RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8120 review: RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8120

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars 1 user review

The Good Wi-Fi; 3.5mm headphone jack; external microSD slot.

The Bad Smallish screen; average camera; lack of 3G.

The Bottom Line The 8120 Pearl is a tidy addition to the BlackBerry family and irons out our niggles with its predecessor. That said, if you already own an 8100 we're not sure if it's worth buying the 8120 unless you value the updated features it has to offer.

8.3 Overall

The BlackBerry 8120 is very similar to its predecessor, the 8100, and overall it's not a very different phone -- but there are a few differences worth mentioning.

The most significant addition to the BlackBerry 8120 is Wi-Fi, which allows you to quickly access your emails and the Internet via Wi-Fi hotspots. We tested it out and it works well. It's particularly useful if you're indoors and can't get a good GSM signal, although we would have liked to have seen 3G too.

The next most noticeable update is the camera which has now been bumped up to 2-megapixels instead of 1.3, and can now shoot video. Although we'd like to say there's a massive difference, it's really not that superior and the video quality is okay on a small screen but don't expect to shoot a short film on it.

Interestingly the two improvements that pleased us most weren't exactly headliners, but they do make a difference to the overall user experience, and they are the 3.5mm headphone jack and external microSD slot.

Adding a 3.5mm jack means that you can plug in your favourite pair of headphones straight into the 8120, and the external microSD slot means you can swap memory card without needing to take the back cover off and remove the battery.

Overall, we still think this is a great email phone and recommend it to people who want to straddle the consumer/business line, but we'd really like to see 3G, or even HSDPA (3.5G) on the next iteration and some more on-board memory.

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