The BlackBerry Pearl 8130 is the CDMA version of the previous BlackBerry Pearl GSM version. In other words, this is the U.S. essentially model of a great BlackBerry smartphone that was, until now, only available (not to mention usable) overseas, supporting the Sprint EV-DO network. In building a new Pearl, however, RIM also thankfully took the opportunity to add some new features and improve on some old ones.
The most obvious improvements with the BlackBerry Pearl 8130 over its predecessors are the additions of a GPS and video-recording capabilities. One marked improvement with the 8130 over any other BlackBerry preceding it, however, is that finally RIM has taken some measures to improve the BlackBerry’s web browser.
Still not by any stretch of the imagination its best feature, nor even much more competitive with its competitors in this area than it ever was before, devoted BlackBerry customers will at least appreciate the slight efforts at improvement in this direction.
Other changes to the BlackBerry Pearl evident in the new 8130 model are the side controls. There’s now a 3.5 mm headphone jack, for one. But best of all, the folks at RIM have finally caught on that whether you put the SD card slot behind the battery or simply under the battery panel, it’s still annoying and inconvenient. So to the delight of BlackBerry users everywhere, the SD card slot on the Pearl 8130 is now located on the phone’s exterior. Thank you, Research in Motion!
The side controls on the 8130 also include a customizable Quick Launch button, a USB port, and volume control. The Mute buttons sits atop the phone. And along with all the usual camera elements on the back (namely the lens and flash) is also a convenient self-portrait mirror.
Some things don’t need changing though, and RIM did users a favor in recognizing what at least some of those things are, for example: the basic look and feel of the Pearl. Like the one before it, the BlackBerry 8130 is slim, stylish, compact, and lightweight. And, as is typical of all BlackBerry smartphones, the messaging capabilities of the BlackBerry Pearl 8130 are excellent.
The resolution on the Pearl’s display screen is smaller than that of other Blackberry models, with only 240 x 240 pixel resolution, but that doesn’t seem to take much away from the sharpness and vividness of the text and images on the screen. And the display screen on the BlackBerry Pearl 8130 includes a convenient light-sensitive backlighting technology that automatically adjusts brightness based on the ambient lighting conditions of your environment.
Always a much-appreciated bonus that BlackBerry never forgets to include is that the interface on the BlackBerry 8130 is eminently customizable, including the convenient shortcuts menu. Controls are easy to use with a trackball for navigation alongside Talk, End, and Back buttons. A helpful color-coded LED sits poised in the upper-right corner to provide various status alerts.