Research in Motion's BlackBerry has, with its seamless email and sturdy workhorse ruggedness, captured the business market. But its bulky designs and lack of extras have put off many a consumer. That's all set to change with the introduction of the Pearl, RIM's first handset aimed slap bang at the consumer market... …
The Keyboard is a nightmare !
The keyboard is a nightmare, the two letter combo is a nightmare as it's awkward and fiddly to use ... I returned the 7300 the same day I got it as I couldn't be dealing with it.
If they had kept it the same as a normal phone keyboard than they would have been ok.
Ironically, I now have a C600 from Orange, I found a free direct mail service
... and now I have all my Gmails delivered to my phone ... who needs a Blackberry and the subscription?
Messaging on the BlackBerry
Thanks for your great review of the BlackBerry Pearl 8100. After 1½ years of 7100 use, I am thinking of an upgrade soon. I have a few points. You state there is no MSN (Live) Messenger support. However the latest update for the 7100, dated early 2006, included Yahoo, ICQ, AOL and MSN (Live) clients. Sounds strange that this functionality should not have carried through to the Pearl. - The keyboard and text recognition is fantastic, but if you are used to a "saucer" BlackBerry with full QWERTY keyboard, the 7100/7105/Pearl type keyboard may well be a downer. In my informal polling, I have found that those who go from a phone with T9 to a 7100/7105/Pearl (like I did) are very happy. Those who go from the saucer BlackBerry to this device feel their typing speed drops dramatically and often go back to the saucer despite the larger size. - The small headphone jack is stupid. - The speakerphone and BlueTooth quality of the 7100 are second to none. No static, great sound. Just compare with a Treo. I hope these qualities carry through to the Pearl.
Quote: "With two letters per key, some predictive text-alike software kicks in to make sense of what you're trying to type. With fewer permutations than a standard numeric keypad, it's far more accurate and after a little practice you'll never want to go back.".
What!!!! I don't have one of these but there is nothing to suggest that they've updated the predictive text, and having a blackberry 7100, two letters per key, I'm pretty sure that there is nothing that they can do to make the predictive text usable. Words can not describe how bad typing out text is.
A couple of examples, type in the word "but" and I guarrentee it will come out as "bit". Now type in the word "bit" and it'll come out as "but". It will happen every time. Now try it with "are" and "see".
This one doesn't happen too too often, but it's a real pain when it does. Type in a long word, as you type it will give you options that change the last two letters of the word, quite useful. But hang on, all of a sudden it's changes one of the letters before the last two and you have to practically delete the whole word and start again.
Another phenomenom, you type a word quickly and there is a 45% chance of it coming out wrong, you type a word slowly and there is only a 20% chance of it coming out wrong. Careless typeing I hear people say, beleive me, it's not!
The bells and whisteles on the Pearl look great, but the keyboard is a killer. They should have called it the Blackberry Peral.
Now this one I've only heard, so this is secondary source information, but it's important. Apparently even with the keypad locked, moving that roller ball answers or rejects calls. So think about it, the Peral is in your pocket (because it's nice and small like that) and you get a call, now Krypton factor challenge, get the Peral out of your pocket without moving that roller ball. Oh and you've got a 4 ring time limit!!!
In all seriousness, it sounds like a great phone, but don't get it. You'll be smashing it on the floor and jumping up and down on it in no time due to that damn keyboard!
ps. have they made it so that you can actually text more than one person at a time??? Not a totally killer if not, the copy and paste is very good.
2 letter key keyboard
I can understand the frustration with the 2 letter key keyboard, but I agree with Andreas; if you're used to the full size Qwerty or the saucer disc, you probably will be returning it quickly or wanting to smash it on the ground on your way back to the cell shop. But otherwise, if you've had any decent exposure to the 2 letter key keyboard, you'll love the word recognition and completion. Once you get the hang of it, it's just like anything else. The best way to deal with the roller ball is to have a bluetooth headset. I got my Pearl from www.ushopwireless.com/cr and not only got the Pearl for free after rebate, but also got the bluetooth headset for free too. If you look around you'll find that there's almost always something to deal with something else. Just get the right equipment and exposure and you'll enjoy the Pearl.
Keyboard is good
For those of you who think the keyboard is a night mare, your wrong, you just haven't given it a chance, it takes getting use to. Its got "sure type" which requires faith to use. Type a word (of course you have to spell it correctly) and if you trust the sure type it will spell it by the end of the last letter imputed, look away if you don't trust it! 1 day owning the pearl and taking it back is not enough time, the keyboard and sure type is great!
So Close And Yet So Far
I thought this could replace my T39 but the cons killed this phone for me:
- I need reading glasses to read the keyboard (same problem my T39 has developed over time)
- miniSD, I have SD cards from my cameras, I'd love to use them in my phone
- Special software and cable required for Mac sync support -- Bluetooth sync is crippled (for "security" reasons)
- Special headphone jack
Otherwise, nice kit but I'll wait for something w/o a keyboard (stylus-n-screen).
Very Nice little device
I've just been evaluating one of these for work and due to get one soon.
Its a great little device - looks stylish and has a good build quality .. perhaps with the exception of the 'pearl' trackball which feels cheap.
Whilts the keyboard is small and it takes a while to get used to the predictive text, its usable for short emails.
It will be popular for gadget freaks and people who want a stylish phone/email device from which you can send short replies.
However in my opionion this is obvioulsy the big push into the consumer market. Its so obvioulsy designed and marketed as a consumer device which will rival all the main players. Why do i think this ? Its got a camera, can play music & video's and is the first BB device to have a name rather than a number !
No doubt it will be a success though - it looks so good and is definatley usable as long as you dont want to write too long a replies to your emails !
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