Research In Motion today introduced the BlackBerry Pearl 8130, the first BlackBerry Pearl smartphone to run on CDMA networks.
The new model stays true to the highly acclaimed style and compact design of the BlackBerry Pearl and comes packed with new features including communications enhancements, a striking new software interface, rich multimedia capabilities, built-in GPS and support for high-speed EV-DO networks.
“With its unique blend of functionality and design, the BlackBerry Pearl smartphone has been turning heads and winning praise from business users and consumers alike,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “The new BlackBerry Pearl 8130 builds on all the great features and aesthetic design that people love about the BlackBerry Pearl and offers an exceptional new choice for CDMA customers that are looking to upgrade their mobile phone.”
The BlackBerry Pearl 8130 includes all of the features that have made BlackBerry smartphones popular among mobile users, including unrivaled email and messaging (SMS, IM, MMS), web browsing, organizer and more. The new smartphone also expands on its communications and multimedia features and presents the entire offering with a striking new software interface.
The BlackBerry Pearl 8130 features a sleek, compact design measuring just 4.2” x 1.97” x .55” and weighing only 3.38 oz. It provides an intuitive user experience through its trackball navigation system and RIM's popular SureType keyboard system. SureType -- which allows a narrower handset design while maintaining easy phone dialing and message typing -- has been enhanced to allow word completion, easier editing of misspelled words and a built-in spell checker.
The BlackBerry Pearl 8130 features an updated visual interface and integrates a new font rendering technology that displays characters beautifully, with enhanced legibility at even the smallest point sizes. The new technology is evident throughout the visual interface, complementing the new look of the BlackBerry email client, calendar, address book, task list, memo pad and web browser, while also enhancing other applications.
The BlackBerry Browser is further improved with a new "Page View" option that displays a full web page on the screen along with a magnifying glass that allows the user to quickly and accurately point and zoom in on a specific area of the web page. Users can also press and hold the trackball to toggle between the "Column View" (which presents the web page in a continuous column for easy reading and scrolling on the go) and the “Page View.” The new BlackBerry Browser also provides quicker access to Bookmarks and History, and supports the 3GPP RTSP Streaming protocol via EV-DO, so users can view streaming video from sites like m.youtube.com.
The BlackBerry Pearl 8130 comes with a 2 megapixel camera with 5x digital zoom and enhanced flash. The new camera also supports video capture in two resolutions: 240x180 or 176x144 for sharing via MMS.
The media player now allows users to create and edit playlists right on the handset. Alternatively, users can manage their media files from their PC with the Roxio Media Manager for BlackBerry, which is included with the BlackBerry Desktop Manager software. The Roxio software was developed with Sonic and is based on the award-winning Roxio Easy Media Creator 9, making it easy for users to search for media files on their computer, view and organize them, create MP3 music files from CDs, add audio tags, album art, create playlists and convert files for optimal playback.
Roxio Photosuite 9 LE is also included – this comprehensive tool makes it easy to edit pictures and create photo albums. Pictures can also be cropped, rotated and straightened, redeye can be removed, and brightness, contrast and saturation levels can all be changed.
The BlackBerry Pearl 8130 supports the Bluetooth stereo audio profile (A2DP/AVRCP), and comes with a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack so users can plug in their preferred headphones or speakers. The handset also provides the convenience of an externally accessible microSD/SDHC memory card slot for additional storage of music, videos and pictures.
The BlackBerry Pearl 8130 includes built-in GPS to provide out-of-the-box support for location-based applications and services. BlackBerry Maps, which can conveniently guide users to their destination, now includes a local search capability that allows users to find local businesses, such as banks, hotels and restaurants, within a short driving distance. The local search feature in BlackBerry Maps was developed with support from Google.
The BlackBerry Pearl 8130 offers many convenient phone features including Speaker Independent Voice Recognition (SIVR) for Voice Activated Dialing (VAD), Bluetooth 2.0 support for hands-free use with headsets, car kits and Bluetooth peripherals, dedicated 'send', 'end', and 'mute' keys, smart dialing, speed dialing, conference calling, call forwarding, a low-distortion speakerphone for hands-free conversations and support for polyphonic, mp3 and MIDI ring tones.
The smartphone also includes new features that enhance phone audio quality including enhanced background noise, wind and echo cancellation for better performance in loud environments like airports, restaurants or busy downtown streets. An 'enhance call audio' feature also allows the user to boost the phone audio's bass or treble while on a call.
Explore further: What's next for the smartphone in a rapidly changing market?