05-04-2010, 07:00 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
A year and a half is a small eternity in the world of technology, and so the Pearl has undergone a transformation to the new 3.2 ounce Pearl 8120, currently offered by AT&T Wireless and T-Mobile in the US. Perhaps the most noted addition is WiFi, and T-Mobile puts it to good use with their Hotspot @ Home WiFi calling service. The T-Mobile version has UMA (conceptually similar to VoIP calling), while WiFi is used only for data services on the AT&T version. And there are plenty of other tweaks that make the 8120 (think of it as Pearl 2.0) a better and more fun phone.
The SureType keyboard layout remains the same: most keys are home to 2 letters and a number or symbol. This is not a full QWERTY keyboard, but as with the original Pearl, those who made do with T9 on a numeric keypad will find the 8120 a vast improvement. RIM, makers of the BlackBerry line, have improved SureType's predictive text methods and indeed it works even better than the original model (which was by no means poor). There's also multi-press for those times you're entering unpredictable text such as a URL or password. Though pretty and shiny, the keys are a bit slippery, making it hard to breeze through text entry. Keys that house numbers are silver and you can use the Alt key to switch to numeric input, though the 'Berry automatically does this for numeric fields such as phone numbers and zip codes. The Symbol key brings up a symbol picker and there's a single shift key, delete key and enter/carriage return key. The keyboard is backlit in white and is fairly readable in the dark. You can set the backlight timeout for the display and keyboard and control screen brightness (or let the automatic light sensor do it for you).