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Old 03-15-2008, 07:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello everyone, I stumbled upon this site just recently. After 5 minutes of browsing I was convinced to join this great community. Here are my thoughts about the 8130 Pearl from Sprint...

Not too long ago, I dropped my HTC Mogul right in the jon; to make a long story short that phone is history. When I was deliberating on which phone to buy, I considered sticking with a Windows Mobile device. Here's where my curiosity comes in. I had to get my hands on a Blackberry because of their irresistible trackball and numerous features. The only real setback I kept reading complaints about was the "SureType" keypad. The device only has 32mb of ram/64 of rom as apposed to 128+ total on the Mogul. The 8130 lacks WiFi, but when I actually sat down and thought about it I realized I don't even use it with 3G. After unpackaging and activating my device, I quickly realized how fast and robust the Blackberry operating system is compared to Windows Mobile. It seems to me that RIM really based their OS around connectivity and focused on seamless integration of the phone, its hardware, and application support. For instance when you play a music file, a "Now Playing" link will appear in the main menu list and pretty much every other application you can run. The music software shows the battery level and EVDO coverage, but not an accurate signal readout. SureTyping can drive one to the brink of insanity, but if you just take a second and put your thinking cap on it becomes natural after awhile. I really don't understand why everyone has so much trouble with it. There seems to be a fear of the 8130 so much so that people want to skip it and wait for the Curve! This is my third day owning this phone, and I can safely say my fingers are starting to move the keys naturally. For someone with moderately large fingers and a silicone case which makes the entire keypad feel like one unit, it's great! At a glance you'd think it would be hard but its fairly simple and doesn't have the text recognition problems of T9. The most important part of this device is executed brilliantly. Every option you need is covered in the phone's extended menu. My calls are very clear and more importantly uninterrupted. The headset and external speaker are surprisingly clear. GPS Navigation from Sprint and Blackberrytracker work flawlessly. Contacts, memos, appointments, and alarms are all handled very simply and executed promptly. The 8130 doesn't really hiccup either! Overall, this phone is fantastic.
I would recommend it to anyone trying to escape from the headaches of cheap phones and Bill Gates.

Now for my rants...
When I got the phone, I was still on a non-BB plan so my customizations and apps were not present. The battery life was good. After switching to the $30 BB Sprint Plan everything loaded on reboot. The battery drained itself to 15% from 100% the next night. I then changed Blackberrytracker's update setting from every 10 seconds to every 600, and the battery life is now more than twice as long. The standby mode is confusing. Sprint didn't really shed light on what it exactly does in the manual. I haven't been able to find an actual ring tone menu to see what is currently set, however I can set ring tones through the music software. The Blackberry software cd errored out during install however mysteriously works. Like everyone says, there is no vibe and ring. It is one or the other. When you mute your phone, there is no icon that indicates it! You pretty much have to wait and see if your phone was muted or not. After I installed all the applications I need, I am left with 7.5ish mbs of space...lets see how far that takes me. The $30 BB Sprint plan includes Sprint TV, however the channels your can actually watch are very limited. Video comes in choppy if you don't have decent signal, and the picture is less than half of the screen. No fullscreen on that application kills me. Everything else is on an expensive subscription or PPV basis. That sucks but the GPS Navi and fast browsing makes up for it. The trackball is flawless, however it seems like it could get dirty quick and start loosing sensitivity. Luckily there is a sensitivity setting, however the assembly looks a little weak. All in all, I can deal with these flaws after what I got from the Mogul. Thanks for listening!

Last edited by av0 : 03-15-2008 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It's interesting that your GPS works so well, as it doesn't on US Cellular. As for memory, the BB tends to leak memory a bit. I haven't had a problem, but I gather if it gets below 12 mb or so, you can lose call logs. If you choose to stay at 7 mb, let us know whether it creates a problem for you. There is info on the board about freeing about memory, and I got mine to about 19 mb, but I don't have too many extras on it. However after 2 days, I'm done to 16 mb meaning at some point I'll have to reset.

John
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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well I found the advanced options in Profiles which has all the tone options, etc... The memory issue scares me. I guess I should back up and go through that intense sticky

as far as I've used the GPS, its worked great.
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Old 03-16-2008, 08:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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welcome to the forums. you dont need to be overly worried about the memory issues. as long as you keep your device clean and do not install a ton of apps/themes (and you keep media on the media card) you wont have a problem. go to the general forums and read John Clarks post on maximizing your memory if you are still concerned. leaving applications running is the fastest way to run through battery life. your pearl should last (with moderate to heavy use) at least 1 fully day (for many people its 2) before charging. When closing an app make sure it is closed, go to the main icon screen and hold alt + back to show running applications, OR, go to the main icon screen and hit menu > switch application. there should only be 5 apps running after a reboot on the device. Main screen, browser, BB Messenger, Phone App, and Browser.
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvdiamon View Post
It's interesting that your GPS works so well, as it doesn't on US Cellular. As for memory, the BB tends to leak memory a bit. I haven't had a problem, but I gather if it gets below 12 mb or so, you can lose call logs. If you choose to stay at 7 mb, let us know whether it creates a problem for you. There is info on the board about freeing about memory, and I got mine to about 19 mb, but I don't have too many extras on it. However after 2 days, I'm done to 16 mb meaning at some point I'll have to reset.

John
US Cellular advertises GPS with Blackberry Maps on their 8130. I heard it on the radio yesterday. Not sure why yours isn't working.
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Old 03-16-2008, 12:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Clark View Post
US Cellular advertises GPS with Blackberry Maps on their 8130. I heard it on the radio yesterday. Not sure why yours isn't working.
Hi, it's not that it doesn't work, it's that it works poorly. In other words, folks with Sprint simply turn it on and seem to get a location fix quickly. With US Cellular, it often won't work inside (even a car), and takes minutes to get a fix, sometimes up to ten. I haven't found anyone on this forum, or that I know, who has one working any better. I think it's related to how it acquires satellite signal per US Cellular, which must be different from how Sprint does it, something to do with line of sight vs. towers. In fact, the sales person had a Sprint BB that worked in the store, unlike the US Cellular Pearl, but the sales folks seem stumped too.

John
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