RIM BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9105 review

For some time now RIM, the maker of BlackBerry phones, has been trying to shake off its image as the purveyor of business tools exclusively for boardroom executives and city workers. The Pearl 3G 9105 is the latest and most radical move the company has made towards re-positioning BlackBerry as a brand that’s equally at home in the hands of the non-business consumer.

It’s so new that network tie-ups and pricing haven’t been announced yet, but we’re lucky to have obtained an exclusive review sample.

RIM BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9105

The form factor isn’t a new one for BlackBerry – we’ve seen several earlier candy-bar phones from RIM. But previous Pearls used a 20-key layout where the Qwerty keyboard is split with two letters per key. The new Pearl 3G, at least in its European variant the 9105, adopts a more conventional 12-key numeric based layout.

This is a canny move by RIM. There’s a whole generation of mobile users that want the goodies a smartphone can offer, but without the bulk of a full-on Qwerty keyboard or the unfamiliarity of the previous Pearl models.

This is a generation that has been brought up using T9 style multi-tap input, and they’ll feel instantly at home with the Pearl 3G, especially as the SureType word completion available beats the pants off other predictive text systems. It quickly learns the words you commonly type, and recognises names and addresses in your address book.

In many ways the Pearl 3G is a reduced-size version of the Bold 9700. It shares the same fifth-generation BlackBerry OS and 624MHz processor, as well as the optical trackpad, which is slightly ironic because the original Pearl was so named because it was the first BlackBerry to use a translucent trackball. That method of navigation has now been confined to history, but the name remains.

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted 6hrs
Standby, quoted 13 days


Dimensions 50 x 13.1 x 108mm (WDH)
Weight 93g
Touchscreen no
Primary keyboard Physical

Core Specifications

RAM capacity 0MB
ROM size 256MB
Camera megapixel rating 3.2mp
Front-facing camera? no
Video capture? yes


Screen size 2.3in
Resolution 360 x 400

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes


OS family BlackBerry OS

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