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RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Review

BlackBerry Pearl 8130 6.5

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



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






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.

  • Options

posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. Paul (unregistered)

Actually you can change the shortcut items on the basic menu. If you move an application icon into the top five it will then display on the basic menu.

posted on 14 Dec 2007, 14:49

2. (unregistered)

Trackball is not cumbersome at all, not sure how you managed that conclusion. Menu icons are hideable so they dont clog up your screen. How can this phone not be picked up and used... Its size and very useable UI are strengths.

posted on 15 Dec 2007, 12:34

3. (unregistered)

I agree about the suretype being cumbersome at times, but that is the only real flaw that I notice. I didn't notice the browser being slow at all, it was much faster than other peoples phones that I compared it too. Overall a solid review though.

posted on 17 Dec 2007, 16:03

4. SQFreak (unregistered)

About connectivity, I notice no slowness. I think you're in a low-signal area, based on the fact that your screenshots alternate between 1XEV (broadband) and 1X (barely faster than dialup). Actually, my Pearl 8130 performs faster than my Q9m in almost every respect. Additionally, I use Outlook 2007 to sync with the BlackBerry with no problems.

posted on 03 Jun 2008, 12:12

13. (unregistered)

Could you please tell me which U prefer... Moto Q9m (Q9c for me on SPrint) vs. the Pearl 8130?? I'm torn as this will be my 1st SmartPhone, and I'm a MS Windows PC user, etc. But I really do not plan to do much e-mailing on either as I want to keep my sanity & life. I want a great phone, easy to use & setup, easy to type w/o looking alot. Can you turn off The Pearl's guess-ahead typing, and put it into an ABC mode only?? Thx Much, tom

posted on 17 Dec 2007, 17:37

5. dragserb (unregistered)

You have to be pretty dense if you can't learn to use this phone quickly. It's not that hard for anyone who cares to read a little. The phone deserves at least an 8 not a mediocre 7.

posted on 18 Dec 2007, 00:37

6. Reviewer (unregistered)

@sq...The testing of the phone was done in many places, most of them strong EVDO areas. Where the pictures/video was taken the Pearl did jump between 1x and EVDO, but literally every other Verizon phone I've owned and tested (probably 15 or so) has had no problem not only pulling an EVDO signal, but a strong one at that. Air cards usually get speeds over 1Mbps

posted on 18 Dec 2007, 21:10

7. VZ Hater (unregistered)

Check your info guys, the Pearl launched on Sprint on Black Friday, as noted on many other blogs AND Sprint's own site. A comparo coming soon?

posted on 19 Dec 2007, 09:48

8. (unregistered)

was the reviewer not smart...or maybe just missed some things the phone does? the BT is fully unlocked, I am able to send object via BT and receive them, fairly easily mind you as well. I can connect my pearl via BT to my laptop for syncing as well as modem(though modem via BT is dumb and slow, but more power to you). so the BT stuff is all wrong, but how about the rest of it? the main menu is the same menu you get on any BB phone, and you cna hide any icon you don't need or move things around. so the side keys can be made into anything you want. as to the trackball...do you have MS or shake a lot? because that thing is easy as hell to use. and no review of the new RIM browser? this thing blows the old ones out of the water. and have you never owned or done a review of a BB? all you realy did was get in there, and download an app and not try to use the standard browser. did you go to yoru website? it pulls up without issue, and you cna move to a pan and zoom way of looking at the webpage much like opra mini. every time any of you guys get a phone the first thing you do is suck opera mini's sausage by mentioning it, then complain about how the phone can or can't run it. wow this review is lacking on all front, facts, info, and apparently knowledge.

posted on 22 Dec 2007, 22:50

9. (unregistered)

i tried one of these out in a verizon store and almost instantly i was flying with suretype, not sure how u can be slow with it

posted on 28 Dec 2007, 16:35

10. VZW Sales / Pearl Owner (unregistered)

Phonearena, why are you paying this guy? The suretype is faster than the full QWERTY or the T9 if you take more than 15 minutes to get used to it. I'm already faster on my Pearl (10 days into ownership) than I ever was on my EnV in the year that I had it. You -CAN- reorder the shortcuts on the main screen. I initially had the same problem with the BIS site blocking the Go To... option, but that was quickly resolved. Getting Opera Mini 4 to work was as simple as going towww.operamini.com on the phone's browser, choosing download, download high-memory version, and then choosing download. It downloads in a java file, not a .zip. Try it again. Valid critiques: the GPS is locked. The voice dial button is a little too easy to accidentally press. That's why I remapped it to lock the keypad. The internet is somewhat slow. It depends on the site - sometimes the Pearl stops using EVDO and drops down to 1X-RTT, and you have to yank the battery and reset it, but that's a periodic annoyance I've only had to do a couple of times. Phonearena, stop paying this slacker and hire me!

posted on 19 Jun 2008, 18:22

15. (unregistered)

A tip for anyone who suddenly loses EVDO and reverts to 1X-RTT: Turn radio off in the settings, then on again. My phone was stuck in 1X out of the box, and doing this fixed the problem. There should be no need for battery removal. Also, keep in mind that cell towers will sometimes stop transmitting EVDO during brief maintenance cycles. I adore my Pearl. I use it as my primary connectivity device. Anyone complaining about the convenience keys should remap them.

posted on 29 Dec 2007, 00:40

11. jean (unregistered)

the suretype was quite easy to pickup. I had no problems and the trackball is great. Fast browser and this was my first blackberry phone. After 3-4 days i had the hang of it.

posted on 20 Jan 2008, 13:07

12. DDH (unregistered)

This is a great phone. It's my first blackberry and after owning a Q for the past year and several others windows smartphones this is a pleasant upgrade. Most other sites and reviews I've read gave this phone high reviews so disregard the inaccurate complaints from the reviewer. Suretype was easy to learn and the track ball is one of the best features on the phone.

posted on 03 Jun 2008, 12:18

14. (unregistered)

Can u give me some thoughts re the Q9c vs the Pearl?? I'm trying to decide & this'll be my 1st Smart phone, and I'm not a gear queer... i just want to use them to get work done & be productive. I'm a Windows user on my NB & PC.

posted on 21 Aug 2008, 21:20

16. Jerry (unregistered)

CDMA Pearl for Verizon: After 2.5 wks, I feel that this phone has robust features coupled with serious flaws. If you are not a previous BB user, navigating through the menus is not intuitive. Suretype is a bit cumbersome, but you can setup shortcuts that really help you along. For example, I have setup "u" to correct to "you", "w" to spell out "with", etc... My biggest beef is the lack of memory and what happens when you run out. The Pearl literally starts randomly deleting your call logs and messages to free up space! Can you imagine telling a business counterpart that you will call them back in 2 min only to find out their number was erased from your logs! Ask me how I know. *L* Keep in mind that inserting a flash card does NOT help this issue. I have no media, pics, or music on my phone whatsoever. The cure? Believe it or not, you just need to reset your phone from time to time by pulling the battery which will take you a minimum of 4.5 min to bring the phone back up again. All in all, I give the Pearl for Verizon a 3.5 out of 5. We should all do ourselves a favor and buy the iPhone.

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Display240 x 260 pixels TFT
Camera2 megapixels
Single core, 312 MHz, Intel XScale processor
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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