BlackBerry Pearl Now Available

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As promised last week, T-Mobile USA is now offering RIM’s latest smartphone, the BlackBerry Pearl.

Even though this is a smartphone, not one of RIM’s larger cellular-wireless handhelds, it still breaks new ground for this company, as it is its first model of any kind with support for playing music and displaying video.

As part of this, the Pearl offers a host of new features never before found on a BlackBerry.

Multimedia Everywhere

The Pearl has a 240-by-260-pixel screen for displaying video. It can play MPEG-4 and H.263 video files, as well as MP3 and AAC music files.

Because video and audio files are often large, this is the first BlackBerry with a microSD card slot. It has 64 MB of internal memory, too.

It also includes a 1.3 megapixel camera with built-in flash and 5x digital zoom. Naturally MMS support has been added to this device.

Still a BlackBerry

Despite all the new multimedia features, the Pearl still offers the features people have become accustomed to from previous BlackBerries, including support for RIM’s push email system.

In addition, it includes clients for AOL, Yahoo!, MSN, and ICQ instant messages.

Like RIM’s 7100 series of smartphones, this device doesn’t include a full QWERTY keyboard. Instead, it uses this company’s SureType system, in which each key handles two letters.

The Pearl also doesn’t include a touchscreen. Instead, it is controlled with a trackball.

This is a quad-band GSM/GPRS phone with support for the 2.5G wireless standard EDGE. It also has Bluetooth 2.0, allowing this smartphone to connect to wireless headsets and stereo headphones.

The Pearl is 4.2 inches tall, 2.0 inches wide, and 0.6 inches thick, and weighs 3.1 ounces.

Pricing and Availability

The BlackBerry Pearl is available now from T-Mobile USA. After discounts and rebates, its price is $200.

This smartphone will also be available in October from Rogers Wireless in Canada and a variety of carriers in Europe. Availability in Asia-Pacific and Latin America is expected later this year.

To order the BlackBerry Pearl, visit T-Mobile’s web site.

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Thanks to Engadget for the reminder.



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