loading... Loading...
rss

Phones.com » Cell Phones » Review of the Blackberry Pearl 3G 9105

RIM limits itself to the smartphone market with very few Blackberry releases around the year. Thankfully, it does not dole out phones to the likes of Samsung or LG where only a few are worth remembering. Maintaining its exclusivity with smartphones has always worked in the company’s favour and so has it been with its recent release, the Pearl 3G 9105. What’s new in the Pearl 3G 9105 that differentiates it from other attention-getting Blackberry phones? The alphanumeric keypad is a rare occurrence in the current crop of Blackberry phones that is usually known for its typical wavy QWERTY keys. The Pearl 3G 9105 is a simple reminder for a phone user that a QWERTY keypad does not grade a smartphone. Even an alphanumeric keypad supported by a good screen resolution and business friendly features could mould a handset into a smartphone.

Look, Design, Feel (/10)

The look of the Pearl 3G 9105 is dwarfish compared to the Blackberry Bold 9700. A proven fact; massive handsets never guarantee the best of features/results. Though not exactly offering the experience of the Bold or Curve series, every space of the 9105 is rooted with the most advanced features such as 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, 3.2-megapixel camera, optical trackpad, Blackberry Messenger, built-in GPS, SureType technology, access to BlackBerry App World and much more. For the technicalities, it measures 108 mm x 50 mm x 13.3 mm and weighs just 93 grams. That is quite a lightweight to say! Integrating social networking apps is the ‘in thing’ in the cell phone market and Blackberry plays the game with Facebook and Twitter apps. For that matter, RIM does not need to try hard to fit into the ‘upcoming’ market mode.

Text inputting comes through the alphanumeric keypad slotted comfortably in the compact device. For a good texter, a QWERTY or an alphanumeric would not make any difference, however if you are at ease with a QWERTY keypad, then the US version of the 9105; Pearl 3G 9100 is more adaptable. An identical version of the predictive text input, SureType technology by Blackberry, removes the uneasiness in typing, if any.

Its miniature size makes the 9105 comfortable to hold and operate. The front includes a raised keypad, optical trackpad for scrolling, call buttons, and shortcuts for quick access on the sides. Also included is the miniUSB slot and headphone connector on the side as well as media player shortcuts on the top. The microSD card slot is unfortunately at the rear needing you to remove the cover to insert it.

All the above features rest on the 2.2-inch screen boasting of a 360 x 400-pixel resolution. It is not certainly the best, but is good enough for browsing and viewing emails.

Features (/10)

The Blackberry Pearl 3G 9105 is not to be compared to its siblings, in size or features. Retracting itself from being grossly oversized, the handset stands up on its own taking support from the BlackBerry OS 5.0. Twenty icons decorating the homescreen are navigable by an optical trackpad and of course, the choice of deleting or hiding any icon is present if you want to customize it with an app downloaded from Blackberry App world. Blackberry App World is a tad expensive and does not offer as many apps as Android Market or Windows Marketplace do. Yet, that is all you have on hand.

For navigating the homescreen the 9105 has included a touch-sensitive optical trackpad, similar to that of a laptop. It works fabulously assuming you know how to operate a laptop trackpad.

Receiving optimum help from Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, the device is capable of assimilating 10-email accounts plus Facebook and Twitter apps. Multimedia functions house a 3.2-megapixel resolution camera to serve its purpose of taking photos and shooting videos. Added photo effects are provided by LED flash, 2.5x digital zoom and auto focus. The media player acts as normal as it can without much fuss. It does not attract much attention, as there are no dedicated media or music keys. Overall, it plays its role sincerely. One wonders what the GPS is like on the 9105 and what we are looking at on such a small screen. However, Blackberry prefers to promote its trademarks. So does it with GPS navigation aided by Blackberry Maps. Good when one is on foot, but not great whilst driving.

Connectivity (/10)

The Blackberry Pearl 3G 9105 comes with both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity. Optional connectivity scores extra points by those who live within Wi-Fi coverage. It also incorporates a USB port, GPS with Blackberry Maps, Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP and GPRS/EDGE.

Performance (/10)

Call quality on the Pearl 3G 9105 could have been better. Background noises and disturbances were common hindrances during voice calls. The phone is a comparatively expensive handset and such errors are not expected. In addition, many would not accept the alphanumeric keypad, as Blackberry = email and traditional keypads do not offer the speed and ease of a QWERTY.

Blackberry could not possibly go wrong in the emailing division, whether it is setting up an email account or activating push email alerts. The 9105 supports multiple email clients and Blackberry’s email wizard does the difficult job of setting up accounts leaving you the pleasure to surf through inboxes and reading emails.

Talking about the browser, there’s not much to write about. Web pages take time to render and download content. Otherwise, the ‘zoom’ function allows you to view content in around a minute, but only if it is supported by 3G or Wi-Fi connection.

As we mentioned earlier, Blackberry has played the game by including social networking apps. Both Facebook and Twitter apps are tightly integrated in the device. While the screen is too small to view social networking sites, it is just a matter of time before you get addicted to ‘Facebook on Mobile’.

Camera comes secondary in Blackberry phones, yet the 3.2-megapixel camera clicks satisfying pictures. It is nice to know that RIM has paid good attention to the multimedia applications. Videos are also sharp and clear even in the hardest of conditions.

The performance of a feature is judged on the phone’s battery life, where the Pearl 3G 9105 crosses the green line. It performed well, even after all the important functions were used.

Value for Money (/10)

Obviously, the Pearl 3G 9105 is going to get compared to its bigger and powerful siblings. There are other smartphones in the market with QWERTY’s, but not all offer the ease of use of a Blackberry. Apart from the keypad, each of the functions work to the T offering what a regular Blackberry smartphone is expected. . It is not an award-winning phone, but it is up for grabs at a price that is worth a second look.

Pros

 

  • Most of Blackberry functions included
  • Compact design
  • Optical trackpad
  • SureType technology works well in absence of a touchscreen

 

 

Cons

  • Call quality is not worth talking about
  • Lack of touchscreen can turn out to be disturbing for some
  • Lack of QWERTY keypad in UK version (US version 9100 has it)
  • Web pages take time to download in standard browser

Price

United States Prices United Kingdom Prices Canada Prices France Prices India Prices

No prices available for the selected country

Opinions

Compare Size

Phone Size Comparison Click to compare the size of the phone with a credit card

Rating

Style: 7.8
156
Technology: 7.3
146
Efficiency: 7.5
149

Total votes: 249 | Hits: 8993

Bookmark and Share