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RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8120

>> Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If you were to go on looks alone, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the original BlackBerry Pearl and RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8120. We can't really knock the lack of changes to the design either, since you're getting a full featured smart phone in a cell phone like form factor that's pocket able and comfortable to use as a mobile.

The Pearl 8120 keeps the same compact frame, measuring 4.2 inches tall by 1.9 inches wide by 0.5 inch deep and even weighs less at 3.2 ounces. And while the casing might appear to be black, it's actually an attractive deep sapphire blue. The overall design of the RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8120 remains the same as the original Pearl. You do, however, get new interface themes, graphics, and more, including this L-shaped menu.

On front, there is a 2.25 inch nontouch display with a 65.000 color output and 260x240 pixel resolution. It's also equipped with a light sensing technology that automatically adjusts the backlight depending on the environment. All these factors combined make for a sharp and vibrant screen, but RIM also made some enhancements to the user interface to make it more visually pleasing and easier to use.

There are new themes, including an L-shaped menu format, new graphics, fonts, and colors. The changes aren't anything to write home about, but they certainly make for a better user experience.

The SureType keyboard will admittedly give some users some trouble, but also features enhanced word completion for easier text entry.

Below the display, you'll find the same navigation array of previous Pearls, which includes Talk and End keys, the BlackBerry menu shortcut, a back button, the pearl like trackball, and of course, the SureType keyboard.

As we've said many times in the past, the modified keyboard isn't going to suit everyone (present company included), and there is a bit of a learning curve to the text entry. However, we understand that some concessions had to be made in order to fit a QWERTY keyboard into a smaller space. The SureType software also now features improved word completion and an easier way to correct misspelled words, though we didn't notice a huge difference.

Among other things, the left side of the smart phone holds a 3.5 mm headphone jack and microSD or SDHC slot that can accept up to 8GB cards. On the left spine, there's a 3.5mm headphone jack, a mini USB port, a microSD or SDHC memory card slot, and a push to talk button. Meanwhile, the right side holds a volume rocker and a camera activation button.

Both the PTT and camera keys can, however, be reprogrammed to launch other applications if you prefer. There's a mute button on top of the unit, and finally, the camera lens, self-portrait mirror and flash are located on the back.

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