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Review: BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9100 Review
|Review By: Ankit Sinha Review Date: 26 Feb 2011 |
BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9100 carries upon RIM’s older established Pearl family with some updates- a new 3.2 Mega Pixel camera with flash, a optical trackpad instead of the outdated trackball and Wi-Fi 802.11n capability which is first in a Blackberry phone. If we replace the OS with BlackBerry OS 5.0 then effectively we just get a lackBerry Bold 9700 though a smaller version.
The body of Pearl 9100 is no doubt small but that does make it easily pocketable and if you have a practice on how to type on a SureType keypad then you also get a good typing speed. Definitely Wi-Fi is a big attraction here in such a small phone and I was also hoping for a good performance from it on the Wi-Fi.
From just looking you can tell that the body of this phone is strong and why not it should be after all BlackBerry has an image to keep up of its famed first BlackBerry brand name. So does the phone also lives up to other expectations? Let’s find out.
Hardware of BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9100
In know I have already said this above but I will again mention the fact that the phone is really well built. The part look very efficiently put together and the placement of keys on the keypad is also very snug.
The display supports 65,536 colors with 360x400 pixel resolution which will give you rich color saturation both in images as well as text. The icons too are bold and rich to give a nice look.
The color of the phone is dark unlike other BlackBerry phones which is a nice change. The side surface has a rubber coating with convenience keys seamless integrated with this surface. This rubber surface provides an excellent grip. The battery cover is similar to 8500 series of BlackBerry in single slate shape which effectively reduces the parts which you will have to fiddle with. Below the battery door RIM guys have some a useful addition of a button which pops out the SIM saving a few scratches on the SIM when otherwise you would have pried it out. Other models of BlackBerry have a hinge for this purpose but believe me this is much better.
Not is just the size is good but in fact is not as big as compared to the first Pearl. The weight is just right, not too heavy not too light. The optical trackpad is not doubt much ahead of trackball in terms of convenience and efficiency but the input faces problem in direct sunlight. The trackball had the inconvenience of getting stuck due to grit and now the trackpad has the problem of sunlight.
On the keypad we have keys with each key having two letters which might take you some time getting used to. Here to fasten your typing you will also have to learn to work with the predictive dictionary but beware, if you type wrong then this dictionary will also guess it wrong even if your mistake was only of a single word. Most probably it will mess up your word even more if it had been understandable on a QWERTY keypad phone.
Software on BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9100
It runs on BlackBerry OS 188.8.131.529. BlackBerry OS 5.0 was first launched with BlackBerry Storm 2 with a lot of improvements and new features like drop down menus by touch, numerous visual updates and also number of useful stuff like remote look up files and email flags. If you are not used to high end performance mobile phones like Android, iOS or Windows phone 7 then you will like the graphical improvements and simple user friendly interface. BlackBerry has always been famed as a mobile phone for the business class and people serious about their phones and this is the reason why its interface has more focus on its usability rather than nonsense, inexperienced and just pretty-pretty experience. But if you are the user of the high end mobiles with the above mentioned OS then you would be disappointed with the staid icon layout and seemingly old menu interface. But then every OS had its pros and cons and I would recommend trying this OS out too and see for yourself what just might suit you.
Some of these efficiencies can be messaging, the feature for which BlackBerry is most famous for. Outside box it can be used only for emails but you work with its option to receive messages there too. The messages app has huge potential in it. You just need to download and install apps like GTalk, Facebook and Twitter and then you message app will not only receive email but will become one stop halt for your all text connectivity needs.
Here your address book is also deeply integrated with your social networks and even the messenger services. As soon as you sync your email and social networking accounts on your respective apps the phone imports all your contact details to your address book. Now I don’t know if this is sounding good to you or not but this is definitely not something I am happy about. In most of our social networking and messenger accounts there are a number of people with whom we might share a line or two once in a while but there is no chance of us getting in actual contact with these persons like a phone chat. Accept it, most of us have numerous online ‘friends’ but would definitely not wish all of them to have your personal contact number. These ‘contacts’ not only invade your address book but their photos are also updated according to their online profiles. I hope you can understand what a situation it would create!
Anyhow, you can easily upload your images to your online accounts too. To shorten the options which are available for networking there is a small menu which can be pulled by clicking on the touchpad. It has the most commonly used tasks and also highlights the single most commonly used task so that you can quickly double click it and be done with it.
In my opinion I think there is no better intuitive mobile than BlackBerry mobiles. For a new user the number of options can be a little overwhelming but once you know the options you use regularly it is difficult to suggest a mobile of different company which can provide a faster or simpler access to the functionalities. Also noteworthy is that the app selection as well as their prices are not in any case steller. Though if you have used a iPhone then you might think on what you have spent you precious bucks on. There will be no latest apps regularly but yeah, you will get a useful app once or twice in a month and moreover on this phone the memory available to you might end up forcing you to budget up on how important are the app to use your memory.
If you wanna make your experience on this phone enjoyable then the first thing you should learn are the keyboard shortcuts. Being a trend setting mobile in field of texting it has some subtle shortcuts to make your typing easy. For example when you are typing a email address the pressing the space bar will enter the @ sign and a second press would enter a period. Mostly you don’t need to take care of capital and period because that is automatically taken care of. There are a number of shortcut keys on this mobile to make navigation on this phone easier. It is just a matter of memorizing then and your experience will become totally smooth.
Web Browser of BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9100
Multimedia in BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9100
Pearl 3G 9100Curve 8500 series which will catch the eye of music lovers. For most people the currently available 16 GB external memory limit will be enough but some hardcore music lovers might find it a bit less. The positioning of the media control buttons is little inconvenient, the button is at the top, so that if you putting it in your pocket then pushing the mobile in might accidently lead to the pressing of the button.
The camera has a resolution of 3.2 Mega Pixels which captures high quality images but the setback here is the shortage of options for manual settings like exposure and cropping though for everyday usage the automatic settings also perform well. Here noteworthy I the continuing of the two-level press key for the camera which means that you can activate autofocus without shooting. This was first launched in Storm 2 and looks like will be continued in future sets too.
Signal Strength and Battery life of BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9100
Call quality depends largely on the network coverage and if the phone does not have any defect it will work almost same in every mobile. Call quality in Pearl 3G 9100 is clear and similar what most mobiles give.
The battery too is just average, working fine for a complete day on a average usage and a bit more hours it your calls are not too many. Now let us get to the interesting part of Wi-Fi 802.11n.
This is the highest class in Wi-Fi right now after the ‘g’ class. The reason for interest in this Wi-Fi class is due to the theoretical speed it claims to give. After the 54 Mb/s of b and g class, n offers a speed of 600Mb/s speed which is just a huge jump. Sad to say that it is just theoretical and actually it has no advantage over Bold’s Wi-Fi class, in fact sometimes Bold instead performed better. What may be the reason for it we can only guess may be the battery or the processor but the bottomline is that there is nothing to get excited about Wi-Fi 802.11n.
Overall I would say that the BlackBerry experience is totally present here in Pearl 3G 9100 with almost negligible compromises made due to the size. The screen size might be a con but it more than makes up for it by the comfort and convenience in portability. As for the SureType keypad, it will take you a week or two of regular usage to develop a speed near or almost as same as you had on a QWERTY keypad but then till then you would have to keep your patience.
Read complete review
|Value for money: |
Good: Slim phone fitted with Wi-Fi, GPS and 3G support optical touch pad and media keys are nice
Bad: SureType keys a lot of time to getting used to, picture quality not as good as expected
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