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RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Review

BlackBerry Pearl 8130

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Appointments - RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Review
Alarm - RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Review

Appointments

Alarm

The Calendar function of the Pearl 8130 is also very robust. It can be managed either on your phone or on your PC, and when paired to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) it can be remotely managed and synced over the air. Creating an appointment is straightforward, and options such as reminders and recurrence are present. Appointments can also be marked as private for added security.

Other basic PIM functions are available, such as Tasks and a Notepad. Tasks are pretty straight forward, but reminders can be set and they can also be grouped in categories. The Notepad is simply that, no bells and whistles. Users can also save voice memos as well. There is a basic calculator available also.

The voice dialing feature is handled by VoiceSignal, and as always the software is excellent.

Notepad - RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Review
Tasks - RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Review
Calculator - RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Review
VoiceSignal - RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Review

Notepad

Tasks

Calculator

VoiceSignal




Messaging

The Pearl 8130, like BlackBerries before it, support a whole slew of messaging options. Standards like SMS and MMS are onboard, as is support for multiple email accounts and BlackBerry PIN messaging. PIN messaging is basically the same as SMS, except that it is sent securely over RIM’s servers and does not use an SMS gateway. Each BlackBerry, regardless of carrier, has its own unique PIN. You simply chose the PIN Message option, enter their PIN in the To field and send the message.

Email setup on the BlackBerry is about as perfect as it gets, we simply put in our email and password and that was it. Even with our uncommon work email we didn’t have to enter any server information. The push email arrived nearly instantaneously in our testing. With the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) the user can have up to 10 email addresses on one device.

The 8130, like SureType BlackBerries before it, utilizes predictive text for input. Similar to T9, you just hit the button once and it interprets what word you’re typing. Other options are displayed in a drop down menu as you type, so if you want a different word simply roll down and select it. While 95% of the time it predicted the word we wanted, when you have to input words not in the dictionary you have to roll down the menu for each letter, which can become cumbersome quickly. For password fields it reverts back to an abc mode, and you have to hit the button twice for the second letter on it. The prediction software worked well, but the keypad is too small for quick typing. We definitely prefer the full QWERTY of the 88xx series, or a true 12 key T9 keypad.

RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Review
RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Review


Connectivity and Data

Unlike the 8100, the 8130 includes 3G cellular data in the form or EVDO rev 0. Despite this web browsing and downloading was much slower than we would have expected. Simple, cell phone optimized pages from the VZW portal took a noticeably long time to load. Downloading Google Maps took over two minutes, something that normally is done in 20 seconds or so. Furthermore, after setting up our email the “Go To…” option did not show up in the context menu of the browser, and Home took us to the BIS home instead of the preloaded VZW home. We had to go to our history, pull up a non-BlackBerry page and then the Go To… option reappeared. It handles HTML pages better than most browsers (pages are optimized for the device, so there is no horizontal scrolling) but overall the browsing experience was lackluster. Editor’s note: we did not experience these issues with the Sprint 8130, only the Verizon version.

RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Review
RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Review
Bluetooth 2.0 can be found, but it is limited to the HSP, HFP, A2DP and AVRC profiles. Basically, you can only use it with a mono or stereo headset. As Sprint includes Phone as Modem with their BlackBerry data package their 8130 variant may include other profiles, such as DUN.

The BlackBerry desktop software is included with the 8130, and it is used to manage calendar, tasks, contacts and email synchronization with your desktop. The user can sync data with ASCII importer/exporter, Outlook Express, Outlook and Yahoo. Some users have reported issues with Outlook 2007 however.




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PhoneArena rating:
6.5Good
Display240 x 260 pixels TFT
Camera2 megapixels
Hardware
Single core, 312 MHz, Intel XScale processor
GB RAM
Size4.20 x 1.95 x 0.55 inches
(107 x 50 x 14 mm)
3.40 oz  (96 g)
Battery900 mAh, 3.66 hours talk time

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