Blackbery 8100 Pearl Review Article
By Craig C. Chen
I used to have a Sidekick but I feel it was junk. It doesn't do everything I want it to do. It's a long story why I got it so I will not get into details about it. I than switch over to the Blackberry 7290. I still feel I am missing something.
Now comes the T-mobile's 8100 Pearl. The size of the phone is small and slim. I can even put it in my back pocket or in my shirt pocket. Don't let the size fool you. It still can do many things business people can expect from the Blackberry.
Even though the phone does not come with a full size keyboard, it does comes with a SureType keyboard. Each key of the keyboard has one or two letters. As you type, it will predict what word you trying to type.
It does take some time to get used using the keyboard. It took me about 1 to 2 weeks of using it. I still miss the full size keyboard though. I just have to wait for Blackberry 8300 Curve.
One thing I like very much on this phone is the voice recognition on the phone. It's not perfect though but it does work. I just have to make sure I pronounce the name clearly so it will understand me. Sidekick does not have that option at all.
The feature I use the most on the phone is the ability to tether the phone to the laptop. What I mean by tether is, you can use the Blackberry phone as a modem for your laptop so you can use the Internet on your laptop. If you going to tether, I recommend getting the T-mobile because AT&T well charge you extra to do so. You can not do that on a Sidekick That's why I got rid of it.
There is a major drawback to the phone. Once every 2 to 3 days, you have to take the battery out and than put it back in because the phone have major problem with memory leaks. Another one is the ringer and the vibrate is not loud enough. So if you in a noisy area, you may not hear and feel your phone at all.
It also have a slot to put in a Micro SD memory card in there so you have extra space to store your music, videos, and files. You have to make sure you put in a 2.0 GB card in there though because to take it out, it's a hassle. You have to take the cover off, take the battery out, and then you have to slide the tiny metal door just to put the card in and out.
The phone comes with Bluetooth so you can use a Bluetooth earpiece and connect to a bluetooth able laptop. One thing that lacks that comes to a surprise is, you can not use a Bluetooth stereo headset with the phone. I have no idea why they left that feature out.
Unlike the Sidekick phone, the Blackberry lets you download after market software and games to the phone. So there's no limit on what you can put on the phone. It does come with a free game and it's called Brick Breaker.
It comes with voice note but you can only record and send it out to someone else. It does not come with a voice recorder to my surprise but there is a after market available so that you can have a voice recorder on the phone.
It also comes with all the other standard stuff that you expect from most cell phones like calculator, alarm, memopad, tasks, address book, calendar, and text messaging.
The phone comes with Blackberry Maps so you can look up an address on it and find your way. You can even connect to a Bluetooth GPS to it so you will always know where you are at and get directions from it too. What I don't like about it is, it does not give you turn by turn voice directions at all. It just give you text directions which you have to scroll though and the route is highlighted. That's it. If you make a wrong turn, it does not tell you how to get back on route again.
So I don't bother with the Blackberry Maps because it's too limited. I just use my Garmin GPS in my car and I use Google Maps on the phone.
The multimedia that plays music and video is also quite limited too. So don't expect “iPod” experience from it. I have heard that they did made improvements on it on the 8300 Curve though. It's not that bad though. You can still use it.
The camera on the phone is not the best one out there. It's only 1.3 MP camera and it does not do very well in low light. So the camera on the phone is good if you don't have a camera around with you but you still want a separate camera for yourself.
So here's my pro and con.
Pro: Voice dialing, small and slim, can be carried in your pocket, tethering to your laptop
Con: Memory leaks, not very loud ringer
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars