Previous phone: Motorola Razr.
Prepare to read about the best phone currently on the market.
I never used a BlackBerry before due to their sizes. After reading about the BB Pearl a few weeks ago, I was hooked and drove myself to a T-Mobile store to check it out. Seeing the phone in person was amazing. It was smaller and weigh less then a Razr. I expected the phone to be heavier with all the extra features on it. I talked to the Reps at the store and wasn’t too happy with the price listed, $249 with $50 rebate.
So, like every other Fatwallet.com users, I called up T-Mobile’s Retention Center and asked for a better price. Since I am a customer for 4 years, they gave me a price of $149 with no rebate. I have a family plan, so I took two.
Fast forward 3 days later, I received my phone (October 25, 2006). Got home from work and was so excited (like a 7 years old boy on Christmas) about the phone. I opened the box and connected everything up and had the phone running in no time. Showed the phone to sister and she loves it (probably just getting on my nice side, since she is getting my Razr). First glance and browsing around the phone:
The screen is amazing. Very bright and the fonts are easily read. Camera was decent for its purpose. Flashes weren’t that good, but what can you expect from a phone? Keypad was nice and only need no more then an hour to get use to. The only time it will be more then an hour, is that you have big fingers. The design is superb. Every buttons are located nicely on the sides of the phone. I have to thank RIM for putting a Mute button. The best and last feature is the trackball “Pearl”, hence where they got the name. This thing is awesome! It’s like one of that mouse with the trackball on the top. The trackball complement the phone and should be use on most Smartphones.
I skipped the software on the phone, since everyone knows what they are.
As a first-time user of a BlackBerry, I didn’t know you need other services from your provider in order to use all the features of a BlackBerry. I thought it would work right out of the box like every other phones. I was totally wrong. I went online and read all sorts of sites and signed up with many forums. I even went to Welcome to JBoss™
and watch the tutor video online (the video was on the CD that was included in the box). I kept trying to find the option of adding email and a browsing but got no where. I mentally thought to myself and said, “This is the most complicated phone I have ever set up.”
So, browsing online and I came to one of the best BlackBerry sites on the WEB, BlackBerryForums.com : Your Number One BlackBerry Community
I search through their 8100 series section (Pearl is model 8100) and found some answers. Getting Started:
1. Call up your mobile phone provider and have them activate the BlackBerry Internet Service package. It cost $19.99 from T-Mobile and you get unlimited data. The rep would tell you that, it will take 2-24 hours for the service to activate. Wait a few minutes after hanging up. Turn off the phone and turn it back on. The service should be there. You should get your provider’s name under the clock instead of “Data Connection Refused”. If DCF appears, then you probably have to wait longer.
2. Now, you should receive 2-3 messages saying that your service has been activated. When your service is activated, your WEB Browser icon will appears. You can also add your 10 emails on the phone now. Setting up the email was straight forward. I got my GMail to work instantly. I even tested it out, by sending an email to myself. The phone received it about the same time my GMail Notifier.
3. You can use BlackBerry Messenger, but if all you want is AIM like me, get Rambo. It is free and was straight forward in setting it up. Make sure you set up the TCP in the phone’s “Option”. For T-Mobile users, put wap.voicestream.com
and leave the username and password blank
. You can get the software at, Ramble™ Instant Messenger
I downloaded it into my computer and transferred it to the phone via the Desktop Manager. You can also do it over the air by using the phone. The best tip in using this program is to “collapse” the “Online” section as soon as you sign on. This way, if you have a lot of friends like me, it would load faster and you don’t have to scroll like 50 times to get to one person. If you organized your friends in categories, use those instead. Much easier to find someone and less crowded on the screen. One thing I wish the creator put in the software, is a page up/down button.
4. For WEB Browsing, EDGE is fast enough. Pages loaded fast and nicely with pictures. Just wish RIM would include a browser that replicate an actual Internet Browser like on the computer. But you don’t have to worry, as these are sold by 3rd Parties. Go to your Browser>Option>Browser Configuration and checks everything. This will help you see the pages better.
5. For Maps, the one that came with the phone is decent enough, but you can get Google Maps. Google Maps offer Satellite Images, Traffic Condition (a Must for drivers) and finding local Businesses. You can get this free software at, Google Maps
via your BlackBerry browser.
Now your phone is officially a BlackBerry. I hope this helps other first-time BlackBerry users like me. I will add more information and tips as I use this phone. Any other suggestions, please feel free to add on.
My T-Mobile plan:
Family $59.99 for 700 minutes.
$20 BIS for each phone
$100+ taxes per month.