"Blackberry is trying new things (inventions) with their famous "physical" keyboards, especially including the latest mobile phone models. The Blackberry Pearl 3Gs touch-pad is really an unique one. Just by looking at it you can see the difference. The button layout feel a bit "weird" (they call it Sure Type Technology), but according to the company it revolutionize the typing experience of the end user"
Let's have a look at the hardware specifications first,
Dimensions - 4.25 inches tall, 1.9 (almost 2 actually) inches in width and 0.5 inches in depth
Weight - 93 grams
Display - 360 x 400 pixel of resolution, customizable font sizes, Backlighting
Camera - 3.2 Mega-pixels of camera, Flash, 2.5 of zooming + video capturing
Memory - 256 MB of default RAM and included a 2GB of memory card, supports an internal memory card up to 32GB! (microSD)
Networks - UMTS - Tri-band (800/850/1900/2100 - 900/1700/2100 MHz), Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE
WiFi & Bluetooth - Yes (802.11 b - WiFi)
Battery - 1150 mAHr, standby time 18 days (while on GSM), up to 13 days when using UMTS, 5.5 talk time and 30 hours of continues audio playback
Multimedia Codecs support - Video = H.263, H.264, WMV3 and MPEG4 : Audio = MP3, AMR-NB, , AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, Flac, Ogg Vorbis
The new keypad?,
Well they have put together something useful here after all, as the testings shows that when it comes to typing long messages the re-invented pad does performs extremely well. But be aware that because the keypad is different (including the key-locations) so it will take a bit of a time from the user to get used to it. But after getting used to it, you won't regret it! with this latest phones, the Pearl 3G.
Thanks to the included high speed networks (HSDPA and Wi-Fi) users can enjoy smooth web experience and flawless video playback. But the resolutions are not that higher, because the phone it self is not pointed at a larger scale of multipurpose type of unit. But that being said, the real tests show that this unit possess the same speeds that that the Blackberry Bold 9700 has. And because of this and the OS the multitasking functions also work in a flawless motion without hardly (I'm not talking about running 10 apps at once) affecting the overall performance.
It performed well giving rich multimedia experience (the default audio codecs support is truly excellent) concerning both video and audio. So the overall audio quality is very good and the included physical controls for playback control is also very innovative and intuitive. After considering the entertaining abilities, you can actually use this as a replacement for iPod!
But the on screen fonts (bold) are too big considering the small screen size itself and the key-pad should have been a bit bigger. The phone also comes with various month plans including many prices and even a 2G version.
All in all, after considering the benefits and the few drawbacks such as the a bit small key-board (but if you have small fingers you can type faster than the other ones for certain) I'd rate it 4/5 stars for this latest phone.