Well.. okay.. it's still small and decent looking -- but LORD the 'paint job' they did on the previously exquisite looking Pearl is tragic.
They took a modern and sleek design of the t-mobile Pearl and made it look much worse in my opinion.. anyone else agree?
Firstly, having the block of 9 middle keys (3x3) all silver is a bad move. Part of me wonders if it was just some marketing (middle) management at Cingular wanting to differentiate the phone and 'make it more theirs'. Not only does it look bad, but it detracts from the user experience. If you look at the keys on the TMobile Pearl you'll see that the letters are always white on black and they use 'half keys' to support the numeric keypad. This (for anyone that cares about user experience or product design) improves typing by allowing your eyes to more easily scan across and recognize the alpha set of options on the keyboard -- and making a cognitive shift and look for the black-on-white numeric options when you are using the numeric keypad.
I can think of no good reason Cingular would have make this change other than to be arbitrarily different.
The second design change (and this one is, in my opinion, aesthetically even worse) is that lame 'cyber lookng' great plastic badge they put down at the bottom of the phone below the numeric keyboard portion of the keypad. Just horrible looking in my opinion. Why would they do this? Take a peak at the tmobile version and see that nice black section of the phone face at the bottom that neatly frames the keypad. I have no doubt that that is the original design RIM (by designers -- not a marketing dept) and tmobile smartly respected that and put a descrete tmobile logo on it.. Cingular broke it up, put lines in it.. gack.. just bad.
Okay.. Sorry for going off.. I love the phone, I like Cingular service, and I am a very happy customers.. It just irks me when marketing people overstep their bounds and when a company takes something that isn't broken and tries to fix it and does it for all the wrong reasons..
Anyone else have thoughts? Am I crazy? Overreacting? (Well.. probably yes on this one) but you know what I mean.. Is anyone else disappointed with the Cingular design changes? Prefer the T-Mobile? Maybe someone *prefers* the Cingular design -- which would be interesting to hear!
I'll agree -- the numeric keypad is a little easier to use.. but (again - in my opinion) the alpha keypad has been made much harder to use.. I'd prefer the better compromise available on the T-Mobile..