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Old 11-08-2006, 12:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Questions about the Pearl before I buy!

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I am interested in the Blackberry Pearl, but I tend to be picky with cell phones and would love to have some feedback on the features listed below that are important to me (listed roughly in most important to least important). Recently I have owned and used a Nokia 6600 and a Samsung SGH-T629. I also briefly had a Blackberry 7100 but it had some design issues I couldn't get over. I use T-Mobile.

-- Does it have good reception, RELATIVE to other brands? With my Nokia 6600, the reception is very good. With the Samsung, voices are often garbled and the phone has a much harder time getting a good signal in the same places the Nokia performed well. I'm not really talking about SOUND quality, but wireless reception and getting a clean signal.
-- Can the keypad be locked/unlocked quickly and easily?
-- Can the phone be put into/out of silent mode quickly and easily?
-- Can the phone easily be set to vibrate AND ring simultaneously? (My Samsung cannot do this and it is totally unacceptable)
-- Can it be used easily with one hand? (i.e. while driving?) The Blackberry 7100, with the thumbwheel on the side, is very cumbersome to use with one hand.
-- Is the wired headset jack easy to use? (My Samsung has an annoying door covering the proprietary jack, which is a little difficult to connect/disconnect. This means that I always have to answer a call, and then ask to put the person on hold to connect the headset. Otherwise I would be able to do it before answering but with this poor design it takes too long)
-- Are the menus and navigation fast and responsive?
-- Can the phone be synced with Google Mail and Calendar? (even with third party software or any kind of "hack"?)
-- Can you set multiple phone numbers for a contact and set one of them as the default?

Thanks for any help on answering these questions!
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Old 11-08-2006, 12:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Reception - Yes I think it gets great reception. Much better than a Treo - but probably not quite as good as a Nokia.

Keypad lock - yes just hold down the * key
Silent mode - yes just hold down the # key
Vibe and Ring - yes I believe so
One Hand - yes very comfy and small size fits nicely in hand
Wired Headset Jack - yes conveniently located on the side. Easy to push in and pull out.
Menus and Nav - yes quick and responsive
Synced to google - gmail - Yes via Pop. Calendar - not really sure
Multiple phone numbers per contact - Yes. Setting as default No - but it's not really relevant the way the address book works.

Hope that helps!
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Old 11-08-2006, 12:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Boy that's a LOT of questions.
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Old 11-08-2006, 01:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Vibe and Ring - No

You can set it to Vibe and then Ring, but it won't do both at the same time.
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Old 11-08-2006, 01:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Unfortunately, there's no way to set the Pearl to vibe and ring simultaneously (not to the best of my knowledge, at least). If someone knows how to, please correct me, as it's one of the very few things that bugs me about the Pearl.
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Old 11-08-2006, 01:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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No vibrate and ring? That's useless! Many times when I am at home the phone (my current Samsung) is in another room. When it rings, I don't hear it because it is vibrating. By the time it starts ringing, I won't be able to get to the phone and answer it in time. The Pearl has this problem as well? Man I hate that!
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Old 11-08-2006, 01:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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All blackberry's have this problem/feature. I wish they would add a vibrate and ring feature.....
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Old 11-08-2006, 03:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (8700c: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0) BlackBerry8700/4.1.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102)

You can always change the tone of the ring and the length can be adusted with a keystroke combo or by calling TM. The combo is in threads here but some report more reliability by calling the carrier.
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Old 11-08-2006, 05:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenBlender
No vibrate and ring? That's useless! Many times when I am at home the phone (my current Samsung) is in another room. When it rings, I don't hear it because it is vibrating. By the time it starts ringing, I won't be able to get to the phone and answer it in time. The Pearl has this problem as well? Man I hate that!
Yes, but in Pearl you can set to vibrate only once and then ring. One vibration is not so long.
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Old 11-08-2006, 07:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, that's great that you can set it for only vibrating once. Can you control the length of time it will vibrate for before starting to ring?
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Old 11-08-2006, 07:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacko
it's one of the very few things that bugs me about the Pearl.
Well, what are the other things that bug you about the Pearl? As you might have guessed, I'm more interested in identifying the problems with the phone than the features it does have... some phones are fantastic but have a few design flaws that are so annoying that it ruins the whole thing for me.

My Samsung, when set to vibrate-then-ring, vibrates 3 long times before ringing, and the time cannot be altered. If the phone is in the next room I will miss the call every time and the only solution is to constantly switch the phone between ring and vibrate, depending on the situation.

That is a design flaw that is big enough to kill the phone for me.
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Old 11-08-2006, 08:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I never understood the demand for the Vibrate AND Ring simultaneously functionality. If people are so concerned with missing calls...then why not just have it ring only?
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Old 11-08-2006, 09:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenBlender
Well, what are the other things that bug you about the Pearl? As you might have guessed, I'm more interested in identifying the problems with the phone than the features it does have... some phones are fantastic but have a few design flaws that are so annoying that it ruins the whole thing for me.

My Samsung, when set to vibrate-then-ring, vibrates 3 long times before ringing, and the time cannot be altered. If the phone is in the next room I will miss the call every time and the only solution is to constantly switch the phone between ring and vibrate, depending on the situation.

That is a design flaw that is big enough to kill the phone for me.
Buy a brick BB, set it to Vibe and Ring, and put it down on a kitchen tray or counter top wherever you want. Believe me, you will HEAR it Vibrate 2 rooms over, and then HEAR it ring as well. I'm only half-kidding!

Last edited by ivada : 11-08-2006 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 11-08-2006, 09:11 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Examples:

-- I go into a noisy bar and won't hear it ring, but would feel it vibrate. Am I supposed to always recognize this and am I expected to switch its mode any time I go from a quiet place to a noisy place?
-- I'm walking down a busy street and I can't hear the phone ring. I'll also miss the call 50% of the time if it only vibrates once and then rings. Am I expected to wear tighter pants so that I will always recognize an incoming call on the first vibrate?
-- I'm doing something in the kitchen and the phone is in my office. I don't hear it vibrate and by the time it rings I won't get to it in time. Am I expected to keep the phone with me at all times, even when moving within my own house?

Say what you will about the lack of ringing and vibrating, but it is STUPID that the feature is missing. Can you really say that there is no situation where it would be nice to do both at the same time, as so many other phones do well? There is no excuse for it. You can't argue that it is somehow technologically difficult for them to do this. I drives me nuts when they pack in calendars, voice recorders, cameras, calculators, radios, and games, but the *PHONE* capability is lacking in such inexcusable ways. Cell phones I was using 6 years ago could do this, there's no reason it isn't available on every phone on the market now.
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Old 11-08-2006, 09:22 AM   #15 (permalink)
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You sound bitter Zen. If you're expecting a call that you just "can't miss", keep your phone with you and avoid noisy places. Every phone has some shortcomings.
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Old 11-08-2006, 09:35 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YMark
You sound bitter Zen. If you're expecting a call that you just "can't miss", keep your phone with you and avoid noisy places. Every phone has some shortcomings.
Amen to that ~

If the phone does most of what you need reliably, quickly, and efficiently, that's the phone for you!
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Old 11-08-2006, 10:06 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenBlender
Well, what are the other things that bug you about the Pearl? As you might have guessed, I'm more interested in identifying the problems with the phone than the features it does have... some phones are fantastic but have a few design flaws that are so annoying that it ruins the whole thing for me.

My Samsung, when set to vibrate-then-ring, vibrates 3 long times before ringing, and the time cannot be altered. If the phone is in the next room I will miss the call every time and the only solution is to constantly switch the phone between ring and vibrate, depending on the situation.

That is a design flaw that is big enough to kill the phone for me.

One of the other things that bugs me is the bluetooth implementation. If I have a bluetooth headset and bluetooth is turned on (on the Pearl), then all calls that are answered automatically go through the headset. On my previous phone, it would only go through my headset if I answered using the headset (meaning only when I pushed the button); if I answered by pressing the button on the phone, the sound would go through the phone. On the Pearl, though, even if I press the answer key on the Pearl, the audio goes to my headset.

The other things that bug me are minor points, really. One is that I can't set the calendar in the Dimension Today Plus home screen to show in mm/dd format (it's automatically set to dd/mm, apparently it can't be changed), but that's particular to the theme.

My other quibble is that although voice activated dialing is great, I can't train the names of some people into it automatically (or nicknames, for the matter). I'm still used to my old phone where I would simply say "call <nickname>", instead of "call <first name> <last name>", but that's mainly due to the fact that I've entered people using full names instead of nicknames. Of course, there are some names that the Pearl doesn't understand and expects me to say differently, so it would be good to train it for those names too, but on the whole, the pro of not having to train every single name outweighs the con of having to do so, so I'm more than willing to put up with it.

Oh, and as for the vibrate and ring feature: I found that using a holster makes a world of a difference. I set the Pearl to only ring when it's out of the holster, but to vibrate once then ring if it's in the holster. Seriously, when it's on your belt, you can't miss the vibration, whereas before I could miss the vibration and ring because of a noisy environment and big/loose pocket.
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Old 11-08-2006, 10:34 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenBlender
I am interested in the Blackberry Pearl, but I tend to be picky with cell phones and would love to have some feedback on the features listed below that are important to me (listed roughly in most important to least important). Recently I have owned and used a Nokia 6600 and a Samsung SGH-T629. I also briefly had a Blackberry 7100 but it had some design issues I couldn't get over. I use T-Mobile.

-- Does it have good reception, RELATIVE to other brands? With my Nokia 6600, the reception is very good. With the Samsung, voices are often garbled and the phone has a much harder time getting a good signal in the same places the Nokia performed well. I'm not really talking about SOUND quality, but wireless reception and getting a clean signal.
Well, people have reported that it doesn't have good reception compare to other Blackberry phones. But for me, I have no problems with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenBlender
-- Can the keypad be locked/unlocked quickly and easily?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenBlender
-- Can the phone be put into/out of silent mode quickly and easily?
I am not sure what you mean by quickly and easily. But it can be done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenBlender
-- Can the phone easily be set to vibrate AND ring simultaneously? (My Samsung cannot do this and it is totally unacceptable)
Unfortunely, no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenBlender
-- Can it be used easily with one hand? (i.e. while driving?) The Blackberry 7100, with the thumbwheel on the side, is very cumbersome to use with one hand.
Not a good idea to drive and use the Blackberry at the same time but than again, I am guilty of it too... For me, I don't find it that easy so I don't do it all the time. For your case, it might be different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenBlender
-- Is the wired headset jack easy to use? (My Samsung has an annoying door covering the proprietary jack, which is a little difficult to connect/disconnect. This means that I always have to answer a call, and then ask to put the person on hold to connect the headset. Otherwise I would be able to do it before answering but with this poor design it takes too long)
Than take off the door. It's your phone so you can remove the door. Anyway, to answer your question, yes, it's easy to put the headset in and out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenBlender
-- Are the menus and navigation fast and responsive?
For me, yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenBlender
-- Can the phone be synced with Google Mail and Calendar? (even with third party software or any kind of "hack"?)
I believe it can be done but I am not sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenBlender
-- Can you set multiple phone numbers for a contact and set one of them as the default?
Yes, it can be done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenBlender
Thanks for any help on answering these questions!
I love the Blackberry 8100! It's a great phone to have.

Several weeks ago, I did a comparison between Sidekick 3 vs Blackberry 8100 so if you want to take look at it, it's available here.

http://www.geocities.com/sk3vsbb8100/

Last edited by secrecyguy : 11-08-2006 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:25 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YMark
You sound bitter Zen. If you're expecting a call that you just "can't miss", keep your phone with you and avoid noisy places. Every phone has some shortcomings.
It's not about the calls I "can't miss", it's just calls in general! Since I posted last, i.e. less than a day ago, I have missed one text message and one call on my Samsung, due to these vibe-and-ring issues and other things I am looking to improve upon. Both times the phone was on my person. That very rarely happened with my Nokia 6600. I certainly don't want that to continue to happen *daily* on the Pearl due to this ridiculous "feature".

I really wish I could try out the Pearl for a week and then I'd know if it is right for me. But I can think of no way I can do that. T-Mobile already hates me because I had one phone from them I couldn't stand (T-Mobile SDA) and another that was faulty, and so now I am on their blacklist and they don't want to sell me anything unless I pay full price. I have gone through so many fiascos trying to get the purchasing ability they all say I have, and then not get it, that I don't want to risk getting the Pearl if I think I might want to return it later. They have really screwed me over, don't believe their nonsense about being able to return a phone "no questions asked"! I feel like I've got a criminal record with them. It looks like I can't get a T-Mobile discounted Pearl anyways, so paying a lot more for it, I kinda want to know it's the right phone.

So yes, I am bitter.

Thanks for everyones' responses!
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