Global Positioning System or GPS is a key addition to the Blackberry which puts the phone among a select few having the feature as well. The addition of a two mega pixel camera which is also capable of recording video has been a welcome addition as well giving it significant improvement over its predecessor. The Pearl 8130 also comes with 3G support thus enhancing its internet experience.
The phone sports a sleek and compact build with dimension of 4.2 x 1.9 x 0.5 (in inches) and can snugly fit in your pockets or in your palm while talking. 65536 colors can be displayed by the 2.2 inch screen which is not a touch screen and at a resolution of about 260 x 240.
The display whose technology enables the backlight to adjust to its surrounding automatically according to the environment uses light sensor to do so. As with any other mobile a number of themes, screen savers, backgrounds and other utilities are available to customize your mobile. An LED at the top-right edge gives away different colors which correspond to various alerts such as low battery or when you get a new text message for example. The keypad which is characteristic of most blackberry phones has not changed much, with the usual navigation keys as well as the Sure Type keyboard. The revolutionary small ball like trackball navigator, first introduced in the Pearl can be seen here as well.
The sensitivity with which this navigator works can be adjusted accordingly to suit one's comfort. Apart from this, the usual talk and end call keys as well as a key which acts as a shortcut for the main menu and a button which helps the user to go back in a menu are also present. A differentiating feature between the GSM and the CDMA variants are the addition of a jack for a 3.5mm headphone to give you decent sound quality as well as the relocation of the memory card slot to the exterior of the mobile from the difficult-to-access position near the battery.
A quick launch button which can be customized as per preference can also be found. There is also a mini USB port. The top of the camera features the lens of the camera along with flash and the mute button. The phone has a number of firsts to its credit. It's the first CDMA Pearl, and it's the first Pearl to incorporate GPS. It is the first RIM phone to have video recording capability and many more.
Speeds on the Pearl 8130 are an average 300Kbps-600Kbps and have the potential to go up as much as 2Mbps, thus making it an enjoyable experience while surfing the net. The speed is due to the network (Verizon's EV-DO) on which the Pearl 8130 works. Pros: + An awesome 2 mega pixel camera + Addition of GPS puts it at a cut above the rest + An improved web browser coupled with 3G support makes internet browsing a pleasant experience. + The design of the original pearl has been retained for the most part and is thus still an elegant and sturdy phone to use Cons: Nothing much to write here as the good outweighs the negatives but still certain small nagging points have been noted including: - The SureType keyboard which takes a while to get accustomed to, as it is not your usual keypad with three letters in alphabetical order and rather has two letters and gives you various combinations based on what you type. - The quality which is experienced during a call can at times be lower than expected standards for a RIM phone. Overall: The phone has made an improvement over its already popular GSM predecessor and these new additions and improvements far outweigh the few negatives that the phone still has.
Jack Wood is a writer for The Tech FAQ, where you can find cell phone reviews for popular phones, such as the Blackberry 8130.