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BlackBerry Pearl 3G  (BlackBerry 9100 and 9105)

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 BlackBerry Pearl 3G, 9100 and 9105 Discontinued
26th April 2010

We haven't seen much from RIM in the past year or so, although handset sales have been very strong despite our misgivings about the BlackBerry manufacturer's current direction.

The BlackBerry Pearl 3G is the first new Pearl "candy bar" phone since the 8110 announced over two years ago, and it's the first Pearl handset to support 3G. It's amazing to think that the Pearl has come all this way without 3G support, but in fact standard messaging operations really don't need anything more than plain old GPRS.

This is more than the old version of the Pearl with 3G support slapped on, the Pearl 3G comes with a very high resolution 360 x 400 pixel display, a 3.2 megapixel camera with flash and autofocus, support for 802.11 b, g and n WiFi (one of the few phones that supports the new, faster 802.11n protocol). Inside is a 624Mhz processor (twice as fast as the 8110) and 256MB memory. The Pearl 3G has GPS support built in, and it supports Bluetooth 2.1 and microSD memory cards up to 32GB as well.

The operating system and user interface has been upgraded to version 5.0 of the BlackBerry OS, and it now supports synching with iTunes and Windows Media Player. From what we can see of the user interface, the whole thing has been tidied up from the previous version which looked rather cluttered.

 BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9105 One key feature is that the Pearl 3G has dropped the trackball on the front and has replaced it with a small optical trackpad. In our experience the trackpad is much easier to use than the old trackball, and it should be more resilient too. There are dedicated media keys on the very top of the Pearl 3G to make music playback easier.

There are two different versions of the Pearl 3G, the 9100 comes with a familiar version of the SureType keyboard, the 9105 uses a traditional mobile phone layout for the keypad which may well appeal to new customers. The overall design is much smarter and more conventional than previous versions of the Pearl, and it's nice to see a capable messaging smartphone in a such a pocket friendly design.

The large 1150 mAh battery is quoted as giving up to 5.5 hours talktime on 3G networks, and overall the Pearl 3G weighs just 93 grams and measures 108 x 50 x 13mm. This is a tri-band UMTS/HSDPA device with support for quad-band GSM, so we expect this to turn up on lots of different carriers worldwide.

RIM say that the Pearl 3G should be available from May 2010 onwards, although at the moment we have no guidance on pricing or networks.

BlackBerry Pearl 3G Promo Video

This is a brief promo from RIM showing how impossibly glamorous your life will be if you buy one of these.

BlackBerry Pearl 3G (9100 / 9105) at a glance


May 2010


GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 +
UMTS 800 / 850 / 1900 / 2100 or
UMTS 900 / 1700 / 2100




360 x 400 pixels


3.2 megapixels


Monoblock messaging device
108 x 50 x 13mm / 93 grams



Memory card:











BlackBerry OS 5.0

Battery life:

5.5 hours talk / 13 days standby (3G)
5 hours talk / 18 days standby (GSM)

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