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.

The full suite of Documents to Go is preinstalled, with Word To Go, Spreadsheet To Go and Slideshow To Go in the applications folder along with Memopad that's designed for short note writing, tasks, Password Keeper, voice dialling and files.

Of course, the Pearl 9105 is supported by BlackBerry App World for extra app downloads, and it's preinstalled too so you won't have to download it manually.

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In terms of connectivity, RIM hasn't left much out with Wi-Fi and 3G on offer. RIM has opted to ship the BlackBerry Pearl 9105 with an 1150mAH battery, which may be smaller in capacity compared to the Bold 9700's capacious 1500mAH and power users may be a little disappointed with the battery life.

However, it's fine for casual users who just want to use the smartphone as a phone rather than taking advantage of the full email support, Wi-Fi (b/g/n) connectivity and other data services. Indeed, it offers up to 400 hours of standby. The smaller screen does play to the phone's advantage here as a lower resolution display does take up less power than the Bold's larger screen.

In an attempt to show off the more consumer side of the Pearl 9105, RIM has added multimedia keys to the angled top of the phone, instead of the lock and mute buttons as seen on the Bold 9700.

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The mute button doubles up with the play/pause button and the forward skip is on the top right, with the skip backwards button living on the top left. To trigger the media menu, you simply have to tap the play/pause key.

Strangely enough, the mute/play/pause button is also used as the unlock key of choice.

To lock the keys, you have to press and hold the symbol/back/start button on the keypad. This seems a little over the top surely having four functions for one key is a too much?

The button configuration certainly seems a little confused, but it's easy enough to get used to as it is with any new phone.

The BlackBerry Pearl 9105 is a fully functioning smartphone, just like other RIM devices. However, it's easy to see why the device is cheaper than higher-end devices.

3G is a welcome addition to RIM's budget devices, although the design and plastic nature of the Pearl 3G 9105 still leaves us feeling a little under whelmed.

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Verdict

The BlackBerry Pearl 9105 is a great entry level RIM device, especially when you consider it features full Wi-Fi capabilities and 3G. Alas, the way it feels and the presence of an alphanumeric keyboard are a little disappointing from such an otherwise highly specced device.

Connectivity: GSM 850/900/1800/1900, HSPA 850/1900/200 Display: 360 x 400 pixels OS: BlackBerry OS 5.0 Camera: 3.2 megapixels GPS: A-GPS Processor: 624 MHz processor Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n Dimensions: 108 x 50 x 13.3 mm Weight: 93.6g Battery: Li-Ion 1150 mAh

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