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Old 06-02-2007, 04:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
BlackBerry Extraordinaire
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Southern California, USA
Model: 8100
Carrier: T-mobile
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ok... here's my final draft after my friend proofread it. Let me know what you think... thanks...

Blackbery 8100 Pearl Review Article
By Craig C. Chen
(Final Draft)

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 then switched 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 come 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. I still miss the full size keyboard though. I just have to wait for Blackberry 8300 Curve to come out for T-mobile.

One thing I like very much on this phone is the voice recognition on the phone. It's not perfect but itxxx8217;s pretty good. 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 that 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 will charge you extra to do so. You cannot 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 then put it back in because the phone has major problems with memory leaks. Another one is the ringer is not loud enough and the vibrate is weak. So if you in a noisy area, you may not hear and feel your phone at all.

It also has 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 as a surprise is that you cannot 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 an after-market one 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, memo pad, 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 that it does not give you turn by turn voice directions at all. It just gives 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 xxx8220;iPodxxx8221; 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.

It does come with Instant Messaging but I recommend using after market Instant Messaging like JiveTalk, Ramble, and Yak-on. Because the Instant Messaging that comes with the phone uses Text Messaging instead of data so you will get charged extra every time you use the Instant Messenger that comes with the phone.

Overall, despite some of the shortcomings to the phone, I love the phone and I won't trade the phone for anything else until they release the Blackberry 8300 Curve which I am planning to get.

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: 3.5 out of 5 stars
What OS are you using on the smartphone? Please vote!