Friday, March 11, 2011

BlackBerry Storm : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test


BlackBerry Storm : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test BlackBerry Storm : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test. Quick Specs. Service provider: Not specified. That said, the Storm is a well- constructed smartphone. We tested the RIM BlackBerry Storm in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless service, and call quality was quite. Personalize your smartphone, write reviews or share tips and tricks with other BlackBerry users. Specs at a glance. BlackBerry®. Storm2™ 9550. smartphone. The BlackBerry Storm 9530 Smartphone features Visual Voice mail which displays. When we did our full battery drain test, the phone lasted 7 whole hours. BlackBerry Storm 9500 mobile phone review, specifications and price check.

The ultimate catalog for mobile phones, smartphones and PDA news, reviews, Comparing the specs and features list of the BlackBerry Storm2 to the. For more on this, you can check out our BlackBerry Storm review where we. it puts it on par with other new BlackBerry Smartphones like the Tour and. a little clearer/louder from my initial testing on this review unit. View the image gallery BlackBerry Storm 2 - Smartphones & PDA Phones. Wi-Fi ( 802.11b/g) • microSD • See more specifications. Photo taken with the BlackBerry Storm 2. Best of our tests: this shows how good these.

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BlackBerry Storm : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test


In terms of form factor, the RIM BlackBerry Storm doesn't stray far from the other full touch-screen smartphones on the market today, including the Samsung Omnia and Apple iPhone. Sporting a black casing with silver accents, the handset is a bit blocky and heavy at 4.4 inches tall by 2.4 inches wide by 0.5 inch deep and weighs 5.6 ounces, so it feels a bit wide when you hold it in your hand and it'll make for a tight fit in a pants pocket. That said, the Storm is a well-constructed smartphone. It has a nice, solid feel and the edges have a soft-touch finish to provide a better grip.

BlackBerry Storm : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

While the Storm's design might not be the most inspiring, the smartphone's display is another story. Obviously, the fact that the Storm is the first touch-screen BlackBerry is news enough, but its 3.25-inch VGA glass display also demands attention for its sharpness and brightness, showing 65,000 colors at a crisp 480x360-pixel resolution. We weren't as impressed with the Storm's screen as the BlackBerry Bold, but it's still beautiful. You can also adjust the backlighting, font size, and type. The Storm is also equipped with an accelerometer, so the screen orientation will switch from portrait to landscape mode when you rotate the phone from a vertical position to a horizontal one, left or right.

Moving onto the touch-screen capabilities, the BlackBerry Storm uses SurePress, so that when you select an application or enter text, you actually push the screen down like you would any other tactile button. You can see a bit of a gap at the top and bottom of the screen, which but makes the phone. In terms of text extry, the BlackBerry Storm features a soft keyboard in both portrait and landscape mode. Originally, only a SureType keyboard was a available in portrait mode, but with the latest upgrade, you also have the option of a full QWERTY keyboard. It's not automatic though and you must enable it by pressing the BlackBerry menu key and then selecting Enable Full Keyboard. When using the keyboard or selecting applications, you do a simple finger touch over the item until it's highlighted and then you press down on the screen to register the action.

BlackBerry Storm : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

In addition to the SurePress technology, you can also use a number of finger taps or swipes to perform certain actions. For example, you can tap on the screen twice to zoom in on a Web page or map, or do quick finger swipes to scroll though a page. Also, to copy/paste text, you just touch the screen at the start of the text and then with a second finger, touch the end of the block of text you want to copy. You can adjust the tap interval, hover point, and swipe sensitivity in the Options > Screen/Keyboard menu.

While the SurePress technology is cool, it definitely takes some acclimation. It's not a natural feeling to physically push down on the screen, and we often found ourselves forgetting to actually press down; instead just tapping or double tapping on the letter button or link. You do get used to it after a while though, but as far as e-mail creation or text messages, we missed having a tactile keyboard. We couldn't comfortably type long messages as fast as we wanted and when we tried, the message was riddled with errors. The keyboard buttons are just a bit too small and cramped. If I had problems with my small hands, I can only imagine it would be worse for users with larger thumbs.

BlackBerry Storm : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Below the display, you do get a set of tactile navigation controls that consists of Talk and End/Power buttons, a Menu key, and a clear button. Unlike other BlackBerry models, there is no trackball navigator and we have to admit that we missed it. It may be that we're just used to having the trackball, and often we found our thumb automatically looking for the control while trying to scroll through pages and menus. However, even beyond that, we think it wouldn't hurt to have a trackball navigator since it allows for easier one-handed operation. Also, you wouldn't always have to rely on the touch screen and it would be useful for certain operations like for selecting links on a Web page.

On the left side, there's a user-programmable shortcut key and a micro USB port, while the right spine has a 3.5mm headphone jack, a volume rocker, and another customizable button, which is set as the camera activation/capture key by default. The camera lens and flash are located on the backside, and behind the battery cover, you'll find the microSD/SDHC card holder and SIM card slot. Finally, though not readily apparent, there is a device lock and mute button on the top edge of the Storm.

BlackBerry Storm : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Verizon Wireless packages the RIM BlackBerry Storm with healthy set of accessories, including a travel charger with various adapters, a USB cable, an 8GB microSD card, a SIM card, a wired headset, a software CD, and reference material. For more add-ons, please check our cell phone accessories, ringtones, and help page.


While the RIM BlackBerry Storm might be the first touch screen for Research in Motion, the company wanted to make sure the smartphone offered the same feel and functionality of previous and current BlackBerrys. The Storm runs the latest BlackBerry OS 4.7, bringing an updated user interface much like the BlackBerry Bold and the BlackBerry Pearl Flip. You now get DataViz Documents To Go Standard Edition, so you can now edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files as well. If you want the capability to create new documents, you will have to upgrade to the Premium Edition. We had no problems opening and working on Word and Excel documents, but we can't imagine doing more than minor edits on the Bold or any other smartphone for that matter. Other PIM applications include a Calendar, a task list, a memo pad, a voice recorder, a calculator, a password keeper, and more.

You can also get more applications for your Storm through the recently launched BlackBerry App World. The store was not available when the Storm was first released, but you can download it through the phone's mobile browser. We installed it on our review unit with no problem and were able to download apps such as Pandora quickly and easily over Verizon's 3G network.

For e-mail, the Storm can sync with your company's BlackBerry Enterprise server, with support for Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino, or Novell GroupWise, to deliver corporate e-mail in real time. You can also access up to 10 personal/business POP3 or IMAP4 e-mail accounts via the BlackBerry Internet Service. Like all recent BlackBerry models, the Storm has a spell-check feature that will look for errors in e-mails and memos, but not text messages. There's also an attachment viewer for opening Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Corel WordPerfect, PDF, JPEG, GIF, and more.

As a phone, the BlackBerry Storm offers dual-mode functionality, so the phone switches automatically between CDMA and GSM networks to offer seamless international roaming--all while keeping the same phone number. (Note that the phone does not support domestic GSM bands.) In all, you get voice coverage in 157 countries (22 of those on CDMA) and e-mail coverage in 62 countries. Just be aware that you'll still incur roaming rates, which range from $0.69 to $2.49 a minute. Verizon also offers technical support if you need help while overseas. First, there's a 24-hour Global Help Desk that's open seven days a week. In addition, you get a calling card for free support calls while traveling outside of the United States from any landline phone to technical support your BlackBerry Storm is lost, broken, or stolen.

The address book is only limited by the available memory with room in each entry multiple phone numbers, e-mail addresses, work and home address, job title, and more. For caller ID purposes, you can assign a photo, group category, or one of 32 polyphonic ringtones. Other voice features include a speakerphone, voice-activated dialing, smart dialing, conference calling, speed dial, and text and multimedia messaging. You can also download Visual Voice mail. Bluetooth 2.0 is onboard with support for a mono and stereo Bluetooth headsets, serial port profile, phone book access, and dial-up networking. To use the Storm as a wireless modem for your laptop, you will need a subscription to one of Verizon's BroadbandAccess plans, which start at $15 per month.

The BlackBerry Storm runs on Verizon's EV-DO Rev. A network, which allows for faster Web browsing, e-mail, and downloads. The Rev. A offers an extra boost over regular EV-DO, bringing download speeds up to the 450Kbps-to-800Kbps range versus 400Kbps-to-700Kbps, while upload speeds will average around 300Kpbs to 400Kpbs (compared with EV-DO's 50Kpbs to 70Kbps). Of course, this is all dependent if you live in a coverage area (you can find a coverage map from Verizon's Web site. The smartphone also offers support for the 2,100MHz UMTS/HSDPA, so you can get 3G support while overseas. Unfortunately, there's no integrated Wi-Fi, which we find disappointing. We realize and understand the argument that the 3G radios does away with the need for Wi-Fi, but we still like having that option, especially if you drop out of range or don't live in a coverage area.

The BlackBerry Storm has a full HTML Web browser that you can view in Internet Explorer or Firefox mode, depending on your preference. You can check out sites in page view or column view, and navigate via pan mode or cursor mode. In pan mode, you can move around pages simply by dragging your finger and then double-tapping the screen to zoom in. To select a hyperlink, you just highlight the link and then click. Meanwhile, in cursor mode, you can just place the cursor over the link and click or use the onscreen magnifying glass to zoom in. There's also a collapsible toolbar along the bottom that lets you go to new sites, change views, and more. There is support for streaming media, including YouTube's mobile site. As we've said before, the BlackBerry browser has greatly improved over the years, but it's still not as easy to use as the iPhone and its multitouch screen.

Last but not least of the wireless radios is integrated GPS. You can use the BlackBerry Storm as a handheld navigator, but to get real-time turn-by-turn directions, traffic data, and more , you will need to subscribe to Verizon's VZ Navigator location-based service, which costs $9.99 per month or $2.99 per day.

BlackBerry Storm : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Moving onto multimedia features, the BlackBerry Storm is equipped with a 3.2-megapixel camera with video recording capabilities, as well a flash, auto focus, 2x zoom, and image stabilization. In camera mode, you get a choice of three picture sizes and three picture qualities. There are white balance settings, and you can add various effects to your photos, such as black and white, and sepia. With the built-in GPS, you can also geotag photos. As usual, options are more limited in camcorder mode as you only get a choice of two video formats (normal and MMS) and three color effects. The volume rocker can be used to zoom in and out in both camera and video mode.

BlackBerry Storm : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Picture quality was subpar. While we could identify objects in the picture, they looked a bit soft and the colors were completely washed out. Video quality, on the other hand, was pretty impressive with good light and better image quality than other smartphones we've tested.

The Storm's built-in media player can play various music and video formats, including MP3, WMA, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR-NB, and MIDI music files, and MPEG4, WMV, DivX4, XviD (partial support), and H.263 video clips. There's a search function, playlist creation, shuffle and repeat, and you get a full-screen mode for video playback. The included software CD also contains a copy of Roxio Easy Media Creator, so you can create MP3s from CDs and add audio tags. Like the latest BlackBerrys, the Storm also works with the BlackBerry Media Sync application so you can load your iTunes library. There's 1GB of onboard memory and 128MB of flash memory onboard, while the microSD/SDHC expansion slot can accept up to 16GB cards. Unfortunately, for now, it looks like the BlackBerry Storm will not support Verizon's V Cast music and video services.


We tested the RIM BlackBerry Storm in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless service, and call quality was quite good. We enjoyed clear audio with no noticeable background noise or voice distortion, and we didn't experience any dropped calls during our test period. There were also no problems using an airline's voice automated response system. On the other end, our friends reported similarly positive results and said they had no problems hearing us. Unfortunately, the speakerphone didn't fare as well. Both sides experienced choppy call quality as words occasionally were cut off. There was also some slight voice distortion on our end. Overall, we were able to carry on full conversations and volume was not a problem, but we definitely had to ask our callers to repeat themselves on more than one occasion. Finally, we successfully paired the Storm with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset and the Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones.

Verizon's first firmware update, version, definitely improved performance, but there were still multiple issues. We downloaded the software upgrade using the desktop manager, and the entire process went smoothly with no problems. The biggest improvement we noticed was the improvement in the accelerometer. The Storm was much faster to change the screen orientation when we rotated the phone. However, page redraws are still on the slow side and there's continued bugginess. For example, while checking out a Web page, we turned the phone to check it out in landscape mode and the screen went on the fritz for a couple of seconds and went completely blank, though eventually the site came back up. Also, when we were listening to music, we changed orientation and the player controls started to flicker. Launching and using multimedia applications like the camera and multimedia player were definitely better, however, with faster response times and the problems with the inconsistent camera toolbar looks to be resolved.

Now, with BlackBerry OS version, the smartphone is even more polished. The browser and camera didn't freak out when we rotated the phone, and in a two-week period, we didn't have any system freezes or crashes. There are also some nice additions, such as a phone icon on the home screen and better test selection for copy/paste--it's the simple things. Since we haven't been using the Storm over a long period of time, we didn't experience first-hand some of the problems and bugs that plagued its owners. However, some of features of include a fix for the phone freezing during incoming calls or a blank screen appearing while on a call and improved camera functionality.

Music playback through the phone's speakers sounded blown out, though there was plenty of volume. Thankfully, the built-in 3.5mm headphone jack so should allow you to enjoy better sound quality. Video performance wasn't quite as dazzling as the BlackBerry Bold's. There was a bit more pixilation, but we still enjoyed smooth playback. Web browsing was pleasantly swift thanks to Verizon's EV-DO Rev. A network. It took about 25 seconds to 30 seconds for graphics-intensive sites such as CNET to fully load, while the mobile sites for CNN and ESPN loaded in about 10 seconds.

The Storm's GPS capabilities were great. It took the smartphone only about 2 minutes to get a fix on our location, and we used VZ Navigator to plot a course from the Marina District of San Francisco to CNET's downtown headquarters. Route creation was quick and it was able to get us back on course in a timely matter after we purposely missed several turns. That said, the voice-guided directions sounded blown out at the medium-high level and too soft at the medium level, so that was a bit of a struggle.

The BlackBerry Storm comes with a 1,400mAh lithium ion battery with a rated talk time of 5.5 hours and up to 15 days of standby time. In our battery drain tests, the Storm offered 7 hours of continuous talk time on a single charge. The battery performance in day-to-day usage was better. Before the firmware update, the battery would already be at 50 percent after just a couple hours of using the phone, Web, and multimedia applications, but after the update, it would only be drained about 25 percent. One thing we noticed, however, after a period of use the phone gets a bit warm where the battery is located on the back.


Though the BlackBerry Storm and BlackBerry Storm2's displays have the same specifications listed on their spec sheets, to my eyes the BlackBerry Storm2's display seems to be improved. Putting the BlackBerry Storm beside a BlackBerry Storm, you can see that when powered off the Storm2's display is much darker. Still side by side but now powered on watching the same music videos, the Storm2's display is brighter, with darker blacks and whiter whites. It really is impressive. The only improvement I'm longing for here is to reduce the amount of black border surrounding the edge of the display which would create a noticeable jump in screen real estate.

While there has been plenty of debate in the forums about whether or not the BlackBerry Storm will support OpenGL (3D graphics support), to date there has been no official mention of it yet. At last year's BlackBerry Developer Conference, this was one of the most sought after features developers wanted to see in the BlackBerry platform. With the 2nd Annual BlackBerry Developer Conference just around the corner, I can't help but think maybe there is more to the Storm than meets the eye in this department, and that RIM will announce upcoming OpenGL support at the event and at a later date will be able to flick the OpenGL switch on the Storm. I know I'd be pretty stoked to find later that the Storm2 has the support built-in. I guess time will tell...


While on the topic of watching music videos, it makes sense to comment on the Storm2's speakers, which sound solid. The original BlackBerry Storm can get pretty loud, but it really tends to distort/get tinny as you crank the tunes up on the external speaker. The Storm gets loud, but has less distortion at the louder volumes. The sound coming out of the speakerphone on calls also seems to be a little clearer/louder from my initial testing on this review unit.

Now with WiFi

BlackBerry Storm : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The BlackBerry Storm didn't have WiFi. The BlackBerry Storm2 does. It's as simple as that. AMEN. Leading up to the release of the BlackBerry Storm 9530/9500, we had heard of units floating around that actually had WiFi onboard. So whether it was a carrier mandate to not put WiFi on the original BlackBerry Storm or a technical limitation at the time, it is clearly apparent now that the carriers want it and that RIM can deliver it.

More Memory

The BlackBerry Storm doubles, across the board, the amount of memory on the device compared to the BlackBerry Storm:

Application (Flash) Memory has doubled from 128MB to 256MB. This is the active memory where the firmware resides, applications are installed and use resources, messages sit, browser cache piles up, etc. Devices like the BlackBerry Storm and Bold with only 128MB of flash memory tend to bog down as there's simply not enough memory. While 256MB is still not a big number and hardcore BlackBerry users would like to see that number increase 4 fold or more, it puts it on par with other new BlackBerry Smartphones like the Tour and Curve 8900 and so far during my time using the device the 256MB appears to allow the Storm to run smoothly.

Device Memory has doubled from 1GB to 2GB. This built-in memory is used for storage - pictures, videos, downloads, apps installed from App world (get backed up here, but when installed utilizes application memory).

Expandable Memory that ships with the device has also doubled. Whereas the BlackBerry Storm shipped with an 8GB MicroSD card, the BlackBerry Storm2 ships with a 16GB card, which can be removed.

Web Browser

BlackBerry Storm : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

It's getting better, but a few speed tests later show it's still not where it needs to be in terms of speed, rendering and ease of use compared to the competitive benchmark, the iPhone's Safari browser. Tabbed browsing hasn't made an appearance yet, nor has multi-touch for zooming in/out (though you would think the hardware/OS should be capable of it based on the fact you can now light up two keyboard keys at a time). Javascript support is now enabled by default, which is a step forward, but it's not yet the leap so many BlackBerry users are waiting for.

Thankfully, if you're not satisfied with the native browser, third party browser support is here and on the way via Bolt Browser, Opera Mini and SkyFire. Likewise, RIM knows their browser is a weak spot and is working to improve it as demonstrated by their recent acquisition of Torch Mobile. It's coming. We have faith in you RIM.

Other Stuff: GPS, WiFi, Phone, Camera, etc.

With not much time between getting my BlackBerry Storm unit and getting this review written up, I haven't had a full chance to grind through every feature and function of the Storm to the extent I would like to. A few phone calls later shows that the Storm should be solid as a phone, and the GPS located me on the map in a matter of seconds. I took a few pictures on the camera as well and they look good, but haven't had the chance yet to pit them head to against photos taken from the Storm or competition. Oh, and the Storm2's vibration function is seriously powerful (though kind of loud). I'll come back and add to this section later as I have a chance to spend more time putting the Storm through its paces.

BlackBerry OS 5.0

BlackBerry Storm : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

I often take for granted that if you're reading you're likely a BlackBerry user and are familiar with the BlackBerry operating system experience. If you're completely new to BlackBerry you'll want to hit our BlackBerry 101 section and Smartphone Round Robin articles to learn the basics about the platform and what it can do for you (everything!). As for Handheld Software version 5.0, we'll have a full walk through of all the improvements coming soon in a future article. The BlackBerry Storm and Bold 9700 will be the first new devices to launch with it, but it will be rolled out to existing devices on the market so we'll want to do an in-depth job covering it for everyone.

A noticeable BIG improvement to OS 5.0 for the BlackBerry Storms is the inclusion of inertial scrolling with snap back. It provides a much more intuitive and friendly user experience. Other good news on the BlackBerry Storm is that it features the new and improved threaded SMS chat client (w00t!). Combine this with the recently released BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 and the native IM clients are at a whole new level of addictiveness.

BlackBerry Storm Apps

The BlackBerry Storm2 comes preloaded with BlackBerry App World. The review unit I received also comes with the Application Center pre-loaded, which seems a bit redundant since App Center contains App World and all the other apps (IM clients, Facebook, Flickr) can be found in App World itself. If and when you take delivery of your BlackBerry Storm, you'll also want to check out our GadgetMostWanted App Store. There are a lot of compelling reasons to load up GadgetMostWanted App Store Client on your phone (themes, better pricing in many cases, sales and promotions, etc.). Check out this article for Getting Apps on your BlackBerry which goes through the process. As the Storm hits the market we'll be sure to put out a Top Apps for your BlackBerry Storm article.

BlackBerry Storm : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

BlackBerry Storm Accessories

If you're a BlackBerry Storm owner planning on purchasing the BlackBerry Storm, you'll need to do your due diligence on which accessories will still work and which won't (visit this page on BlackBerry Storm Accessory key points). You shouldn't have much of an issue with loose fitting accessories, like BlackBerry Storm2 cases (top pouches and leather holsters should be fine, skins should be close) and BlackBerry Storm batteries (1400mah, like the Storm, 8900 and Tour), but the differences between the Storm form factor and original Storm are big enough that accessories like the always popular BlackBerry Charging Pod may not quite work. To see compatible Storm2 accessories, you'll want to keep it locked to our BlackBerry Storm Accessories page at And as we did for apps, we'll also put together a Top Accessories for the BlackBerry Storm article once the device hits the market.

BlackBerry Storm Price

The best price of Blackberry Storm 9530 in India is Rs. 11990. The price has been sourced from 9 online stores in India as on 11th March 2011. Click here [via eBay]

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BlackBerry Tour : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test


BlackBerry Tour : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test The BlackBerry Tour is a solid business smartphone with loads of messaging options. Thanks to diligent work by RIM building some very useful apps to connect to the major social networking and instant messaging services, the BlackBerry Tour isn't too buttoned up for business, and it makes a solid all-around choice. In fact, the phone has solid multimedia features with good music hardware and one of the best video players we've used on a smartphone. The screen is also fantastic, perhaps the best we've seen on a business device like this. Still, more and more the BlackBerry platform is showing its age. You can find part one of our BlackBerry Tour review below.

the excellent device Blackberry Tour in the third quarter in the U.S. and. BlackBerry 9900 smartphone is expected to be able to compete in that area. T-Mobile USA | Reviews, Price, Specs Released BlackBerry Bold 9780 OS. Lenovo E156 Mobile Phone Specifications · AMD Bulldozer Test.

The Web browser is nearly useless compared to the desktop quality browsers you'll find on other advanced smartphones, even on new Windows Mobile devices. The calendar and messaging apps, while powerful enough, were downright ugly to use, and the phone still relies heavily on long, confusing, textual menus for settings and advanced features. Further, while Verizon Wireless fans have been clamoring for a new BlackBerry with a keyboard as an alternative to the touchscreen BlackBerry Storm, we'd have trouble recommending the BlackBerry Tour over AT&T's BlackBerry Bold, which can run all the same apps, but which also uses Wi-Fi. RIM has definitely polished the BlackBerry design to a glossy sheen, but there are better smartphones out there.

Pros: Sleek BlackBerry design with the best BlackBerry screen yet. Great selection of apps for social networking, instant messaging. Visual voicemail.

Cons: Call quality wasn't as good as other BlackBerry devices, like the BlackBerry Bold. Web browser falling farther behind the competition. We didn’t love the keyboard.


The new BlackBerry Tour on Verizon is an attractive, modern looking BlackBerry device, and for better or worse it hews to recent BlackBerry design trends. Of all the best full-QWERTY, non-touchscreen phones we've seen recently (to check them out, click here) the BlackBerry Tour finishes near the bottom in looks, and it wasn't nearly as thin, stylish and downright enviable as the Nokia E71x on AT&T. RIM has gotten into a strange habit recently of mixing up textures on their phones, with spots that are glossy, soft touch, textured or even banded with chrome. It's a nicer looking phone that the BlackBerry Bold, but it seems like RIM has stopped innovating in their designs.

The BlackBerry Tour has a crisp and colorful screen. Otherwise, the interface is almost completely unchanged, which is both good and bad for users. If you're looking to upgrade from a previous BlackBerry and you've been waiting for a new full-QWERTY device on Verizon Wireless, we've got good news. The new BlackBerry interface is a dramatic improvement over the last generation. It's more colorful and modern looking, but it keeps the same basic organization and button layout.

BlackBerry Tour : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

If you've been hesitant about the BlackBerry platform because it seems a bit too complicated for you, well, we've got some bad news as well. The BlackBerry OS, on its surface, is very pretty, its main menu flush with useful icons and folders. But at heart, this BlackBerry still seems like a pager, created more for corporate IT types than average users. Many applications come set up lacking key functions, requiring you to dig through long, confusing menus and settings options, and these were not only counterintuitive, but they were also constantly changing depending on where we were. None of it made much sense. For instance, you can adjust the phone's equalizer settings for music playback from a pop-up menu in the main music screen, but the same option disappears when you're on the Now Playing screen. This wasn't just a problem in the multimedia apps, similar issues cropped up everwhere. We appreciate the power and adaptability of the BlackBerry platform, but RIM should consider creating a no-fear option that would hide the extensive and disorganized options for those of us who just want a phone that works well, without so much hassle.


Though call quality on the BlackBerry Tour left us wanting, the phone had an excellent selection of calling features, including some that you can't find on other carriers. Sound quality suffered from a general muddiness, with a deep humming sound attached to voices. The phone lacked the bright clarity of the BlackBerry Bold. Rception was usually excellent, a solid 5 bars of service on Verizon Wireless' network in the Dallas metro area. Battery life was also superb, as we'd expect from a BlackBerry device. Though RIM estimates only 5 hours of talk time, we managed a single call that lasted more than 6.5 hours. Older BlackBerry devices could go even longer, but in this age of hi-res screens and faster, 3G networks, we're happy with those numbers.

The BlackBerry Tour has a few nifty tricks up its sleeve for handling an address book. First, if your company uses a BlackBerry server, you can synchronize with your corporate accounts. If you don't have access to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), you can synchronize your contacts and calendar manucally with Outlook using the BlackBerry desktop application. Beyond these standard options, the BlackBerry Tour is the first BlackBerry device we've seen that can work with Facebook to grab friends' contact information from your FB account. Once you've set up the RIM Facebook App, you can import a contact's picture and available data. If a person doesn't have a phone number listed on Facebook, the BlackBerry will send them a message asking for their number. Kind of clever and creepy, all at once. The BlackBerry Tour doesn't go as far as the Palm Pre's Synergy feature, which automatically imports all Facebook contacts, and seems more in line with a similar feature on the Windows Mobile HTC Touch Pro 2.

Otherwise, the BlackBerry Tour gets a nice selection of calling features, including Visual Voicemail. Even though Apple started the Visual Voicemail revolution with their iPhone on AT&T, Verizon Wireless has done a great job equipping their devices with this excellent feature. Visual Voicemail lets you listen to messages out of order and delete the ones you don't need. Messages are saved on the phone, so you can listen without dialing into the central service. The BlackBerry Tour also gets a good voice dialing app, and you can activate voice dialing with the dedicated button on the side of the phone. The speakerphone was a bit disappointing; we wish it were much louder, as we had a hard time hearing callers when we tested it while driving around.


For messaging, no device is more powerful and versatile than a BlackBerry phone, and the BlackBerry Tour even takes a smaller step beyond what we've seen before on RIM's devices. The messaging apps still look horrible, another throwback from the old pager days. Text messaging comes in a threaded style, so you can track a full SMS conversation just as you would an IM chat. For instant messaging fans, Verizon Wireless offers a number of different clients available for download, including AOL, MSN, Yahoo and even Gmail. For social networking fans, RIM has gone farther than any other smartphone maker in creating portable apps for Facebook and MySpace users, and these apps work great on the BlackBerry Tour. In fact, Facebook has become so tightly integrated on the Tour that new messages sent to your Facebook account will actually show up in the BlackBerry's unified Messaging Inbox, along with regular e-mail, text messages and all the other incoming texts that BlackBerry collects into one convenient space.

The keyboards on recent BlackBerry phones have plenty of fans, but we're not in that lot. While plenty of folks we know swear by the angled keys and swooping, arched layout, we found the QWERTY keyboard to be too bunched together, with too little space between each letter. This is definitely a try-before-you-buy situation, but we prefer a wider, more generous keyboard, like the one we found on the HTC Touch Pro 2. The BlackBerry Tour keyboard also made strange choices for key placements. Most Internet users type the period key and @ key extensively, so we like when they get their own, unmodified key. But on the Tour, both of these require an Alt- key, while the $ gets its own key. There are two shift keys for Capital letters, but the period shares space with the "M' key. We'd like to see a more convenient layout for e-mails and Web browsing.

Scheduling and Productivity

The calendar and scheduling app on the BlackBerry Tour is powerful and clever, but it's also about as ugly as apps come on a mobile device. We like being able to invite attendees to an event, and the Tour even includes some unique fields for event listings, like a Conference Call field that keeps track of dial-in numbers and access codes. It's too bad the calendar looks so ugly, a basic wireframe box with little visual input. Our microwave oven has a prettier interface.

For productivity tools, the BlackBerry Tour comes equipped with DataViz' Documents to Go Standard edition. You can open and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, but if you want to create a new document from scratch, you'll have to pony up for the full professional license. The Standard version also lacks some advanced features, but unless you're doing serious document work on the road, it will probably suit your needs for simple viewing and edits on the go.

The BlackBerry Tour can be used as a tethered modem for Internet access from a laptop on the road. Unfortunately, the Tour relies on Verizon Wireless' buggy and fallible VZ Access Manager software. We have hardly tested a phone with VZ Access Manager that didn't require a re-installation of the software and numerous restarts to keep the app working properly, and the BlackBerry Tour was no exception. Once you get the software to work properly, you'll be set for Web browsing at reasonably fast speeds over Verizon Wireless' faster EV-DO Rev. A network. But the software is so unreliable that we'd go with an option that doesn't require a software gateway, like the excellent MiFi 2200 we reviewed recently.


For such a competent business device, the BlackBerry Tour also turned out to be a powerful multimedia player. The phone can synchronize music with your iTunes library using the BlackBerry Media Sync application on your desktop. In our tests, the Tour handled all the music we threw at it with no trouble, and our album artwork came through looking good. The speaker on the phone was a piddly little thing, but the Tour comes with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, a smart option for music on the go. In fact, Verizon Wireless has been uncharacteristically generous with their included accessories, so the BlackBerry Tour comes with a pre-loaded, 2GB microSD card and a pair of stereo headphones with a microphone for taking calls.

The video player on the BlackBerry Tour was even better than the music player, thanks to the phones dazzling, high resolution screen. The Tour could play any video we sideloaded onto the memory card, even videos that were sized way too large for the phone's 480 by 360 pixel screen. The video player resized our clips and played them full screen and they looked fantastic, especially sharp and colorful on the Tour's display. We wish the screen was large enough for long term viewing, but if you don't mind the smallish 2.5-inch display, you'll certainly enjoy watching movies on the BlackBerry Tour.

Web browsing

Web browsing is the biggest disappointment on the BlackBerry Tour, or on any current BlackBerry device, for that matter. Now that even Windows Mobile phones, like the HTC Ozone, have a modern, updated Web browser, RIM's BlackBerry platform has fallen to the back of the pack among smartphones when it comes to Web browsing. The simple BlackBerry Browser can load full HTML Web pages, but layout was very messy, as images would overlap text and columns were a jumble of confused frames. The BlackBerry platform relies more on apps for popular Web services these days, and there are great, discrete options for Facebook, MySpace and Twitter clients so that you won't need the Web interface. But we think the BlackBerry Web browser is long overdue for a serious update.

BlackBerry Tour : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test Verizon Wireless is notoriously stingy about Wi-Fi capabilities on their BlackBerry devices, and though the BlackBerry Tour surfs the Internet on Verizon's fastest, EV-DO Rev. A network, it isn't able to connect to your WLAN. Even with the disappointing browser, we still missed the Wi-Fi connectivity. The BlackBerry Curve 8900 on T-Mobile is not only capable of Wi-Fi browsing, but it also uses Wi-Fi for phone calls, so that phone, which is stylistically quite similar to the Tour, might be a better option for serious Web surfers.


The 3.2-megapixel camera on the BlackBerry Tour takes some nice shots for a cameraphone, but the camera features seem like they were tacked on at the last minute. It's telling that the BlackBerry Tour is available without a camera for the same price. The Tour does have auto focus, but the AF area was so large that it wouldn't focus on objects in the foreground and usually aimed for the larger background. There were also few camera options and no real shooting features. We appreciate having the two-stage camera button on the side, which let us press halfway to focus then further to snap the shot. But the camera was also sluggish and less responsive than any other app on the phone. Check out our image samples below.

BlackBerry Tour : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The Tour is an awesome Blackberry Smartphone and is a 3G phone which is one. The BlackBerry Tour has been unboxed, and now that we've had a few days to. We didn't conduct a series of scientific tests to get rock solid. VZW requires a data plan on all smartphones and blackberries anyway. Personalize your smartphone, write reviews or share tips and tricks with other BlackBerry users. Compare BlackBerry® Curve™ 8500 Series smartphones.

GPS Navigation

For GPS navigation, the BlackBerry Tour uses Verizon Wireless' VZ Navigator software. VZ Navigator worked fairly well on the BlackBerry Tour. It didn't take long to find us for its first GPS fix, and the software kept accurate track of us as we traveled in and out of the downtown Dallas area. The BlackBerry Tour didn't come loaded with the most advanced version of VZ Navigator we've seen, and we missed the speech recognition input that we've seen on some of Verizon's advanced feature phones, like the LG enV Touch. We were also happy to find that the phone can geo-tag photos in the camera.

BlackBerry Tour : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test


Software-wise, there isn't all that much new here that hasn't already been around on more recent GSM BlackBerry devices; that said, for CDMA users, it's still a big leap forward in terms of functionality and polish. We were told that the software build on our device isn't the final build, and we're glad to hear it because we had a bunch of complete freezes that required a battery pull to remedy.

BlackBerry Tour : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

We're assuming that most existing Verizon users will be upgrading from the Curve 8330 or the 8830 World Edition, so the jump to OS 4.7 will be noticeable. Generally, however, the aesthetics and theme on the Tour mirror the UI on devices like the Bold and Curve 8900 -- transparency, simple outlined icons and the like. Of course, Verizon has splashed a nice bit of red all over its customized theme, but it's nothing that can't be remedied with some third-party additions.

BlackBerry Tour : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Die-hard BlackBerry users will be interested to hear that the Tour is packing a new build of the completely addicting BlackBerry Messenger. Sadly, it isn't the same feature-packed build that has been seen floating around with the more recent OS 5.0, but it's a step up from anything available on 4.5. It has a cleaner UI, a more extensive smiley collection, and functionality to send your location using the built-in GPS. When you send location, if the recipient is using OS 4.6 or 4.7, a preview of the map shows up; for users on older devices, a fairly useless BlackBerry Maps URL is sent instead.

BlackBerry Tour : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Verizon is also offering its VZ Navigator software with the Tour, which integrates with the built-in GPS chip to allow turn-by-turn navigation -- and it will support global navigation at the time of launch. As always, the service carries an extra charge which can be billed monthly or daily depending on how much you plan to use it. It works pretty much as expected -- and it's virtually the same as VZ Navigator on other devices, so we'll spare you the nitty gritty details.

We're also glad to report that the built-in GPS chip seems to be unlocked, meaning that it will work with third party apps. Verizon has gotten a lot of flack in the past about the decision to lock it down only for VZ Navigator, so we're glad to see the company following through with its promise to start opening up.
Also bundled is the new visual voicemail app, which -- you guessed it -- is being offered for an additional fee each month. A link to the app is included as a service book, but it has to be downloaded separately for use. We don't know if this means Verizon doesn't anticipate that many users being interested or if there's some other justification, but either way it seems to get the job done -- though it probably won't shut your iPhone-toting friends up.

BlackBerry Tour : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

We didn't conduct a series of scientific tests to get rock solid numbers on battery life, but from what we can tell it seems to be pretty decent. RIM is quoting 5 hours of talk time and 14 days of standby which seems to be about right. We don't envision people having trouble getting through the day, as we were able to browse, BBM, and run our favorite Twitter apps in the background for a solid day and a half without even getting a low battery warning. However, to be safe, you'll probably want to charge nightly -- and your own mileage may vary depending on things like Bluetooth, GPS use, and the actual amount of calling you're doing.


The Tour hardware looks like a blend of the Curve 8900's styling with the keyboard of the 8830. For comparison purposes, I took 4 different Blackberries together so you can see the differences. From left to right, the AT&T Pearl, Verizon Curve, T-Mobile 8900 and Tour. This is also the order from top to bottom in photos with this configuration.

BlackBerry Tour : Specs | Price | Reviews | Testkeyboard comparison

BlackBerry Tour : Specs | Price | Reviews | TestLeft side. The Tour has an external speaker and left convenience key.

BlackBerry Tour : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Top side. Tour has a lock button and mute button.

BlackBerry Tour : Specs | Price | Reviews | TestRight side. Tour has the 3.5mm headphone jack, volume rocker buttons, right convenience key and microUSB charging and syncing port

BlackBerry Tour : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test Bottom side. Just the microphone port

BlackBerry Tour : Specs | Price | Reviews | TestBack side. Tour has a 3.2MP camera with LED flash. There is also a release switch to remove the plastic cover for access to the battery, SIM card and microSD card.

BlackBerry Tour : Specs | Price | Reviews | TestSprint vs. Verizon Tour (courtesy of On the front is the beautiful 480 by 360 display, plus keyboard, Trackball and standard send, end, Blackberry, and back keys. The keyboard of the Tour is one of the best I have used on a Blackberry. I find the keys very comfortable, although close together. The tactile feedback is great, and I really find myself liking it the more I type on it.

Wrap Up

Put simply, the BlackBerry Tour is far and away the best CDMA BlackBerry available, and it could very well might be the best BlackBerry period if not for a few shortcomings. At this point in the game, we're still in denial that there isn't WiFi in this device -- it's inexcusable. We're well aware of Verizon's stance on the matter, and we still think it's ridiculous that they're allowing RIM to offer a device in this category that doesn't offer such a basic, universal feature, seemingly in an effort to increase reliance on WWAN data services and juice customers for a few extra bucks in data revenue. We're also disappointed that the screen doesn't make the most of the available real estate and that it seems excessively sensitive. Bottom line, if you're a CDMA user and plan to keep things that way, the Tour is definitely the best BlackBerry available -- and it will probably be that way for a long time to come.


RIM had a misstep taking on the iPhone with the BlackBerry Storm. The Tour and other traditional devices show that RIM is and should be comfortable in its own skin.
The BlackBerry Tour 9630 is a solid device with no major complaints, outside of the screen ripple which cannot be remedied, but will probably not result in long-term damage.
It's a great size, has a great keyboard and camera, and has messaging capabilities that make up for the general browser deficiency that all BlackBerrys seem to have. Though the browser is good for casual use, this device is best utilized through applications downloaded through the App World and for messaging. Find the BlackBerry smartphone with the features you need to fit your business, budget, Personalize your smartphone, write reviews or share tips and tricks with. Curve; BlackBerry. Tour. 9330; 9300; 8530; 8520; 8900; 8350i; 9630. Quick Specs. Service provider: Not specified. RIM BlackBerry Tour 9630 Starting at $175.00. That said, the Storm is a well-constructed smartphone. We tested the RIM BlackBerry Storm in San Francisco using. Specifications. Service Provider: Verizon Wireless. If you're iffy on the touch screen, the BlackBerry Tour 9630 is. Verizon really needs at least one more smartphone OS, be it iPhone, Android, or webOS. Until then, the Storm2, Tour, and Imagio are all solid choices. BENCHMARK TEST RESULTS. The test shots showed the Epic returning overly dark outdoor shots in comparison to. 4G vs HTC Desire HD Android Smartphone Benchmark | Price, Specs, Reviews ... Star Wars Revenge of the Sith Theme for BlackBerry 9000 Bold, 9650 Tour.
Good form factor, size, and price
Verizon and Sprint availability
Great keyboard compared to previous models
LCD screen ripples when top set of keys are pushed
Sprint coverage not great in all areas
Only an average browsing experience, not on par with some competitors (Palm Pre, iPhone)

BlackBerry Tour Price

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BlackBerry Bold : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test


BlackBerry Bold : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test BlackBerry Bold : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test. For those who waited, the RIM BlackBerry Bold won't disappoint. The Bold impresses with its brilliant display, enhanced productivity tools. If you were feverishly anticipating a cellphone this year, it was one of two phones: this is the other one. That's because the BlackBerry Bold is RIM's most. Our massive review of RIM's hot new BlackBerry Bold 3G smartphone covers all the key features, with screenshots of the slick new BlackBerry. The BlackBerry Bold 9650 started life out as the BlackBerry Tour2. It then went through a late-stage metamorphosis and received a memory. RIM Blackberry Bold 9000 review and complete RIM Blackberry Bold 9000 coverage including, lab tests, product specs, prices, user ratings, buying guides.

BlackBerry Bold 9700 mobile phone review, specifications and price check. The ultimate catalog for mobile phones, smartphones and PDA news, reviews. Bell BlackBerry Bold 9780 Smartphone features a 2.44-inch screen with resolution 480 x 360 pixels, 512 MB onboard memory, a microSD card slot (up to 32GB). Review, specs, test, and price of BlackBerry Bold 9780. BlackBerry Bold 9780 Smartphone features a 2.44-inch screen with resolution. RIM Blackberry Bold 9000 review and complete RIM Blackberry Bold 9000 coverage including, lab tests, product specs, prices, user ratings, buying guides. Check out our guide to the best BlackBerry smartphones on the market, and read our comprehensive BlackBerry Bold 9700 review.

Blackberry Bold 9700 (Bold 2) Expert Review: Can the new Bold better the excellent original? Buying advice from the UK's leading. Before the blackberryBOLD I had a iphone. It is MUCH better then the iphone. There are more feautures to see and do. Here is my review. KEYS: Great!. BlackBerry Cool brings you the most complete BlackBerry Bold review on the Internet. Well then, it's business as usual on our end too so the BlackBerry Bold better get ready for one of our out-and-out reviews.

After lots of publicity and plenty of delays, the BlackBerry Bold is here. Touted as RIM's answer to Apple's iPhone, the Bold offers 3G service, Wi-Fi support, built-in GPS, music and video players, and an absolutely gorgeous screen. Overall, the Bold is the best BlackBerry I've seen so far.

The BlackBerry Bold will be available from AT&T for $300 when you sign a new two-year contract. If you don't want to sign a contract, you can expect to pay about $650 for the phone at retailers like Best Buy. That's a steep price for a smartphone. So what do you get for your money?


You get a very handsome phone. Like most BlackBerrys (except for the Pearl Flip), the Bold is a candybar-style phone, with its LCD on top and a full QWERTY keyboard below. The phone itself is primarily black, with silver accents.

These similarities continue on to the handset's four-row full QWERTY keyboard, a BlackBerry staple. Though RIM's used an ever-so-slightly larger print on these keys, they remain untouched. Each key is raised to an asymmetric peak, aimed towards helping you type efficiently with two hands, and as always RIM makes excellent use of the tiny footprint available to lay these keys out.

Around the edge of the 9780 you'll discover a 3.5mm headphone socket, a micro-USB port and buttons dedicated to volume control and access to the handset's 5-megapixel camera. Speaking of the rear-mounted camera, snap-happy photographers will be chuffed to find the image sensor assisted by an LED flash, plus an autofocus feature in the camera's software settings.

BlackBerry Bold : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test


Yes, the Bold's 480x320 screen is dazzling enough to warrant its own section dedicated simply to praising it. Incredibly rich and contrast-y with stunning pixel density, it's so nice you want to touch it. I actually tried to once or twice to hit okay on a dialog box, forgetting that it wasn't the touchy kind of screen. It almost makes reading the plain text of an email depressing, knowing you could be looking at a gorgeous video instead.


A BlackBerry lives and dies by its keyboard. When RIM diehards countered reckless banter about the death of the BlackBerry per the iPhone's Exchange support by pointing to the keyboard. After you get used to the slight angle shift in the Bold's keys, they're fantastic, like a delicately balanced wine, with a perfect blend of springy, punchy and spongy. The glossy navigation keys are overly large for reasons I cannot quite divine. The backlighting is beautiful.

Making Calls

Make Amusing Voice Changer Calls With Bluff My Call  8300 series, 8800 series , Bold and Tour BlackBerry phones, and works by routing your mobile phone As such it isn't gong to get full marks from this reviewer.

The T-Mobile and AT&T versions of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 are nearly identical, but there is one important difference between them: the T-Mobile version supports UMA (unlicensed mobile access). This technology that allows you to make voice calls over Wi-Fi wireless networks, not just a cellular network. This can allow you to make voice calls in places where you have a wireless network, but the cellular coverage is spotty.

My BlackBerry Bold 9700 review unit was a T-Mobile model, so I was able to test the Wi-Fi calling feature. Calls made over Wi-Fi sounded very good, with voices sounding clear and loud on both ends of the line. Making voice calls over wireless networks also can save you from using the voice minutes on your monthly plan, but it does require signing up for T-Mobile's Unlimited HotSpot Calling plan, which costs $10 per month.

PROS: The Bold is a world phone; its supports the four GSM bands (850, 900, 1800, and 1900) that are most commonly used around the world. (Keep in mind that you'll need a compatible calling plan to make calls overseas, though.) I also found the Bold relatively light and comfortable to hold next to my ear. Voices were loud, too; I could hear my callers easily and they said the same about me.

CONS: I heard a slight hiss on many of my calls. It wasn't loud enough to distort voices, but it was noticeable.


  • Optical trackpad for easy and fluid navigation
  • Built-in Wi-Fi® (802.11 b/g)
  • Push to Talk feature
  • VZ Navigator® version 6
  • VZ Navigator Global capabilities
  • Mobile e-mail and messaging capabilities
  • Large (2.45") high-resolution display (480 x 360 resolution at 245 ppi)
  • 3.2 megapixel camera with flash, variable zoom, image stabilization, autofocus and video recording
  • Advanced media player for videos, pictures and music; a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack; and support for the Bluetooth® Stereo Audio Profile (A2DP/AVCRP)
  • BlackBerry® Media Sync to easily sync music as well as photos
  • Easy mobile access to Facebook®, MySpace and Flickr® as well as popular instant messaging services, including BlackBerry® Messenger
  • Support for BlackBerry App World(TM), featuring a broad and growing catalog of third-party mobile applications developed specifically for lackBerry smartphones
  • 512 MB Flash memory and an expandable memory card slot that supports up to 16 GB microSD(TM) HC cards (a 2 GB card is pre-installed)
  • Full HTML Web browser, streaming audio and video via RTSP
  • Built-in GPS with support for location-based applications and services as well as geotagging
  • Premium phone features, including voice-activated dialing, speakerphone, and Bluetooth (2.1)
  • Support for high-speed EV-DO Rev. A networks in North America as well as single band UMTS/HSPA (2100 MHz) and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks abroad
  • Removable and rechargeable 1400 mAhr battery for up to 5 hours of CDMA
    talk time


On the outside everything feels great. There is no wobbly battery door, and the side buttons/convenience keys feel solid. The keyboard is a welcome change from my 9700 and I like the feel of it a bit more, and the fact that it is a touch wider than that of my 9700. The LCD fits flush all around with no annoying gaps anywhere. The trackpad and send/end buttons flow right through to connect the keyboard and LCD. Overall nothing is loose or non-fitting and the Bold 9650 feels well constructed. At first glance the micro USB port seems to be in the same annoying place as the Tour 9630, but as we know now it was moved down a bit for some unknown reason. I still can't stand the placement, and if I had to pick the biggest downside of the device this might just be it. If you try typing at all with the device plugged in, you have to create a whole new style just to work around the poor placement of the port. It is definitely much better suited at the top of the device on either side where it is out of the way should you need to use the device while charging.


BlackBerry Bold : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test


BlackBerry Bold : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

BlackBerry Bold : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

All of the buttons feel solid. The convenience keys aren't loose at all, and the top buttons flow well into the device and don't stick out at all. I did find the trackpad a bit "clicky". Yes I know its supposed to click .. but it just feels/sounds like it clicks a bit more than it should, almost like its not a fluid motion and it catches on something. I'm sure this will be fine over time and either go away or just not bother me. Another interesting thing I found was trying to type on the keyboard. I was actually thrown off by the red keys on the number pad. They kind of messed with my head since I've been using the Bold 9700 and the keys are all the same color. Odd I know, but it was interesting and actually slowed down my typing a bit until I readjusted. I do love the large keyboard though and find it easy to type on as I did with the Tour.


On the inside the Bold 9650 is juiced up. 512MB (around 300MB free) means there is plenty of room to keep things running smooth. With the planned BlackBerry 6 right around the corner, this device will be ready to roll upon release. The Wifi is probably the best addition to the device (maybe its a tie with the optical trackpad) and I'm super excited to have it. Aside from those points things look pretty much the same. All the standard apps are here including BlackBerry Messenger, BlackBerry App World, calendar, tasks etc. The device also has icons (to download apps) for Twitter for BlackBerry, Skype, VZ Navigator, IM clients and a number of other apps.

From the start the Bold 9650 runs smooth. The boot time is quick (keep in mind its out of the box with no 3rd party apps, messages etc) and navigating around the OS is great. When first starting it feels as if the OS has to settle in before navigation is totally smooth. But overall once you get going there is no noticable lag time getting around, and it just feels like a solid OS. There is no saying what errors may pop up, and if/when Verizon will drop an OS update. Overall we can expect this OS ( to hold up well for now, and hopefully won't be a problem as was the original OS on the Tour 9630.

The battery life already seems better than that of the Tour 9630 as well. I barely made it through a day using the one battery on my 9630, and using an extended battery didn't help all that much. The 9650 seems to last quite a while longer. I'm not sure yet if it fully compares to that of the Bold 9700, but it is definitely doing it's part to get me through a day with avarage usage.


One of the first things I noticed about the Bold 9650 is how amazing the call quality is. I honestly don't make many calls from my device, but in testing the other party sounded crisp and clear on a number of calls. The device fits well in the hand, but for some may be a bit of a stretch for one-handed use. It is a bit wide so depending on your habits it may be hard to hold for some. I do like the rubberized sides and back as they help for the grip when typing. The keyboard feels smooth and there is no snagging on the keys typing was extremely easy. The keyboard does look a bitte more "matte" than the glossy-ness (I made that up) on the Tour 9630. The trackpad feels good and there is no difference in height to the send/end buttons. The convenience keys were easy to use, although I noticed the right-side key didn't have much movement so it was almost hard to tell if it was pressed or not. I do find the rubberized battery door to be annoying at times. It feels weird when holding the device, and kind of rubs my fingers the wrong way if I move around too much. I'm sure I can adjust to it, but I actually notice it quite a bit when typing. There are no large gaps or protruding parts on the Bold 9650. I did notice a bit of the rubberized side right over the headset jack sticks out a bit. Its nothing to worry about since it can easily be forgotten, but if I remember correctly my Tour was the same exact way. Nothing else sticks out where it shouldn't, and everything feels very well put together. The device is solid and should stand up to a long life of use.

BlackBerry Bold : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test
Verion Bold 9650 & Tour 9630 Side by Side

BlackBerry Bold : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test
Verizon Bold 9650 & Tour 9630 Right Side View

BlackBerry Bold : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test
Verizon Bold 9650 & Tour 9630 Left Side View

BlackBerry Bold : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test
Verizon Bold 9650 & T-Mobile Bold 9700

Apps and Accessories

The great thing about this device is that there are already a ton of accessories on the market compatible with it. You can find them all in the CrackBerry Store as well. I would highly suggest using a case of somekind for your Bold 9650. Afterall, you don't want to scratch your new baby do you? One important thing to note though, the charging port on the Bold 9650 has been moved up about an 1/8th inch. Several users are reporting that some skins they had for their Tour 9630's still work just fine, but some hard cases aren't working. The charging port isn't lined up correctly, and this will obviously be a problem. Just pay attention to what you order and verify that it will work.

Now on the application side of the fence, the world is your oyster. BlackBerry App World comes preloaded on the device giving you all the access you need to several great apps. If that isn't to your liking, I would suggest you download the CrackBerry Superstore and browse though the apps we have available. I know you'll find one to your liking.

My only disappointment in the app department was the lack of OpenGL games. I really wanted to try one out for the review and see how it went. However, there doesn't seem to be any available, or at least I couldn't find one if there is. If anyone knows of an OpenGL game that will work with the Bold 9650 please leave me a comment and I'll make sure to check it out.


The 3.2-megapixel camera on the Bold 9700 is a notable improvement from the 2-megapixel shooter found on the original Bold. The snapshots it captured were remarkably clear and colorful. You get an autofocus, too, which is a nice touch -- unless you're trying to capture a moving subject. The kids I was trying to photograph couldn't seem to sit still long enough for the autofocus to do its work. The camera captures serviceable video clips, too.

Music and More

The included media player is not exceptional, but it's perfectly serviceable -- and that's not a bad thing. It's easy to use as a way of organizing and playing back audio and video files. Music quality was very good, and videos looked gorgeous on the 9700's sharp display.

The AT&T version of the Bold 9700 comes with some multimedia extras that the T-Mobile version lacks, such as support for AT&T's mobile music service.

Bottom Line

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is an excellent smartphone -- but is it the best BlackBerry yet? I think so. It's sleeker than the excellent BlackBerry Tour, and it offers Wi-Fi support, which the Tour unforgivably lacks. But the Tour has the benefit of running on the Verizon Wireless network, which may be enough of a draw for many users.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

This is RIM's best phone ever. Does that mean it's the phone for you? If you're a BlackBerry fanatic, yes—it really is the phone you've been waiting for, if you're not hoping RIM radically changed the recipe. Because they didn't. It's cleaner and brighter, but it's not an overhaul by any means. It's a more powerful and beautiful distillation of the same experience.

For other people who were eyeing it as the time to switch to BlackBerry, the issue is less straightforward. As I said in the intro, it's coming into a complicated world, where it has more consumer crossover appeal than a flagship RIM device—currently, the 8800—ever has before. (No doubt, even more people are looking at it in light of 3G problems on other handsets, either suit-and-ties who were considering the jump, or people looking for their first high-end smartphone, though more of the former.) At its heart, this thing is a corporate workhouse. It will play movies, music, browse the internet and all of the things consumers usually want—and do it well—but it is coming from a different mindset than the iPhone, something to keep in mind if you're torn between these two phones.

Now has come the time where you may be looking for me to tell you that you must upgrade your current BlackBerry to the Bold 9650 because it is so great. Well I do agree it is great, but I think the necessity for an upgrade will really depend on what device you are currently using. For users with the Tour 9630, the need to get the addition of additional memory, trackpad, and Wi-Fi may not be that great. Sure we all want the newest and greatest thing, but the Tour is already a pretty great device in it's own right. You'll just need to weigh the factors out and see if the upgrade is worth it to you. Personally, I would do it, but I know not everyone will feel the same.

However for users with a 8830, 8330, or 8130; I think the time has come for you to retire that device, and move up to the Bold 9650. Not only will you be getting a newer device with all the great features we have previously talk about, but you'll be getting the best BlackBerry on the market. No other carrier can compete with the Bold 9650 at this point. Sure Verizon and other CDMA carriers will get it at some point, but for now, you can be the cool kid with the exclusive new device. Quick Specs. Service provider: Sprint Nextel ... Admittedly, in the fast-paced world of smartphones, the Bold 9650 doesn't really rank as the most .... According to FCC radiation tests, the Bold has a digital SAR rating of 1.35 ... Please submit your review for: RIM BlackBerry Bold 9650 (Sprint). The Bold came out with flying colours on the test that we had with the landline. ... BlackBerry Bold 9700 Smartphone - Technical specifications, Features . The BlackBerry Bold 9650 is a solid, reliable, and ultimately rather boring ... the rest of the phone—not state-of-the-art in specs, but very well done. ... the Bold might be your next smartphone. Benchmark Test Results. BlackBerry bold 9650 01 Blackberry BOLD 9650 Smartphone | Specs Review. The Bold 9650 has a 2.44inch display with a resolution of 480 x 360 at 245.

BlackBerry Bold Price

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BlackBerry Pearl : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test


BlackBerry Pearl : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test BlackBerry Pearl : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test. Though nothing revolutionary, the addition of multimedia features and the already solid e-mail capabilities make the RIM BlackBerry Pearl an attractive. The BlackBerry Pearl 3G. This device has been a long time coming. Since we first heard about the device way back, it has been on the list of. Blackberry Pearl 3G 9105 Expert Review: Will a QWERTY-free, slimline BlackBerry make merry in the mass market? Buying advice from the UK's. The Pearl is RIM's first smartphone with support for playing music and video, plus it has a built in camera. Brighthand's Editor-in-Chief.

RIM BlackBerry Pearl 3G review £250 A big upgrade from previous Pearl models, the Pearl 3G has fast wireless and data connections. With GPS navigation, a better camera, and blazing 3G connectivity, the Pearl 8130 is one of the better smart phone bargains. The BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9100 shrinks the Bold to a more pocketable size, but keeps all of the important parts. Read our BlackBerry Pearl 8100 review, find the best UK BlackBerry Pearl 8100 mobile deals and compare our users BlackBerry Pearl 8100 reviews. Review: Digital Trends' in-depth BlackBerry Pearl analysis includes unbiased reviews, picture galleries, user reviews and price comparisons. The new BlackBerry Pearl phone is a perfect match for people with high expectations and who want a more compact mobile phone. This sleek cell phone adds a serviceable camera and multimedia features to BlackBerry's already terrific e-mail capabilities.

BlackBerry Pearl : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9100 was announced back at WES just a short month ago, and is about ready for primetime. It builds upon RIM’s older Pearl family with an upgraded HVGA display, optical trackpad to replace the now-defunct trackball, a new 3.2 megapixel camera with flash, and is the first BlackBerry to host Wi-Fi 802.11n. When combined with BlackBerry OS 5.0, the Pearl 3G is effectively a miniaturized Bold 9700.

Coming from the Bold 9000, I was already prepared to miss the luxurious screen size, but remembered my time with the original Pearl 8100 fondly, mostly in terms of how pocketable it was and how quick I was with the SureType keypad. Wi-Fi n was a big pull, and I was curious to see how much better it was than the Wi-Fi on the vast majority of handsets I had used in the past.

From the pictures alone, the 9100 looked like a solid, if perhaps too-familiar refresh on an established family of BlackBerrys. Carrying the first proper BlackBerry brand name, the Pearl 3G had a significant heritage to live up to. So… does it?

Design and Ergonomics

Design is one of the highlights of the BlackBerry Pearl, and it should sell well just because it looks so darn cool and is so small and light. Besides the shinny black housing and the silver accents, the BlackBerry Pearl has all the right curves and feels very good in hand. Though shinny, the phone doesn’t feel very slippery and won’t slip out of your hand by accident. The 2.2” display takes up a good portion of the front face, and below it are the menus keys and keyboard which have white backlighting.

BlackBerry Pearl : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The BlackBerry Pearl has both SureType and multi-tap input methods. SureType technology is BlackBerry’s own version of predictive text that first appeared on the BlackBerry 7100 series which was the first RIM product line to have two letters on a key. The Pearl’s new keyboard design and SureType have been improved from the version on the 7100 series. The software works very well at predicting words and at learning new words. The multi-tap input works similar to multi-press/multi-tap on traditional phones. These input methods are good choices for the Pearl whose keyboard is in between a true QWERTY keyboard and a traditional phone keyboard. Some keys are dedicated to one letter (plus the higher ASCIIs such as numbers and symbols) while others are populated with 2 letter of the alphabet plus the higher ASCII symbols. If you are a traditional BlackBerry user, or even a Treo or keyboarded Windows Mobile user, this will feel awkward and your typing speed will be slow at first. Whether you’ll get used to this keyboard design will largely depend upon how much time you can spend on training yourself and your patience level. Those migrating from traditional phones (with just a number pad) should have a slightly easier time to get used to the BlackBerry Pearl keyboard as SureType will save you a few key presses and you will always have multi-tap to fall back on. The keys on the Pearl have more of a rocking motion than any other phone number pad or QWERTY keyboards we’ve seen and the keys are physically larger than those of the Treo or the BlackBerry 8700. The rocking motion does make one wonder if these keys are strong enough to last.


  • Pocketable
  • Tight design and construction
  • Smooth, stable operating system


  • Reduced screen size
  • Little gain from Wi-Fi 802.11n
  • Optical trackpad susceptible to sunlight interference

Phone Features and Data

The BlackBerry Pearl is a quad-band GSM phone that will work anywhere in the world GSM services are available. It operates on 850/900/1800/1900 MHz bands and it has good but not stellar RF. The Pearl gets about 75-80% of full signal strength in Dallas area where T-Mobile provides excellent coverage. In comparison, the Samsung D809 gets about 50%, the Samsung t519 gets close to 100% throughout the area and the Dash gets full bars on T-Mobile. The BlackBerry has average voice quality on both incoming and outgoing voice and the volume is loud. The speakerphone offers good voice quality when in a call and is loud enough for conference calls. The Pearl supports most of popular phone features such as conference calling, speed dialing (12 speed dials), call forwarding, call waiting, call blocking (handy when you don’t want to roam) and smart dialing (for country codes and area codes). You can choose from 6 profiles and switch between the current profile to vibrate mode by holding down the # key. If you need to type letters during a call, just hold the Alt key then press the letter key. The dedicated Mute key is decidedly handy, and when you need to swap calls, put a call on hold and other functions just press the Menu key to access these functions while in a call.

For the first time on a BlackBerry, the Pearl comes with VoiceSignal’s capable voice dialing software. The BlackBerry Pearl version of VoiceSignal includes voice dialing and checking network coverage, battery life and my number. While it doesn’t have as complete set of voice command features like Cyberon’s Voice Commander or Microsoft Voice Command, VoiceSignal does provide reliable speaker independent dialing, which means you don’t need to pre-record voice tags for voice dialing and anyone (who speaks English) can use voice dialing on the phone. It’s very accurate even through a Bluetooth headset.

BlackBerry Pearl : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Top to bottom: Pearl, HTC Excalibur (HTC S620, T-Mobile Dash) and the BlackBerry 8703e

BlackBerry Pearl : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

BlackBerry Pearl, HTC Excalibur and the BlackBerry 8703e

For data, the BlackBerry Pearl comes with EDGE; if you are in an area that doesn’t have EDGE coverage the phone will fall back to  GPRS. Data speed feels pretty fast when loading the mobile pages of CNN, ESPN and others. We couldn’t get a speed reading as the Pearl’s browser doesn’t seem to support many JaveScript which was required for our speed test. The bundled browser is better than the one on older BlackBerries with fast page load times and perfect page rendering on most of the mobile sites we’ve tested. While the browser excels by BlackBerry standards it can’t compete with the Nokia S60 3 rd edition browser (currently the best browser on a mobile phone, Pocket IE on Pocket PC phones or Palm’s Blazer browser on the Treo PDA phones. The BlackBerry Pearl browser has trouble with JavaScript and can’t load large pages with medium to high levels of rich content. But if you mainly surf sites such as CNN, ESPN and Yahoo with mobile-optimized pages, you’ll enjoy the browsing experience. The Pearl offers some hardware controls that make the web page navigation fast and easy. For example, when you are browsing a page, you can press 3 and 9 for page up and down or 1 and 7 to go to the top and bottom of the page. The Pearl offers direct dialing if there is a phone number on a page and the same goes for email and web links.

Messaging and Security

Like all BlackBerries, the Pearl has the excellent BlackBerry push email client that will work with your existing BlackBerry Enterprise Server software and if you get the phone from a carrier you can use the BlackBerry services offered by the carrier. You can set up maximum 10 POP3 or IMAP4 email accounts and have email pushed to you along with attachments. RIM anticipates that the Pearl will bring new users to the BlackBerry family, so they included an email setup wizard which is a handy web-based email set up service. All you have to do is to type in your email address and password, the system will setup the mailbox for you. This is an essential service that takes the guesswork out of setting up multiple mailboxes and the fear of using a new kind of device. Please note, if you have the browser on certain page, when you launch the email setup, it will go back to the page that’s currently cached. All you have to do is get to the bookmarks page to access the email setup site.

BlackBerry Pearl : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test BlackBerry Pearl : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

For those who have used BlackBerries before, the Pearl’s email services and UI will look familiar to you, though without the jog wheel you will need to use a combination of the track ball (press for quick menu) and the Menu key. The extensive menu options in the BlackBerry email application make it a very powerful tool that includes not only support for Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino and Novell GroupWise to get and send email messages but also provides handy tools for responding, filtering and searching these messages. It’s also worth noting that RIM actually updated the BlackBerry Enterprise Server software (v4.0.6 and v4.1.2) to include security policies for the BlackBerry Pearl. These policies allow IT managers to disable the BlackBerry Pearl camera and memory slot in tight security environment. The BlackBerry Pearl can receive attachments with email messages. You won’t get the attachments automatically pushed to you, you will get a link to the attachment and can download them. The attachment formats that the Pearl can view are extensive including all Office application formats, pdf, jpg, wav and several more. You can view Office files but not edit them as no editing software is bundled. You will need to install 3rd party software for that function. In addition to email messages, you can also send and receive SMS and MMS messages. For IM fanatics, the BlackBerry Pearl has an Instant Messaging client that supports AOL, Yahoo, MSN and ICQ. The IM tool offers automatic sign-in, save conversations and settings for alerts for messages.

Horsepower and Performance

The BlackBerry Pearl runs on an Intel XScale processor running at 312 MHz which is the same as the BlackBerry 8700g, and it feels very zippy except the boot up time. All applications load fast and menu functions perform well without any delays. When you run multiple applications such as the media player, the web browser and email simultaneously, you will however experience short delays. In BlackBerry Maps you might see a slight delay in refreshing a map view.

The BlackBerry Pearl has 64MB of flash memory and after loading an impressive number of applications including BlackBerry Maps, an Instant Messaging app along with all the other bundled applications, the device had about 28MB to store additional programs and data. If you need more storage space to store photos or other documents, get a MicroSD memory card.

Expansion Slot

The BlackBerry Pearl has a MicroSD card slot that lives under the phone’s battery. Though it’s inconvenient to remove the battery to access the MicroSD card, at least the card slot itself is well designed. You all know, if you have used recent devices with ever-smaller expansion slots, that your fingernails are at the mercy of the device designers. The BlackBerry Pearl’s expansion slot has a slider spring so you can easily slide open the cardholder and slide the card in and out of it. Well done!

Display, Gaming and Multimedia

The Pearl has a 2.2” bright LCD that’s capable of displaying 65K colors. The resolution of the display is 240 x 260, which is less than the BlackBerry 8700 series (there’s less room for a large display on the Pearl). The screen has a built-in light sensor that will help automatically adjust the screen brightness and the keyboard backlight brightness. The screen looks bright and sharp, and is very color saturated.

The biggest draw of the Pearl over previous BlackBerry devices is the bundled Media Play that brings music play, photo viewing and movie playback to the BlackBerry platfrom. The Pearl supports ACC, MIDI and MP3 music formats. Check your manual for a complete list of supported formats and the version of the BlackBerry server that supports them. Music playback through the built-in speaker is decent, though not as full as a dedicated multimedia phone like the LG Chocolate. But it doesn’t sound bad even when the volume is turned to maximum. The sound through a stereo headset is much fuller and has good channel separation. The music player is a basic one, offering playback, set the tune as ringer and replay. The video formats supported by the BlackBerry Pearl includes MPEG-4 Part 2 - Simple Profile + bvops (including DivX files in that format) and H.263 Profile 0 and Profile 3. The device played .avi files that came with the device fine, but when we tested a couple of our own .avi movies that played on other PDA phones and smartphones the Pearl couldn’t play them.

The Pearl comes with the usual BlackBerry game, BrickBreaker. The track ball actually makes for pretty good game control, compared to the old side jog wheel. We just wish that there were more games bundled with the device.  


The Pearl is the first BlackBerry to have a built-in digital camera. The Pearl, with its new multimedia focus, comes with a 1.3 megapixel camera with 5x digital zoom that takes good pictures by camera phone standards. Of course, there are still some security requirements and RIM has addressed them by providing security policies in the server for IT managers to disable the camera. The Pearl’s camera can take still photos in three resolutions (1280 x 1024, 640 x 480, 320 x 240) at one of  three quality levels. You can set flash options, white balance and picture storage locations in the menu. You can also use the track ball to zoom in and out. The pictures are reasonably sharp; colors are fairly accurate with a slight purple tint in some shots. It takes better picture indoors with good lighting than it does outdoor shots with strong sunlight which results in white out. The photo quality can’t compete with very high end cameras phones like the Nokia N73 or the Samsung a990 of course, but it’s on par with 1.3 MP cameras on current mobile phones. The flash helps a little for close up shots. You can save the photos to internal memory or to a MicroSD card. The Pearl cannot shoot video.

BlackBerry Pearl : Specs | Price | Reviews | TestBlackBerry Pearl : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Sample photos

BlackBerry Pearl : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test


The Pearl has integrated Bluetooth v2.0 and supports Headset, Hands-Free and Serial Port profiles. We tested the BlackBerry Pearl with Cardo’s scala 700 Bluetooth headset and it paired with the headset easily. Incoming call quality is good with good volume, but our call recipients reported hearing feedback from their own voices echoed back. The phone and headset managed a range of 20 feet which is average among phones. Voice dialing through the scala headset worked like a charm. File transfer on the Pearl is limited to address book contacts. The Pearl’s Bluetooth v2.0 radio does have very good speed when transferring address book entries though these are very small files unlike multimedia files or large PDF documents. The Bluetooth radio does drain the battery power noticeably.

Battery Life

The BlackBerry Pearl comes with a 900 mAh rechargeable Lithium Ion battery (BlackBerry C-M2 model) that’s user replaceable. The claimed talk time is 3.5 hours which is an under-estimation in our tests; we got 4.5-5 hours of talk time. The Pearl has a long claimed standby time of 15 days. Bluetooth, accessing the EDGE network and shooting photos with the flash drains the battery more than messaging and music playback.


BlackBerry Pearl : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

First off, it has to be said that the BlackBerry Pearl 3G is extremely well built. The various parts are very snugly assembled, and the keypad is much tighter than I remember the old Pearl being. Build quality aside, the 9100 has mad style. We’ll get into that in a bit. First, the hard specs.

  • Dimensions: 108 x 50 x 13.3 mm, 93 g
  • Display: 2.6″, 360 x 400 LCD display
  • Processor: 624 Mhz processor
  • Memory: 256 MB
  • Battery: 1150 mAh (5 hours talk, 18 days standby)
  • Bands: 800 (850)/1900/2100 MHz UMTS (also in 900/1700/2100 MHz variety), 850/900/1800/1900 MHz EDGE
  • Bluetooth: 2.1, includes Stereo Audio profile

So, back to looks. The chrome accent is nice and dark, and not so obnoxiously silver as other BlackBerrys. The rubberized siding and seamlessly-integrated convenience keys (much like the8520 and 8530 Curve) add a tonne of grip and smoothness. The lines are both sharp and curvy, reminding me a lot of the X10 Xperia. The battery door adopts the same single-slate style as the 8500-series BlackBerry, which has always been my favourite since it minimizes the number of moving parts to fiddle with. Not all moving parts are bad, though – there’s a new one under the battery door that allows you to easily pop out the SIM card without having to dig and pry. It’s much better than the hinge that most other BlackBerrys are packing.

BlackBerry Pearl : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

As nice as the size is, it’s not actually that much bigger than the first Pearl, as you can see compared here to the iPhone and BlackBerry 8120. It’s got a nice amount of weight to it without being too heavy – a very nice medium. As far as input goes, the optical trackpad, though ostensibly a step up from the older trackball, still fritzes out in direct sunlight. That’s almost as inconvenient as occasionally getting grit stuck beneath the trackball, really. RIM’s two-letter-per-key SureType keyboard has a learning curve to it, so be prepared. Like most predictive systems, you have to learn to trust the dictionary to figure out what it is you’re trying to say. There’s one major caveat with SureType: if you type something wrong, it will predict your word wrong, and probably mess up the word even worse than if you just screwed up a single letter on a QWERTY keypad. If you’re comfortable with prediction, you might also want to look into the 9105 variant, which has a standard numeric keypad that feature phone users might be more comfortable with. We aren’t sure if the 9105 is going to be exclusive to Europe right now, but we’re guessing so.


BlackBerry Pearl : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The BlackBerry 9100 comes with OS 5.0 launched with the Storm2, incorporating a lot of visual upgrades like bubbly, finger-friendly drop-down menu items, as well as more practical stuff, like e-mail flags and remote file lookups. You can see the whole list of new features in 5.0 over here at RIM’s knowledgebase. In a broad sense, it has a lot of graphical improvements and is generally smooth and enjoyable, but of course, that largely depends on what you’re used to. BlackBerry is still a clear-cut, no-nonsense experience, geared to help you get tasks done quickly, not prettily. If you’re coming from Android, iPhone, or webOS, you’ll probably be pretty unimpressed with the the staid icon layout and seemingly-antiquated menu system, but take some time and learn its nuances and efficiencies. You get a BlackBerry to get shit done, son.

What kind of efficiencies are we talking, here? Well, let’s look at the messages app, where folks spend most of their time. Out of the box it just handles e-mail, but after fiddling with the options, you can get SMS messages in there too. Once you start downloading official RIM apps, like Google Talk, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, your messages app quickly becomes a lot more than just e-mail – it becomes a hub for your every major means of communication. Most of those apps also plug into your address book, allowing you to see information gathered from a variety of sources, like caller ID pics from Facebook, and GTalk status messages.  Even the media app lets you quickly and easily shoot pictures out to whatever social networks support it. If you don’t feel like digging through menus for what you want, you can often pull up a “short menu” by just clicking on the touchpad, and it generally offers the most common tasks, and even highlights the single most common first to allow quick double-clicks to take care of business. See, it’s the little things.

I’ve been using BlackBerry for awhile, so when someone calls the OS unintuitive, I have a really hard time agreeing. I can certainly see how a lot of options can be overwhelming, but once you find the options that you use regularly, it’s hard to imagine a faster, simpler way to get to them. Still, if you’re worried that the BlackBerry experience would be too complicated for you, I would be aghast if the new OS 6.0, and all of its streamlined UI and flashiness, wasn’t going to be available on the BlackBerry Pearl 9100. It’s also worth noting that the app selection (and prices) for BlackBerry is far from stellar. If you’re coming from the iPhone, App World will definitely leave you wondering what you signed a new two-year contract for. You likely won’t be swapping out for new apps every other week. If you’re lucky, you’ll find something worthwhile once every few months, and even then you may have to begin budgeting your app memory depending on how desperate you become for new apps.

Just remember that keyboard shortcuts make life a helluva lot easier, and there are some subtle, seamless things that RIM does to make your life easier when inputting text. For example, when typing an e-mail address, the first time you hit spacebar puts in an @ symbol and the second one is a period. Capitals and periods are generally automatically done, and there’s a whole bunch of keyboard shortcuts to make navigating apps easier – be sure to learn them early, and they’ll become second-nature in no time.

BlackBerry Pearl Price

The best price of Blackberry Pearl 3g 9100 in India is Rs. 12700. The price has been sourced from 9 online stores in India as on 11th March 2011. Click here [via eBay]

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