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First Published: Wed, Apr 02 2008. 12 39 AM IST

BlackBerry Pearl 8110
BlackBerry Pearl 8110
Updated: Wed, Apr 02 2008. 12 39 AM IST
1. The high resolution, light-sensing screen adjusts lighting levels automatically for indoor and outdoor viewing. The colours are very bright, the definition sharp and crisp.
BlackBerry Pearl 8110
2. The largely two-letter per key Qwerty-style keypad layout is intended for fast text input. But it takes some getting used to—a week and more of unlearning a traditional cellphone’s key layout and relearning this one. RIM’s proprietary SureType predictive text is far more advanced and assimilative than the rival T9 input. Punctuation, in general, is not so intuitive. The horizontally slim keys take some time to get used to.
3. The trackball roller movement is very fluid and offers smooth left-right, up-down scroll and click functionality. It is helpful in navigating maps.
4. As expected, email support and mapping capabilities are good. The BlackBerry Internet Service gives users access to up to 10 supported work or personal email accounts (including Gmail), the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, which enables push-based wireless access to email and other applications, as well as advanced security and IT administration within the IBM Lotus Domino, Microsoft Exchange and Novell GroupWise environments.
Also included is support for Instant Messaging clients such as Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger and BlackBerry Messenger. All this works perfectly.
5. With its inbuilt noise and echo cancellation technology for clearer calls, voice transmission and reception quality is good. The phone boasts voice activated dialling and a pretty loud speakerphone that doesn’t crackle.
6. The built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) supports a variety of third-party location-based applications and services as well as navigation solutions offered by carriers abroad turn-by-turn navigation assistance. Satellite acquisition lock-on times are good for cold and warm starts.
Unfortunately, as with most rival GPS handsets, the availability of Indian city maps on this, too, leaves much to be desired.
Functionality with Google Maps is good but these maps are not up-to-date and lack local street address details.
7. The 3.7V lithium-ion rechargeable battery lasts one day of rigorous use and over two days with sparing use.
8. The 2 megapixel camera with flash and 5x digital zoom for stills and videos isn’t impressive.
The VGA video recorder requires a microSD card. The captures can, of course, be shared via email, MMS and instant messaging applications, as well as uploaded to social networking sites such as Facebook.
The media player and photo viewer, along with the bundled desktop software, allow you to manage music, pictures and videos between PC and handset. A voice recorder application allows you to take voice notes.
9. Two convenience keys (on the left and right of the handset) can be assigned as shortcut keys to any application.
10. An eternally accessible microSD/SDHC memory card slot is available for additional storage.
The quad-band GPRS/EDGE smartphone weighs 88gm, measures 107x50x14mm and comes with 64MB of built-in memory. You’ll also find the usual suspects: Java capabilities, a document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF) and more. It also has Bluetooth 2.0, a mini USB port, and a built-in 3.5mm headphone jack. No WiFi. No radio. The handset comes with a 24-month warranty.
This slimline candybar, which looks quite similar to previous Pearl models, boasts a very solid build and an excellent fit and finish. An intuitive interface, powerful communications capabilities—cellphone and text messaging abilities aside, its push email services, instant messaging and ever-ready Web browsing abilities (depending on your data plan)—coupled with the good media capabilities and (just about adequate) camera make it a compelling convergence device.
The overall configurability of the phone—with its multitude of setting options for various features, including different auto on/off settings for weekdays and weekends—is also commendable.
The Web browser is pretty basic and could definitely have been better. And the keyboard presents a learning curve that can turn people off. But, once you’ve mastered it, the handset can be addictive.
BlackBerry push services in India are available from Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance. This handset is offered by Airtel and Vodafone. Service plans range from Rs249 to Rs1,099. Please refer to service provider websites for more details.
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First Published: Wed, Apr 02 2008. 12 39 AM IST