RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 ReviewBlackBerry Pearl 8130 6.5
This is where the Pearl line stands out from the rest of the BlackBerry family. Whereas pervious BlackBerries were strictly business devices, the original Pearl, and later the Curve, set out to be more multimedia friendly. For the first time a camera was included on a RIM device, and the Roxio-designed media player allows the user to play and manage music, videos, ringtones, pictures and voice notes.
The media player is good and simple to use, but not overly loaded with features. It supports folders, and will sort your music by Artist, Album and Genres. It also supports album art and playlists, which the user can create on the go, and the other options are Repeat and Shuffle.
Audio formats supported are MP3, AAC(+), WAV, and AMR, while the video formats are MPEG4 (H.263 profile 0, H.264 baseline) and WMV.
RIM has listed the following limitations for the supported videos:
• MPEG4/H.263 with AMR, EVRC, QCELP, AAC, AAC+, EAAC+: 30fps @ QVGA, 384kbps
• H.264 with EVRC, AAC, AAC+, EAAC+: 30fps @ 160x140, 384kbps
• WMV: 15 fps @ QVGA, 192kbps
• MPEG4/H.263 with AMR, EVRC, QCELP, AAC, AAC+, EAAC+: 15fps @ QVGA, 384kbps
• H.264 with EVRC, AAC, AAC+, EAAC+: 15fps @ 160x140, 384kbps
• WMV: 15 fps @ QCIF, 192kbps
2-megapixel camera performed very well. Pictures were crisp and color saturation was superb. They were just a little dark, but we really had to nitpick to find something wrong with it. Options are sparse, the only real adjustment is the white balance, but the results speak for themselves. Especially since the camera is almost an ancillary feature we were pleasantly surprised with its performance on the 8130.
Video performance was more pedestrian. It records at 240x176, and is more on-par with what you’d expect from a cell phone. Performance isn’t bad, it’s just not good. The only option is White Balance, and videos can only be recorded when using a memory card.
While it runs the BlackBerry OS, the Pearl 8130 does support Java applications. It has 64MB of onboard memory, and the microSD can handle up to 8GB of expansion. Third party applications can be installed, though not all are compatible. For instance, we were able to download and run Google Maps with no problems, but could not get Opera Mini to work.
BlackBerry Maps is included with the 8130, a program very similar to Google Maps. On the Verizon version the native GPS is locked, but it is not on the Sprint variant. While it does not offer voice prompts, it is a nice free GPS program and we are disappointed to see Verizon force their customers to pay for a service that should be free. We were of course able to purchase VZNavigator. The Sprint 8130 allows for free GPS that can be utilized by third party applications, and the Sprint Navigation program is included in the required data plan. The GPS of the Alltel variant also isn’t locked.
RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Review - Multimedia and Software