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BlackBerry Pearl 8130 review

6.4/10 AVG.
RATING



6.4/10
Informr score
The BlackBerry Pearl 8130 currently has an Informr score of 6.4 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 37 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The Blackberry 8130 Pearl is a departure for RIM, trading bulky for thin and stylish, clearly signaling a directional change for a company long associated with business and utilitarian functionality.

But don’t let the sleek and sexy form factor fool you! The 8130 is a true Blackberry, with its highly acclaimed “push” email and assortment of preloaded applications. The Pearl also features a much improved, multi-directional trackball which has been moved from the side of the device to a more convenient, central location on the face. Rounding out this latest Blackberry is a 2 megapixel camera with flash, side-loading microSD storage up to 2 gigabytes, all capable of running on a EVDO RevA high speed network.

The Pearl provides two customizable convenience keys; the left key default is for voice dialing, which is much better on this device than on many other phones I have used. Rather than fight with the voice recognition program, I found it easily recognized my commands. The right side convenience key default is for the camera. Once you are in camera mode, the trackball allows you to zoom in and out simply by rolling the ball with your thumb. The flash is automatic and very bright.

The 8130 is more like a “Pearl 2” than just a CDMA iteration. In fact, compared to the AT&T Wireless 8120, the 8130 has a better camera (2.0 megapixel camera with flash rather than a 1.3MP camera with no flash), easier access to external memory and comes pre-loaded on Verizon with VZNavigator, Verizons GPS software. If you choose not to pay $9.99 per month for the GPS service, the 8130 also comes with Google Maps preloaded, which can be used to get you where you want to go, albeit without the extra bells and whistles that you get with the paid service.

The 8130 also comes with AIM, Yahoo and MSN Messenger preloaded, and you can sign in and stay signed in to the instant messenger of your choice. The Pearl also works with Facebook, something I discovered and have found to be great fun. Both Facebook and the IM software move this device slightly away from its historic role as a raw business device and into an area where the rest of us live. Using the Pearl to communicate with friends is as easy as anything on the market.

I have been using my new Blackberry Pearl for a few weeks and its every bit as good as I had hoped it would be, and much faster than the AT&T Pearl which I used for a week prior. I can understand why Blackberry remains the choice of business professionals and government; it is genuinely easy to use and allows you to get what you want and do what you want without distraction or delay.

To achieve its slim form factor, Pearl uses Suretype, a modified Qwerty whereby there are two characters per key. While some folks have complained that Suretype is difficult to use, I found that it takes just a bit of practice. Learning Suretype is similar to learning T9 after being a “tap, tap, tapper”. However, the spacing of the keys are slightly cramped compared to the spaciousness of the Curve, to be sure, so this is something to consider if you are in the market for a smartphone. I have found that the contours of the individual buttons attempts to make up for their close proximity; if you just press the key you want it works fine. The Pearl also has the ability to “learn” words; the more you type the more it learns to recognize words you use.

In an ever growing field of touch interfaces, Blackberry remains resolute in its time-tested operating system. The RIM OS is designed to provide you access to options via the centrally located, durable trackball. Press the trackball and an option list pops up. Simply scroll to the action you want and press the trackball again.

The Pearl should appeal to folks who want the power of a Blackberry without the bulk. It is a good-looking device that celebrates its keyboard rather than make excuses for it.

There are many ways to personalize your Pearl. Numerous websites are dedicated to the Blackberry product line which offer free themes, wallpapers, ringtones, games and software. My favorite free applications is Viggo, a customizable RSS aggregator that is crazy easy to use and allows me lightening fast access to all the top stories in all the categories I am interested in, and even allows me to forward any article to anyone with just a couple clicks of the ever present trackball.

Because Blackberries in general do not display emails in the most user-friendly way, I did spend an additional $25.00 on a program that allows me to view emails the way they are meant to be seen. This program, and others like it, integrate seamlessly into the OS without you having to do anything, and allow you to customize fonts and colors. Loading this program was also quite simple as it was an over the air (OTA) download and therefore did not require cables, syncing and zip files.

Because the Pearl is an expensive smartphone, you will want to shop for an appropriate case. Keep in mind that Blackberry cases often contain a magnet woven into the fabric, which is designed to put the device in sleep mode to extend the length of a battery charge. I chose a wonderful holster from Bodyglove which includes a rotating clip that doubles as a stand.

If you want constant access to email and an operating system built proudly around a durable keypad, you will find the Pearl to be very effective and, dare I say, fun!

by Scot Cerullo


Operating system
BlackBerry
Processor
312 MHz
Screen Size
Unknown
Camera
2+ MP



Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


BlackBerry released the Pearl 8130 on October 1, 2007.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the BlackBerry Pearl 8130 user manual here.


BlackBerry backs up the Pearl 8130 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Pearl 8130 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact BlackBerry support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find BlackBerry's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Quick view

Screen Size
Unknown

The BlackBerry Pearl 8130's screen size is Unknown with 240 x 260 pixels resolution.

Processor
312 MHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM6550 312 MHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the BlackBerry operating system (OS).

Camera
2+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 2+ megapixel camera.

There's no secondary front camera.

Storage
No

Internal memory is No. An external, MicroSD (up to 8 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
900mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 900 mAh battery. BlackBerry's performance ratings are 9 days standby time.

Pearl 8130 Specs

Overview
Release date October 1, 2007
Regions available USA, Canada
Networks
CDMA:
850/1900 MHz
Data:
1xRTT, EV-DO Rev. 0
SIM card No
Dual SIM No
Operating System BlackBerry

Compare BlackBerry Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM6550 312 MHz
Internal Flash Memory No
RAM 32 MB
ROM 64 MB
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass No
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 1.48 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Data Cable, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 900 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 9 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Unknown
Colors Black, Blue, Gray, Pink, Red, Silver, White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 10.7 x 5.0 x 1.4 cm (4.2 x 2 x 0.6 in)
Weight 96 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 65k
Resolution 240 x 260 pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size Unknown
3D No
Secondary Display No
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification No
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type SureType / 20-key
Navigation Type Trackball
Predictive Text Entry SureType
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key Yes
Any Key Answer Yes
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Unknown
Contact Groups No
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Blackberry Connect
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, EMS, MMS, AIM, MSN, ICQ
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi No
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD (up to 8 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications Yes
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
2+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
5x digital
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Self-portrait, White balance
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, WMA
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, MPEG-4
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video No
External Speakers No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration No
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer No
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter Yes
Viewable document types No
Weather Yes
Stocks Yes
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps No ()
Included Software / Apps -
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Additional comments Other Names (AKA): BlackBerry 8130

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Related Links Manual (PDF)
BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Reviews
Where to buy BlackBerry Pearl 8130
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User Reviews


Rubbish

I cannot imagine how any Smart?phone could be worse than this Blackberry. Incredibly small screen but more important, such an inflexible phone! you can do literally nothing without sweating and most times to get nowhere.

awesome!

this phone is amazing, the social networking is great and so is BBM and texting but then again u have to be used to the suretype keybored i just got this phone last week and i had 2 blackberry before the pearl flip 8230 and the storm 2 all of them are great phones i guess in a way i downgrated but i pr...More
this phone is amazing, the social networking is great and so is BBM and texting but then again u have to be used to the suretype keybored i just got this phone last week and i had 2 blackberry before the pearl flip 8230 and the storm 2 all of them are great phones i guess in a way i downgrated but i prefer the pearl 8130 the best out of all of them it has a nice 2 mp camera with led flash and basically everything u could want in a tiny but AWESOME phone . compared to other blackberrys it is older in came out in 2008 i guess that makes it acient but it is basically as thin as the new bol the torch and the curve they are all the same thickness the only big difference beetween the pearl 8130 and the pearl flip is the software and that what made me switch phone 3 times in one monthe so overall i would highly reccomond this phone even if ur thinking about getting it in 2011 but hurry and get one before there gone forever! Less

Quite Annoying

I was so pumped when I got my Blackberry Pearl because I figured "Hey! Everyone is so in love with their blackberries, I'm gonna see what all the hype is about." Needless to say, I was quite disappointed. First of all, the screen lacked colour. After going to this phone from the Samsung Instinct I was...More
I was so pumped when I got my Blackberry Pearl because I figured "Hey! Everyone is so in love with their blackberries, I'm gonna see what all the hype is about." Needless to say, I was quite disappointed. First of all, the screen lacked colour. After going to this phone from the Samsung Instinct I was quite disappointed in the simplicity of it. I was also annoyed because when I kept it in my pocket it pocket dialled, texted and took photos. While the phone WAS nice and compact I found the keys hard to get used to and the trackball was just a hassle, I was always afraid it would break or pop out at any moment. As for Blackberry itself, this is what I was most disappointed in. The features everyone was so excited about we're pretty mediocre and while I had fun with BBMing friends it was quite annoying to have to keep switching between that and texting my friends who only have normal cell phones. The constant social networking updates became actually quite annoying and unless you actually own a business or use the blackberry for ALL of it's features it's quite useless and a waste of money. All together I thought the phone was a huge disappointment but I would definitely recommend the blackberry brand to someone who needs an organizer and a quick way to connect to the web. Less

Oh crappy crappy phone!

Owner of a Blackberry Pearl for the last year, I had to change it twice and now, I'm getting rid of it because I have to send it back to the company! AGAIN! I thought that since BB's phones were expensive they were flawless, what a mistake! It is the worst phone I ever got. The first time, I was unable...More
Owner of a Blackberry Pearl for the last year, I had to change it twice and now, I'm getting rid of it because I have to send it back to the company! AGAIN! I thought that since BB's phones were expensive they were flawless, what a mistake! It is the worst phone I ever got. The first time, I was unable to connect it with my PC, the second time, I was not receiving my texts and my calls and the battery was dead after only one 2 minute call and now, I'm back with the same problem I had the first time! Plus it took 3 months the first before I got it back and 1 the last time I send it to the company... Advice: Don't spend your money on a Blackberry phone they are not worth it unless you own a company or something! Less

Blackberry 8130 is crap

This phone is just crap. I've had 2 in 16 months and they keep screwing up and won't work. The web site for Blackberry and their technical support is even worse than their crappy phones. NEVER BUY BLACKBERRY PRODUCTS!!!!! The company is only concerned with profits, thus building phones that exp...More
This phone is just crap. I've had 2 in 16 months and they keep screwing up and won't work. The web site for Blackberry and their technical support is even worse than their crappy phones. NEVER BUY BLACKBERRY PRODUCTS!!!!! The company is only concerned with profits, thus building phones that expire just past their warranty period, so they get to sell you a new one every year. They don't offer any support so you get frustrated and just give up and buy a new phone. Less

Fine Phone

After looking at the other negative reviews I decided to add mine. I've owned this phone for a year and a half and it has been flawless. The nature of electronics in general is things sometime go wrong, especially if you start dropping your phone. I've dropped mine several times and there's been no pro...More
After looking at the other negative reviews I decided to add mine. I've owned this phone for a year and a half and it has been flawless. The nature of electronics in general is things sometime go wrong, especially if you start dropping your phone. I've dropped mine several times and there's been no problems. Battery has been awesome. Due to the small size of the phone, typing is a bit more difficult over a full keyboard phone. This has been my only issue. I'll buy Blackberry probably for life. Less

Shoppers beware!!

I bought this phone thinking it would be really good and the design was awesome, was i ever wrong. I have been through 2 phones already in just six months. The phone would keep losing connection in the middle of a call or any time for that matter. I would be talking on the phone for just a few minutes...More
I bought this phone thinking it would be really good and the design was awesome, was i ever wrong. I have been through 2 phones already in just six months. The phone would keep losing connection in the middle of a call or any time for that matter. I would be talking on the phone for just a few minutes and it would lose connection, so i took it in and bell gave another pearle and that phone did the same thing. I will never but another blackberry ever again. Less

WAY OVER-RATED!

If I did not have to wait until the end of my contract I would take this phone back. it's the worst phone i have ever owned in my lifetime!!!! would never buy another Blackberry again if someone paid me to keep it!!!! it never functions properly, the roller ball sticks and sometimes stops working all t...More
If I did not have to wait until the end of my contract I would take this phone back. it's the worst phone i have ever owned in my lifetime!!!! would never buy another Blackberry again if someone paid me to keep it!!!! it never functions properly, the roller ball sticks and sometimes stops working all together!!!!! right now my phone just flat out does not ring. not at all. the vibrate does not vibrate. there's a little "facebook' icon on there with a 1 next to it. instructions book doesn't help!!!! Less

2 phones in 1

First and Last. I can't wait for my contract to expire so that I will never have to own another Blackberry. Any phone you have to pull the battery on regularly to restore operating functionality is poorly designed from top to bottom. At least its only every 4 weeks now instead of 2 after upgrading ever...More
First and Last. I can't wait for my contract to expire so that I will never have to own another Blackberry. Any phone you have to pull the battery on regularly to restore operating functionality is poorly designed from top to bottom. At least its only every 4 weeks now instead of 2 after upgrading every facet of it. I knew I was hooched the very first time I travelled out of Province and this technological wonder didn't track the time zone - even my old Motorola could do that. Maybe the owner of the Company should spend a little more on R & D instead of legal expenses to buy a sports franchises?? Less

Long time Pearl owner.

I just recently gave my pearl to my girlfriend who desperately needed a new phone, upgrading to the 9530 in the process. Before this I had owned the Pearl for just under 2 years. In that time I had one battery become weak, which was replaced under warranty. Now normally a battery failure after a year a...More
I just recently gave my pearl to my girlfriend who desperately needed a new phone, upgrading to the 9530 in the process. Before this I had owned the Pearl for just under 2 years. In that time I had one battery become weak, which was replaced under warranty. Now normally a battery failure after a year and a half would be iffy, but my phone is left on 24/7 and as such is charged every couple of days. I have read a lot of people complain about the deleted text messages and call-logs. This was actually a problem I encountered in the beginning. However the OS update to 4.5.0.xxx (carrier dependent) completely eliminated this problem. I also removed numerous core applications that were useless which freed up a significant amount of space. Going further, as long as you have a memory card inserted you can drop the amount of memory reserved for media which again increases your total memory. Doing this will completely eliminate the automatic deletion of your call logs and will dramatically increase the speed at which your mini-berry operates. Something often overlooked is the effectiveness of the occasional battery pull. Do this once a week and almost assuredly your phone will never crash. The SureType keypad is a wonderful little feature. Once you get used to it, and your Pearl learns what words you usually employ, your data entry speed is nearly as fast as on a full keyboard. URL entry is somewhat frustrating, but browsing on anything short of an iPhone is even more frustrating so my advice is pick a few favorites, and learn to enjoy the world around you rather than the itty-bitty little website on your phone. Email push is seamless and intuitive. SMS messaging is equally as effective, providing you with threaded text messages that let you keep track of a conversation. The media player is satisfactory, nothing flashy but it does play music well and the camera takes decent photos. Looking at pictures can be an exercise in patience but like all the other features it can be done without too much frustration. Keeping the trackball clean vastly improves the user experience and there are countless videos and how-to's on the web that show you how to do this. Even my 2 year old blackberry has no issues scrolling simply because I keep my trackball clean. The screen is bright and easy to read, if not quite up to par with an iPhone or Storm. The small form factor is very nice, smaller than almost any phone on the market. All in all, the Pearl is a great consumer data phone. It doesn't crash if kept updated and clean. It does everything a normal phone can do, but it does it better. It is fairly cheap now from most carriers, and I can speak to its durability. Less

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