BlackBerry's first flip phone is neither small nor slim, but the compensation is an excellent keyboard that's large for a flip phone. The inner screen could be larger, but the quality is as clear and crisp as we'd expect from BlackBerry.
The Pearl Flip rocks the same user interface on the Storm and Bold, with bright, well-designed icons and easy access to a number of corporate email systems via POP - Exchange and Lotus Domino, for example.
Wi-Fi but no 3G makes for spotty web browsing, and the camera is a dinky 2.0-megapixels. There's no GPS either. Its 3.5mm headphone jack makes you wonder if it's meant to take on the music-phone market, but you'd need to use a microSD card to boost its unimpressive 128MB of on-board.
The phone provides a well-oiled user experience, from an uncluttered interface to intuitive menus. The camera, though low-resolution, does have an LED flash, and can shoot video as well (albeit at an unexciting 240x180).
Talktime is 240 minutes, standby 336 hours.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:54:09 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
Good battery life, large keyboard and a functional front screen.
Poor camera, no GPS and no 3G
The BlackBerry Pearl Flip could not be described as a neat and tidy handset. When closed it is not particularly small or thin, and when open the handset stretches to 18mm in length.
What you get in return for size is a big keyboard (for a flip phone). The keys have the usual SureType design we are used to from the candybar format, with two QWERTY characters to a key.
There is also a miniature trackball button nestled in a recessed surround. The only other buttons are the call and end/power keys and the recognisable BlackBerry menu and back buttons. Again, these are large.
The inner screen is not quite as big as it could be but is as clear and sharp as we have come to expect from BlackBerry. There is a front screen too, of course. While only offering 128x160 pixels, it has some interesting and handy functions. When you are playing music the screen displays album art, and shows a little indicator that tells you how many unread emails you have.
You will be happy if you like the user interface design on the Storm and Bold, because the same one is used on the Pearl. To access all the applications and services on the device, the UI relies on bold, well-designed icons against a black background. A key service is mobile email and setting up POP accounts is very easy.You can also use the Pearl Flip with all the various corporate systems RIM supports as a matter of course, namely BlackBerry Enterprise Server for Microsoft Exchange, BlackBerry Enterprise Server for IBM Lotus Domino and BlackBerry Enterprise Server for Novell GroupWise.Wi-Fi is built-in, though it is a real shame that this phone is limited to quad-band GSM. 3G support would have helped it along in the web browsing stakes. That said, we did find the browser to be quite good at rendering pages.
Nowhere. This BlackBerry lacks a GPS antenna, though various mapping applications can be downloaded. This means you cannot use it for sat nav purposes and you cannot geo-tag photos taken with the two-megapixel camera.
We think two megapixels is a bit mean, especially since five and even eight-megapixel camera phones are becoming more widespread. There is an LED flash and the camera also shoots video, though its maximum resolution is just 240x180 pixels.
Music fans will like the album art display and the 3.5mm headset jack, but will need a microSD card to boost the on-board memory if they want to carry music around.