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Interface and Functionality:

Under the hood of this updated looking handset, the BlackBerry Pearl 3G carries along a 624 MHz processor and 256MB RAM/ROM which undeniably makes navigating around the stale BlackBerry OS 5 platform pretty steadily and without much pause. Sadly, it would've been nice to see the handset sport the newer version of the platform, but uneventfully we'll have to settle until it's made available. The homescreen and main menu layout is quite familiar to those accustomed to using other modern BlackBerry devices. Aside from changing the wallpaper and placement of the icons, there isn't as much in terms of personalization. However, you can always sprinkle some new life by downloading and installing various themes for the handset.

Still lacking a native sync option for the address book, we managed to install Google Sync and get our contacts safely and quickly loaded onto the handset. Seeing that it's a full blown smartphone, there are a wealth of information you can associate with each contact in your address book.

Needless to say one of the biggest strengths for any BlackBerry handset is its versatile and satisfying messaging experience. After mastering the art of using the SureType keyboard, we didn't run into much problems in dealing out a hasty text message to someone. In addition, email setup is such a breeze and doesn't take a rocket scientist to accomplish since RIM's setup will only require your email address and password to fully complete. Surprisingly, it is even able to automatically set up our PhoneArena email by just providing our email and password – unlike others which require additional information like server addresses.  Thankfully, you have the option of combining all of your text messages and emails in one centralized hub. But if you feel like keeping things separated, you have the option to do that as well.

Out of the box, the BlackBerry Pearl 3G comes preloaded with the official Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace apps for all your social networking needs. Without question you'll be able to get your social networking fix, but with the Facebook and Twitter apps, it feels as though it's not quite as optimized for the handset since there is a lot of vertical scrolling needed in moving around. Regardless, it provides all of the essentials you'll need in getting by.

AT&T as usual, is able to place some of its core apps with the device – like AT&T Maps, AT&T Navigator, AT&T AppCenter, AT&T Music, and AT&T Radio. Furthermore, there are also a wealth of other icons that simply get you to their respective download page – such as YPmobile, MusicID, MobiTV, Mobile Banking, and My-Cast Weather. Lastly, there are some classic games on board that you typically find with most of RIM's offerings – these include Word Mole, BrickBreaker, Sudoku, Texas Hold'Em King 2, and Klondike.

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