My first month with the Blackberry Pearl
( thanks to Dave
Taylor for the post
I’m just finishing up my first month with my second Blackberry;
well, actually my third, but the first two were the same type, the
series. I appreciated the access to email, calendar, and contact
information, but I didn’t like the way the integrated cell phone worked
– the shape of the device was just not comfortable as a phone. Never had
much success with Bluetooth headsets either – poor qualityconnections
and folks said I was hard to hear.
So, I struggled along with two devices – a Motorola v600 phone
with a couple of my favorite numbers keyed into it, and a big ‘ol 7200
where I checked email every once in a while. I finally got sick of
carrying around two devices, and when the chance came, I moved my
“legacy” cell phone number onto a new Blackberry Pearl. What a
- The device is slim, fits great in my pocket without a
strange-looking bump, and let’s me get away from the belt-pack look
that screams “IT department”!
- The eMail and Calendar connection to my corporate system works
as expected; I check it more often now, as the Pearl is easier to slip
into my pocket for internal meetings, so it will mess up my read
/ unread graphs …
- I’ve resurrected some old code to sync my complete contact
database (Act!) with Outlook, so I have 15+ years of contacts and
conversations with me at all times. Nothing like walking around with 15
years of conversations in your pocket.
- As a cell phone, it’s terrific. I got a new Plantronics
510 headset, and what a difference from 5 years ago! Much better
quality, and the connection was easier to make and maintain.
- Put the cell phone and the contact database together, and I
have a beautiful connection tool – can call up an amazing range of
people at multiple phone numbers, and I know when they are calling me
(sounds obvious, but when you have 1800+ contact with multiple numbers,
the caller ID functionality really jumps out at you)
- I was initially skeptical about the keyboard – I like the old
mini-QWERTY of the 7200 – but the predictive-typing feature is
amazingly clever. It learned my favorite words quickly, but I really
don’t have to “teach” it much at all – it guesses my intent
- The camera and media features are nice, I suppose, but not
critical for me. It is convenient to be able to copy phone-cam pics to
a memory card.
- The web browser functionality has been the deal-maker. I can
use the dead time between meetings or in lines to catch up on a few
postings in my blogroll, even
check the traffic
on the road home – that’s just cool.
There have been a
few negatives, some caveats for the prospective Pearl
The keyboard is quite small; is you have large hands, you’ll probably find the typing close to impossible.
The trackball is OK, and like a mouse, can be adjusted for sensitivity. However, I still prefer the side-wheel of the 7200. On the Pearl, I much prefer using keyboard shortcuts for things like navigating web pages.
The battery life is not tremendous; I don’t use the thing constantly, but I’m not surprised to see the battery half-gone at the end of the day. My old 7200’s used to last 3-4 days between charges, but I plus the
in every night.
I thought it would be great for Instant Messaging (IM), but I really don’t thing that medium was made for the small screen. When I’m chatting with folks, we’ll often have two threads of conversation going on at the same time, alternating between the two, which allows us to type at the same time. The mobile IM client I’ve been playing with seems more sluggish than my desktop; I can’t type and read at the same time.
I suppose my biggest fear is that I’ll lose it or break it – it’s solid but slight. Still – I don’t miss the old devices, and I’m definitely more mobile than I was.