BlackBerry Pearl 8100

Monday, April 26, 2010

As smartphones go, the original BlackBerry Pearl 8100 series' longevity is nothing short of astounding -- with some minor tweaks, the phone has lasted essentially unchanged for well over three years.

Needless to say, it's time for the granddaddy of consumer-grade BlackBerrys to start collecting pension, so it's an awfully good thing that RIM has chosen its WES conference this week to announce the all-new Pearl 3G.

Rumored as the Pearl 9100, the phone becomes RIM's very first with 802.11n WiFi support (in addition to 802.11b and g, naturally) and features a 3.2 megapixel camera, 256MB of internal storage with microSD expansion up to 32GB, GPS, triband HSDPA with quadband GSM / EDGE, and a 360 x 400 display.

RIM is making the Pearl 3G available in "several lustrous colors" and two different keypad configurations -- numeric 14-key and the more traditional SurePress 20-key -- though there's no indication that the rumored QWERTY version will make it to retail (at least, not yet) or that the company intends for users to be able to swap modules themselves. Expect the phone to launch with "various carriers" in May -- and considering that they've got both AWS and 850 / 1900MHz 3G versions in the mix, we'd expect to see it launch on AT&T and T-Mobile alike.


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