RIM BlackBerry Pearl Review
The camera module is situated on the back panel of the phone. It is 1.3 mega pixel one with a small ‘mirror’ and a LED light, which is used as a flash. The launch takes about 5 seconds after selecting it from the menu. The camera’s interface is comparatively simplified, showing only the number of pictures that can be stored in the available memory, the zoom adjustment (it is a five-fold digital zoom whose usage does not make any sense) and the pre-setting of the flashlight. The ‘options’ menu allows for adjustment of the white balance. Here you can also find three possible resolutions (1.3, 0.3 and 0.07 mega pixels), three compression options as well as a choice of location to save and names of the pictures.
After taking a picture you have the opportunity to either save, delete, set as a caller ID/homescreen or send it. Saving a photo and getting ready for the next one takes about 6-7 seconds.
Pictures, taken with the phone, are of quite poor quality – partly because of the low camera resolution – 1.3 mega pixels (the nowadays up-to-date cameras on the mobile phone market feature 3 or more mega pixels). Apart from the low resolution the photos’ colors are very unreal and non-saturated with a grayish tinge – the dynamic is rather low and pictures look very ‘flat’. In addition all details are simply blurred and turn into one entity.
Indoor performance (with artificial light) is actually worse, with ‘noise’ at even strong illumination in the room, let alone at poor one. The quality then goes totally down, making the photo objects almost unrecognizable.
As the first multimedia-enabled model of the brand, Blackberry Pearl is quite modest in displaying its novelties to the users. Though on the main menu one can find numerous icons for all kinds of applications, all ‘Media’ has been put together in one menu. It is from here that one can pick music, video, tones and pictures.
The music player is good-looking but lacks functions: during playback it visualizes information about the current file and a picture, if one has been entered into it. The only accessible options from here are pause/play and stop. Volume is controlled by buttons on the right side. At the beginning, we thought there was no rewind option, but later we found out that one must go up to reach ‘timeline’, then click on it and turn the trackball left/right.
RIM have left room for future development – there is no kind of equalizer or visualization whatsoever. There are no options to arrange and make play lists and even previous/next songs are only accessible thru a menu (once again a text one), which makes this operation rather inconvenient.
The formats, available to play, are the standard MP3 and a few variants of AAC.
The video player uses the same graphic interface and respectively – has the same options; the difference is that the screen space is utilized entirely by the file. Unfortunately there is no opportunity for full screen preview.
Bearing in mind the restricted functionality of both players, we reckon it more appropriate to combine them into one – like Windows Media Player for laptop computers and their pocket-size kin – Pocket PC phones and Smartphones.
Blackberry Pearl has 64 MB built-in memory and is the first model of the manufacturer to have a memory extension slot. It is designed for micro SD cards but, unfortunately, is situated under the battery. In order to replace the card one needs to switch off the phone and remove battery – no doubt a tedious and inconvenient operation.
8100 utilizes the standard operating system so all the applications for previous models (7100 series) will be compatible. There are various applications and lots of games in store for this phone. The one game which came pre-loaded with Pearl was Brick Breaker.