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BlackBerry Pearl 8100

 BlackBerry Pearl 8100 front Discontinued
11th September 2006

At first glance, the BlackBerry Pearl 8100 looks just like a revision of the 7130 series of devices, with a very similar look and feel. However, looks can be deceptive!

The BlackBerry Pearl 8100 is a much more compact device than the 7130. The BlackBerry 8100 comes in at 107x50x15mm and just 90 grams, compared to the 7130's 115x56x18mm and 120 grams. But, the Pearl manages to fit in a 1.3 megapixel camera, expandable memory and an MP3 player, making this a much more consumer friendly handset than the business-orientated BlackBerry devices that have gone before.

 BlackBerry 8100 back Internal memory is 64Mb, but the BlackBerry Pearl expands on this using a microSD slot, which is handy because the enhanced multimedia facilities on the 8100 will use memory up quickly. The Pearl retains the SureType keyboard of the 7100 series, and even comes with a screen with the same resolution of 240x260 pixels (although it's physically smaller) - the 7100 has one of the best screens around, so expect the BlackBerry Pearl to be equally impressive. The 8100 comes with stereo Bluetooth support. Battery life is somewhat reduced over the larger 7130 though.

At its heart, this is a quad-band GSM phone with GPRS and EDGE with support for BlackBerry push email (for corporates) and standard internet mail protocols (for consumers) many of which can be enhanced by using the BlackBerry Internet Service. There's also instant messaging support for AOL, MSN, ICQ and Yahoo! clients. North American customers will have access to mapping features too.

BlackBerry purists will probably not like this much - after all, the BlackBerry is primarily a communications device. However, the BlackBerry Pearl 8100 isn't a replacement for the existing 7100 and 8700 series handsets, it's a completely new class of BlackBerry aimed at those people who like more toys to play with.

The BlackBerry Pearl 8100 will be released by T-Mobile USA on 12th September 2006, followed by Rogers of Canada in October, presumably with other carriers worldwide following suit.

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BlackBerry Pearl 8100 at a glance

Available:

Q3/Q4 2006

Network:

GSM 850/900/1800/1900

Data:

GPRS + EDGE

Screen:

240x260 pixels, 65k colours

Camera:

1.3 megapixels

Size:

Compact candy bar
107x50x15mm / 90 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

microSD

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

Battery life:

3.5 hours talk / 15 days standby

 

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