Home > BlackBerry, gadgets > Blackberry Battle – The Blackberry Pearl Vs. the Blackberry 8800

Blackberry Battle – The Blackberry Pearl Vs. the Blackberry 8800

So you’re in the market for a smartphone, and you’ve finally decided to take the plunge, and you’re down to two fine offerings: the Blackberry Pearl, or the newer, slimmer, Blackberry 8800. Which one will suit your needs and personality best? A quick comparison will tell the tale.
The Blackberry Basics
First impressions are often the most important, and at a glance, these two Blackberries are quite similar. Both the Blackberry Pearl and the Blackberry 8800 feature the distinctive RIM Blackberry candy-bar design, with smooth, rounded edges and chrome accents. The Blackberry Pearl is slightly narrower than the 8800, although the Blackberry 8800 has a slightly slimmer profile. Both smartphones are outfitted with a keyboard, although the 8800’s is a full-sized QWERTY keyboard, compared to the Pearl’s truncated (but fully functional) SureType keyboard. Both feature a 240 x 260 pixel, 65,000 color display and the new Blackberry trackball navigation (as compared to the jog dial of older Blackberry models).
The Blackberry Pearl: Superior Messaging, Superior Style
Both the Blackberry 8800 and the Blackberry Pearl feature mobile web browsing, with full HTML and one-touch access, as well as multimedia messaging (with an optional add-on plan). Text / SMS messaging and email are also fully supported on both Blackberries. The Blackberry 8800 features RIM’s trademark “push” real-time email, and has the ability to integrate with up to ten POP, IMAP, or SMTP accounts. As far as instant messaging is concerned, the Blackberry 8800 comes with Blackberry Messenger, whereas the Pearl adds Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk pre-loaded with the smartphone. If you’re a heavy user of Google Talk or Yahoo! Messenger, this gives the Blackberry Pearl a definite edge. The Blackberry Pearl also wins on style points, as it comes in several distinctive colors, including black, white, and a vibrant red.
The GPS Advantage: Blackberry 8800
In terms of office capabilities, both the Blackberry Pearl and the Blackberry 8800 can open Word and Excel documents, PDFs, and PowerPoint presentations that are attached to emails. Both cell phones come with full Bluetooth hands-free support and are data-capable, meaning either cell phone can be used as a wireless modem.
Now that we’ve firmly established that these two Blackberries have plenty in common, let’s talk about where they part ways. The Blackberry Pearl’s most immediate advantage over the 8800 would have to be the built-in digital camera. The Pearl’s built-in camera phone is 1.3 megapixels, with a 1280 x 1040 maximum resolution, built-in flash, and 5x digital zoom.
However, the Pearl lacks a built-in GPS solution, which is where the Blackberry 8800 really shines. While the Blackberry Pearl can be made GPS-capable with a separate TeleNav GPS receiver, the Blackberry 8800 comes with integrated GPS built into the smartphone. The 8800 requires no extra equipment — only access to a location-based service like TeleNav GPS Navigator. The Blackberry 8800 also features color maps and text or voice-guided driving directions right on the cell phone, making it invaluable for travelers. (The service does cost extra, $9.99 a month or $5.99 for 10 trips.)
If you’re planning on using your Blackberry to listen to music, you’ll find either model will suit your needs. The Blackberry 8800 and the Blackberry Pearl both play music and video files, supporting MPEG4, H.263 video formats and MP3 and AAC (iTunes Music Store) formats. Note that while the 8800 will play video files, it can’t actually capture any; if you want to watch video on your Blackberry, you can use a MicroSD memory card or USB 2.0 to transfer files to it.
The Smart(phone) Choice
Plainly, both Blackberries have plenty to offer the business or casual user. The Blackberry Pearl’s inclusion of a digital camera does aim it slightly more towards everyday use, while the Blackberry 8800’s GPS capabilities make it the perfect choice for someone who’s on the road a great deal. The Blackberry 8800 is also ideal if your workplace prohibits the use of camera phones. With the rich features available on both models, however, both are excellent choices.
Daniel Swensen is a freelance writer who covers websites like Wirefly.

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Categories: BlackBerry, gadgets
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