BlackBerry Pearl 8120 in-depth review -

Look and feel

The Pearl is without doubt the most attractive of RIM's Blackberry range and the 8120 is another looker. Although a touch larger than conventional mobiles, the BlackBerry Pearl 8120 is relatively cmpact for a smartphone. RIM manages this by including a SureType keypad rather than a full QWERTY.

Ease of use

The trackball is great for speedy navigation `around the Pearl 8120's menu system, however, the mini-keyboard offers two QWERTY letters per key instead of T9's three or four. This can take a bit of getting used to. You need to live with the system for a while to get used to it.

Features

The most notable absence on the new Pearl is 3G, though it is Quad-band GSM with EDGE. Still, it is great to see Wi-Fi make it into the Pearl range, and Bluetooth is still here too. There is a camera on board - two megapixels (up from 1.3 megapixels on the original Pearl), with a flash unit. There is also a media player that lets you create and edit playlists on the device itself.

Performance

Email is flawless, as you'd expect from a BlackBerry. And, Wi-Fi really does make a difference, especially to those with a network at home.

Mentioning the web browser gives us a chance to highlight one of the many new features. The browser incorporates a full page view with a magnifying glass that you can use to zoom into a particular area and it really makes the most of the small screen.

Battery life

The Pearl 8120 offers a good, mid-range battery life.

 BlackBerry Pearl 8120 Review -
4

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:50:53 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

8

out of 5

Look and feel

8

out of 5

Ease of use

6

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Another slinky, thin-format BlackBerry, adding Wi-Fi into the Pearl mix.

Cons:

You may not like the quirky SureType data-entry system and there's still no 3G.

The Original BlackBerry Pearl caused quite a stir with its rounded mini-trackball for navigation and its tiny format. But there were some absences and niggles. The new, blue Pearl 8120 clears up some but not all of the problems. There are lots of small changes that add up to make this a significantly improved device over its predecessor.



The most notable absence on the new Pearl is 3G. Nope, this still isn't a 3G device, though it is Quad-band GSM with EDGE.

Still, it is great to see Wi-Fi make it into the Pearl range, and Bluetooth is still here too. Wi-Fi really does make a difference, especially to those with a network at home.

Mentioning the web browser gives us a chance to highlight one of the many new features. The browser incorporates a full page view with a magnifying glass that you can use to zoom into a particular area and it really makes the most of the small screen.

Mobile email on the Blackberry Pearl

Yes, the Pearl 8120 is first and foremost a mobile email device, though that is becoming one feature among many as RIM works out that consumers want mobile email just like their business-suited counterparts, but they want other stuff as well.

There is a camera on board - two megapixels (up from 1.3 megapixels on the original Pearl), with a flash unit. There is also a media player that lets you create and edit playlists on the device itself. Neither has quite the range of features you'll find on a smartphone from, say, Sony Ericsson, but both are good enough for many of us.

Even better, RIM has finally given in to the complaints and included a 3.5mm headset connector. We never thought it was all that difficult to move from 2.5mm to 3.5mm. RIM has proved us right.

In response to other grumbles, there is now a microSD card slot on the side of the casing rather than underneath the battery and it is so much easier to get to.

The Pearl's SureType keyboard

The mini-keyboard on the Pearl 8120 offers two QWERTY letters per key instead of T9's three or four. This can take a bit of getting used to and it is vital you do for mobile email.

Fortunately, new features on the Pearl help. There is now a spell checker, but even better is the word-completion tool. It predicts what word you are typing and learns the words you use and offers these first to help speed things up.

You need to live with the system for a while to get used to it, but overall, the Pearl 8120 is smaller than other BlackBerry devices and much more like an ordinary mobile in the pocket or bag.