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Pearl 9100 3G Bold 9650  

Apr 26, 2010, 9:50 AM   by Eric M. Zeman
updated Apr 29, 2010, 8:32 AM

Phone Scoop is on site in Orlando at RIM's Wireless Enterprise Symposium event. RIM introduced two new BlackBerries -- Pearl 9100 3G and Bold 9650 -- and BlackBerry 6.

The Pearl 9100 3G from RIM is a big improvement in the Pearl line of devices. The form factor hasn't changed overmuch, but the guts of the device sure have. Phone Scoop spent some time with it at RIM's Wireless Enterprise Symposium event.

The Pearl 3G feels great in the hand. It's solid, compact, and RIM has manufactured it with high-quality plastic and metal materials. It feels every bit the business phone it is intended to be. There are two versions of the new Pearl, a 20-key variant and a 14-key varient. The 20-key is similar to what the Pearl has always been available with. The 14-key is new for the Pearl line.

 

Pearl 9100 3G

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The new display (for both variants) looks great. RIM has packed in extra pixels, and its extremely bright and colorful. It is by far the best display available from the Pearl line.

The 20-key version will continue to be controversial. The Pearl 9100 3G offers the best version of a 20-key keyboard with SureType, but it still manages to be a bit mushy. The keys have a very distinct shape to them. In fact, they probably have too much shape to the point that they are almost point. There are deep valleys and peaks on the keyboard. The SureType predictive text entry works as well as it always has. Some times it works great, some times it is really annoying.

The 14-key is new. It goes with a standard phone dial pad, but still uses SureType (instead of T9). From left to right, the rows are one solid piece rather than individual keys, so the "1", "2", and "3" buttons are one large button rather than individual. Same for the "4", "5", and "6" and "7", "8", and "9" rows. The smooth shape actually feels better under your thumb than the 20-key version, and the peaks and valleys are less defined (and less pointy).

Here's what the keyboards look like side-by-side:

 

Pearl 9100 & 9105

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The two new Pearls are identical in every other way. The 3.5mm headset jack is on the left side of the Pearl, and the microUSB port is below that. There is a smooth application key that can be customized to the user's will.

The volume toggle and second application key are placed on the right. All these buttons are easy to find and easy to use. They have good travel and feedback.

 

Pearl 9105

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

As for the operating system, the Pearl 9100 3G runs BlackBerry OS 5.0. It looks identical to what's been offered on the Bold 9700 and other devices for some time. I will say this, however. The Pearl has a 624MHz processor in it, and it FLIES. It is the fastest, most responsive BlackBerry I have ever used. In short, it's amazing to use.

Here's a video of the device in action:

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Does Anyone.... afroman4 Apr 26, 2010, 12:36 PM
Buy stock... tysechler247 Apr 27, 2010, 2:06 PM
? OldPhone Apr 26, 2010, 11:38 AM
 
 
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