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RIM (Research in Motion) BlackBerry Pearl 3G (9105) Review

(Mobile phone)
BlackBerry Pearl 9105

Above average (B) 12 reviews 07/2010
70 opinions (Above average)
Product specification:
  • Megapixel: 3.2 MP
  • Battery: 1150 mAh
  • Weight: 93 g
  • Other Features: Bluetooth
  • Form Factor: Candybar
  • Processor Power: 624 MHz … more information


PC Advisor
7/2010
Single test
4 out of 5 stars

Value for money: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly for a BlackBerry, the keyboard on the Pearl 3G was considered by PC Advisor to be its weak spot, not only because it is of the alphanumeric kind, but also because characters like the full stop and '@', which are used constantly when emailing and surfing, are not on the keypad. Messaging is, as always, excellent, as are its media features and connectivity.

 
Expert Reviews
7/2010
Single test
3 out of 5 stars

The Pearl 3G has high-speed wireless and data connections and is considered by Expert Reviews to be a major upgrade from the previous models. The numeric keypad is a disadvantage compared to the virtual QWERTY keyboards found on other devices and the small screen lets it down, although images and text look sharp and bright and web browsing is impressive.

 
The Gadget Show
6/2010
Single test
4 out of 5 points

As candybar phones go, the Blackberry Pearl 3G is faster and has more features than any FiveFWD have looked at in the past. If you are not bothered about your slimline candybar phone having an uncommon keyboard, this is a great starter model. It's performance is on a par with the Bold 9700 and it has a nice sharp screen and 3.2Mp camera, but a short battery life.

 
TrustedReviews
6/2010
Single test
8 out of 10 points

Value for money: 8 out of 10 points

"As you would expect, the lack of a QWERTY keyboard means the Pearl 3G is not exactly an ideal phone to use for tapping out longer emails, so if you're used to the keyboard on your current BlackBerry then this isn't the handset to upgrade to. However, the phone is obviously targeted at those who want a smartphone that doesn't look like a smartphone, but still retains all the same functionality. If you fall into this category then we're sure you'll love the Pearl 3G as it looks quite stylish, has superb email features and great connectivity."

 
TechRadar UK
6/2010
Single test
4 out of 5 stars

"For: BlackBerry email experience in a smaller handset; Stylish design; 'Out of the box' ease of use; Improved web browser; Good quality images, with numerous options for sending photos.
Against: Disappointing call quality; Below-average 3G connectivity; Small screen; Troublesome text inputting; Media player hidden away."

 
CNET.co.uk
5/2010
Single test
"excellent" (8 out of 10 points)

"... Straight-up surfing on the small screen isn't as much fun as using the apps, although the display's excellent resolution helps a great deal. ... Is there a place on Earth for a BlackBerry with an alphanumeric keyboard? With great connectivity and excellent email capability, the BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9105 can certainly hold its own against other smart phones without touchscreens, like the Nokia E75. But, if you're really into emailing - the biggest strength of BlackBerry devices - you might want to opt for a model with a full Qwerty keyboard, like the Bold 9700."

 
Mobile Choice
5/2010
Single test
4 out of 5 stars

"... Probably the most crucial additions have been HSDPA and Wi-Fi support though, which gives the Pearl 3G the same powerful internet features as the Bold 9700. ... The Pearl 3G is a smartphone masquerading as a normal phone, and its slinky chassis actually houses the exact same high-tech specs as RIM's flagship Bold 9700. It's just as much of a workhouse, just as fast, and even the standard keypad isn't much of an impediment to email - still the biggest 'Berry feature. This is a high performer, and a great choice for anyone who likes the feel of a standard phone, but prefers the features of a smart device."

 
Electric Pig
5/2010
Single test
4 out of 5 stars

"... If you're thinking powerful performance and an inefficient keyboard make for strange bedfellows, you're not alone - especially when we know the all singing, all dancing BlackBerry 6 software is coming out in a few short months, and RIM's not said a peep about the potential for upgrades, which only makes the decision clearer: this isn't a BlackBerry for current BlackBerry owners. Rather, it's an excellent introductory model for those who can't get enough of the skinny candybar form factor above all else. If that's you, the BlackBerry Pearl 3G will suit you down to the ground. ... Certainly one of the most powerful candybar phones around."

 
Pocket-lint.co.uk
5/2010
Single test
8 out of 10 points

"The BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9105 is a great handset overall. It gives you the benefits of BlackBerry's connectivity, the great e-mail service and mainstream applications to give you a social mobile with communication at its core. This is packaged into a slim and elegant device that will be as at home in the hands of a texting teenager as it will in the pocket of your finest business suit. ... You still get a great keypad and a great handset design, which is capable in most areas. Battery life is an obvious advantage here, pairing it with the full functionality you expect from a smartphone. ..."

 
The Inquirer
5/2010
Single test
without final score

"According to Research In Motion, which quoted IDC figures in our briefing, candy bar phones still take up 75 per cent of handsets today. With this update to its consumer series of Blackberry devices comes RIM's first 3G handset in the range, the latest OS, a better keyboard, GPS and WiFi 802.11n. What could hold it back from increasing those IDC stats is the affordability of the mobile phone, as Blackberrys aren't always the least expensive. RIM needs to look at the pay as you go market more seriously for this consumer oriented phone."

 
PC Pro
5/2010
Single test
"very good" (5 out of 6 stars)

Value for money: "very good" (5 out of 6 stars), "Recommended"

"... for many executives it would make a handy weekend or holiday phone: it allows full corporate email and application access, but with the weight, size and looks of a more conventional mobile. It'll also make a great business phone for younger people just moving up onto the executive ladder. As usual with a BlackBerry, call quality is excellent, and the Pearl 3G will maintain a signal in places where lesser phones would give up the ghost. If the device has any weak spots they're the web browser and BlackBerry OS 5. ... Aimed successfully at a younger audience, but the Pearl 3G 9105 also has strong enterprise credentials."

 
Pocket-lint.co.uk
4/2010
Single test
without final score

"The decision to make this predictive only rather than yet another QWERTY smartphone is an interesting move. It's one that clearly shows they are hoping will entice non-smartphone users ... into the BlackBerry eco system. It's a bold move and one that we would have preferred to see done through the operating system (i.e., the ability to set up different keyboard configurations) rather than forcing it on customers from the outset via the hardware. Our time was brief with the BlackBerry Pearl 3G (9105), but this is RIM playing it safe while trying to lure those using a standard T9 handset into the world of BlackBerry. ..."

 
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Opinions (70)