device that crosses over to a prosumer audience, taking the BlackBerry out of the boardroom and into the mainstream. With a built-in camera, media player and expandable memory, the Pearl is also phone sized and very slimline at 14.5mm thick. The Pearl does resembles the previous 7130g but we have to admit it's a far sleeker and sexier design. RIM also assures CrackBerry fans that it's still 100% a BlackBerry but it can also be regarded as a smartphone.

The standard BlackBerry traits remain - push email, SureType dual QWERTY keyboard, BlackBerry web browser - but now you get a 1.3-megapixel camera with built-in flash, a media player than spins MP3 and ACC music formats and video playback of MPEG4 and H.263 files plus a microSD card slot to expand the memory up to 2GB.

Sadly the Pearl isn't 3G-enabled but its does support EDGE technology (2.75G) while it also sports a new Trackball navigation technique that inspired the Pearl moniker. RIM has also partnered with the likes of Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to provide easy access to their email and instant messaging services.

The BlackBerry Pearl 8100 is expected to arrive in October and RIM hinted that all major UK networks have signed up the device.

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