RIM launches BlackBerry Pearl 3G (with two keyboard options)

So the Pearl 3G hits the marketplace in the Summer of 2010. The Pearl range has been in need of a serious refresh for some time and I’m delighted to see that RIM stepped up and delivered. What’s interesting with the Pearl 3G is that it is supplied with two different types of keyboard (depending on your operator preference).

Here’s what the release says about the keyboard option:

The new BlackBerry Pearl 3G smartphone will be available in two models and several lustrous colors. The 9100 model features a 20-key condensed QWERTY keyboard and the 9105 model features a 14-key traditional phone keyboard. Both models include SureType® software that can complete words as the user types, making texting fast and accurate. The BlackBerry Pearl 3G smartphone is expected to launch with various carriers beginning in May.

I really do like the idea of the 14-key traditional keyboard. Given that roughly 75% of the planet uses a handset with this layout (a stat given by one of the RIM executives during the press conference) it makes a lot of sense to launch a device with this keyboard format. It also demonstrates that RIM is serious about expanding beyond the traditional BlackBerry markets.

Here are the key features:

– Elegant candybar design measuring 4.25″ x 1.96″ x 0.52″ (108mm x 50 mm x 13.3 mm) and weighing only 3.3 oz (93 grams)
– 624 Mhz processor with 256 MB Flash memory
– 360×400 sharp-resolution display (238 ppi)
– Optical trackpad that makes navigation fast and smooth, plus a comfortable keyboard that enables quick and accurate typing
– Media player for videos, pictures and music (music plays up to 30 hours), plus dedicated media keys integrated along top of the handset
– 3.2 MP camera with zoom, autofocus, flash and video recording-
– Built-in GPS for location-based applications such as BlackBerry® Maps, as well as photo geotagging
– Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) – first BlackBerry smartphone to support ‘n’
– microSD/SDHD memory card slot that supports up to 32 GB cards
– Premium phone features, including voice activated dialing, speakerphone and Bluetooth® (2.1) with support for hands-free headsets, stereo headsets, car kits (including systems that support the emerging Bluetooth Message Access Profile standard) and other Bluetooth accessories
– Access to BlackBerry App World™, featuring a broad and growing catalog of mobile applications developed specifically for BlackBerry smartphones
– Support for BlackBerry® Media Sync for easily syncing photos as well as iTunes® and Windows Media® Player music with the smartphone–
– BlackBerry® OS 5
– Support for tri-band UMTS/HSDPA and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks
– Removable, rechargeable 1150 mAhr battery that provides approximately 5.5 hours of talk time on 3G networks

I should have hands-on with the device shortly.

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