When I compared notes with my friend Richard today who has the BlackBerry 8700 (picture on the left taken with the BlackBerry Pearl itself), he was quite impressed by the Blackberry Pearl. Richard still thinks however that the larger screen of the BlackBerry 8700 is a better fit for him. By the way, it is likely that I will be using the BlackBerry 8700 next (as the next device in the “81 day experiment”). I have to admit though that I already feel “attached” to the BlackBerry Pearl and not looking forward to giving it up. The BlackBerry Pearl seems to be that kind of a device (the kind that you get attached to, just like an iPod).
Music, pictures, videos, and ringtones
By the way, talking about the iPod, the BlackBerry Pearl handles music, pictures, videos, and ringtones. I have listened to and watched some of the samples provided on the device, but haven’t yet downloaded my own. Maybe it will happen in the next few days.
I have used the Camera on several occasions though. Even though on day #31 I wasn’t sure if the picture quality and capabilities were any different from the typical smartphone, now after having discovered the 6x zoom, and having taken pictures in different lighting conditions, I am starting to believe that it is more capable.
The Trackball is proving to be pleasant and versatile
The Trackball, which is the main navigational tool on the BlacBerry Pearl, provides a pleasant navigational experience. It lets you select applications, menu items, scroll within a screen from field to field, and scroll within the text when for instance you are composing an e-mail message. When you are using the camera, you can use it to zoom (see picture taken at 3x zoom) and when you are viewing the U.S. roads map in the Maps application (more on the Maps application below), you can use it to zoom in and out and see more or less of the map details. Its function is similar to the 5-way navigation in the Treo and Motorola Q (see day #1 to day #27) but it seems to be easier and more natural to work with.
Are you in need of driving directions?
When you are in need of driving directions, the Maps application in the BlackBerry Pearl is at your fingertips. It allows you to look up an address and see its location on a map, or even the driving directions between two locations.
From the Address Book application, you can also find the location and map of an existing contact, by selecting the desired contact and then pressing the menu key and then the “View Map” menu item. With the Internet connection being at a reasonably high speeds, the results are quite satisfactory (the EDGE network that the BlackBerry Pearl by T-Mobile uses seems to be 2 to 4 times faster than GPRS—even though not nearly as fast as the EDVO network used by Verizon and Sprint).
The microSD media card
Having these additional multi-media capabilities (the music, photos, videos, and ringtones we mentioned above) is likely to require additional storage. The BlackBerry Pearl has a microSD card slot (underneath the battery cover) to allow for additional storage when you go overboard with media.