BlackBerry 8100 Pearl

Okay, so I finally found a new cell phone that I like (enough) to get a new one…

The good:

  • It’s the same size as my RAZR (same thickness, 0.5″ taller and 0.25″ skinnier)
  • Fast internet (speed test put it at 205kbit/sec for me)
  • Use it as an Internet gateway for your computer (great for traveling)
  • Quad-band GSM (use pretty much anywhere in the world)
  • User interface is really nice
  • Pseudo QUERTY keyboard
  • Nice camera… good quality, decent resolution
  • Gmail and Google Maps applications are pretty nice (better than web based access to the services).
  • Support for MicroSD cards, so you can slap another 2GB of memory in it (it comes with 64MB internally).

The bad:

  • $400 (although with a new contract you can get it for $50 [see below])
  • No GPS
  • Camera does not shoot video
  • Doesn’t work great with Macs (you can sync address book, calendar, email, etc. with a 3rd party program, but the program is really buggy and only works over a USB cable and not Bluetooth [yet]). It also doesn’t mount in the file system on a Mac, so you can’t copy files to it. Bluetooth file transfer from a Mac doesn’t work either. It’s ultimately a phone, so once you get crap on there, it’s good, and it does work flawlessly as an Internet gateway (via bluetooth), which is the most important part.
  • I wish you could create folders for your list of applications.

If they could just make it work better with Macs (like if iSync supported it via Bluetooth and if Bluetooth file transfers worked), my only real complaint would be the lack of an internal GPS.

Where to get one for $50 (thanks to Julien for this):

12 thoughts on “BlackBerry 8100 Pearl”

  1. I have had this from the day it came out. Here’s a few thigns:

    – EXCELLENT email/messaging support
    – it is as addictive as advertised
    – Speakerphone & bluetooth

    – One downside: doesn’t support the 2GB microSD cards, so make sure to get the 1GB microSD card.

    Overall it’s the best smart phone out there.. you’ll love it..

  2. I have had it since it came out…. I like mine but I have always had the BlackBerry and this is the first one that has a camera and I am a girl.. and that is all that matters….. It is almost to complicated to get all the features…

  3. Where did you figure out that it did not support gps
    If you a buy an external gps module like the ambicom model it works great seen it on run on a few different peoples pearls. I uses an 8700 for email and the pearl for phone and camera. 8100 is nice but I don’t like the sure type keyboard

  4. Steve, I got an 8100 a couple of weeks ago. Bought the 2GB card and it works fine.

    The only problem I’ve had is that Google Maps doesn’t work on the device. It’s detected as an 8100, but I get some sort of Java error. A friend also sees the same problem on his 8700…

    GMM did work fine on my old 7100g, and as well as my CDMA HTC Apache (UTStarcom PPC6700).

  5. Do you know if there has been any software or other work around to get the Blackberry 8100 to mount to a MAC? Just trying to get my MP3’s on the thing…


  6. Just bought 8100, looks nice, have decent features, but without GPS, am disappointed a lot. Anyone knows how could i get GPS working on my phone?

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