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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  

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  

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  

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:

About the author, Eric M. Zeman:

Eric has been covering the mobile telecommunications industry for 17 years at various print and online publications. He studied at Rutgers Newark and University of Kentucky, and has a degree in writing. He likes playing guitar, attending concerts, listening to music, and driving sports cars.



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Apr 26, 2010, 12:36 PM

Does Anyone....

besides me think this is a really retarded move by RIM??? If i were an investor i would take this as a suicide note and IMMEDIATELY sell out...can this company plz tank or get bought out by a company that actually knows how to make a descent smartphone???
I actually like it. I agree when everyone is saying that RIM is doing nothing to standout right now, and desperately need to work on some things. But Blackberry definitely knows how to make a decent smartphone, more so than a lot of companies, by fa...
afroman4 said:
besides me think this is a really retarded move by RIM??? If i were an investor i would take this as a suicide note and IMMEDIATELY sell out...can this company plz tank or get bought out by a company that actually kn
look I don't care for BBerrys any more than you do, but they sold more units than any other smartphone maker in the US this last quarter. They're still a dominate company. They have a formula, and they stick to it, and it's made them the successful bu...

Apr 27, 2010, 2:06 PM

Buy stock...

not sell it. This BMW Bluetooth thing is just another innovation that keeps BlackBerry in the game. Are they as hot of an item as they used to be? Definitely not. They do know what they're doing though, your gonna see a lot of companies wanting to implement this into their vehicles.

Apr 26, 2010, 11:38 AM


What's with the pictures of a Blackberry Flip in the Bold 9650 page?
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