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BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9105 review

RIM has already provided us with the budget 8520 smartphone, but now the Canadian manufacturer has released the 9105 with 3G. How does it measure up? We review the BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9105 to find out.

Directly below the Pearl 3G's screen, RIM has opted to include its highly sensitive and effective optical track pad for navigation, taking away the original pearl trackball from the most recent Pearl devices.

As always on RIM handsets, it's a superb way of navigating around the device and has a much longer life than the pearl trackball that was prone to getting dust stuck and even falling off in some cases.

The screen itself is strange in size and shape because of the narrow frame of the Pearl. It measures 360x400 pixels, making it almost square, but slightly favoured towards a portrait rectangle.

The landscape 480x360 pixels resolution screen on the BlackBerry Bold 9700 is much better for browsing than this quirky shape because text is spread across the screen and is allowed to be larger in comparison.

For a lower-range handset, the BlackBerry 9105's display is crisp and bright. Icons are a little smaller than on RIM devices with a larger screen, so you may find yourself squinting when navigating through the menu.

The BlackBerry Pearl 9105 runs on BlackBerry's OS 5.0. There's nothing particularly new here, with a shortcut bar at the bottom of the home screen and a five-icons-per-row on the menu.

RIM has been forced to slim down the number of icons per row because the screen is narrower than on other BlackBerrys.

This isn't an issue, but it does mean that if you add applications to the menu rather than keeping them hidden in the applications folder, you'll have to scroll down more. This is aided by the responsive optical track pad.

The Pearl 9105 features a 624 MHZ processor and it does speed along nicely. There's no lag when navigating round the device or swapping between open applications.

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