RIM overhauls BlackBerry keyboard with Pearl 3G

26th Apr 2010 | 12:52

RIM overhauls BlackBerry keyboard with Pearl 3G

No QWERTY in sight for this new emailer

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

A consumer-friendly smartphone that matches any BlackBerry in terms of features,with a keypad you'll love or hate but suffers from below-average network coverage and call quality.


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.


Disappointing call quality; Below-average 3G connectivity; Small screen; Troublesome text inputting; Media player hidden away

Update: read our Hands on: Blackberry Pearl 3G review.

RIM has announced a new BlackBerry device with a radically different keyboard - the Pearl 3G.

Set for a May UK release date on various networks, the new BlackBerry Pearl 3G will come in two separate flavours.

The Pearl 3G 9105 features an alphanumeric keyboard - 14 keys set out in the 'traditional' layout of three letters per key.

The 9100 will be more conventional for BlackBerry users: using two letters per key, although both use the SureType system (similar to T9 predictive text) for speedy messaging.

Pocket friendly

Both models feature a 360x400 resolution display, and have a 624MHz processor with 256MB internal memory, and both only weigh 93g.

There's also a 3.2MP camera popped on the back, with digital zoom, autofocus and a flash - with dedicated media buttons proving the Pearl 3G is designed to be a consumer-oriented phone.

It's also the first BlackBerry to feature support for the superfast 802.11n Wi-Fi connection, helping future-proof the phone against the oncoming tidal wave of tech innovation.

Sadly, there's no mention of the Bold 9650 coming to the UK - despite supporting the GSM frequencies, it seems this is a UK only model for now.

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