"A Mixed Bag"on by pcorning
Pros * Clamshell design - finally, no more auto-on or auto-wake in the pocket.
* Larger keyboard - much easier to use for phone and typing, fewer mistakes
* Seems a little faster than the 8120
* Application / OS changes with BB 4.6 (minor improvements)
Cons * Narrower screen than 8220 makes web browsing a little more difficult
* New browser has rendering problems, locks up phone occasionally (bad)
Summary Upgrade from an earlier Pearl only if you really want the clamshell (great for the pocket), or if you want a larger keyboard. These are big improvements, make the Pearl better for email, much easier to dial.The Flip's web browsing is worse than the 8120 Pearl's. Graphics look bad, text is tiny (zooming doesn't help the experience) - rendering is bad overall. The narrow screen tweaks page layouts. Why are reviewers telling people the browser has improved? This will really tick off a lot of users.
The case is attractive and easy to hold, making typing easy enough. Side buttons are a little tougher to press, which is a good thing (earlier Pearls let you trigger functions too easily from the pocket, or while just holding the phone). Battery door is very flimsy - I'd guess RIM will see some requests for lost plastic here. It will be interesting to see how long the external screen resists scratches.
It isn't clear why RIM chose a narrower (than 8120) main screen for this phone, since the horizontal compression of web pages seems to screw up their formatting a bit. The browser itself seems to distort and pixellate images a little, making it difficult to take advantage of the otherwise beautiful screen.
New monochrome application icons are disastrous - no longer can you tell at a glance what the icons correspond to. RIM has also re-worked the main screen's directory structure to allow more downloaded apps. You'll notice that it takes longer to find a few favorites (Google Maps goes into a Downloads folder, so requires another click to get to it), but it may be easier in the long run.
Camera and video seem about the same as the 8120. Camera is OK. Video isn't great.
Speakers are substantially improved over Pearl 8120 - music and phone calls sound rich and clear. Nicely done here.
Updated on Oct 14, 2008
The black case shows fingerprints very clearly, and they will stay after a simple wipe on the shirt. Poor choice here for RIM.
Battery life appears improved over the 8120.
Voice quality is great.
Still happy with the upgrade, but I will gnash my teeth when using the web browser.
Updated on Jan 28, 2009After 3 months I am still mixed on the phone. Love the flip, and the larger keyboard. The phone still seems to start more slowly than others (though faster than the first 2 Pearls), and it bogs down occasionally despite once/week battery-out restarts (recommended for Blackberries to improve performance).
The glossy black (external) surface is getting scratched and pitted, despite fairly careful treatment. No big deal for me, but it will tick some folks off that this happens in 3 months.
I bought a higher-capacity battery (Seidio Innocell) that has increased talk/standby time by a lot. Worth the $35.
No rush to upgrade now, but I'm getting the feeling my next phone won't be a Blackberry.
Pros -Size is better than other Blackberrys
-Not a trypical business-looking smart phone
-Great service quality! I have yet to drop a call on this one in areas where I've lost calls with other phones.
-Decent battery life
Cons -A bit sluggish at times when moving from one application to another. Creates an unnecessary delay
-Only came with two very basic themes.
-Web browser is not what I had hoped for at all!
-Mini USB plug makes it so older accessories won't work.
Summary I have had the Blackberry Curve in the past and I love the features that Blackberry has to offer. When I found out they were coming out with a flip phone that would have the same capabilities but in a more stylish package, I had to get my hands on it! Overall, I have been very happy with the purchase. The phone has a great sleek design. The keyboard, while it does take some getting used to, is spacious and one-handed typing is not a problem at all. The battery life is fine. I charge my phone each night and the charge gets through the day no problem. I have been very pleased with the call quality. In places where I have dropped many calls in the pat, I have not experienced that problem at all with this phone!
However, I do have a few gripes with the phone. For one, I have been disappointed the few times that I have tried to look up simple things on the web browser. I find that it is extremely slow and really doesn't load pages very well at all. Also, the fact that it came with two very basic themes. On other Blackberrys that I've had, it seemed normal to include a today theme and a Zen theme just for some variety. That was not the cae with this one and so of course if you want one of those themes you have to spend additional money on it. And in regards to spending extra money, the fact that the phone has a mini USB plug makes it so that car chargers you've had for other Blackberry devices won't fit, again forcing people to spend more money. The final complaint that I have is probably the most legitimate. There's a considerable delay on the phone. I've noticed this in switching from one application to another and well as with the buttons on the phone. In regards to the buttons, I find that when I try to dial a phone number quickly, the buttons don't all register and I have to delete and try again until all the digits have registered. I find a similar lag when attempting to move form one application to another. Overall, this is something I could get used tom but at the same time I don't feel that I should have to.
Pros Compact, Flip Design that fits well in the pocket, very good voice quality, Wi-Fi Hotspot is very useful, has a good calendar program and I like the overall design of the phone.
Cons Fingerprints are problematic, T-Mobile needs to expand their coverage area or work on their customer's access to roaming areas - too many dead zones.
Summary I like this phone. I do not wish to do heavy web surfing or even a lot of email. However, I need a very good organizer and calendar and a phone that is of high quality. Also, for the last four years I have used a Treo 650 and have grown tired of the open face design. This phone fits my needs. I wish that T-Mobile had a broader coverage area. The Wi-Fi hotspot is the only thing that allows me to have service at my house. Overall, I would recommend this phone if your needs do not involve a lot of web surfing.
Pros Texting is easy
Cons Dropped calls, freezing up, Roller ball gets dirt in it. Difficult to use. Menu makes no sense. Prone to breakage.
Summary The Blackberry pearl flip is the frankly the worst phone I have every owned. My wife bought it for me for Xmas last year. It took more than a day just to learn how to use basic function. The menu and where settings are located make no sense. Very complicated to use. It constantly would freeze up and drop calls. It finally got dropped and broke in 2 pieces. That was the best thing that ever happened to it. If you are looking for an easy phone to use, Try a Samsung. I have one and I LOVE IT. SUCH an easy phone to use and it JUST MAKES SENSE! Love my SAMSUNG. I will NEVER by a blackberry again!
Pros Good design, I love the flip style phones, great keyboard (faster and more accurate then regular T9 phones), big screen although not big enough for web surfing in my opinion.
Cons Bluetooth stops working, Front screen freezes, Phone shuts off randomly requiring a battery pull to turn it back on,
Summary I have gone through 9 of these phones and each has been replaced due to issues with the phone. The bluetooth module in the phone quit working in 2 of them (RIM says that it is a known issue with these phones) The front screen froze very often in 3 of them (even when I pulled the battery it would freeze again when I turned it on. Front screen is very laggy, if it does work, it will briefly display the last contact that you called after you make the next call (For example if you call Bob then hang up and call Sue, when you hang up on Sue the front screen will display Bob's contact picture for a second).
The Phone blacks out quite often as well. Once or twice a week you will take it out of your pocket and notice that the phone is off (when you didn't turn it off) and then it will not turn by just hitting the power button. You will have to pull the battery and do a full reset to get it to turn on. I have experienced this problem with all of the phones I've owned. I have a feeling it has to do with Blackberry putting all of the features on the phone without the hardware being up to par. It is very inconvenient because you don't know how long it has been off for or if anyone called you while it was off. This would be the biggest problem with the phone in my opinion.
The Calendar does not have as many functions as I would like from a smartphone (although this is how all blackberries are) I would like to see an option to allow you to create 2-3 different calendars (in different colors) like Work and Pleasure.
Overall a great phone if it works but with all of the problems I've had with my phones and my family's phones it is very unlikely you will get a 100% working phone. If the front screen doesn't freeze, the bluetooth will die, if the bluetooth works, blackouts will be common... It is frustrating.