Straight-up surfing on the small screen isn't as much fun as using the apps, although the display's excellent resolution helps a great deal. The surfing experience is better than that you'd get on a typical phone with a small screen and no trackpad, but it's worse than on a Webmeister like the iPhone.
One treat that only a BlackBerry can give you is access to BlackBerry Messenger. It lets you chat with other BlackBerry users for free, from anywhere in the world.
Cama lama ding dong
The 3.2-megapixel camera is twinned with an LED photo light, and we were pleasantly surprised by the photos it captured. Although its pictures are nowhere near the quality of images you could get from a compact camera, the snapper still captures the moment quickly and accurately.
We also liked the dedicated music buttons on the top of the phone, and the standard 3.5mm headphone jack means you can use your favourite cans. Those features help to make the Pearl 3G a good music phone. The 3.5mm jack is on the side, though, so, if you have a big plug on your headphones, it will stick out.
There's only 256MB of built-in storage. But you can add plenty more via the microSD memory-card slot.
Simple and stuffy
The BlackBerry user interface is starting to look rather dated. It also takes some getting used to if you've never used a BlackBerry before, because it's packed with thousands of options. But, once you've had some practice, it's easy to navigate around, especially with the very responsive optical trackpad that's replaced the traditional BlackBerry trackball.
The trackpad has a flat surface and responds to your touch like a trackpad on a laptop. Its insane sensitivity makes up for its tiny size. It also makes the phone easier to pop into a pocket, since it doesn't stick out from the body and get gunged up with dirt and crud.
Is there a place on Earth for a BlackBerry with an alphanumeric keyboard? With great connectivity and excellent email capability, the BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9105 can certainly hold its own against other smart phones without touchscreens, like the Nokia E75. But, if you're really into emailing -- the biggest strength of BlackBerry devices -- you might want to opt for a model with a full Qwerty keyboard, like the Bold 9700.
Edited by Charles Kloet