4.0 star rating

BlackBerry Pearl (AT&T) Review

199
The Verdict: Now available for AT&T customers, the Pearl is a stylish and powerful smart phone for work and play.

REVIEW

SPECIFICATIONS

As T-Mobile proved several months ago with the first Pearl, smart phones aren't just for executives looking to stay connected to their Inboxes. The AT&T version of RIM's glossy black, pocket-sized device offers similar features and performance as its brother--including a bright screen, a 1.3-megapixel camera, and multimedia playback--but some may prefer AT&T's larger network, which means more consistent voice and EDGE data coverage in the U.S.
Article Continued Below

 
The piano-black Pearl weighs only 3.2 ounces and measures less than 0.5 inches thick. Its 2.3-inch screen is framed in silver, and the traditional BlackBerry scroll wheel has been replaced by a trackball that sits in the center of the keyboard. Volume controls and a button to turn on the camera reside on the right, and a push-to-talk button sits on the left.
 
If you're used to a full QWERTY keyboard, the Pearl's SureType setup, which squishes two letters onto each key, has a slight learning curve. After sending a few text messages and e-mails, however, we were hooked on its ease and found that even with large fingers we didn't accidentally press the wrong keys.
 
Call quality was clear, and we had no problems with dropped calls or weak signals as we walked between the subway and our office in Midtown Manhattan. The Pearl's voice-dialing feature also worked well and quickly identified the contact we wanted to call. Web pages loaded quickly, and we were able to access reviews on our site in a matter of seconds. Surfing was pleasant overall, but don't expect a rich Web experience, as pages are stretched to fit the Pearl's vertical display.
 
You'll find little difference between the applications loaded on the AT&T and T-Mobile Pearls. Two notable additions to AT&T's unit are a push-to-talk option ($9.99 per month) and TeleNav Maps 1.0. We tested the PTT with a colleague using the BlackBerry 8800. It worked, but we noticed a distinct echo during test calls.
 
TeleNav's mapping program took more than a minute to display a map of our office. It also offers step-by-step driving directions, but you have to click on each turn to see the map, which isn't very useful if you're on the road. You can upgrade to TeleNav GPS Navigator, which includes 3D moving maps, spoken and written turn-by-turn directions, business location, and fuel finders for $5.99 for ten trips or $9.99 per month for unlimited use, but you'll also need to add a dedicated Bluetooth GPS receiver ($99). The BlackBerry 8800 has GPS built in.
 
BlackBerry's Desktop Manager, which syncs your contacts, calendar, and tasks with Outlook or Outlook Express can help you stay organized and on time. Connecting to the data stored in Outlook was simple and fairly straightforward using the Setup Wizard. The Pearl supports up to ten e-mail addresses, and you can view attachments but not edit them.
 
On the entertainment front, the BlackBerry Pearl has a basic music and video player that supports AAC, AAC+, eACC+, MP3, and MPEG-4 files.  Songs sounded clear, and video was on a par with some flash players that we've tested, but the screen is too tiny to watch clips for an extended amount of time. The 1.3-MP digicam took decent shots (for a phone) but doesn't record video.
 
Overall, the BlackBerry Pearl is a great choice for anyone looking to stay connected without carrying a bulky device. Its slim design will appeal to consumers and executives alike, and its price tag of $199 (with a two-year contract) will fit most budgets.

Tags: BlackBerry Pearl (AT&T), Blackberry (RIM), Smartphones, cell phones, business, reviews, smartphone

Technical Specifications
BlackBerry Pearl (AT&T)
http://www.cingular.com


CarrierAT&T
Form FactorCandy Bar
Operating SystemBlackBerry OS
Data EDGE
CPU312-MHz XScale
Internal Memory64MB
Memory Expansion TypeTransFlash/MicroSD
Display (main)2.2 inches (260 x 240 pixels, 65,000 colors)
Display (secondary)1.2 inches (128 x 96 pixels/65,000 colors)
GPSNo
FM RadioNo
Camera Resolution1.3 MP
Talk / Standby Time3.5 hours/15 days
Size4.2 x 2 x 0.5 inches
Weight3.1 ounces
FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories eReaders Laptops Networking Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS AVADirect Averatec BeagleBone BenQ CTL Corp. CyberPowerPC Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Eurocom Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Google Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo Maingear MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Razer Sager Samsung Sony Sony PlayStation Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv Vizio VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1136 x 768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1792 x 768 1900x1080 1920x1080 1920x1200 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1700 2880 x 1620 2880 x 1880 3200 x 1800 3840 x 2160 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE