updated 10:40 am EDT, Mon October 1, 2007
BlackBerry Pearl 8130
Research in Motion today at last unveiled the BlackBerry Pearl 8130, its first version of the slimmer smartphone for CDMA phone networks. The new version is the first to support 3G Internet access over EV-DO and includes streaming 3GPP support for online video from YouTube Mobile or other sites. The Pearl now also supports real GPS with BlackBerry Maps providing driving directions and local searches. Music support is likewise improved with a full-size 3.5mm headphone jack, an external microSDHC slot that supports more than 4GB of music, and the latest version of Roxio's music ripping and transfer software to load songs onto the phone.
A host of other minor touches have been applied in the year-long gap between GSM and CDMA versions, RIM notes. A 2-megapixel camera is now standard, along with improved noise cancellation on the microphone. The mobile web browser now has a full Page View mode that shows a visual representation of the full website and lets users zoom in without affecting formatting; font rendering, SureType word completion, and the staple BlackBerry e-mail client have also seen upgrades.
The latest BlackBerry device will come in either amethyst (black) or silver and is expected to reach CDMA carriers by November; versions are expected for both Sprint and Verizon in the US, as well as at least one Canadian release through either Bell Canada or Telus. Costs for the phone were not made public but are likely to sit at $200 after subscribing to a new two-year plan.