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Review: BlackBerry Pearl

Form Basics Extras Video Wrap Up Comments  100+  

Is It Your Type Body Three S's  

Oct 26, 2006, 11:03 AM   by Eric Lin

Our In Depth review of the sleek BlackBerry Pearl consumer messaging phone. NEW: video review added.

RIM BlackBerries, long the standard phone for any high powered executive to carry, have begun to draw more interest among mainstream users. Maybe it's because people see famous stars carrying them around now. Or maybe it's because they've been talked about for so long.

The Pearl is RIM's first attempt to grab some mainstream market share. It adds a camera and media player to the Blackberry's email and phone skills and packs it all into a slimmer and dare we say sexier body. Unfortunately, though they updated the features and design, they seem to have ignored the interface.


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Apr 23, 2007, 8:17 AM

Vibrate and Ring

Greetings all, I recently purchased the BB Pearl and I am loving it. I always come here and read the posts on any phone I own at the time and I must say you guys are very informative. My question is does the BB Pearl have a feature where it allows the phone to vibrate and ring and secondly is there a separate section for setting alert tones for either voice mail or text messages. I have read the manual completely but did find a few things out on the forum that wasn't included in the manual (like locking the keypad without going through the apps). Any help would be greatly appreciated. 😉

Oct 28, 2006, 8:41 AM

I just wish the video was better.....

I've been using an MDA since Feb. and I had to have the Pearl and so far I am loving it. But the video compression on the MDA was so much better and not just because of the screen size. Still pretty cool to be able to fit four or five full length movies on that little thing. 😎
What do you do to get movies on your media card?
How do you put movies on the pearl? I work for a carrier that will be getting the pearl in December so I will definetly need that tidbit for down times!!
You can use a program called SUPER to convert your .avi, .wmv, .mov or almost any format into .avi for the Pearl. There's more info at BlackBerry forums. Then you put them on the device w/ BT or USB. They won't play on my PC though so I can't test the...

Nov 7, 2006, 3:32 PM

Silence A Call...

Does anyone know how to silence a call without hitting ignore or sending the caller to Voice mail?
Move the trackball any direction and the ringer will be silenced.

Oct 31, 2006, 6:29 PM

locking the keypad

it is possible to lock the keypad without going into the apps. just hold down the star key. this review did not pick up on that.
That's because it's totally a hidden feature.

We try to approach each phone review from the point of view of the average user. Most users don't read the manual cover-to-cover.

With many phones, there is no need to read manual, because the...
With the keypad locked can you still answer a call or do you have to unlock it before you can answer?

Nov 13, 2006, 5:00 PM

Web browser capability

New to PDA phones and bbs. Have cingular service and want ability to web browse. Looking at the BB pearl (hope it comes out soon) vs E62 and Samsung Blackjack. Do any of the 3 stand out as being far better than the rest. Infering from what I have read, seems like Blackjack is best then E62 with Pearl last but I really don't have any experience.

Nov 5, 2006, 5:33 PM

Some incorrect information...

Just clearing up some of the issues noted in the review.

  • The MP3 player can in fact shuffle tracks, unlike Eric's claim that it can't. To shuffle tracks, either Play All or Play Folder, then hit the Menu button and Shuffle is one of the given options, as is Repeat. You can see the icons at the bottom of the media player UI, though I'll admit it would be nice to just click them instead of going through the menu.
  • Yes, Themes do change the current system font, but did anyone consider that, gee I don't know... fonts are part of the theme? Sure I'd love it to save my font preference, but I understnad that a theme designer has a font in mind during design. How else is it suposed to look the way they intend it too?
  • The MUCH
i'm not sure whether addressing your points one by one will accomplish anything. so instead i would like to note the following. all of the points you make about software problems are solvable only through hidden shortcuts or mode-specific menus that a...

Oct 26, 2006, 8:41 PM

Trackball Tip

In the article it mentioned that the trackball was difficult to use and sometimes unreliable. There is a sensitivity setting under options>Keyboard settings which out of the box is set to 70, which is too high. Adjusting it to a range of 30 to 50 makes the ball much easier to use. Ever since doing so I have never had a problem. 🙂
that's good advice. i had to adjust my vertical senstivtity down and my horizontal UP believe it or not. but i still found everything hard to control even after adjusting the sensitivity.

Great advice/change change. The trackball is awesome best nav I have seen/used on the many devices I have encountered. I am now a one handed bandit with great ease and accuracy.
Long story short the trackball is way better then the old side wheel!

Nov 4, 2006, 7:23 PM

Ryan Block

Ah so we have some good comradery with my boys at Engadget!
(i saw his name in one of your emails 😎 )
Good video. I had high hopes for this phone, but i think its a pretty big let down... starting with the keypad.

Oct 28, 2006, 1:30 PM

Other Blackberries

It seems like some of the complaints about this phone are the same as with a normal blackberry, as far as the menu are concerned. I used a Blackberry for about 6 months and got used to it, but never really liked the interface, and its seems like this pearl from the artcile runs the same way a regular blackberry does...

Oct 26, 2006, 5:10 PM

Wrong info about keyboard lock...

First post here, and I'm loving my Pearl. The review is wrong, however, about keyboard lock. There is a hardware solution and I use it all the time: just press and hold the "*" key for two seconds and the keyboard is locked. To unlock, press "*" and the answer button. Good review overall, though.

I love my Pearl and I've been through them all: Treo, Q, Nokia E61, etc. It's the best of the bunch.
so all that is is a shortcut to lock the keyboard, not unlock it, since i already discussed the star send unlock. i wish i could hold down star to unlock it too.
listen this might sound gay, but what the hek I LOVE YOU MAN! i have been dieng to figure that out!

Oct 27, 2006, 8:00 AM

Cool Pearl Site


Just found a cool BlackBerry Pearl site (Not the main website) but one in a Cinema! Really good though.

http://www.lff.org.uk/blackberry/ »

Oct 26, 2006, 12:53 PM

Good Article!!!!

Nice in depth article. You guys constantly out do yourselves.
Good Article!!!! indeed
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